How to Make Low Carb Gravy & Sauce
A good gravy or sauce adds an extra bit of depth to many different types of foods. A Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner table wouldn’t be complete without a turkey and a gravy boat filled with piping hot turkey gravy, a great steak can be made even better with some rich peppercorn sauce on top, and Hollandaise sauce is essential to making a great plate of Eggs Benedict. Gravies and sauces come in lots of different styles and forms, and many of them contain more carbs than you might expect at first glance. This is where low carb dieters need to be a little more careful when choosing what kinds of gravy and sauce to use on their meals.
This article is intended to help identify the not-so-obvious carbs that can hide in gravy and sauces that are commonly served alongside some of our favourite foods. Making small substitutions and adjustments to the recipes is often all it takes to lower the carb count of gravy and sauces, and still keep them as part of your menu.
Let’s start by breaking down the most common types of gravy and sauces, and how they are typically used.
Gravy for Meats and Poultry
Traditional gravy typically uses a combination of simple ingredients to produce a thick, rich sauce for a variety of different meats. The main ingredient to most gravy will be the pan drippings from the cooked meat being served, such as roasted turkey, pork or beef, for example. These drippings will be collected and mixed with some stock or broth, whatever spices you like, and then a thickener is added to thicken the gravy and finish the process. Most of the time in traditional gravy recipes, this thickener will be wheat flour, which contains carbs. One way to remove the carbs from traditional gravy recipes is to simply serve them in an ‘au jus’ format, which is essentially just a thinner, more broth-like gravy. If this suits your preference, then you can simply proceed without adding a thickener of any kind.
Alternative Thickeners for Gravy and Sauces
If you desire your gravy to have a thicker consistency, you’ll need to find an alternative thickener. Fortunately, there are many other options that can be used as thickeners for gravy that do not contain carbs and perform the job just as well. Many people use cornstarch as an alternative, which has significantly fewer carbs than an equivalent amount of flour, and requires less of it to achieve your desired thickness. For a zero-carb thickener, most people opt for a vegetable gum, such as this Xantham Gum from Bob’s Red Mill. It will effectively thicken gravy and sauces without adding any carbs, but requires careful attention to how its added to the mix, and how much is used.
Other Sauces for Meats and Vegetables
Of course, gravy isn’t the only kind of sauce that you can choose to accompany your meal. There are many kinds of sauces that go exceptionally well with all kinds of meats, as well as other types of dishes. Hollandaise sauce is an essential part of Eggs Benedict recipes, Peppercorn and Béarnaise sauces are common on steaks and beef roasts, and cheese sauce is perfect for smothering cooked vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower.
Much like gravy, these sauces often utilize flour as part of their recipes to thicken them, too. Fortunately, they can also be made with the same alternative thickeners as described for gravy, and achieve the desired consistency without adding to the overall carb count.
Great Low Carb Gravy & Sauce Recipes
Now that we’ve covered the basics of gravy and sauces, let’s take a look at some fantastic low carb recipes that are easy to prepare, and taste absolutely delicious.
For a classic gravy to accompany your dinner, this recipe works with virtually any type of roasted or cooked meat in order to create a delicious low carb gravy. Laura at VeryWellFit.com provides step-by-step instructions on how to craft a perfect gravy, and offers several alternative thickeners that help keep the carb count low.
This fantastic Béarnaise sauce recipe comes from Maria over at MariaMindBodyHealth.com, and is the perfect way to add some extra depth to a perfectly grilled steak. It puts an interesting twist on the classic Béarnaise sauce by using browned butter to give it a unique flavour profile that is definitely a winner.
Hollandaise is another versatile sauce that works wonderfully on many foods such as eggs, fish, and vegetables, just to name a few. This tasty low carb version comes from Martina at KetoDietApp.com, and includes helpful tips and advice on how to prepare this sauce, which can be tricky at times.
Premade Gravy Mixes
In the event that you need a faster alternative for gravy that still fits the low carb diet, you can check out our selection of low carb gravy mixes here. These are delicious, healthy alternatives and are ready to serve in just minutes. You’ll find options for a wide range of gravies and sauces including demi-glace, turkey gravy, savoury herb gravy, and more.
We hope that these recipes and tips have proven to be helpful for you, as the right sauce can make a big difference in the overall experience of a perfectly roasted cut of meat.
We’re sure that with these tips you’ll be able to craft the perfect low carb gravy for your next big family dinner – enjoy!