Good Gravy

Making rich, flavorful and lump-free gravy can be a horrific task for anyone, let alone those who are cooking a gluten free or allergen free Thanksgiving meal.

When I was little I remember my Mom on Thanksgiving Day orchestrating the turkey getting carved, the potatoes being mashed, the veggies coming off the stove and the pies getting warmed in the oven. Then came the most stressful and hectic part of the Thanksgiving Day meal preparation: the gravy.

Back in the gluten-day, my Mom made gravy the old-fashioned way. All I remember is a lot of frantic stirring, a lot of flour, and if there wasn’t enough stirring – a lot of lumps.

The key to making perfect gravy is to use a whisk, rather than a spoon when mixing the ingredients. Also, mixing the cornstarch with a bit of broth to make a thin paste, instead of adding the thickening agent directly into the gravy mixture makes certain a lump-free end result.

The following gravy recipe is guaranteed to be lump free, stress free – as well as gluten, dairy, fish and nut free… (for a soy free version use soy free chicken broth).

Good Gravy.



This is a basic recipe using turkey or chicken drippings. You can vary the flavor with your favorite herbs ands spices.

1 ¾ cups GF chicken broth, such as Swanson’s Natural Goodness, divided
½ cup strained drippings from turkey or chicken
¼ cup white wine (optional)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground sage
¼ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
¼ teaspoon poultry seasoning

1. Combine strained drippings, broth, and wine in heavy saucepan, reserving ½ cup of the broth. (To lower the fat content, skim the fat off the top or freeze it for 15 minutes so fat congeals and can be removed—or use a specially designed measuring cup that allows you to pour the drippings from the bottom, leaving the fat in the cup.)

2. Place pan over medium-high heat, adding seasonings. Stir cornstarch into ½ cup reserved broth, making a thin paste. Gently whisk thickening mixture into pan, continuing to whisk until mixture thickens and boils. Adjust consistency by adding more thickener or chicken broth. Remove from heat. Strain, if desired. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Makes 2 ¼ cups. Serves 8 (about ¼ cup gravy each).

Reprinted with permission from Gluten-Free 101 by Carol Fenster (Savory Palate, Inc.)


10 Responses to “Good Gravy”

  1. Lynda Says:

    I find using sweet rice flour instead of corn starch allows you to freeze the gravy without it breaking down.

  2. Adeline Kilduff Says:

    I discovered (accidentally) the best gravy I’ve made in over 50 years. My grandson has celiac and so I had to find a gravy to please all. I merely substituted rice flour for wheat flour and produced the best, smootheset and tastiest gravy I’ve every made. I now use rice flour exclusively for gravies.

  3. Sandra Rieser Says:

    I too use rice flour and make flawless gravy. For cream (white) gravy, use chicken or homemade turkey broth and milk. For a luscious brown gravy, I use water, Burgundy wine, GF soy sauce for color and added flavor. Of course,you can also use some beef broth in place of all water. For those who can use it, real butter is a wonderful fat base to start with.

  4. H.Peter Says:

    The Celiacs of 2008 are so much more sophisticated than the Celiacs of the last Century!

    Google is a big Celiac Helper!

  5. adam Says:

    is that 1 AND 2/4 cups of chicken broth or just 3/4 of a cup?

  6. kelly Says:

    thanks so much for the gravy recipe. i needed one and this looks great!

  7. Kathleen Reale Says:


    The recipe calls for 1 and 3/4 cups of broth total. In step #1 you reserve 1/2 cup of the broth, so you can use it to make a thin paste with the cornstarch in step #2.

    I hope this answers your question!

    Be Free!

  8. Priscilla Rafdahl Says:

    I learned to use cornstarch from my mother in law, when I had always used flour. I found that the cornstarch made the smoothest gravy ever!

  9. Terri Vierzba Says:

    The REAL secret to making lump free gravy is, you MUST remove liquid from the heat when mixing in the slury, otherwise it lumps as it hits the boiling liquid. Stir until blended, return to heat until thickened.

  10. Kathleen Reale Says:

    Thanks for the tip! So simple… I will be trying it next week!

    Be Free!

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