Gluten-Free Gravy

This Gluten-Free Gravy is deliciously smooth, rich and full of flavour. Here are all the tips and tricks to get it just right.

Gluten-Free Gravy

My mother and father both made good gravy. It was an absolutely essential recipe in our household growing up because of the importance of our Sunday Lunch. Thick juicy rich brown gravy flavoured with fresh garden herbs would cook for hours on the hob over the course of the day. It was always the last element to be placed steaming hot onto the dinner table. Two magnificent gravy boats stood proudly at either end to be poured liberally over our roast beef and Yorkshire puddings.

Ours was not a household for thin wispy gravy made delicately from drizzled juices. Our gravy was the crowning glory of the meal and did double duty as it provided the ultimate treat when our meat and veggies were done. My father would return to the kitchen to grab a loaf of thick farmhouse bread and cut huge slices for each of us to place on our dinner plates. We would then soak the bread in any leftover gravy, with perhaps an extra slug of mint sauce, wait until the bread was deliciously soppy before devouring greedily. It was a ritual and it didn’t matter how stuffed you were after lunch, the bread and gravy was a must and the bit we most looked forward to and tried to save room for.

The importance of our Sunday lunch has not wavered into my adulthood and since I became gluten-free it has been of utmost importance to me to achieve a triumphant gravy that would pacify the whole family. I don’t do the bread and gravy thing with my family, which is a huge loss really. However, I can’t help but sneak back into the kitchen on the odd occasion, when all the plates have been cleared, and help myself to just one more Yorkshire pudding dragged through the gravy pan for that last little treat when no one else is watching.

Gluten-Free Gravy

How to make gravy with drippings

If you want to make proper actual traditional gravy then your only choice is to use the pan drippings from your roasted meat. There are two ways of doing this. You can either make a quick gravy at the end of your meal whilst your meat is resting or if you don’t want your gravy to be a last minute rush and you want to get really good flavour then you could plan ahead. We make a Sunday Lunch every week and on the odd occasion that I don’t make a traditional gravy I will save my drippings and keep them in little pots in the freezer, alongside my homemade stock. I have a whole compartment dedicated to fat and stock. So when I need to make a gravy I always have drippings to hand, plus it means I can make my gravy ahead. This is especially useful at Christmas as I can make my gravy a couple of days before. Also making gravy ahead of time really allows the flavours to develop and gives a better sauce.

TIP: To make sure you achieve a good quantity of drippings (enough to help you out with your Yorkshire puddings and gravy) I pour a generous amount of olive oil over my joint or bird before roasting. The more olive oil means the more meat flavoured fat at the end of the roast.

How do I make gravy without meat drippings?

It’s easy. Maybe your meat didn’t produce very much or maybe you are making a veggie gravy. If you don’t have drippings or not enough then sub in some unsalted butter or ghee instead. For vegans, use vegan butter.

What can I use to thicken gluten-free gravy?

When I first became gluten-free and tried making gravy using a generic gluten-free flour I was disappointed, thinking that I would never again be able to enjoy gravy the same way. This gravy was thin and granular and lacked lustre. After a lot of experimentation I found the best flour to use is sweet rice flour. Sweet rice flour is absolutely essential to make a beautifully smooth velvety gluten-free roux and produce a sauce with a silky mouthfeel. It absorbs moisture very well so doesn’t clump and so is even easier to use than wheat flour. The flavour is pretty neutral with an ever so slightly sweet vibe which lends itself to the gravy perfectly.

Gluten-Free Gravy

How do you make gravy browner and richer?

In order to achieve a lustrous rich dark brown colour to gravy traditionally you would cook your flour and butter low and slow before adding the liquid so that the roux darkens to give flavour and colour to your gravy. However, sweet rice flour needs handling a little differently and I wouldn’t recommend this direction. Instead you can either use coconut aminos to lend its colour to the proceedings which works excellently, but you need a fair bit so you might need to check your seasonings. Or you can use the onion method as below.

