Whether you are someone in your family is avoiding dairy, here is the very best Dairy-Free Gravy recipe to make for the holidays. This recipe is rich, creamy, savory, and filled with flavor. You’ll be making it over and over again. 

A white gravy boat filled with homemade dairy-free turkey gravy.

Gravy is the ultimate comfort food. You can make it in minutes with simple ingredients, but there’s nothing simple about how it elevates a meal.

Its savory flavor is perfect for drowning a fluffy pile of mashed potatoes, over slices of roasted turkey, with biscuits, or even serving it with veggies.

If you love the idea of enjoying a festive family meal, gravy is an essential part of it. But what if you choose not to have dairy in your diet or if you’re lactose intolerant? It doesn’t mean you have to go without your share of warm, savory, and super creamy gravy. With this recipe, you won’t even notice there’s no dairy in it. 

This recipe is great because it contains bone broth, which is delicious and packed with health benefits. Animal bones have all the minerals you need to build and strengthen your bones, including calcium, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorous.

Why You Need This Recipe

  • You can make this delicious gravy well in advance, it reheats well, and the flavors will only deepen over time. 
  • This recipe is very creamy and satisfying, and, if you have leftovers, use it as a base for a creamy soup.
  • It’s adaptable! You can turn this gravy into a tasty mushroom sauce, serve it as it is, or experiment.

What You’ll Need to Make This Recipe

All you’ll need to make this delicious dairy-free gravy is a few basic pieces of equipment you’ll find in most kitchens. You won’t need to do a special shop for anything. 

1. Saucepan

You can use any saucepan or pot to make this gravy. As long as it can take a little more than 2 cups of liquid, and it’s wide enough to use a whisk, it’s large enough. 

2. A Whisk

You’ll need to whisk the sauce throughout the process. It’s important to keep whisking as you heat the mixture, or it will turn out lumpy.

3. A Gravy Boat to Serve it

If you entertain regularly, chances are you’ll have a gravy boat or two. If not, you can serve the gravy in any other suitable heatproof bowl or straight from the saucepan. 

A wooden spoon showing thick turkey gravy over a saucepan.

Ingredients and Substitutes

This gravy is so adaptable! You can change it up to suit every taste. It’s gluten-free and dairy-free, and you can easily make it vegetarian or vegan with a few substitutions, as described here.

This healthy gravy recipe goes with all of your favorite recipes on your holiday table.

Chicken or Turkey Bone Broth 

You can use any type of broth for this recipe. Bone broth has become a staple in health-conscious kitchens; for a good reason, it is packed with nutritional benefits and tastes simply wonderful. 

However, you can still make a tasty gravy, even if you don’t have bone broth. You can use two bouillon cubes or two teaspoons of bouillon granules in two cups of boiling water. If you want to make vegan gravy, make sure the bouillon is plant-based and omit the drippings. 

Chicken or Turkey Drippings 

If you don’t have chicken or turkey drippings, or you don’t want to use animal products, feel free to replace them with some extra coconut oil. It will alter the gravy flavor, but it will still taste good and have a creamy texture. 

Refined Coconut Oil 

It’s important to use refined coconut oil and not unrefined coconut oil. Otherwise, your gravy may have a coconut flavor.

If you don’t have coconut oil or don’t like using it, you can substitute this ingredient with vegan butter. It will give the gravy an extra rich flavor that some people will enjoy. You can also use olive oil, but you won’t get as rich of a flavor.

Arrowroot Powder 

Arrowroot powder has a neutral flavor, making it an excellent gluten-free thickening agent for gravies. Arrowroot is also naturally grain-free so it works for low-carb and paleo diets too.

You can substitute it with cornstarch or instant tapioca if you don’t have any. See my list of the best substitutes for arrowroot powder.

Salt and Pepper 

You can season your gravy to taste and use black or white pepper, whatever you prefer. 

You can also feel free to add additional seasoning including garlic powder, coconut aminos, poultry seasoning, or whatever you like to make your gravy taste like how you remember.

Sage 

Sage is an optional ingredient, so you can omit it. Or, you could replace it with any other herb you like. I like using thyme, rosemary, chives, or a combination of herbs. 

