15 Flour Substitutes For Thickening Gravy

Learning how to thicken gravy without flour is not a difficult task. There are great flour alternatives and methods that will help enhance the texture of your gravy.

In North America, canned and instant gravies are commonly found in grocery stores. You will also often come across folks enjoying gravy with biscuits, roasts, meatloaf, rice, noodles, chips (fries), and mashed potatoes.

Likewise, many locals prepare homemade gravy during Thanksgiving or at a cookout. If you love to make gravies, you should learn how to thicken gravy without flour – a key ingredient in making gravy.

It’ll help you when you run out of flour. Additionally, these alternatives give you a wide range of options to tweak your recipe.

Follow this article to learn how to thicken gravy without flour.

What is gravy?

Gravy is a sauce made from the liquids of meats that run naturally during cooking and is often curdled with wheat flour or cornstarch for added texture.

To further add color and flavor to the gravy, a mixture of salt and caramel food coloring or gravy salt dissolved in water can be used.

You can make gravy from different meat drippings, including turkey, chicken, pork, and beef. You can also try ready-made cubes and powders as replacements for natural meat or vegetable extracts.

How to thicken gravy without flour

Without making an exception for sauces like gravy, if you’re trying to eat a little bit healthier, you’ll be very interested in knowing how to make your sauce without flour.

Sometimes eating too much flour can contribute to weight gain and an increase in body calories. Occasionally, there might also be unavoidable allergy problems.

Check out this list of flour substitutes that can also thicken gravies.

1. Reduction method

You can thicken your gravy using the reduction method if you don’t have any thickener on hand.

Let the broth simmer in the pan until you achieve a thick consistency. You should know that your gravy may have a more intense flavor or become saltier due to the liquid reduction.

2. Potato starch

Obtainable from potatoes, potato starch is a clear & flavorless powder. It is used as a thickener in gravies, sauces, soups, casseroles, stews, and pie fillings because it is a good water absorbent.

3. Rice flour

Rice flour made from milled white or brown rice is another gluten-free ingredient. It is used to replace wheat flour in gluten-free biscuits, cookies, and cakes. It is also used to thicken stews, soups, sauces, and other recipes.

Rice flour is flavorless and colorless. You can use it to thicken gravy instead of cornstarch or flour, giving it a rich, silky, and thick texture.

4. Arrowroot flour

Tropical plant roots that have been ground and dried are used to make arrowroot flour. It is a flavorless, colorless flour usually used to thicken fruit fillings, jellies, gravies, sauces, and soups. Arrowroot flour is also gluten-free.

5. Tapioca flour

Another gluten-free thickener you can use in both savory and sweet recipes is tapioca flour. It is flavorless and made from the roots of the cassava plant.

6. Onions

Your gravy will taste rich, sweet, and caramelized with onions. Cook onions until they are tender and caramelized if you don’t have access to other thickeners.

After adding the broth and blending the caramelized onions, bring the mixture to a boil. Once you’ve reached the desired thickness, turn down the heat and simmer.

7. Cornstarch

The most widely used technique for thickening sauces without flour is cornstarch. It is easy to use and available at many grocery stores.

Moreover, you only need about 1/2 as much of it as you would when using regular flour.

8. Gelatin

Gelatin is an animal-based thickener that helps recipes like no-bake cheesecakes, pies, or other custard desserts set.

They can also be used to thicken sauces by solubilizing them in some water before adding them to the sauce.

9. Xanthan gum

As a stabilizer and thickener in various sauces, salad dressings, baked goods, ice cream, gravies, and soups, xanthan gum is a food additive.

10. Vegetable puree

It’s very healthy to thicken a sauce with vegetables. Cauliflower, potatoes, and even carrots are examples of such vegetables.

Using vegetable puree is also a great way to increase the number of vegetables in your diet.

11. Cashew cream

Cashew cream is a fantastic alternative to traditional dairy cream for thickening sauces like gravy because it adds a velvety texture.

12. Collagen peptides

Collagen peptides are a simple way to give your sauces a boost of additional nutrition and nourishment.

You won’t even be aware that the 100% bovine collagen peptides are in your sauce because they have no flavor and completely dissolve in liquid.

13. Oat flour

Oat flour is an excellent alternative to traditional wheat flour for thickening sauces.

Use it to make a roux just like you would with flour. You can also mix it with a little water to make it slurry before adding it to the sauce.

Nevertheless, remember that oat flour tastes more like whole grains and has a mildly nuttier flavor than regular wheat flour.

14. Agar powder

Agar powder is a vegetarian substitute for gelatin. It is a thickening and bolstering ingredient in food that is made from a type of red seaweed.

Add agar powder to the gravy if you want to use it as a thickener, then simmer the mixture to achieve the desired thickness. To solidify one cup of liquid (sauce), use one tsp of agar powder.

15. Egg yolk

Although it might not be the first thing that comes to mind, egg yolk is also a great option if you want to thicken gravy without grains or extra carbohydrates.

It helps greatly if you’re making a thick, creamy sauce that will benefit from the egg yolk’s fluff.

How to make gravy without flour

Using the basic reduction method, use this recipe guideline to make gravy without flour.


  • 1- to 2-tbsp. of the pan drippings
  • 1 tablespoon of shallots, minced
  • Half a cup of dry white wine
  • Warm half a cup of beef, chicken, or vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons room temp unsalted butter
  • Salt, as desired
  • Black pepper, freshly ground, to taste
  • Freshly squeezed vinegar or lemon juice

Cooking instructions

  • With all the stock remnants still in the pan, leave or pour 1 to 2 tablespoons of pan drippings into the cooking pan.
  • Add the wine and shallot, then raise the heat to medium-high.
  • Then, cook while stirring and raking the bottom of the pan until the shallot is soft and all parts have been released with most of the wine has evaporated.
  • After that, add the stock and stir once more, making sure none of the stock remnants in the pan are stuck to the bottom.
  • Turn off the heat when there is below a half cup of liquid remaining.
  • To ensure a proper mixture, butter should be slowly added and thoroughly mixed.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Squeeze some lemon juice in and serve hot.


Is gravy a sauce or dressing?

Gravy is a sauce and not a dressing.

Why does gravy taste so good?

Roasted chicken bones give the gravy its depth of flavor. And using MSG occasionally also lends it a powerful umami effect.

Is gravy good for you?

Yes and no. Yes, if you eat it in moderation. No, if you do not eat in moderation.

Gravies contain some ingredients, such as sodium that are not healthy for daily consumption. Therefore, you should only consume gravy in moderation.


Gravy can be thickened without flour using a variety of techniques. And because flour is a crucial component of gravy, these techniques result in a sauce that is much healthier, easier to prepare, and free of allergens in most cases.

Furthermore, if you have ruined your gravy during the thickening process, you can buy ready-to-use gravies at the supermarket.

Better still, use the recipe in this article as a guide to preparing fresh gravy.

Thanks for reading.

If you enjoyed reading this article, view Millenora for more.