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Gravy Shortcuts, Ranked Worst To Best

Gravy seems like one of the simplest additions to any meal, but making it from scratch can be anything but simple. Achieving that perfect consistency and texture can prove difficult for many. Frankly, most of us don't have time to be making gravy from scratch, and we want easy ways to make our food taste rich and comforting all year round (not just on Thanksgiving).

So, we did all the hard work for you to find the worst and best gravy shortcuts on the market. And while there are a ton of options to choose from, there seemed to be a few clear losers and some standout superstars. No matter what your gravy preferences are (white and peppery, golden brown and smooth, dark and velvety, chunky and filled with savory sausage), we've found the best ones you'll want to smother your meat and veggies with ASAP. And the best part may be that no one has to know you didn't slave over a stove to make it from scratch.

20. Trader Joe's Turkey Gravy

So many people love Trader Joe's packaged products that they sometimes amass cult followings behind them. Unfortunately, their gravy isn't one of those products. While it has a few happy customers who seem to love the convenience of this pre-made gravy mix, it has a ton of negative reviews, which makes it hard for this gravy to compete well on our list. Some of the most critical reviews have major issues with the flavor. One unhappy customer stated, "No flavor. BLAND!! I would stay away from this product. Over priced. If I could give it no stars I would. I threw them in the garbage. Total waste of money" (via Amazon). 

Several reviewers disliked the taste so much they threw out entire meals that had been touched by the gravy. Others ate their food but threw out the remaining gravy after finishing their meals. Sadly, Trader Joe's has committed a major misstep with this product, and it comes in as the worst-ranked gravy on our list.

19. Amazon Brand Happy Belly Chicken Gravy

Amazon is sure to have all the basics you're looking for, including powdered gravy mix. This powdered gravy mix promises to be lump-free for all the rich and warm recipes you're looking to create. However, the reviews are pretty mixed from those who have purchased and used the product. Those who gave the product a thumbs-up said it was easy to use and quick to whip up in a pinch. Some enjoyed the texture and the price. But overall, the reviews weren't great.

Some consistently negative reviewers said the gravy didn't have the deep brown color they were hoping for. One unhappy customer said, "Compared to other brands of packaged gravy that I can buy locally ... this fell flat for me. It was so bland ... we had to dress it up with some of our own seasonings to make it taste good" (via Amazon). Some were also hoping the texture was a little thicker. For these reasons, we ranked this product lower than most others on our list. After all, we eat with our eyes first, and gravy is one of those classic meat-smothering meal components we want to look as good as it tastes.

18. Orrington Farms Turkey Flavored Gravy Mix

While many appreciated some of the healthier aspects of Orrington Farms Gravy Mix (i.e. made with sea salt and gluten-free), most seemed unenthused by the taste. Many reviewers stated it was a solid go-to choice but not mind-blowing. Other positive remarks were happy with the ease of use and versatility. One Amazon reviewer commented, "For those of us who can't seem to make gravy from scratch, or maybe you are just cooking a turkey breast with no drippings to use for gravy, this is a decent substitute for the real thing."

Some of the negative comments had to do with texture. It lost points with several customers who said "the texture is really weird," "it had a powder-like consistency," and "the texture was gloppy." It's certainly not the kind of consistency you're hoping for in rich, creamy gravy, and for that reason, we had to rank this product lower than others on our list.

17. Heinz Homestyle Gravy

Heinz isn't just mixing up ketchup in their test kitchens — they also play in the gravy space as well. This gravy is a jarred version of ready-made gravy with no mixing required. One happy Amazon customer gave it some praise, saying, "It's the most authentic gravy on the market without an instant taste. I tend to use this brand when I don't want to fuss with homemade." And they weren't the only customer to appreciate the ease of use and comforting flavor profile. It seemed to be perfect for the pickiest of palates and cooks without a lot of time. Many noted that the turkey flavor profile really came through, giving it a rich and delicious taste.

Another high point was the fact that you can find this product almost anywhere, though you may want to avoid purchasing it online. Some unhappy customers said that because the jar is made of glass, it can break in the mail. No one wants their gravy served with a side of junk mail. Because its packaging can limit how one gets this gravy safely into their kitchen, we had to knock off a few points and rank it on the lower end of our list. 

16. McCormick Simply Better Chicken Gravy

It's no surprise McCormick is doing all it can to stand out in the market. The company has packaged their gravy rather uniquely in a cardboard container with a pour spout and resealable twist-top lid. In addition to the package design, their packaging states that their gravy recipe is made with "real chicken stock and McCormick spices." Considering that McCormick has dominated the spice aisle for a while, there's a good chance that their seasoned gravy would be a winner for any chicken dinner. Many of the favorable reviews appreciated that the gravy wasn't overly salty, it had a non-greasy texture, and the packaging was a convenient way to save any unused product.