Cook the onion in the drippings or butter for about 20 minutes until they are just starting to brown, but not at all burnt. Then when you add your sweet rice flour followed by the stock they take on this rich brown colour from the onions. It also gives your gravy further depth of flavour. You strain off your gravy at the end so you won’t get bits of onion in your gravy.

How do you make gravy without homemade stock?

So there are occasions when you just don’t have homemade chicken or vegetable stock to hand. At this point you have two options, you can either use fresh stock from the butcher or the supermarket but I find these tend to be a little bland or oversalted so go carefully with them. The other direction is to use whole milk. Yes, this does create a completely different beast but one that is worth experimenting with if you are caught out at short notice. This gravy is obviously creamier and richer but absolutely delicious. If I’m going down this latter route then I might also add a few garlic granules to help with the flavour. If you are dairy-free or vegan then you can also substitute with almond milk which I have done on many an occasion and it works just as well.

Gluten-Free Gravy

How do you add flavour to gravy?

If you are using the drippings from the meat and homemade stock then most of your gravy flavour begins right there. However, to help it along, or if you are subbing ingredients, do add a couple of bay leaves, some fresh thyme or even some rosemary to liven up the flavours. The gravy will also need a little sweetness to balance things out. You could use a glug of white wine or masala which makes for a very sophisticated gravy. However I like to use a bit of fruit jelly. Any good jelly works well here. Redcurrant jelly is easy to find at the supermarket and can usually be found with the condiments (not with the jams and preserves) or cranberry jelly which is lovely at Thanksgiving or Christmas.

How do you re-heat gravy?

Gravy thickens the longer it stands so if you are re-heating then it’s best to do on the hob in a saucepan and whisk in a little extra liquid (stock or just water would be fine).

It turns out that making good gluten-free gravy is easy peasy, especially if you have sweet rice flour in your arsenal. Many of the other ingredients can be subbed or played with depending on what you have to hand or the different dietary needs of your guests. The lovely thing about gravy is that it always tastes slightly different every time but always delicious. Go on, sneak back into the kitchen for that extra Yorkshire pud and gravy treat.

Gluten-Free Gravy

Print Recipe
Gluten-Free Gravy
This Gluten-Free Gravy is deliciously smooth, rich and full of flavour. Here are all the tips and tricks to get it just right.
Gluten-Free Gravy
Course sauce
Cuisine British
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
6 people
Ingredients
  • 50 g unsalted butter or drippings from roasted meat
  • 1 onion chopped very finely
  • 40 g sweet rice flour
  • 800 ml chicken stock preferably homemade
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon redcurrant jelly* or apple jelly or cranberry jelly
Course sauce
Cuisine British
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
6 people
Ingredients
  • 50 g unsalted butter or drippings from roasted meat
  • 1 onion chopped very finely
  • 40 g sweet rice flour
  • 800 ml chicken stock preferably homemade
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon redcurrant jelly* or apple jelly or cranberry jelly
Gluten-Free Gravy
Instructions
  1. Melt the butter or dripping, then add the diced onion and heat on medium for about 20 minutes until they are starting to turn brown (but definitely not burnt).
  2. Add all the flour and mix with a wooden spoon until the fat has absorbed all the flour.
  3. Pour in about a quarter of the stock, then switch to using a whisk, stirring all the time to smooth out the lumps. Once the gravy is beginning to thicken then pour the rest of the stock in slowly, whisking all the while.
  4. Add the bay leaf, thyme and stir in the redcurrant jelly, bringing the gravy up to a gentle boil. If the gravy is too thick for you, add some more stock or just water to get to your desired consistency.
  5. Simmer for 15 minutes then remove from the heat and strain. Keep warm until ready to serve.

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Gluten-Free Gravy

Gluten-Free Yorkshire Puddings

These are the best Gluten-Free Yorkshire Puddings. Majestically tall and crisp with a fluffy breaded interior making them absolutely ideal for mopping up the gravy after your Sunday Roast.

