Real Gravy | Gestational Diabetes UK
GD Gravy

Gravy is something that catches many people out when they are new to the GD diet. The majority of gravy granules contain flours and starches as thickening agents and added sugars, which are additional starchy carbs poured all over your meal.

The typical gravy made from granules such as Bisto, Bisto Best, Knorr Gravy pot etc. all contain around 2.5g – 3.0g carbs per 50ml serving, so if you love this type of gravy on your dinner, then bear in mind that a 50ml serving (that’s just less than 3 tablespoons of gravy) is the equivalent of just under 1 teaspoon of sugar on your plate.

If you’re looking for pre-made gravies, then look out for fresh gravies and/or ones that have been with real meat juices, without added sugars. Compare the labels and look for the lowest total carbs comparing a few.

If you want to make real gravy made from scratch then it’s quite easy to do! This recipe is made from the meat juices when roasting a joint of meat, however it can also be made just with stock.

Xanthan gum

This recipe uses xanthan gum to help thicken the gravy. Omitting this ingredient can result in very runny gravy and can take much longer to make the gravy thick enough. Xanthan gum has no flavour.

Xanthan gum powder can be bought in most large stores and can usually be found in the ‘free from’ section. The brand I use is Dove’s Farm and costs around £3.00 a tub.

For this recipe, I create a slurry with the xanthan gum powder. This just means adding a small amount of cold water, a teaspoon at a time to the xanthan gum to create a glue-like paste/gel. The small amount of xanthan gum will create quite a substantial amount of slurry. The reason for doing this is so that the xanthan gum mixes into the gravy better without causing jelly-like lumps.

GD Gravy


Real Gravy | Gestational Diabetes UK
4 from 1 vote
Print Pin
Course: Condiments, Sauces
Cuisine: British
Diet: Diabetic, Gluten Free
Keyword: gravy, low-carb gravy
Free or Subscription Recipe: Free Recipe
Free from: coconut, dairy, eggs, gluten, nuts
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 5kcal
Author: Jo Paterson


  • 500 ml stock (hot water and stock cube or gel stock pot)
  • ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 50 ml cold water (the whole amount may not be required)
  • 1 splash dark soy sauce (optional) or balsamic vinegar


To make with meat juices

  • NOTE: Roast the meat joint or poultry on top of an onion, garlic cloves, rosemary, 2 roughly chopped carrots and a stick of celery. This will add flavour to your roast, help keep the meat moist and will help enrich the flavour of the gravy
    ESSENTIAL: Roast in a pan that can be used to roast the meat in the oven and can then be heated on the hob/stovetop
  • Once the meat is cooked, remove from the roasting pan and set aside to rest while you make the gravy
  • Create a slurry (wet paste/gel, like glue) with ½ tsp of xanthan gum and cold water. Add the cold water a tsp at a time and mix thoroughly until you create a glue-like substance, then set aside
    NOTE: the full 50ml of water may not be needed. Use only the amount needed to create a slurry
  • Place the roasting pan on the hob, tilt the tin and spoon off any obvious oil/fat from the top, then pour in a ⅓ of the stock and start to heat on medium-high, mixing and scraping to get all the flavour from the pan
  • Add a drop (½ tsp) of xanthan gum, whisk through and gradually pour in enough stock to make the gravy as thick or thin as you like, stirring/whisking all the time on medium-high heat. Add more xanthan gum slurry and stock as needed to create the consistency you like
  • Add a splash of dark soy sauce to add colour if needed (but bear in mind this will also add more salt to the gravy). Alternatively, a splash of balsamic vinegar will darken the gravy and give a sweeter taste
  • Strain the gravy through a sieve into a jug, pressing the vegetable pieces to get as much flavour from them as possible
  • Your gravy made from scratch should then be ready to serve

To make without meat juices

  • NOTE: this will create a gravy but it will not have the same depth of flavour as the gravy made with meat juices and roasted vegetables
    TIP: You can add some roughly chopped onion, carrots, celery, garlic and rosemary to a pan and cook or roast until caramelised before starting if you would like to make a vegetarian alternative, then use the roasting pan from the vegetables to create the gravy
  • Add a ⅓ of the hot stock into a saucepan and follow the process as above for adding the xanthan gum slurry and stock until you create a gravy the consistency you like. If not using vegetables there is no need to strain the gravy and it can be served straight away


Please note, the nutritional info provided does not take into account the meat juices/fats as this cannot be measured and will be different for each meat. It is based on only the ingredients listed


Calories: 5kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fibre: 1g | of which sugars: 1g