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How to Make a Gluten-Free Roux

Roux (pronounced “roo”) is a primary cooking method for thickening various gravies, soups, and sauces. An alternative to using cornstarch, it’s made by combining equal parts (by weight) of fat and flour, then adding the mixture to milk or stock. It’s also an easy culinary skill to master at home!

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How to Thicken Gravies and Sauces Like a Chef

What exactly is a roux, and what is it used for?

As the silent x in its name implies, Roux is an essential core of the French cooking method. It’s the base thickening agent for three classic French mother sauces and the foundation for countless recipes. Many cooks and chefs agree that Roux is the alpha “the beginning” of many great sauces and gravy. It is also a staple of many Cajun and Creole recipes tied to Louisiana’s history and traditions, widely known as being rooted deep in French culinary influences.

A roux in making

ABOUT THIS RECIPE (per serving)

Gluten FreeNut FreeEgg Free
Servings:  1 recipe
AVG. Maker RATING: 
5 from 1 vote
Write a Recipe Review
Prep Time :0 minutes
Cook Time :0 minutes
Prep time: 1 to 20+ minutes :0 minutes
Total Time :20 minutes
Course : Accompaniment, Ingredient, Sauce
Cuisine : American, Cajun, Creole, French, Southern
Diet : Gluten Free
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.
Calories 507
Fat 47
Carbohydrates 22
Protein 4

Roux as An Alternative to Cornstarch

Many cooks may already know about thickening sauces and gravies with cornstarch – Mixing one tablespoon of the white powdery substance with one tablespoon of cold water to make a slurry for blending into each cup of liquid to make a medium-thick sauce.

If you have someone in the family with a gluten allergy, intolerance, or sensitivity, or for someone with celiac disease, cornstarch is an essential pantry staple to substitute for wheat-based flour as a thickening agent. But cornstarch isn’t your only option to use as a gluten-free thickener.

When it comes to thickening gravy,  soup, and other sauce-based recipes like casseroles and many Cajun and Creole dishes, making a gluten-free roux (a mixture of gluten-free flour and fat) as a base will add extra creaminess and density, which, in turn, helps to incorporate the other fatty ingredients into the finished product.

How to Thicken #HomemadeGravy and #RouxSauce Like a Chef - Make this #GlutenFree #BasicSauce #RouxRecipe #Food #Recipe

The Importance of a Roux…

Learning to make roux adds another technique to your cooking skills, which allows you to thicken various dishes as a chef would.

Many years ago, it was one of the first methods I learned to cook, adding it to milk or stock to make things like gravies and creamy bases for soups and casseroles. But after tasting the cooked butter and flour mixture straight from the pan, it only tasted like a nearly flavorless, greasy, thickened paste.

Initially, I didn’t understand the sophistication of the roux.

It wasn’t until the pasty mixture was added to the liquid that the experimentation of cooking with it made sense.

That fantastic discovery sparked my curiosity about what more I could do with it.

Through cooking trials, I learned that whisking this “paste” into a simple liquid like milk, mixing in some cheese, and a dash of fresh ground nutmeg could suddenly transform what began as an experiment into something wildly delicious, like super creamy and flavorful mac and cheese.

That’s when I fell in love with the puffy paste base made from butter and flour.

Finally, I got it – the toasty, buttery, nutty-tasting roux made everything noticeably better. It was about its magical powers to incorporate and bind ingredients into a heavenly homogeneous sauce, gravy, or soup.

For that incorporation to happen, everything depended upon developing a roux.

Adding the magical roux to the milk or stock provided the concentration and consistency needed for elevating these mixtures of ingredients – transforming them, melding them, seamlessly so that the cheese, cream, drippings, fresh herbs, spices, vegetables, and other elements stirred or whisked together became drawn into the silky, velvety sauce or gravy as if they’d always belonged there – waiting, wanting to be devoured.

Thickening Sauces and Gravies with Roux

Making a roux pronounced “roo” – (Not to be confused with “Roo,” the baby of Kanga in the famous childhood story.) is a primary cooking base mixture for thickening sauces and soups. It’s made by combining equal parts of fat and flour by weight, then adding it to the milk, stock, or other liquid. It’s the base for making classic sauces such as Bechamel or Velouté, Mornay, or Espagnole sauce. The plan is to eventually make all those sauces into recipes featured elsewhere on this blog.

But in the meantime, I want to talk about the fat and the flour…

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Paying tribute...