Gluten-Free Yorkshire Puddings

Nothing beats a roast dinner. Every Sunday without fail when I was a child my Dad would make us a lavish Sunday Roast. He was a wonderful cook. The table would be properly set, the meat resplendent in the centre as a vast array of beautifully prepared vegetables, crisp and fluffy roast potatoes, onion sauce, gravy and Yorkshire puddings would surround this magnificent offering. These Sunday lunches were incredibly important to us as a family and I remember them vividly.

Perhaps in my early twenties my Sunday Lunches were a bit more sporadic and mostly consumed hungover at our local pub. But as soon as Luke and I moved in together to become our own family unit then without fail every week we made a Sunday lunch together. Now we’re a family of four and our Sunday lunches are as important as ever. Luke works too late to eat with the family during the week so it’s one of the few times we can sit together and all eat the same meal as a family. Even when I’m at the market stall and don’t finish until 3 or 4pm we’ll rush home and bung a joint in the oven so we can scrape together a simplified Roast Dinner before the children’s bedtime.

Gluten-Free Yorkshire Puddings

Of course Yorkshire Puddings are traditionally served with roast beef but you are missing a trick if that is the only time you will eat them. We love our yorkshires and back in the day Dad would happily make them from scratch every week to serve with the beef or chicken or lamb or pork. And I do the same today. Even our festive table would not be complete without Yorkshire Puddings served alongside our turkey.

After I became gluten-free I stopped making Yorkshire Puddings to go with our Sunday lunch, I just didn’t think you could make them the same, in much the same way that I was unconvinced about gluten-free cakes.

Over the years I’ve been experimenting though and the time I was finally able to make a complete gluten-free Sunday Lunch without skimping on any of the trimmings, including gravy, Yorkshires, stuffing and cauliflower cheese without anyone noticing any difference I could rejoice.

Good Yorkshire Puddings should be sky high, crisp on the outside with a beautiful fluffy interior so you can use them to mop up your gravy when the rest of your meal is complete.
It’s taken me a bit longer to perfect my Gluten-Free Yorkshire Puddings, we were pretty much eating glorified pancakes that stuck resolutely to the baking tin for the best part of the last two years. In the last few weeks though I set myself a challenge to get them perfect. Oh my golly gosh have I succeeded. It is no word of a lie that these Gluten-Free Yorkshire Puddings are not only the best gluten-free Yorkshire puddings you will ever eat but the best Yorkshires full stop.

Gluten-Free Yorkshire Puddings

Too often you can have regular wheat Yorkshire puddings and the chef will rely too much on the size and height. Guys, it’s not the size that counts yada yada yada. A crisp Yorkshire that is all tall golden shell without the bready interior is a pointless affair. It’s like serving up a pie with no filling. These Gluten-Free Yorkshire Puddings are beautifully tall without showing off but the perfectly baked chewy fluffy substance of the puddings is their real crowning glory.

I love gluten-free flours and I don’t care who knows. The key to these Gluten-Free Yorkshire Puddings is in the gluten-free flour mix. I don’t normally pair sweet rice flour with regular white rice flour as I thought they would squabble but now I see that they are perfectly compatible. Sweet rice flour adds the chew, the sticky bind of the pudding. The white rice flour is beautifully neutral with the sweet rice counteracting its more grainy drying qualities. And the potato flour is necessary to draw the moisture out of the sweet rice flour and adding the crisping element which gives our puddings their wonderful initial crunch.

So that the Yorkshires don’t stick to the muffin tin you must grease it really well, both in the holes and on the surface of the tin. I use spray grease, the same kind I use with my baking. Then you must put ½ teaspoon of good fat in the bottom of each hole. Your best choice will be the dripping of whatever meat you are roasting, but if you are making the puddings to serve along something other than a roast dinner or you are a veggie, then use a fat with a high smoking point instead. I use ghee and it works incredibly well.

