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How To Thicken Gravy Without Flour

If you want to make homemade gravy, you may also want to know how to thicken gravy without flour.

The savory, rich flavor of gravy made from scratch is one of the best things at the Thanksgiving dinner table. Luckily, this is incredibly easy to do!   

Don’t let those tasty pan drippings go to waste this year if you have family members who don’t eat gluten. You can easily thicken gravy without adding flour by using some alternative options. 

A sliver gravy boat filled with dark gravy on a linen.

How to thicken gravy without flour

Thickening gravy is easy to do with the right method or ingredients and it’s similar to thickening pasta sauce. You can add starch or another food, simmer to reduce the liquid, allow it to cool, or make it in a slow cooker.

Here is a breakdown of these methods to choose the one that works best for you.   

How to thicken gravy With starch

Besides flour, starch is the next best way to thicken the gravy. It’s naturally occurring and can quickly thicken sauces, soups, and gravies. 

Here are some of the best options that are relatively easy to buy from a grocery store, specialty store, or online.   

  1. Cornstarch: Cornstarch is easy to find in the baking aisle of any grocery store and works very well to thicken the gravy. 
  2. Whisk it with some cold water in a separate bowl before adding it to the pot to prevent it from clumping. While this isn’t necessarily bad, it doesn’t look great. 
  3. Arrowroot starch: Arrowroot also works as a thickening agent in many recipes. You may be able to buy it from the grocery store but may need to look for it in a specialty store or online. You’ll need to whisk it with cold water before adding the mixture to the gravy. 
  4. Potato and tapioca starch: These starches are also options if you have some available. They aren’t widely sold in stores, so you’ll probably need to buy them online. 

How to thicken gravy Without starch  

If you’d rather not use starch to thicken your gravy, there are some other options that work well in stew or thickening soup or thickening chili.  

Mashed potatoes: The starch in potatoes thickens when it comes into contact with liquid. 

For this reason, it’s an excellent method to add to gravy to thicken it. Potatoes are also mostly flavorless, so they won’t change the flavor of the savory gravy. 

Reduce the liquid: An obvious way to thicken gravy is to simmer it until the extra liquid has evaporated. 

This might not be feasible if you don’t have enough time or don’t want to concentrate the gravy further. 

Butter: A pat of butter will slightly thicken gravy and make it silky and richer. It’s a great addition to the end of any gravy. Adding butter isn’t the best option if you really need to make the gravy thicker. 

Egg yolk: Egg yolks are a natural thickener and will help if your gravy needs just a little push to thicken up. 

Be sure to temper the egg yolk first by adding a little gravy to the bowl with the egg before pouring it into the pot. This will ensure you don’t get scrambled eggs in your gravy.   

Pureed vegetables: If you roasted vegetables with chicken or beef, you can puree them and add them to the gravy. This will add flavor and make it thicker.   

Xanthan gum: Add a small amount of xanthan gum to gravy to make it thicker. This gluten-free option is an additive to many commercial products and works well here. 

Gelatin: Powdered gelatin thickens when it comes into contact with liquid. If you have some left over from making jelly or jam, you can also use it in your gravy.  

Let it cool 

A very easy way to thicken gravy is to allow it to cool down. This may seem like you’re not doing enough, but it can be a great way to get it thicker. 

Have you ever made chili or stew and noticed that when it cooled down, it became much thicker? That’s because the cooling process thickens the starch in the dish and makes it thicker. 

Slow cook 

One option to make thick gravy is to make it in a crockpot rather than on the stovetop. This slow cooking reduces the liquid and thickens the gravy naturally without adding anything or cooking off excess liquid. 

FAQ

If your gravy tends to be too watery, the best way to fix this is to not add too much liquid at the beginning of the cooking process.

This little-known trick is another way to thicken the gravy. 

Baking powder is a mixture of baking soda and cream of tartar which produces carbon dioxide when it comes in contact with liquid and will thicken the gravy.

Yes, onions are great at thickening sauces like gravy. Puree roasted onions and add them to the gravy to make them work even harder for you. 

Pasta water is another way you can thicken gravy without flour. If you have some on hand, the starch in the water from the pasta will cause the gravy to become thicker. 

Conclusion

There are many different ways to thicken homemade gravy if there’s too much liquid. Before you begin, you can reduce the amount of liquid you add initially to remove this problem before it begins. 

Other options include simmering the gravy until the liquid evaporates or adding starches or other ingredients. These are all easy ways to thicken gravy without flour for a fantastic dinner.

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