How many calories are in 2 tablespoons of homemade gravy?

Gravy is a sauce commonly served with roasts, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and other traditional meals. It adds flavor and moisture to dishes, but it can also add a significant number of calories. Knowing how many calories are in gravy allows you to make informed decisions about portion sizes to manage your overall calorie intake.

In this article, we will look at how many calories are in 2 tablespoons of homemade gravy. Gravy can be made in different ways, so the number of calories can vary based on the specific ingredients and preparation method. We will provide a calorie range for different types of homemade gravy and tips for lightening up your gravy to reduce the calorie count. Whether you are counting calories or just want to know the facts, read on to learn more about the calories in homemade gravy.

What is Gravy?

Gravy is a sauce made from the juices of meat drippings and/or butter or oil and flour. It is used to add moisture and flavor to a variety of savory dishes, especially roasts and mashed potatoes.

There are several different types of gravy:

– Brown gravy – Made from pan drippings after cooking beef, pork, turkey, or chicken and browned flour or other thickening agents. Tends to be rich and hearty.

– Cream gravy – Made with cream, milk, or a roux (fat and flour). Tends to be white or off-white in color and has a creamy texture.

– Giblet gravy – Made from the giblets (neck, heart, gizzard, liver) of poultry. Has a deeper brown color from the extra meat drippings.

– Mushroom gravy – Brown or cream gravy with sautéed mushrooms added.

– Sausage gravy – Made with crumbled and browned sausage and thickened with flour or a roux. Popular in Southern/Cajun cooking.

– Vegetarian gravy – Meatless versions made with vegetable broth or milk and oil/flour roux.

The ingredients and preparation method for gravy determine its calorie content. Factors like the type of fat used, whether flour is used as a thickener, and any extra ingredients added all affect the calories per serving.

Calories in Homemade Gravy

When looking at the calorie count of homemade gravy, the specific ingredients and amounts matter. Gravy can range from around 20 calories for a very light 1 tablespoon serving to over 100 calories for a richer 2 tablespoon serving.

Here is an estimate of the calories in 2 tablespoons of different types of homemade gravy:

– Brown or giblet gravy: 60-90 calories
– Cream gravy: 50-70 calories
– Sausage gravy: 90-110 calories
– Mushroom gravy: 60-80 calories
– Vegetarian gravy: 40-60 calories

These values are based on gravy made with oil or butter for fat, all-purpose flour as a thickener, and either broth or milk for liquid. The calorie range accounts for differences in the amount of fat used and any additional ingredients.

For example, a cream gravy made with 2 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons flour, and 1 cup whole milk would be around 70 calories for 2 tablespoons. A hearty brown gravy with 3 tablespoons oil, 3 tablespoons flour, 1 cup broth, and meat drippings could be up to 90 calories for 2 tablespoons.

Factors Affecting Calorie Count

There are a few key factors that determine the calorie content in homemade gravy:

Type of fat: Butter, oil, meat drippings. Butter and meat drippings will be higher in calories than oil.

Amount of fat: More fat means more calories.

Thickening agent: Flour, cornstarch, or roux adds calories.

Liquid used: Broth, milk – whole milk adds more calories than broth or skim milk.

Extra ingredients: Mushrooms, giblets, sausage – these add-ins boost the calories.

Serving size: A larger serving size means more calories.

By selecting lower calorie ingredients and keeping portions moderate, you can control the calories when making homemade gravy.

Tips for Lightening Up Gravy

If you want to reduce the calorie content of homemade gravy, here are some tips:

– Use broth, stock, or skim milk instead of whole milk or cream.

– Choose olive oil, canola oil, or cooking spray instead of butter or other oils.

– Use a light roux with equal parts oil and flour.

– Skip extra add-ins like sausage, giblets, or mushrooms.

– Use cornstarch or arrowroot starch instead of flour to thicken.

– Use defatted pan drippings.

– Mix in some cooked, chopped mushrooms or onions to add flavor without extra fat or calories.

– Season well with herbs and spices instead of relying on salt for flavor.

– Go light on the drippings – too much can make it fatty and high calorie.

– Strain the gravy after cooking to remove excess fat.

– Use a fat separator when making gravy with drippings.

– Skip gravy and serve pan sauces or broths instead.

With some simple substitutions and cooking adjustments, you can make lower calorie gravy that still has lots of flavor.

