6 Ways To Turn Bland Beef Gravy Into A Flavorful Sauce

bland beef gravy

Beef gravy is a staple in many homes.

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It’s a hearty, flavorful sauce that goes well with most types of meat and can be used as a topping for mashed potatoes or even served over rice.

However, sometimes making beef gravy can be tricky.

The texture might turn out too watery or thick, and the flavor might be bland or underseasoned.

Luckily, there are ways to fix all these problems! Here are some tips on how to save tasteless beef gravy without discarding it.

What is beef gravy?

Beef gravy is a sauce made from beef broth and butter, thickened with flour or cornstarch.

The recipes can contain many other ingredients like cream, soy sauce, wine, garlic powder, and herbs.

It depends on your preference to add whatever you want to the gravy.

Beef gravy is typically served with a roast, one of the staples for a Thanksgiving meal.

The most common way to make beef gravy is by making it either from leftover juices in the pan after roasting meat or by cooking down a small amount of broth until it becomes thick enough to be called “gravy.”

What are some common mistakes when making beef gravy?

Because the dish is so basic, any flaws or mistakes will be magnified and can ruin your entire meal.

Some of the most common mistakes people make when cooking beef gravy are:

Too heavy or too watery texture

If your gravy is too watery, it may be because you have added too much liquid.

If you use chicken stock or beef broth, reduce it until all the excess moisture evaporates and only the rich flavor remains.

Also, ensure not to add more flour than needed, as this will cause your gravy to become thick and heavy instead of smooth and creamy.

Not whisking the gravy enough

Whisking is essential to help create a smooth, creamy texture in your gravy.

Whisking also helps thicken the gravy and incorporate the flour and fat.

If you skip this step or don’t make it long enough, it can create lumps or even burn the gravy.

Not starting your gravy with a roux

A roux is a mixture of fat and flour used to thicken the gravy.

To make a roux, start with equal parts of butter, oil, and flour.

Heat them over medium heat until the mixture turns brown (about 10 minutes).

The longer you cook, the darker brown it becomes—and the more flavorful your gravy will be.

Roux can also be made with shortening if you need to avoid butter or oil for personal reasons or dietary restrictions.

Underseasoned or overseasoned

One of the most common mistakes when making beef gravy is under-seasoning or overseasoning.

Underseasoned gravy will lead to a bland dish, while overseasoned gravy makes the gravy too salty and can mask the flavor of the main course.

The best way to avoid these mistakes is by following a good recipe carefully.

Using low-quality ingredients

Using low-quality ingredients is the most common way to ruin a good dish.

For example, if you use canned beef broth, the resulting dish will be less appealing than a homemade one.

The same goes for any other ingredient in making this simple dish—you’ll want to choose high-quality ingredients that won’t spoil or turn rancid quickly.

When making beef gravy, it’s important to use high-grade ingredients.

You may have heard tales of people getting sick from eating bad meat or cheese; these types of food poisoning are usually caused by bacteria developing on foods that have been left at room temperature for too long (or improperly stored).

Why is my beef gravy bland?

Bland beef gravy means that it lacks flavor.

So what is the reason?

Too much water or stock

If your beef gravy is bland, it may be because you added too much liquid.

No matter whether water or stock has been used, too much of each will dilute the seasonings and result in a flat sauce that has no use on the meat.


A lack of seasoning is one of the most common reasons for bland beef gravy.

Frequently, people forget that beef gravy needs to be seasoned as well.

Adding salt and pepper will bring flavor to your gravy, and seasoning with herbs and spices is another excellent way to improve its taste.

How to fix bland beef gravy?

You’ll want to consider what’s missing to fix a bland beef gravy.

Here are the six common ways to easily turn your flat beef gravy into a flavorful one:

Add more salt

This is the easiest and most basic way we think about when something needs extra flavor.

Adding salt will help bring out the flavor in your gravy.

If you’re using store-bought gravy, you’ll likely need to add less than a pinch of salt because processed foods often contain more sodium, meaning they tend to be saltier.

For homemade or fresh-made gravy, we recommend starting with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and adding more if needed.

Add soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce

These are great ways to add flavor without adding more salt.

These kinds of sauces are commonly used in making gravy, so it is easy to understand why adding more sauce can help enhance the flavor of your gravy.

Spice it up

Adding spices like pepper and thyme and herbs like parsley or rosemary will make your gravy much more fragrant.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try some hot peppers or a dash of cinnamon on top of your steak au poivre sauce!

Add wine

A splash of wine can save you in this case.

The acidity of the wine will cut through the richness of the cream and help balance out the flavors.

Try using a dry red wine, but make sure not to add too much; you only want to use enough to give your gravy body.

If you’re going for a more subtle flavor, try adding some white wine instead.

Add beef broth

If you’re looking for a more savory, umami taste, try adding beef broth.

This will give your gravy a more complex flavor profile.

Be careful not to overdo it; you don’t want your gravy to taste like beef broth.

A good rule of thumb is adding around half a cup at first and then adjusting if needed.

Add bacon

Bacon is a great way to add extra flavor without overpowering the dish.

Try sprinkling bacon bits on top of the sauce or adding a strip or two to the pan before you start cooking.

This will help infuse the sauce with a smoky and greasy flavor, but it won’t make your sauce too salty.

Reduce it

If your beef gravy is too thin and bland, you can reduce it to make it thicker.

This will also help concentrate the flavors and give the dish more body.

Reducing it is a better way to keep things healthy while still giving them flavor.

There is no need for more cornstarch or flour now.


I hope this article has helped you understand the common mistakes people make when making beef gravy to avoid them and how to fix bland beef gravy.

As you can see, there is no need to throw the gravy away even if it is unsuccessful, and there are many ways to save a failed gravy and make it better.