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Southern Onion Gravy (Homemade Gravy Recipe)

Southern Onion Gravy pairs perfectly with roasted chicken, hamburger steak, pork chops, or spooned over mashed potatoes! A few simple ingredients are all your need for a flavorful onion gravy.

southern onion gravy

This homemade onion gravy recipe is one that takes comfort food over the top.

Leave the packet gravy mix on the store shelves, this homemade version with caramelized onions, beef stock, and a hit of Worcestershire will have your dinner guests ladling spoonfuls over their whole plate.

How to Make Southern Onion Gravy

First, let’s gather the ingredients:

Vidalia Onions – this is why it’s called Southern onion gravy because we’re using sweet onions from Vidalia, Georgia! If you can’t find these, just use any yellow, sweet onion.

Beef Stock or Beef Broth – I used homemade, but feel free to use boxed stock, or the jar of Better than Bouillion

Meat Drippings – this gravy was used to make Smothered Chicken, and I had pan-fried my chicken cutlets in the pan before making the gravy.

Flour – you’ll make a roux with the pan drippings and all-purpose flour to create a thick brown gravy.

Kosher Salt + Black Pepper

Worcestershire Sauce

beef and onion gravy

Next, let’s gather your kitchen equipment:

Sharp knife – to slice your onions

Cutting Board – I keep a big board on my counter, right next to my stove, at all times. It’s a super thick board that doesn’t move when I’m slicing and dicing!


Braiser pot – while you can make this in a large skillet or cast iron skillet, I love the dutch oven feel of this Le Creuset Braiser

Cooking Onion Gravy

To begin take your large yellow onion or Vidalia onion and slice into 1/4 inch slices. I like to take the tip and root off, then cut down the middle of the onion, and remove the skin. Then, cut into onion slices against the onion “grain.” This helps the sliced onions separate easier when you’re sauteing.

Over medium-high heat, add your onions to the pot. Now, if you’ve fried your chicken for Southern Smothered Chicken, you’ll have a fairly “dirty” pan. These pan drippings will help flavor your onions and give a rich flavor to the best onion gravy!

Let the onions saute a while, scrapping up any loose bits from the bottom. As the onions caramelize you’ll pour in about a cup of beef broth. Use this liquid to loosen anything on the bottom of the pan.

After the onions have softened and caramelized, I remove them and the broth to a separate small bowl.

Then, I’ll sprinkle flour on the bottom of the pan, and stir around. You might need to add some butter or olive oil to the bottom of the pan. If this is your first time, you’re making a roux here! This is the thickening agent for your rich onion gravy. Most gravy recipes start with a roux!

onion gravy recipe

Other thickening agents you can use are corn starch and cold water. This creates a cornstarch slurry, and when it’s brought to a boil can thicken a gravy nicely without excess flour.

Over medium heat add your beef broth to the roux. Use a whisk to whisk it all together and get any lumps mixed in. After you have a silky, delicious gravy, you can pour your onions and extra beef broth back into the pot.

Turn your stove to low heat, and allow the gravy to simmer for a few minutes.

For an extra depth of flavor add in a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce. The next time you’re making gravy, and you’re wanting to up the flavor, a few dashes of Worcestershire and soy sauce are just what you need! The rich ingredients of both create a flavorful gravy the whole family will love!

Other spices you can add to your gravy:

  • Garlic
  • Garlic Powder
  • Garlic salt
  • Seasoning Salt
  • Onion Powder
  • Fresh Thyme
  • A splash of red wine never hurt anything either!

Serving Onion Gravy

Serve this onion gravy over cube steak, Salisbury steak, Yorkshire pudding, or the whole meal!

For an extra hearty meal, I love to serve a rich onion gravy over Roasted Chicken Quarters. The extra flavor is so creamy with rice or mashed potatoes!

This onion gravy is amazing for this Southern Smothered Chicken Recipe! The chicken is simmered in the onion gravy for an imposibly tender chicken recipe you’ve got to try for your next Sunday Dinner!

onion gravy for roasted chicken

Frequently Asked Questions:

How do you thicken onion gravy? You can make a roux or a cornstarch slurry as listed in the post above.

What can you substitute for onion gravy? If you’re not a fan of onions, I would say don’t make onion gravy. Instead, you can make a delightful brown gravy without using the onions.

Do I have to use beef stock? No, you can use chicken stock or vegetable broth! The color of your gravy will be a bit lighter, but there is no reason you have to use beef broth for a good gravy!

Save this recipe to your favorite food board on Pinterest!

Southern Onion Gravy
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Southern Onion Gravy (Homemade Gravy Recipe)

  • Author: Sweetpea
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: main dish
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: southern


Southern Onion Gravy pairs perfectly with roasted chicken, hamburger steak, pork chops, or spooned over mashed potatoes!


  • 4 TBS Butter (divided)
  • 1 large Vidalia Onion or Sweet Onion, sliced
  • 2 cups Beef Broth (divided)
  • 2 TBS Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce


  1. In a large skillet melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat.
  2. Add in your sliced sweet onion and saute until soft and slightly caramelized.
  3. Pour one cup of beef broth, and scrape up any bits on the bottom of the pan. Remove the onions and beef broth to a small bowl, and set aside.
  4. To the pan, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter.
  5. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of flour over the top, and create a roux by whisking together and cooking for 2 minutes.
  6. To the roux, pour in the remaining one cup of beef broth, and whisk until thick and creamy.
  7. Add the cooked onions and extra broth back into the gravy.
  8. Sprinkle in 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, and 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce.
  9. Whisk around until combined, then serve!

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