But it wasn't all good news for this packaged gravy. Many reviewers were displeased with the price, suggesting it wasn't worth the cost. Unfortunately, price plays a major factor when it comes to where a gravy ranks — we guess McCormick can't win them all. Because customers should feel they're getting top value from the products they purchase, we had to rank them lower on our list. 

15. Simply Organic Vegetarian Brown Gravy

Vegetarians can rejoice with a gravy product suited just for them. This product from the Simply Organic line boasts that this product can be made in three simple steps by mixing the packet contents with warm water, heating in a saucepan over medium heat until boiling, and stirring to remove any lumps (via Amazon). Reviewers gave this product high ratings for the fact that it's a fast and easy alternative to homemade vegetarian gravy. Several reviewers loved the dark brown color and richness, which made it feel like they were eating traditional gravy. One reviewer said, "Tastes like the brown gravy I used to eat before I became a vegetarian. I love this stuff! So nice to have a vegetarian option that tastes good. Very quick and super easy to make, too!" (via Amazon).

Some reviewers had a different experience altogether, and it wasn't a happy one. Some said the consistency was too loose and that this product was more like a glaze than a gravy. Others didn't care for the taste all that much, Unfortunately, we had to take these negative marks into account and rank it on the low end of our list.

14. Campbell's Chicken Gravy

Another well-known gravy on our list comes from Campbell's. Spoiler alert: This isn't the only gravy of theirs that made our list. While this product didn't pull in the highest number of reviews, the things customers loved about it seemed consistent across the board. It tastes great, there's no extra work (just pop the lid and you're good to go), and it's consistent. This is likely due to the fact that it's already made for you. One happy Amazon customer said, "Better than homemade gravy! Hard to find."

While this product received high praise for its consistency and ease of use, we ranked it lower on our list for the fact that this also makes the product less versatile. While many customers like to use gravy as a meat and potato topper, others like to use it as a seasoning packet. With the gravy already made as an actual gravy, it limits the customer's ability to use it for anything else.

13. Libby's Country Sausage Gravy

Libby's has mostly made a name for itself in the canned vegetable section of the grocery store. As a brand that's been around since 1868, it rivals the classic behemoths, Campbell's and Heinz, for length of time on the market (Amazon). And its popularity is apparent. The brand claims this country-style gravy is comfort food that's "perfect to spoon over warm biscuits, mashed potatoes, rice, pasta or cornbread for that extra touch you love." Some reviewers said it's much better than even homemade versions of gravy, which seems hard to accomplish with ready-made gravy from a can. But somehow, Libby's has figured out the secret sauce that keeps many customers coming back for more.

However, not all customers were happy with their gravies. A good number of negative comments had to do with sausage quality. Some were disappointed that the sausage tasted cheap and more like hot dogs than actual sausages. Others felt the gravy took on a chemical taste they couldn't get past. For these reasons, we couldn't rank this gravy too high on our list.

12. Simply Organic Brown Gravy Mix

The Simply Organic product line promises their products are only made with organic ingredients, which in this case includes organic cornstarch, sea salt, organic maltodextrin, organic cane sugar, and a seasoning blend of organic garlic, mushroom, beef flavor, paprika, black pepper, and celery seed, via Amazon. They also boast that their brown gravy has an "unmistakeable from-scratch flavor for your savory and robust dishes." With moderately high reviews on Amazon, we had to know what customers were really saying about this product. Positive reviewers said it was fantastic for a gluten-free product and that it wasn't overly salty as many powdered gravies tend to be. But not everyone had positive things to say.

Negative reviewers said they needed to "doctor it up" and add more spices and seasonings for it to taste good. Others were disappointed by the overall texture, with many stating that it was too lumpy for their taste. Because this product seemed to lack the ease of preparation other gravy mixes have mastered, we ranked this gravy slightly lower on our list.

11. Road's End Organics Gluten Free Golden Gravy Mix

Road's End offers up a healthier gravy choice for those who pay attention to the ingredient list. While many gravy mixes have a good amount of processed ingredients, this product seems to have sourced recognizable, mostly healthy ingredients. This gravy powder is made from organic rice flour, organic rice maltodextrin, and a seasoning blend of sea salt, onion powder, nutritional yeast, and garlic powder (via Amazon). Their packaging also has the USDA certified organic seal of approval on it, if that's something you care about. Most positive comments stated the gravy was meaty and tasty, despite being made with only vegan ingredients. One happy Amazon customer said, "Great vegan gravies. Golden reminds me of Grandma's cream gravy."

