How to Make Gravy Less Salty

Updated July 18, 2017

Gravy is meat-flavoured water or drippings thick with flour. If the meat drippings or base for the gravy have too much salt or there is salt added to the gravy, it can ruin the flavour. Adding water to the gravy will make it less salty, but it will also cause it to lose some of its flavour and consistency. In order to make it less salty, while still maintaining flavour and consistency, you must make more gravy without the salt and then add it to the salty batch.

Measure half the amount of water as there is salty gravy. If you have 2 cups of salty gravy, measure 1 cup of water.

Pour the water into a saucepan. Heat the water on "Medium."

Use a salt-free meat base that matches the too-salty batch of gravy. For example, if it is pork gravy, use pork base. Follow the instructions on the base packaging for the amount of water in the saucepan. Stir the water and base until it is fully dissolved.

Hold a sifter over this flavoured water and add 1 1/2 tbsp flour into the sifter. Gently shake the sifter until all of the flour is in the water.

Use a whisk to blend the flour into the water. Repeat the above step and whisk again until the water in the saucepan is the same consistency as the salty gravy.

Scoop a small spoonful of the mixture out of the pot. Allow it to cool and then taste it. Make sure that the base flavour is there, but is not overpowering. It may taste bland with no salt, but refrain from adding any.

Pour a ladle full of the new salt-free gravy into the previous batch of too-salty gravy. Stir thoroughly.

Taste this "test batch" of gravy to ascertain if it now has the desired taste. If it is still too salty, repeat the above step. Add and stir 1 ladle at a time and taste test, until it has the desired flavour.

Reheat the gravy on a burner at medium heat if it cooled during the process of making it less salty. Stir the gravy often while it is over heat.


It is OK if gravy is a little too salty, if it is going over bland food. On the other hand, gravy should be less salty if it is going over salty food.


Do not heat the gravy mixture on "High" in order to save time. This can cause the flour to clump. If you cannot sift the flour, make a roux with butter and flour before adding it to the salt-free gravy.

Things You'll Need

  • Flour
  • Water
  • Salt-free meat or vegetable base
  • Whisk
  • Saucepan
  • Measuring cup
  • Sifter
  • Spoon
  • Ladle
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About the Author

Shelly Barclay began writing in 1990, focusing on fiction. She has been writing nonfiction articles since 2008. Her work appears on various websites, focusing on topics such as history, cooking, scrapbooking, travel and animals. Before she began writing, Barclay was a line cook for 10 years.