Homemade Gravy, Sauces and Cream of…

One of my favorite kitchen tricks, and one that I use at least 3 or 4 times a week, is making a roux and creating homemade substitutes to all kinds of things. Here’s the gist of what I use that basic principle for time after time.

Basic Ingredients and Directions

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 3/4 to 2 cups liquid

For most recipes, first melt the butter over medium heat, then whisk in the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Some variations may use something other than butter.

Variations

BEEF GRAVY: Add 2 cups beef broth as the liquid. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Add seasonings (about 1 t. each, or to taste) and boil until desired consistency. Some seasoning options: thyme, pepper, Italian seasoning, onion powder. (If using gravy on ground beef, use grease from browning the beef in place of the margarine.)

CHICKEN GRAVY: Add 2 cups chicken broth as the liquid. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Add seasonings (about 1 t. each, or to taste) and boil until desired consistency. Some seasoning options: pepper, thyme, dill, italian seasoning, parsley, onion powder.

CREAM SOUP: Add 1/2 cup of finely diced (celery, muschrooms, onions, etc.) to the melting margarine. After flour has cooked, add 1 1/4 cups milk and 1/2 cup chicken stock as the liquid. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Add seasonings (about 1 t. each or to taste) and boil until desired consistency. Some seasoning options: pepper, thyme, dill, italian seasoning, parsley, celery seed.

TOMATO SOUP: Use 2 cups tomato sauce as the liquid. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Add 2 t. salt and other seasonings (about 1 t. each or to taste) and boil until desired consistency. Some seasoning options: basil, dill, garlic powder, pepper. Optional: to make a creamy tomato soup, replace 1/2 cup tomato sauce with 1/2 cup of either milk or cream.

CHEESE SAUCE:Add 2 cups milk as the liquid. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Once it’s at desired consistency, remove from heat and stir in 2 cups cubed or shredded cheese. Then add some of these suggested seasonings for each type of sauce:

  • Cheddar sauce: pepper, salt, dry mustard, cumin, tabasco sauce
  • Pepper-Jack sauce: salt
  • Alfredo-type sauce: (use 1 1/2 cups Parmesan and 1/2 cup mozzarella, or Italian blend cheese) pepper, oregano, Italian seasonings, basil, nutmeg, salt, roasted garlic. Optional: in place of 1/2 to 1 cup milk, use heavy cream.

SAUSAGE GRAVY: Use sausage drippings in place of margarine. After flour is cooked, add 2 cups milk as the liquid.

CHOP SUEY/STIR-FRY SAUCE: Use 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 cups chicken or beef stock, depending on the meat in the dish, and 1/4 – 1/2 cup tamari, soy sauce, or teriyaki sauce (you want a total of 2 c. liquid). Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Add seasonings (about 1 t. each or to taste) and boil until desired consistency. Some seasoning options: ginger, garlic, sesame, crushed red pepper flakes, parsley, Chinese 5-spice powder, a pinch of cayenne pepper, curry.

7 thoughts on “Homemade Gravy, Sauces and Cream of…

  1. Ohhh!!!! I printed this off!!! I have a couple of recipes that require C.O Soups so I’m going to try to substitute them, thanks a bunch!!!!

  2. Thanks for posting this. It is a goal of mine to not buy cream of … soups. I needed a way to substitute homemade for them, so this will really come in handy for me.

  3. I make cream of … soup and freeze it. 2 cups of soup is roughly equal to a can of soup. Just thaw a bit and toss in your favorite recipe.

  4. Thanks for this wonderful information, I absolutely love your emails to me everyday and look forward to the wonderful information that you share

  5. Thank you for this homecooking “Cheat Sheet”. I printed this off to keep for the times when I want to make one of the items of the sheet. I greatly appreciate the information and please keep it coming!

  6. Kate.
    Thank You so much for this chart of how to’s.
    I think a copy should be given to every new bride,new cook, and every 68 year old cook who is clueless.

  7. This is a wonderful recipe/tutorial! I’m trying to eliminate “cream of” soups, so this is a great help to me.

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