Pan Gravy From Meat Drippings

Tan gravy in a white gravy boat. There's a nutcracker who looks like a chef in the background.

What are good Mashed Potatoes without a Great Pan Gravy? 

Well, Mashed Potatoes are delicious either way, but we LOVE pan gravy in our house. I made it a point many years ago before I was really good at making gravy, that I would make it every time I had pan drippings. If it didn’t work, I could always just toss it in the trash. It was a great way to get better at making this delicious elixir of life (as my hubby calls it). 

Square white plate with Chicken leg quarter, peas and mashed potatoes. Gravy is being poured out of a white dish onto the mashed potatoes.

Basic Pan Gravy 101

If you can remember this simple ratio of fat, flour, and liquid, you can make gravy out of any fat with any liquid. 1+1+1 (1 tablespoon fat + 1 tablespoon flour + 1 cup liquid). So, however many tablespoons of fat and flour you have, you’ll use that many US cups of liquid. More simply… Equal parts of fat and flour, then enough liquid to reach desired consistency. 

Pan dripping and flour in an iron skillet.

Step 1: Make a Roux

A roux is what makes a gravies, sauces and stews thicken, such as, My Favorite Creole Gumbo.  Mix flour with the drippings by stirring the fat and flour in a pan or skillet for 2-3 minutes on medium high heat.

Tan bubbling roux in an iron skillet.

Step 2: Add Liquid

Pour in the liquid (stock, milk, water or wine).

Adding stock to the roux to make pan gravy in an iron skillet.

Step 3:

Season and cook on med/high to high for another 5-10 minutes or until thickened. If it gets too thick, you can add a small amount of liquid until you get the desired consistency. Note that gravy thickens a little as it cools, so it will always be a bit thicker once you put it on the table.

Tan bubbling gravy being whisked in an iron skillet.

Step 4: Taste, Adjust, Enjoy!

Taste, add more seasoning if necessary, transfer to a gravy boat or bowl with ladle and enjoy.

Tanish gold gravy in an iron skillet. There's a nutcracker who looks like a chef in the foreground.

Roux with Vegetables

If making an onion gravy or a sauce that includes vegetables or mushrooms, you will add the flour just after the vegetable or mushrooms have been sautéed in the fat, then continue the roux process. Examples are this Onion Gravy  served with my Bangers and Mash, or these Easy Braised Short Ribs in a mushroom gravy. 

Basic Pan Gravy from Meat Drippings

Total Time7 mins
Course: Sauce
Keyword: Comfort Food, Dinner, Homemade, Pan Gravy, Quick and Easy, Side Dish
Servings: 4
Calories: 154kcal


  • 4 Tablespoons Pan Drippings (Including brown bits on bottom of pan)
  • 4 Tablespoons Flour
  • 4 Cups Stock
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  • Heat pan drippings on med/high. Sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes.
  • Pour in the stock, and cook (whisking constantly) on med/high to high for another 5 minutes or until thickened to desired consistency. If it gets too thick, you can add a small amount of water or more stock, a little at a time. Gravy thickens a little as it cools, so a bit thinner now will be a bit thicker by the time you serve.
  • *See note below for general gravy rules.


A good rule of thumb for gravy is however many tablespoons of fat (butter, bacon grease, oil, pan drippings, etc.) you’ll use equal amounts of flour and that number in cups of liquid. IE: 2 tablespoons fat, 2 tablespoons flour, 2 cups liquid.


Calories: 154kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 940mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 501IU | Iron: 1mg

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