Easy White Gravy Recipe

This Easy White Gravy Recipe is quick to make, and you just need a handful of ingredients. It’s SO rich and creamy, and perfect for chicken fried steak!

a spoon holding a spoonful of white gravy in front of a sheet pan of chicken fried steak.

Easy White Gravy, also known as Country Gravy, is a classic Southern dish that often accompanies chicken fried steak, biscuits, and other Southern favorites.

It starts with a simple roux of flour and fat (either drippings from chicken fried steak, bacon grease, or butter), then milk is whisked in and cooked until thick.

It takes just minutes to make, and it’s so full of flavor!

I like adding a pinch of cayenne for the slightest hint of spice, though a heavy hand of freshly cracked black pepper works great, too.

White gravy perfectly complements the crispy steak in chicken fried steak. You could even add sausage to make a white sausage gravy!

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chicken fried steak topped with white gravy, next to mashed potatoes and green beans.

What’s the difference between white gravy and brown gravy?

The difference between white gravy and brown gravy is the liquid used. White gravy employs milk or buttermilk, while brown gravy uses beef stock or beef drippings.

White gravy is more popular in the American South (us northerners typically stick to brown gravy), where it’s served over biscuits, chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, pork chops, and more.


milk, flour, drippings, and other ingredients on a white table.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Drippings (from making chicken fried steak or browning sausage; you can also use bacon grease, oil, or butter)
  • Flour combines with the drippings to create a roux
  • Milk makes the gravy creamy and white
  • Cayenne pepper adds a little kick (add as much or as little as you like)
  • Salt and pepper are needed to properly season the gravy so it’s not bland

How to make this easy white gravy recipe

Start by measuring one quarter cup of drippings. Place that in a skillet with high sides, and stir in the flour. Place over medium heat and let cook for 2–3 minutes, or until the roux has turned light brown.

wooden spoon stirring a roux in a cast iron skillet.

Whisk in the milk. Let cook for 3–4 minutes, whisking occasionally. The gravy will thicken.

whisk stirring white gravy in a cast iron skillet.

Whisk in the salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. You can add just a pinch of cayenne, or if you like some spice, start with one quarter teaspoon and go from there.

Take the gravy off the heat and immediately spoon over chicken fried steak, biscuits, or whatever you like.

white gravy in a cast iron skillet, next to chicken fried steak on a sheet pan.

Tips for making the best white gravy

  • Use drippings (either from cooking chicken fried steak or bacon grease) for the best flavor.
  • Bring the milk to room temperature before whisking it in. And, whisk it in a little bit at a time to ensure you won’t have lumps.
  • Use whole milk if you can—it creates the creamiest gravy.
  • Want a thinner gravy? Add more milk.

Make ahead instructions

This easy White Gravy can be made up to 2 days in advance. Reheat it in the microwave or in a small saucepan, whisking occasionally, until warm.

spoonful of white gravy above a dish of more white gravy, with chicken fried steak in the background.


White gravy can be made with a variety of fats. Here are a few:

  • Drippings from fried chicken or chicken fried steak
  • Drippings from browning sausage
  • Bacon grease
  • Butter
  • Vegetable oil or olive oil

I recommend choosing drippings or bacon grease for best flavor.

Here are a few other variation ideas:

  • Use non-dairy milk (unsweetened) in place of the milk to make it dairy-free/vegan
  • Add a pinch of dried thyme or garlic powder
  • Substitute evaporated milk or buttermilk for the whole milk

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I freeze white gravy?

White gravy may separate as it defrosts. So I don’t recommend freezing white gravy.

Can I make white gravy without milk?

You can make white gravy with a dairy-free alternative milk (unsweetened, of course), such as oat milk or almond milk.

How do I thicken white gravy?

Place 2 tablespoons of flour or 1 tablespoon of cornstarch into a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Add ¼ cup of water or milk, and shake to combine. Whisk into the gravy and allow to cook for several minutes to thicken.

Is white gravy the same as béchamel?

Béchemal sauce is similar to white gravy (they both contain a roux and milk). However, béchamel sauce contains seasonings such as nutmeg and/or clove, whereas white gravy does not.

chicken fried steak covered in white gravy on a plate with mashed potatoes and green beans.

What to serve with white gravy

Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and/or comment below!

📖 Recipe

spoon holding a spoonful of easy white gravy with black pepper flecks in front of a pan of chicken fried steak.

Easy White Gravy (for Chicken Fried Steak)

Published by Kate
You just need a handful of ingredients to create this flavorful gravy, made with pan drippings or bacon grease.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
Calories 156 kcal


  • ¼ cup drippings (from making chicken fried steak, or use bacon grease or butter)
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2–2½ cups whole milk (room temperature) (use 2 cups for a thicker gravy)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper


  • Measure ¼ cup of the drippings and place in a skillet over medium heat. Pour the flour over the drippings, and stir to combine. Cook for 2–3 minutes, until light golden brown.
  • Whisk in the milk, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Let cook for 3–4 minutes, or until thickened.
  • Spoon gravy over chicken fried steak, biscuits, or whatever you like!


Options for the drippings/fat (drippings or bacon grease create the best flavor):
  • Drippings from fried chicken or chicken fried steak
  • Drippings from browning sausage
  • Bacon grease
  • Butter
  • Vegetable oil or olive oil
This recipe can be made 2 days in advance. Refrigerate and reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop. I don’t recommend freezing the gravy, as it can separate during the defrosting process. 
Want a thinner gravy? Use the option for 2½ cups of milk instead of 2 cups.


Calories: 156kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 3gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 433mgPotassium: 129mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 132IUCalcium: 101mgIron: 0.3mg
Keyword white gravy
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5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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