Coconut Milk 

Although this ingredient is not essential, I think it is the star ingredient that makes this dairy-free gravy recipe so wonderful. Make sure you don’t pick up the sweetened version of it; it will spoil the gravy.

You can also use unsweetened almond milk or any other non-dairy milk, but the gravy won’t be as thick.

Flavor Alternatives

This recipe works really well as a base for dairy-free sausage gravy. All you need to do is cook up your favorite ground sausage and add it to the gravy once it’s cooked. It’s that simple!

To make a mushroom sauce with this gravy, add around a cup of cleaned, sliced, and sautéed mushrooms and stir it in. It’s the perfect dairy-free mushroom sauce.

For a pepper sauce, add a lot more pepper to the gravy! I recommend around two teaspoons, but it depends on how peppery you like it.

A full dinner plate of thanksgiving dinner with gravy over turkey slices.

Recipe Steps

Step One

Create a roux with oil, drippings, and arrowroot in a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat.

As always, please do see the recipe card at the end of this post for the exact ingredients and measurements.

Step Two

Whisk the broth in and keep cooking to your desired thickness. You can also add your pan drippings for a traditional gravy.

Step Three

Season and serve!

I hope you agree that this gluten-free gravy recipe that is also made without milk or dairy is as good as the original.

Recipe Tips & Substitutions

  • This recipe yields about 2 cups of gravy, or enough for 6-8 servings.
  • Store leftover gravy in the refrigerator for up to four days, or freeze it for up to three months.
  • For best results, reheat the gravy on the stove as you whisk it. Add a little water if it’s too thick.
  • Double or even triple this recipe if you’re feeding a crowd. 
  • Vegan option: substitute the chicken or turkey bone broth with vegetable broth, bouillon cubes, or granules, and use more coconut oil instead of the drippings.

Recipe FAQs

Can I make a vegan version of this gravy?

Yes, you can! If you want to omit all animal products from this gravy, substitute the chicken or turkey bone broth with vegetable broth, bouillon cubes, or granules, and use more coconut oil instead of the drippings. It will change the flavor, but you’ll still have a thick, creamy, savory gravy.  

How do I turn this gravy into an onion gravy?

It’s easy! Chop a large onion and fry it until it’s soft. Stir it into the gravy. For extra flavor, add a teaspoon of garlic or onion powder. 

Can I make this gravy thicker or runnier?

Yes, you can! You can use a little less broth for a thicker gravy or add a little water to make it runnier. 

A gravy boat pouring gravy over sliced turkey on a plate.

More Holiday Recipes You Might Like

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A white gravy boat filled with homemade turkey gravy.

Dairy-Free Gravy Recipe

Whether you are someone in your family is avoiding dairy, here is the very best Dairy-Free Gravy recipe to make for the holidays. This recipe is rich, creamy, savory, and filled with flavor. You’ll be making it over and over again.

  • Total Time: 12 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 cups chicken or turkey bone broth, warmed
  • 2 tablespoons chicken or turkey drippings
  • 2 tablespoons refined coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons arrowroot powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh sage (optional)
  • 1/4 cup full-fat, unsweetened canned coconut milk

Instructions

  1. Heat your coconut oil and chicken or turkey drippings in a saucepan over medium-low heat.
  2. Once the coconut oil is melted, whisk the arrowroot powder in until it’s smooth. It will become a rich, golden color.
  3. Add the warmed bone broth slowly to the mixture as you whisk continuously.
  4. Keep whisking. Even if it’s clumpy, it will become smooth!
  5. Keep cooking and whisking for around 8 to 10 minutes until you reach your desired thickness.
  6. Stir in the salt, pepper, sage (optional), and coconut milk.
  7. Serve, and enjoy.

Notes

  • This recipe yields about 2 cups of gravy, or enough for 6-8 servings.
  • Store leftover gravy in the refrigerator for up to four days, or freeze it for up to three months.
  • For best results, reheat the gravy on the stove as you whisk it. Add a little water if it’s too thick.
  • Double or even triple this recipe if you’re feeding a crowd.
  • Vegan option: substitute the chicken or turkey bone broth with vegetable broth, bouillon cubes, or granules, and use more coconut oil instead of the drippings.

Keywords: homemade gravy, how to make gravy, turkey gravy, dairy-free gravy

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