Thick white gravy in a saucepan with spoon.

White Gravy Recipe

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 0 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


Make this hearty white gravy recipe for a variety of meals, especially Southern-style dishes. You only need 5 ingredients and 15 minutes!


Units Scale
  • 5 Tbsp. butter
  • 5 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 23 cups milk*
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper, plus more to taste


  1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Whisk in the flour. Remove from heat.
  2. Drizzle in ¼ cup of the milk and whisk it until smooth. Drizzle in another ¼ cup and whisk it until smooth again. Slowly add another 1 and ½ cups of milk, whisking the whole time so that the mixture remains smooth. Stir in the salt and pepper.
  3. Return the saucepan to medium heat. Bring to a simmer while continuing to stir very often. Once it reaches a simmer, stir and cook until it is very thick, 2-3 minutes.
  4. If desired, stir in up to 1 more cup of milk, stirring the whole time, and stopping when the desired thickness is reached. Cook over medium heat until heated through.
  5. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if desired. The amount you add will depend on how much extra milk you’ve added, and your own preferences.
  6. Set a fine mesh sieve over a medium-sized bowl. Pour the gravy through the sieve to remove any flour lumps. Discard contents of sieve. Serve gravy hot.

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*For the best flavor, use whole milk. If you don’t have whole milk, the next best thing is 2%. You can alternatively mix together fat-free milk and cream in equal parts to richen the milk. If all you have is fat-free milk, that will work just fine. The resulting gravy just won’t have as rich and full flavor. Canned evaporated milk can also be used here, and even the fat-free version will actually be quite creamy.