While there were many happy comments, several reviewers warned that you need to follow the instructions perfectly, otherwise you could end up with big lumps that one reviewer referred to as "dumplings." Since so many other gravies got high marks on their ease of preparation, we had to take a few points off this product's scorecard.

10. 365 by Whole Foods Market Organic Brown Gravy Mix

When you're walking down the aisle at Whole Foods, you may find the 365 Brown Gravy mix packets. It's little surprise Whole Foods has created a supposedly healthier version of seasoned packets like gravy. This gravy powder mix is made of organic ingredients with a base of cornstarch, sea salt, maltodextrin, cane sugar, natural flavor, cocoa powder, and a seasoning blend that includes black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and onion powder (via Amazon).

Customers who value organic ingredients may be drawn to this gravy product and appreciate that there are fewer processed ingredients than some other brands offer. So, what do people make with this packet of gravy? Because this gravy comes as a powder, many customers use it as a seasoning for slow cooker recipes and to create stews with free-range chicken and grass-fed beef. While this gravy mix wasn't our favorite, we liked the fact that it's versatile for various cooking needs with organic ingredients you can pronounce.

9. Knorr Classic Brown Gravy Mix

For all the gluten-free foodies out there, Knorr's Classic Brown Gravy mix may be your new best friend. And even if you're not gluten-free, you may still fall in love. One super happy Amazon customer said in a review, "I like to make my own gravy [—] when I don't have time, this is the absolute best option. I've tried all of the brown gravy brands and store brands. This is so head and shoulders above the rest." And they weren't the only one to give this gravy high honors. 

Other positive reviews said it tasted better than any canned version on the market, was easy to use, and was an excellent flavoring agent for meat. Because this product is a powdered gravy, you can control the thickness with the amount of water you use. One reviewer even used wine to thin it out. Talk about versatility! Some of the few negative comments suggested this product can be hard to find in stores. And while online shopping can make life easier at times, some still prefer in-store shopping and would like to know that they can find their favorite products on the shelf when they need them. For this reason, we couldn't give Knorr classic gravy all the stars.

8. Mayacamas Brown Gravy Mix

Mayacamas seems to be a lesser-known product, but it still ranks high on our list. Most of its reviews on Amazon are positive. This product is gluten-free and suitable for vegetarians (though it's not vegan-friendly). It's packaged similarly to other gravy powders, in a paper packet, which may be easy to miss on the store shelves if you aren't looking for it.

While their branding may not pop, many customers rave about how good the flavor profiles are. One happy reviewer said, "Gravy! The life sustaining substance that must be abandoned by all those who choose to convert to a vegetarian lifestyle. Well, not anymore. This lovely gravy is smooth, lightly seasoned, and thick. Flavor to match any beef brown gravy." Other commenters said that no one in their families knew they were eating vegetarian gravy. So, for those who take a hard pass on meat, don't pass this product by when you're at the supermarket.

A couple of unhappy customers remarked on the texture, with several comments saying it just didn't measure up to thick and creamy gravy. But negative comments for this product were more of an exception than the rule.

7. Bisto Gravy Granules

Bisto is a British brand that sells flavor-enhancing products you can buy online. The UK must know how to do gravy right because this product boasts some of the most impressive reviews online. And if you've never heard of gravy granules, here's how it works. You simply mix a bit of boiling water into the granules and whisk until it gets thick. If you want to get fancy, you can add the granules to casseroles, stews, and soups, as you would with any other packet of instant gravy mix. So how does this measure up against other mixes? Some highlights from happy reviewers on Amazon raved about like the incredible flavor and the ease of use of this product.

While this product really received mostly high remarks, a couple of negative points about the product suggested the flavor wasn't for everyone. Some stated it needed a little more oomph with the addition of more spices. These negative comments were essentially drowned out, however, as this is one of the highest-ranking gravies out there.

6. Dynasty Brown Gravy Sauce

Dynasty Brown Gravy Sauce is a must-have for those who love to cook Asian-style meals. While it seemed to be a perfect match for Asian cuisine, it can also used for American-style dishes as well. Several reviewers stated they use Dynasty to deepen the color of their homemade gravies. One happy Amazon customer stated, "I use this for giving my sauces or gravy the brown color I want. It also does not have any aftertaste that would compromise the taste of my food."

