Table of Contents
Gravy recipes are a must for the holidays but, hear us out: Gravy is worthy of its own holiday. Whether you’re seeking a turkey gravy recipe, sausage gravy recipe, mushroom gravy recipe, tomato gravy recipe, beef gravy recipe, or any other gravy recipe under the sun, we’ve assembled an all-star panel of cookbook authors, Food & Wine staffers, and chefs — including the likes of Edna Lewis, Anthony Bourdain, Michael Symon, Tanya Holland, Brooke Williamson, and a literal rock star who knows her way around the kitchen — to bring you every gravy recipe you will ever need.
Anthony Bourdain’s Turkey Gravy
In 2016, the late chef and author Anthony Bourdain shared his sides-heavy three-day strategy for Thanksgiving prep — including the preparation of two turkeys (“Stunt” and “Business”), butter-glutted Mashed Potatoes, Kind of Robuchon-Style, uncooked Cranberry Relish, Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Mushroom and Chestnut Stuffing with Giblets, Candied Sweet Potatoes with Bourbon, and this fish sauce, red wine, and Worcestershire-bolstered Turkey Gravy. Multiple F&W commenters have dubbed it some version of “best gravy ever,” while F&W staffers (OK one) fully plan on filling up their gravy fountain with it this year.
P!nk’s Red Wine Gravy
If you read Ray Isle’s rollicking 2019 feature with Alecia Moore (aka recording artist and songwriter P!nk), you know she’s a serious winemaker and vigneron. But perhaps less frequently cited in her bio is the fact that she makes exceptional gravy featuring Cabernet Sauvignon — which she occasionally sells in limited release from her label, Two Wolves. But if you can’t get your paws on a bottle or care to keep it strictly for sipping, another Santa Barbara Cab will also rock in this recipe.
Erick Williams’ Cheffed-Up Sausage Gravy
James Beard Award-winning chef Erick Williams is something of a gravy oracle, and it all starts with a righteous roux. Take yours just up to a peanut-butter-brown state over the course of six to eight minutes, and ramp up the flavor with chicken stock, milk, thyme, black pepper, salt, garlic, cayenne, and cooked sausage. Biscuits are the canonical accompaniment, but if you opted for a shot glass straight to the gullet, who are we to question?
Michael Symon’s Lager Gravy
There is both beer and cider in 1998 F&W Best New Chef Michael Symon’s gravy, plus some roasted giblets if you happen to have them left over from roasting a turkey. Simon, a proud son of Ohio, opts for a Dortmunder Gold lager from Cleveland’s Great Lakes Brewing Co., but unless he’s personally attending your celebration, he’ll never know if you choose another brew local to you.
Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock’s Tomato Gravy
If Southern cooking icons Scott Peacock and the late Edna Lewis told us to deep-fry our own arms, we’d start melting the lard, but luckily this just entails whisking together some oil (ideally left over from a fresh batch of chicken), canned tomatoes, both cream and milk, and thyme with onions and garlic, sautéed to golden. Then probably a lot of moaning — but in a rapturous way.
Brooke Williamson’s Lobster Gravy
You may know chef and restaurateur Brooke Williamson from her winning stints on Top Chef or Tournament of Champions, or her many appearances on Guy’s Grocery Games, Knife Fight, and other food programs. You’ll become a verified fan after your first batch of paprika, cayenne, and anise-kissed gravy, especially when it’s lavished over turmeric-poached eggs and chive biscuits at a leisurely weekend brunch.
Tanya Holland’s Pearl Onion Giblet Gravy
Chef, author, and Top Chef alum Tanya Holland had us at pearl onion gravy. But then she had to go and get all extra with the addition of mashed, seasoned garlic, roasted simply in the oven for an hour.
Grant Achatz’s Black Garlic–Red Wine Gravy
It would easy to assume that a gravy made by 2002 F&W Best New Chef Grant Achatz might be all a-simmer with aerated garlic essence and spherified thoughts of Barolo, but really it’s just exceptionally great gravy, albeit with a bunch of extra-flavorful touches. Black garlic — which is made by aging garlic under specifically controlled conditions (or you could just buy it) — brings a deep, savory funk to a concoction of brown sugar, red wine, soy sauce, beef broth, and herbs. It’s a harmonious accompaniment to his shallot, herb, and prune-marinated beef roast, but would also sing well with potatoes, roasted green or root vegetables, or pretty much any meal that could stand to have the flavor volume cranked up.
Zoë Kanan’s Tahini Gravy
OK fine, baking great Zoë Kanan’s gravy recipe anticipates you already having turkey gravy on hand from your feast. But, if you happen to be in this fortunate position, whisking in some tahini and lemon juice brings a happy glow-up, making it a natural fit for leftover mashed potatoes and stuffing that have been re-seasoned and fashioned into faux falafel.