The idea for documenting this thickening method for making variations of roux came to me while making Crawfish and Shrimp Étouffée from my previous post. As it often happens, when I’m working (cooking), I reflect on memories from years of doing the same alongside my mother and grandmothers in their kitchens. But I never remember them calling this method for thickening gravies and sauces “making a roux.” Instead, it was just part of putting together whatever dish we cooked.

Growing up in a family of primarily German descendant cooks (on both sides), homecooked meals were everyday occurrences—meals made from memory without cookbooks. Instead, recipes, if any existed, were hand-written on three-by-five recipe cards, recording lists of ingredients with scant amounts and important notes for making the foods that were regularly taught by doing as other home cooks before any of us had done for years.

The Dawn of a New Era…

It wasn’t until I got into the public school’s seventh-grade home economics class that I heard the term “roux” ever used. But that’s not to discredit the side-by-side tutorials on cooking that I learned at home. I am blessed to have spent those times in the kitchen with the women in my family.

Those women whom I appreciate to this day (and probably more than they could ever imagine) for making time amidst busy schedules of prepping food and timely dinners. For taking the time to teach me, an impatient kid with a short attention span, how to cook with what was on hand.

Whether you’re new to gluten-free cooking at home or have been at it for years, I hope this post about making the kitchen basic called roux inspires you as it has me (forever a student) to start experimenting with all the ways of using a roux to make something fabulously delicious.

Thanks for stopping by. Have a happy time cooking!

XXO

Kymberley

P.S. When you try this recipe, let us know how you like it! Leave a comment below, share it, and rate it – it’s super helpful for other readers and us. Just click the blue-green comment bubble on the bottom left of your screen to jump to the comment area below.

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How to Make a Gluten-Free Roux

Roux (pronounced “roo”) is a primary cooking method for thickening various gravies, soups, and sauces. An alternative to using cornstarch, it’s made by combining equal parts (by weight) of fat and flour, then adding the mixture to milk or stock. It’s also an easy culinary skill to master at home!
Please read the Recipe Notes footnote below before making a roux. [1]
Kymberley @GfreeDeliciously
5 from 1 vote
Tried this recipe? Please leave a comment and/or ★ rating!
This recipe may contain affiliate links. For more information, visit our Affiliate Disclosure.
Prep Time 0 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Prep time: 1 to 20+ minutes 0 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Accompaniment, Ingredient, Sauce
Cuisine American, Cajun, Creole, French, Southern
Servings 1 recipe
Calories 507 kcal

EQUIPMENT

  • Saucepan or Skillet
  • Utensils (Whisk, Measuring Cups & Spoons, Rubber Spatula or Large Spoon)

INGREDIENTS
 
 

Light Sauce

Medium Sauce

Heavy Sauce

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INSTRUCTIONS
 

The Stages of Cooking a Butter or Neutral Oil Roux

  • White Roux - Cook for 1 to 2 minutes: When done, a white roux mixture will be very light in color and look slightly puffy. Used white roux for making white sauces like sausage gravy or bechamel sauce, and it’s the perfect thickener for mac and cheese.
    Blond Roux – Cook for about 3 minutes: As the butter and flour fully incorporate, a blond roux mixture will smell almost nutty, and the appearance will also look puffy. This roux is an excellent base for lighter sauces like velouté, the sauce for Étouffée, or light gravies.
    Light Brown Roux – Cook for 5 to 8 minutes: At this stage, the roux becomes darker with a color close to the color of peanut butter after toasting and cooking. It is perfect for making savory sauces and thicker gravies.
    Dark Brown Roux – Cook for up to 20+ minutes of gentle cooking: The darkest roux. This deep dark brown thickener is excellent for making Cajun and Creole gumbos and stews. Because of its long cook time, you’ll want to use clarified butter, ghee, lard, or a high smoke point oil instead of fresh butter pats, so the oil is less likely to become bitter or burn.

How to Make the Roux

  • Melt butter (Neutral Oil, Lard, or Fat drippings) in a medium-sized saucepan or skillet over medium-low heat.
  • Whisk the flour into the butter or oil, allowing it to simmer to cook the flour.

To make Gravy or Sauce

  • Incorporate the cooked roux by whisking it into 4 cups (liquid measurement), such as hot milk or stock, to make gravy or sauce or stir it into soups or stews to thicken them. Once thickened, the last step is to season it according to your recipe or taste.

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YOUR OWN NOTES

KITCHEN NOTES

Footnote(s)
[1] The most important thing to be aware of in making roux is the measurements because they are by weight. It’s best to weigh the fat and the flour to get the proper ratio. If you measure out equal parts of fat (i.e., ½ cup of butter and ½ cup of flour), the balance of fat to flour will be thrown off, and you will end up with a roux that won’t correctly thicken whatever you’re making.