While many loved the flavor and color of this product, several reviewers seemed to be a little disappointed about the price, stating that it was too expensive, though prices may vary depending on where you buy it. Also, be careful when ordering this product online. There were a few unhappy customers stating they received cracked glass bottles, which made them unusable. However, this product is widely available in most large grocery chains. Because this product got such high marks for its Asian-style flare, we ranked this gravy as one of our favorites.

5. Knorr Roasted Turkey Gravy Mix

Knorr has received high praise for its instant powdered gravy mix. It comes in a paper pouch that's labeled with their promise that there are no artificial flavors (via Amazon). The picture on the packet looks delicious, and their branding doesn't appear to be all fluff. One reviewer stated, "Knorr gravies are the closest to homemade you will ever try. I have tried so many different gravies and this is the one. Don't even try any others cause I have and no one in my family knows it's from a package. I use the roasted turkey and add it to my turkey dripping to make more turkey gravy." 

Other commenters said they loved smothering their veggies in this gravy and that it tasted as close to homemade as you could get. The only negative remarks seemed to involve sourcing issues — it was hard to find in local grocery stores. Otherwise, this product was a slam dunk.

4. Pioneer Brown Gravy Mix

Pioneer Brown Gravy Mix claims to have been a pioneer and leader in gravy making since 1851 (via Amazon). Such longstanding products are highly impressive, and the reviews reflect that — it's one of the highest-ranked products on our list. The product description states that the company handpicks their spices with a focus on the highest-quality ingredients. In just three simple steps, you'll have a thick and savory gravy that's lump-free. It sounds pretty delicious, and it had us wondering what customers had to say about this product. One Amazon reviewer said it was their favorite gravy and wrote, "I have bought this brand for years, and it's super good to make gravy or au jus from a roast. It adds that special something that homemade often lacks and makes you go 'aha!' I will never be without this again."

A few negative comments suggested disappointment over the fact that the product wasn't gluten-free and may be too salty for some. But in order to find the negative reviews, you'd really have to push past a lot of positive ones. For this reason, we had to rank this product high on our list.

3. Campbell's Mushroom Gravy

This gravy comes pre-made in a can with a base of water, mushrooms, food starch, and wheat flour. The seasoning blend is a combination of celery extract, onion extract, and garlic (via Amazon). While other gravies are often made with a base of beef or chicken broth, this gravy's base is sans animal product, making it a good option for the vegan and vegetarian crowd. One happy vegan customer said in an online review, "It's hard finding yummy vegan gravy. This is good. A little salty but what gravy isn't salty?" Others loved that it was an easy way to add flavor to anything and said it made a great base for vegetable stew. Plus, it has a great consistency — no lumps here!

While most loved this iconic brand's take on vegetarian gravy, it couldn't please everyone. A couple of reviewers were put off by the flavor and not impressed by the lack of thickness. For these reasons, we couldn't give Campbell's Mushroom Gravy an A+, but we still loved that they offered a product that anyone (including the vegan crowd) could enjoy.

2. Trio Brown Gravy Mix

Trio Brown Gravy is the runner-up for the best gravy on our list. While many other gravies fell short in terms of lumpy textures, off-putting appearances, bland flavoring, and difficulty preparing, Trio seemed to hit high marks in all these categories. With many glowing reviews online, it was easy to find one happy customer who summed it up nicely: "This is literally the ONLY brand of brown gravy that I will buy. I scoured the local stores for it but nobody had it. Thankfully I can buy it on Amazon. My whole family loves this gravy. We use it for meatloaf, mashed potatoes, french fries, and anything else we can think of. It's literally that good!" (via Amazon). And they weren't the only customer who will be back for more. Other reviewers agreed that it was priced fairly and had a deep, rich flavor profile.

1. McCormick Turkey Gravy Mix

Finally, we've arrived at number one. The highest-ranked gravy comes from none other than McCormick, which probably isn't that surprising. Amazon dubbed this gravy a #1 best-seller, and happy customers backed it up. Many consider this product to be a pantry staple and a must-have ingredient for weeknight dinners. It makes quick and easy work out of biscuits and gravy, and it's versatile and super convenient.

One happy customer gave this product five out of five stars and summed it up nicely by saying, "This gravy mix is a game-changer. It gives specific ratio instructions, but I usually add a little more because I do like a thick gravy (via Amazon). We'd like to say well done, McCormick, for offering the best shortcut to homemade gravy on the market. We'll be keeping this stuff stocked in the pantry for whenever we need to dress up a recipe.