David Tanis’ Wild Mushroom Gravy
Chef and author David Tanis makes aaalllll the room for ‘shrooms in this earthy mix of chanterelles (if you can find them, but cremini and oyster work if you can’t) and porcini powder with roasting pan drippings. Oh you were planning on making a turkey, too? He’s got you covered with a recipe for an herb-amped bird, cleverly roasted with an apple inside for extra flavor and juiciness.
Kiki Aranita’s Miso Gravy
Writer and chef Kiki Aranita is a passionate ambassador for the cuisine of Hawai’i where she spend a lot of her formative years (read her award-winning essay on the subject if you haven’t already) and loco moco is at the core of it. Just as fundamental is this miso-backed, ultra-savory gravy with note of ginger to sass it all up.
Michel Nischan’s Cherry Gravy
Are we requiring you to make chef Michel Nischan’s braised pork shoulder to generate the drippings for this sour cherry gravy? Yes, but it’s for your own good. It all ends in tender medallions paired with creamed fennel and leeks and a generous lashing of piquant, fruity sauce so we’re not especially sorry.
Susan Spungen’s Thyme Gravy
Shallots, herbs, soy, and Madeira bring some holiday magic to cookbook author and food stylist Susan Spungen’s gravy. It’s excellent on anything, but paired with a perfectly-browned, herb and shallot butter-rubbed bird, this gravy works double-thyme.
Ann Taylor Pittman’s Make-Ahead Smoky Madeira Gravy
Oh dear, more Madeira? Yup, and cookbook author Ann Taylor Pittman’s spikes her silky, giblet-based turkey gravy with fortified wine and smoked wings for a make-ahead gravy that can be simmered on the stovetop or assembled in a pressure cooker up to two months ahead of time if you keep it stashed in the freezer.
The F&W Test Kitchen’s Mushroom and Herb Gravy with Apple Brandy
Recipe developer Marianne Williams crafted this impossibly rich mushroom, shallot, rosemary, thyme, and brandy-backed gravy in the F&W Test Kitchen, then upped the ante with the brilliant addition of Dijon mustard. Really great turkey jus is key, and as it happens, F&W’s editor-in-chief (and former line cook) Hunter Lewis is more than happy to share his method.
Dale Talde’s Redeye Curry Gravy
Gravy, as we have well established, is great. Top Chef alum Dale Talde’s curry, sriracha, ginger, and coconut milk-kicked version of the traditional coffee-based redeye gravy may in fact be the greatest of all. Ladle it onto chicken-fried steaks and noodles and kick yourself for all the time you spent in your life not eating this before.
Kelly English’s Andouille Gravy
Oh, do we ever love 2009 F&W Best New Chef Kelly English’s andouille-based gravy on its own merits, but especially when it’s topping a poutine studded with crayfish and pimento cheese. Serve it with a side of gentle napping.
Dana Cowin’s Bacon-Shallot Gravy
Former F&W editor-in-chief Dana Cowin learned a thing or two about cooking in her 22-year tenure, and this bacon and shallot gravy is one of the best. White wine brings in a bright note, shallots add sweetness, and bacon stokes the smoke.
Lee Hefter’s Maple Gravy
Maple? Yes, you may — and you should. 1998 F&W Best New Chef Lee Hefter found himself missing the East Coast when he moved west to work with Wolfgang Puck, and found that adding maple syrup to his gravy, made with a foolproof turkey stock, helped quell those pangs a bit. Even if you’re not homesick, the balance of sweetness with an abundance of thyme, sage, and parsley will make you feel like you’re in your happy place.
The F&W Test Kitchen Best-Ever Turkey Gravy
Do we love all our chef, author, developer, and staffers’ creations equally? Of course we do. But when former F&W food editor Kelsey Youngman came up with this roasted giblet gravy, the team immediately dubbed it The Best, and we’re sticking to it. Make it four days ahead and store in the fridge, or keep it on hand for a month in the freezer to bust out in case of gravy emergencies.
Javiar Cabral and Paola Briseño González’s Buttermilk-Poblano Gravy
Javiar Cabral and Paola Briseño González love this gravy, which they created to combine the best of Mexican and American worlds. Fire-roasted poblanos add everything that a fresh green chile has to offer in terms of smokiness and flavor without the heat (unlike a jalapeño or serrano which would be an automatic turn-off to the heat-averse). The buttermilk adds a refreshing tang that will keep you ladling more and more over turkey, chicken, or potatoes.