Gluten-Free Yorkshire Puddings

I don’t bother really resting the batter, I haven’t found it makes enough difference for it to be worthwhile, the Yorkshire Puddings are just as scrummy baked straightaway after making. So as long as you have all the right ingredients then really there is only one final tip you need to adhere to and you will see it in every single Yorkshire recipe around. You must put the greased tin in the oven at a high temperature for at least 10 minutes for the fat to really sizzle. As soon as you pour your batter into the hot fat it needs to start cooking immediately. This will give your puddings their essential rise.

If you are making to serve alongside a roast meat, then I suggest as soon as your meat is ready, turn up the oven to the right temperature and you can cook your Yorkshires in the twenty minute resting period of the meat. It will all work out perfectly.

I urge you to give these Gluten-Free Yorkshire Puddings a try, they are so easy and delicious. If you do make these Gluten-Free Yorkshire Puddings then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you make the recipe or use it as a building block for another delicious creation, I’d also love it if you tag me on instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your creations and variations of my recipes.

Gluten-Free Yorkshire Puddings

Print Recipe
Gluten-Free Yorkshire Puddings
These are the best Gluten-Free Yorkshire Puddings. Majestically tall and crisp with a fluffy breaded interior making them absolutely ideal for mopping up the gravy after your Sunday Roast.
Gluten-Free Yorkshire Puddings
Course side dish
Cuisine British
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
12
Ingredients
  • 300 ml whole milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 100 g sweet rice flour
  • 100 g white rice flour
  • 50 g potato flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or dripping from your roast meat
Course side dish
Cuisine British
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
12
Ingredients
  • 300 ml whole milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 100 g sweet rice flour
  • 100 g white rice flour
  • 50 g potato flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or dripping from your roast meat
Gluten-Free Yorkshire Puddings
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 220°C fan assist/200°C/gas mark 7.
  2. Completely grease a 12 hole muffin tin with spray oil if you have it. Then drop in either ½ teaspoon ghee into the bottom of each hole or some of the dripping from your roast meat.
  3. Place the tin in the oven and heat for 10 minutes.
  4. In a jug whisk together the milk and eggs until smooth. Set aside for a moment.
  5. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flours and salt then make a little well in the centre of the flours and pour in the milk and eggs whisking all the time until the batter is smooth.
  6. Pour the pudding batter into a jug for easy pouring. Then remove the muffin tin from the oven and straightaway pour the batter almost to the top of each hole.
  7. Place the tin back into the oven and cook for 20 minutes.
  8. The Yorkshire puddings should be crisp and have risen gallantly. Serve immediately.
Recipe Notes

Adapted from Jane Grigson’s Yorkshire pudding which I made for years before becoming gluten-free. Can’t believe I’m saying this but I actually prefer this GF version (sorry Jane!)

SHOP THE RECIPE

The 12 hole muffin tin I always use and will thoroughly recommend due to its durability and ease of washing is the MasterClass 12-Hole Non-Stick Cupcake Tray / Baking Pan, 35 x 27 cm

To grease your muffin tin well I recommend using professional cake release spray. It doesn’t matter how little or often you bake, you will be so glad to have this little shortcut around. I use Dubor PR100 Professional Cake Release Spray 600 ml it lasts longer and doesn’t dry out like some of the cheaper brands. Really worth your time and money this one.

I really got into using ghee in my Whole30 and my favourite brand has been  Ghee Easy Organic Ghee, 850 g. It has a high smoking point so doesn’t burn like butter and makes your Yorkshire Puddings taste scrummy.

It’s not easy to buy certified gluten-free sweet rice flour in the UK, for some reason Bob’s Red Mill is astronomically expensive. However I have finally found a brand which is 100% certified gluten-free and it’s fantastic. The brand is yourhealthstore Premium Gluten Free Sweet Rice Flour (glutinous) 1kg

You want to use potato flour and not potato starch in this cake, they are different ingredients and do different things so make sure you are using the right one. I use Wholefood Earth Organic Potato Flour, 1 kg which is a lovely fine flour.

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