Nutritional Information

To give a specific idea of the calories and nutrients in homemade gravy, here is the nutritional breakdown for 2 tablespoons (30ml) of a standard cream gravy:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 71
Fat 5g
Carbohydrates 4g
Protein 1g
Sodium 88mg

This nutrition data is for a cream gravy made with 2 tbsp butter, 2 tbsp flour, 1 cup milk. It provides a good reference point for the calories and nutrients you can expect in a 2 tablespoon portion of homemade gravy. Calories, fat, carbs, and sodium can go up or down based on the specific recipe.

Comparing Homemade and Canned Gravy

Homemade gravy made from scratch is typically lower in calories, fat, and sodium compared to canned, jarred, or packet gravy mixes. For example:

– 2 tablespoons homemade brown gravy: 60-90 calories
– 2 tablespoons canned French onion gravy: 150 calories

The convenience products often contain significantly more sodium and additives like sugar, preservatives, and thickeners like xanthan gum. However, homemade gravy takes more effort and the nutrition can vary based on recipes. If choosing canned or jarred, be sure to compare labels and pick lower sodium options when possible.

Gravy Calorie Count in Common Dishes

To understand how gravy contributes to your total calorie intake, here is an estimate of the gravy calories in typical serving sizes of popular gravy-topped dishes:

Mashed potatoes (1 cup) with 1/4 cup gravy:
– Potatoes: 160 calories
– Gravy: 45-70 calories
– Total: 205-230 calories

Biscuits and gravy (2 biscuits and 1/2 cup gravy):
– Biscuits: 230 calories
– Gravy: 90-135 calories
– Total: 320-365 calories

Roast turkey with gravy (3 oz turkey with 1/4 cup gravy):
– Turkey: 120 calories
– Gravy: 45-70 calories
– Total: 165-190 calories

Beef pot roast with gravy (3 oz beef and 1/4 cup gravy):
– Beef: 150 calories
– Gravy: 45-70 calories
– Total: 195-220 calories

As you can see, gravy adds a significant number of calories to a meal or dish. A quarter cup of gravy can contain anywhere from 45-135 extra calories depending on the type. This Reinforces why it’s important to be mindful of portions when ladling on the gravy.

Should You Avoid Gravy If Trying to Lose Weight?

Gravy doesn’t need to be off limits when trying to lose weight. The key is moderation and balance. Here are some tips for enjoying gravy sensibly:

– Measure portions carefully using a tablespoon or measuring cup. Don’t guess – 2 tbsp can fast become 1/4 cup.

– Use gravy as a condiment or sauce rather than a main dish like biscuits and gravy.

– Choose lower calorie cooking methods like roasted turkey over fried.

– Opt for lighter gravies over heavy cream or sausage gravies more often.

– Boost flavor with herbs so less gravy is needed.

– Load up on lower calorie foods like vegetables at meals with gravy.

– Skip the gravy some of the time or reserve it for a special treat.

– Account for gravy’s calories when planning your daily meals and snacks.

– Make lower calorie substitutions like broccoli or mushrooms in place of some of the gravy.

With thoughtful portioning and sensible substitutions, you can still enjoy the flavor of gravy without going overboard on calories.

Should You Avoid Gravy If You Have Diabetes?

People with diabetes can include gravy in their diets with some precautions. The key is being mindful of overall carbohydrates at a meal. Here are some tips:

– Focus on carb counts for potatoes, stuffing, biscuits rather than narrowing in on the gravy alone.

– Aim for leaner meats like poultry and fish versus higher fat meats when having gravy.

– Opt for lower carb vegetables like green beans or salads to balance carb heavy foods with gravy.

– Limit portion of gravy to 2-4 tablespoons per meal.

– Look for low carb thickeners like xanthan gum or glucomannan in recipes.

– Avoid adding sugar when making homemade gravy.

– Opt for reduced fat/calorie gravies when possible.

– Don’t pour gravy directly over starch-heavy foods. Use it sparingly or in a side ramekin for dipping.

With thoughtful meal planning, people with diabetes can still incorporate gravy in moderation in their diets. Focus on balancing carbs and using gravy as a flavor enhancer rather than a main calorie source.


Gravy can be a delicious addition to many comfort foods and holiday meals. However, it does come with a cost in terms of extra calories, fat, and sodium. Two tablespoons of homemade gravy can range from 40-110 calories depending on the recipe. To lighten up your gravy, use low fat ingredients, cut back on drippings, and keep portions in check. With some simple techniques, you can still enjoy gravy without breaking your daily calorie budget. Consider gravy as a condiment rather than a main dish and balance it with lower calorie vegetables and lean proteins. This allows you to savor the flavor while maintaining healthy portion sizes. So don’t avoid gravy entirely if you are watching your weight or managing a condition like diabetes. Instead, be mindful of how much you use and accompany it with lighter choices to construct an overall healthy meal.

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