Nutrition

Calories: 507kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 4gFat: 47gSaturated Fat: 29gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 2gCholesterol: 122mgSodium: 365mgPotassium: 14mgFiber: 3gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 1418IUCalcium: 34mgIron: 1mg
Keyword All-Purpose-Flour, avocado oil, Bacon Fat, Butter, canola oil, coconut oil, Dairy-Free Butter, Fat Drippings, flour, grapeseed oil, Lard, Neutral Oil, oil, olive oil, Vegan Butter, vegetable oil, vegetable shortening

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Copyright © 2017-2024 Kymberley Pekrul | GfreeDeliciously | gfreedeliciously.com | All content and photographs are copyright protected. The sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. However, copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited. Please read my Photo Use Policy for detailed guidelines and further clarification.

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Kymberley @gfreedeliciously

Hi, I'm Kymberley, the creator of GfreeDeliciously and the Amazing, Glorious Journey Programs. I pray that my work will inspire you to honor your body through God and Good Food from the inside out, all while enjoying your Amazing, Glorious Journey!

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Being creative, cooking, fresh veggies, the violin, decorating for holidays, sewing, hand-quilting, cowgirl boots, country music, fresh herbs in pots, blowing dandelions to the wind, walking barefoot in the grass, hanging out with eclectic interesting people, reading, writing, warm lazy summer days, and yoga!

Gluten, cilantro, mixed vegetables (the frozen kind I grew up with), negativism, rudeness, narcissism, overstaying a welcome,
not helping out, liars, promiscuity, cockiness, know-it-alls, being overly-dramatic, goal-less-ness, poor hygiene, chauvinism, lacking a sense of humor, excessive competitiveness, Laziness, horrifying spellers, people-bashing, criticism and mockery of others and their beliefs, flakiness (because flaky people are really unappealing), more swagger than substance, people who constantly manage others (those folks who think they have all the answers…)

Lambrusco, my iPad, popcorn suppers, dark chocolate, cookbooks, Almond-Rocca, historical romances, sun-bathing, weekend coffee with a good book in bed, PBS cooking shows, romantic comedies, cozy sweaters, fuzzy socks, and fragrant bubble baths with soft music and wine…

Say please and thank you, LAUGH, Pray often, ENCOURAGE others, Be KIND, HONEST, HAPPY, Keep your PROMISES, Be GRATEFUL, Wash your hands, FORGIVE yourself and others, LISTEN, Have FAITH, Be CONFIDENT, Honor your parents, CHERISH your children and grandchildren, TREASURE your family, ABIDE in GOD’s love, Be POLITE, Guard your HEART, SEEK your purpose, FEED your mind, body and soul, Be HOPEFUL, Resist temptation, Lay your burdens down, TRUST your gut, CONNECT with nature, Know that GOD made you perfect just the way you are, SERVE others, LIVE to love, Be COURAGEOUS, Shine bright, OPEN your mind, RESPECT differences, HONOR your inner hunger, SING loud, Be PROUD of who you are, Practice PATIENCE, Never give up, WEATHER the storms of life, Say I love you, LOVE one another

  • I’ve traveled to 32 states in the USA where I’ve enjoyed the food, history, people and the local culture while visiting.
  • Among the states, I’ve lived in are Arizona, California, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
  • My favorite island is Maui.
  • I’ve also been to Canada and Mexico.
  • I rode horses as a kid, and barrel-raced.
  • I broke my neck when I was 18 and went to senior prom in a neck brace.
  • As a little girl, I grew up living next door to my grandma and grandpa on a small lake in rural southern Michigan.
  • The first thing I learned to cook was pancakes.
  • The craziest thing I ever made was mint-flavored green cupcakes when I was 13. My family didn’t like them much…
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Coach | Cook | Creator | Publisher

Meet Kymberley [Upson] Pekrul

A professional writer and self-taught Gfree lifestyle expert on [most] gluten-free things, I’ve always loved cooking and creating delicious foods from scratch for myself and those I love.

My journey began when everything I thought I knew about cooking and eating suddenly changed one day when I discovered I was celiac. So, I re-learned how to eat, cook, and navigate through life gluten-free – trusting God and His plan for me.

I live in what’s known as the Holylands of Central Wisconsin. All the recipes you’ll find here are gluten-free and inspired by the people and places I love most. Whenever possible, I cook with seasonal ingredients using whole foods – Making dishes suitable for everyday life and all food lovers gathered at the same table.

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