Learn how to make ham gravy with cornstarch and either drippings or broth. This easy recipe will help you cook and thicken any gravy, including ham, turkey, chicken, or brown gravy. It's especially good at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter; but it's also great for family dinner!
This good gravy, on the other hand, is made with cornstarch and ham drippings. It's super easy to make, and it just so happens to be gluten-free ham gravy (as long as all of your ingredients contain no gluten; I always recommend you double check to be safe).
Now you do have to know how to bake a ham for this easy gravy recipe. And, in fact, you can switch out the pan drippings for any flavor broth you like, so you can make brown gravy, turkey gravy, chicken gravy, vegetarian gravy, and more.
Keep in mind… The main flavoring for this flavorful gravy comes directly from the ham itself. So if you glaze your ham, like I did with my pineapple glazed ham, the flavoring from that glaze will go into your homemade gravy. Rule of thumb: If you’re using a sweet glaze, your gravy will be a little sweeter.
Why You'll Love Making Gravy with Cornstarch
- Ham gravy goes hand in hand with creamy mashed potatoes. It also makes a great addition to your baked potato buffet or mashed potato buffet.
- It's a great condiment for Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas dinner, and Easter dinner.
- It's also a great addition to any ordinary family dinner, because it's absolutely easy to make; and if you don't have drippings, no problem. Use broth instead.
Ingredients and Substitutions Notes
I use both cream and water in this recipe for ham gravy. You can replace the cream with milk, though, if preferred.
- Ham drippings – Again, you can substitute broth for drippings if you're not making a big roast. You can use beef broth to make brown gravy, chicken broth for chicken gravy, vegetable stock to make vegetarian gravy, etc. You can also substitute other types of drippings, like turkey drippings to make homemade turkey gravy, pot roast drippings to make roast beef gravy, etc.
- Cold Water
- Heavy whipping cream – I use both cream and water in this recipe for ham gravy. You can replace the cream with milk, though, if preferred.
- Cornstarch – It doesn't take much cornstarch to make a good gravy, only about 3 tablespoons of cornstarch.
How to Make Ham Gravy with Cornstarch
There are different methods to making a good gravy, but this is my simple recipe…
- First, whisk together the water, heavy whipping cream, and cornstarch in a glass measuring cup and set aside.
- Add the brown bits of ham drippings or pan juices from the roasting pan, to a medium saucepan, and start to cook on medium heat.
- Add the cornstarch mixture, as a thickening agent, to the ham drippings in the pan, and continue whisking and stirring constantly 'til the mixture boils and the gravy begins to thicken.
- Once your gravy has thickened, this hot liquid is ready to pour into a gravy crock or gravy boat for serving.
Now keep in mind, depending how salty your gravy is, you may need to add a little extra water to bring that saltiness down. If you add extra water, you'll need to add a pinch up to a tablespoon of cornstarch (depending how much extra water you add), in order to keep a thicker consistency.
And always, always, if you're going to add more cornstarch, whisk it together into a cornstarch slurry with liquid in a separate dish first to avoid lumps. Speaking of lumps…
How to Avoid Lumpy Gravy
Here's the easy way and the best way to prevent lumps in your gravy…
- It's important to start by mixing together a slurry of cornstarch, water, and heavy whipping cream in a small small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whisking this together in the beginning will help prevent lumps in your gravy.
- Use a wire whisk to stir your gravy while it's cooking. It’s pretty much a given that you may have a few lumps, but you can minimize them by whisking the gravy.
- Also, there's no hurry. Take your time to avoid any lumps in your delicious gravy.
Expert Tips and Recipe FAQ's
While you'd have no problem freezing a gravy made with water and flour, this gravy contains cream and will not freeze well. It will likely change the consistency when it thaws, so you're better off not to freeze it.
Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
More Recipes to Enjoy with Gravy
If you love ham gravy with cornstarch and making gravy with cornstarch, you'll love these recipes to go with your homemade gravy!
- Oven roasted pork roast
- Roasted pork tenderloin
- Italian meatballs
- Maple bourbon roast turkey
- Slow cooker corn casserole
- Maple pork chops
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How to Make Ham Gravy with Cornstarch
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 cups ham drippings
- First, whisk together the water, heavy whipping cream, and cornstarch in a liquid measuring up, and set aside.
- Add the ham drippings* or pan juices from the roasting pan, to a medium saucepan, and start to cook on medium heat.
- Add the cornstarch mixture to the ham drippings in the pan, and continue whisking and stirring constantly 'til the gravy begins to thicken.*
- Once your gravy has thickened, it's ready to pour into a gravy boat for serving.
- It's important to start by mixing together the cornstarch, water, and heavy whipping cream in a small small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whisking this together in the beginning will help prevent lumps in your gravy.
- Use a whisk to stir your gravy while it's cooking. It’s pretty much a given that you may have a few lumps, but you can minimize them by whisking the gravy.
- Also, there's no hurry. Take your time to avoid any lumps in your gravy.