Brown Gravy - USDA Recipe for CACFP

Brown Gravy - USDA Recipe for CACFP
Makes: 25 or 50 Servings


Our smooth and flavorful Brown Gravy recipe is made from a combination of whole wheat flour, beef broth and spices.


Margarine, trans fat-free
1/8 cup
2 oz
1/4 cup

1. Melt margarine in a large stock pot. Heat uncovered over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes or until margarine begins to smoke.

*Fresh onions, diced
6 1/2 oz
1 1/4 cups
13 oz
2 1/2 cups

2. Add onions. Cook uncovered over medium-high heat for 10-15 minutes until onions are a dark, caramel color. Stir occasionally. Reduce heat to medium.

Whole-wheat flour
1/8 cup 1 Tbsp 2 1/4 tsp
1/4 cup 3 Tbsp 1 1/2 tsp

3. Add flour, onion powder, and pepper. Heat uncovered over medium heat for 1-2 minutes until flour begins to brown, stirring constantly.

Onion powder
1/2 tsp
1 tsp
Ground black or white pepper
1/8 tsp
1/4 tsp
Low-sodium beef broth
2 1/4 cups
1 qt 1/2 cup

4. Add broth. Heat uncovered over medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk to avoid lumping.

5. Scrape bottom of stock pot to avoid burning and to release particles into the gravy for flavor.

6. Simmer uncovered over medium heat for 5-10 minutes. Stir well.

7. Remove from heat. Puree ingredients in stock pot with a bermixer for 1-2 minutes until mixture has a smooth consistency.

8. Critical Control Point: Heat to 165 °F or higher for at least 15 seconds.

9. Pour 2 cups (about 1 lb) brown gravy into a steam table pan (12" x 20" x 2 1/2"). For 25 servings, use 1 pan. For 50 servings, use 2 pans.

10. Critical Control Point: Hold for hot service at 140 °F or higher.

11. Portion with 1/2 fl oz ladle (1 Tbsp).

Variation 1 (Turkey Gravy):

12. Variation 1 (Turkey Gravy): For step 1, heat margarine for 30 seconds - 1 minute uncovered over medium-high heat in a large stock pot.

13. For step 2, add onions. Cook uncovered over medium-high heat for 5-8 minutes until onions are a light, caramel color. Proceed with recipe directions.

Variation 2 (Cream Gravy):

14. Variation 2 (Cream Gravy): For step 1, as soon as margarine melts, add onions. For step 2, allow onions to sweat for 1-2 minutes. Do not allow any browning. For step 3, heat ingredients for 30 seconds to avoid browning.

Low-fat (1%) milk
2 1/2 cups
1 qt 1 cup

15. For step 4, replace broth with 1 1/4 cups milk. Recommended to cook in batches of 25. After step 4 has been completed, add remaining milk. Stir well, and proceed to step 5. For step 6, simmer for 1-2 minutes. Proceed with recipe directions.


See Notes


*See Marketing Guide for purchasing information on foods that will change during preparation or when a variation of the ingredients is available.

Cooking Process #2: Same Day Service

Find tips and resources for safe food handling and proper cooking temperature guidance.