Learn how to make the perfect gravy to accompany turkey, chicken and more.

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A good gravy is a delicious complement to roasted turkey, mashed potatoes and more. However, getting the perfect consistency for gravy can be a little tricky. Luckily, you can learn how to thicken gravy using these tips from our Test Kitchen. From cornstarch to flour, these methods will help make gravy thicker in a few easy steps. And if your end product doesn't turn out quite right, learn how to fix common gravy mistakes.

How to Thicken Gravy with Flour

If you find yourself with runny gravy, flour is an easy solution. Flour is a natural thickening agent and can be incorporated into your sauce with a few different methods (for a gluten-free option, you can also use arrowroot flour or a gluten-free flour blend like Bob's Red Mill's 1-to-1 or King Arthur's Measure for Measure). One way to thicken gravy with flour is by making a slurry. A slurry is made by whisking 2 tablespoons of flour with cold water, which then gets whisked into the gravy. With this method, you'll want to add the slurry in gradually, allowing the gravy to cook and thicken for one to two minutes before adding more (you might not need the entire slurry or you might need more, depending on the consistency).

Another way to thicken gravy with flour is by making a roux. A roux is a mixture of fat and flour, and is an easy way to thicken a sauce. Learn how to make a roux, which also should be added incrementally.

A final option is making a beurre manié, which is made by rubbing flour into butter to create a dough or paste. These methods for thickening gravy with flour prevent the flour from clumping (because no one likes lumpy gravy).

a gravy boat with a ladle

How to Thicken Gravy with Cornstarch

Similar to flour, cornstarch is another ingredient that can be used to make gravy thicker. With cornstarch, making a slurry is also an option, but with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch whisked into cold water. Again, you'll want to add the slurry in increments so you don't over-thicken the gravy. You can also use this method with alternatives like potato starch and rice starch.

How to Thicken Gravy without Flour or Cornstarch

It is possible to thicken gravy without flour or cornstarch, and it's as simple as keeping it on the heat. When a gravy is left to simmer or reduce, it naturally thickens, so be patient with your gravy. One downside to reducing gravy, though, is that it can become too salty. If the seasoning in your gravy is where you would like it, your best option is to use cornstarch or flour to keep the salt levels in check while still thickening the gravy.