gravy over fried chicken

Recipe developer Christina Musgrave describes her easy white gravy as "a sauce that’s popular in the Southern US," which is indeed true. As it so happens, though, it’s very similar to a classic béchamel sauce, making this recipe even more versatile than one might initially think. You really can’t go wrong with the creamy, savory flavors that make up this white gravy — you could slather it on just about anything and it would taste good! (Okay, maybe not on a dessert, but you get the point.)

Musgrave suggests that you enjoy this white gravy on "fried chicken [or] biscuits," but that’s not the only use for it. "White gravy can also be served on mashed potatoes or meatloaf," Musgrave says. Also, because this gravy closely resembles a béchamel sauce, you can use it as a topping for steamed vegetables, as a pasta sauce, spooned over a croque monsieur, or in numerous other applications. For the sake of this recipe, Musgrave walks us through the classic Southern preparation, so get your biscuits and fried chicken ready for this complementary sauce.

Assemble the ingredients for easy white gravy

ingredients for white gravy

This gravy requires just three main ingredients: butter, flour, and milk. Musgrave also adds some salt and pepper for a little extra flavor.

Start by making a roux

butter melting in pan

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Next, add in the flour, salt, and pepper, and use a whisk to combine everything — this creates the roux, AKA the base for the gravy. If you want to add any other seasonings, now would be the time to do it.

Carefully add the milk to the roux

roux in pan

Add the milk it to the roux a bit at a time, stirring all the while so it doesn’t get clumpy. You must then, as Musgrave advises, "Keep whisking until the gravy is lump-free." She says that if it does look lumpy, you can "reduce [the] heat to low and slowly add more milk."

Simmer the gravy until done

gravy with whisk

Once the milk is all stirred in, bring the sauce to a simmer. Heat it for a few more minutes until it thickens — this took Musgrave’s gravy 3 minutes of cooking, but it may take yours less or more time to reach your desired consistency. Again, keep a close eye on things and keep on stirring, since gravy can get too thick before you know it and it just might scorch before you have time to add more milk. If you take it off the heat as soon as it’s thick enough to suit you, though, then you should have some "good gravy!"

  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups milk
  1. Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat.
  2. Stir the flour, salt, and pepper into the butter.
  3. Slowly add milk to the pan, whisking until there are no lumps.
  4. Bring the sauce to a simmer. Simmer the gravy for 3 minutes to thicken.
  5. Serve the gravy over biscuits, fried chicken, or mashed potatoes.