Hamburger Gravy Recipe: A Comfort Food Classic

Hamburger Gravy Recipe: A Comfort Food Classic

Hamburger gravy has its roots in American home cooking. It gained popularity during the mid-20th century when families sought simple, hearty meals. The dish embodies comfort food, evoking nostalgia with its combination of seasoned ground beef and gravy. Initially a staple in diners and households, it remains a beloved dish known for its rich flavor and versatility.

Basic Ingredients and Variations

Hamburger gravy commonly includes ground beef, onions, flour, and beef broth. These core components form the base of the dish. For seasoning, salt, pepper, and garlic powder are frequently used.

Variations add diversity to this classic recipe. Some opt for mushrooms or bell peppers for added texture and flavor. Others might incorporate milk or cream for a richer, creamier consistency. The dish is adaptable, allowing for both simple and complex versions, making it suitable for different tastes and dietary needs.

How to Make Hamburger Gravy

Step-by-Step Recipe

Creating hamburger gravy involves a few straightforward steps. Begin by gathering your ingredients: 1 pound of ground beef, 1 medium onion (finely chopped), 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour, 2 cups of beef broth, salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste.

  1. Brown the Ground Beef: In a large skillet, cook the ground beef over medium heat until it’s no longer pink. Break the meat into crumbles as it cooks. Once browned, drain any excess fat, but leave a bit to enhance flavor.
  2. Cook the Onions: Add the chopped onions to the beef. Cook until they’re translucent and tender, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add Flour: Sprinkle the flour over the beef and onions. Stir well to coat the mixture evenly. Cook for 1-2 minutes to get rid of the raw flour taste.
  4. Pour in Beef Broth: Gradually add the beef broth while stirring continuously to prevent lumps. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  5. Season the Gravy: Add salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste. Lower the heat to simmer, and cook for 10-15 minutes until the gravy thickens. Stir occasionally.
  6. Serve: Ladle the hamburger gravy over mashed potatoes, rice, or biscuits. Enjoy the rich and savory flavors.

Tips for the Best Gravy

Follow these tips to enhance your hamburger gravy:

  1. Use Fresh Ingredients: Always use fresh ground beef and onions to ensure the best flavor and texture.
  2. Season Gradually: Taste and adjust seasoning as the gravy cooks. This approach avoids over-seasoning and allows flavors to meld properly.
  3. Mix Continuously: Stir the mixture continuously when adding the flour and broth. This step ensures a smooth gravy devoid of lumps.
  4. Simmer Slowly: Cook the gravy on low heat for the final simmer to develop a deeper flavor. Rushing this step can lead to a thinner, less flavorful sauce.
  5. Customize Your Gravy: Add mushrooms, bell peppers, or a splash of cream for a different twist. These variations can add richness and depth, catering to diverse tastes.

By following these steps and tips, you’ll achieve a flavorful and satisfying hamburger gravy suitable for any meal.

Pairing Hamburger Gravy with Other Dishes

Classic Combinations

Hamburger gravy serves as a versatile companion for many traditional dishes. Many enjoy it over mashed potatoes for its rich, savory flavor. Place a generous dollop of gravy on a bed of creamy mashed potatoes to create a comforting, homestyle meal.

Consider serving hamburger gravy with biscuits for a hearty breakfast or brunch. Pouring the gravy over freshly baked buttermilk biscuits makes for a satisfying start to your day.

Pairing hamburger gravy with rice or pasta creates another comforting meal. The gravy’s flavors meld beautifully with plain or seasoned rice, offering a deliciously simple side dish.

Creative Serving Ideas

Enhance your meal options by exploring creative ways to serve hamburger gravy. Use the gravy as a topping for baked potatoes. Simply split the baked potato and spoon the gravy over the top, adding cheese or sour cream for extra flavor.

Try hamburger gravy as a sauce for stuffed bell peppers. Prepare the peppers with a filling of rice, vegetables, and cheese, then pour the gravy over the top before baking, adding depth to the dish.

You might also enjoy hamburger gravy in casseroles. Combine the gravy with cooked noodles, vegetables, and cheese, then bake until bubbly and golden. This method integrates the gravy’s taste into a hearty, family-friendly meal.

Another idea involves topping meatloaf with hamburger gravy. Once your meatloaf is cooked, spread the gravy across the top to enhance its flavor profile.

Nutritional Information

Health Benefits

Hamburger gravy offers a rich source of protein, mainly from the ground beef. An average serving provides around 15-20 grams of protein, essential for muscle repair and growth. This dish also contains iron, aiding in oxygen transport in the blood. Home-cooked versions can be modified to include vegetables like bell peppers and mushrooms, which add vitamins and fiber. These additions enhance overall nutritional value, supporting digestive health, and providing antioxidants that help protect against cellular damage.

Considerations for Dietary Restrictions

While hamburger gravy can be nutritious, it’s critical to consider dietary restrictions. For those watching sodium intake, use low-sodium beef broth and limit added salt. Opt for lean ground beef or substitute with ground turkey to reduce saturated fat content. Gluten-free flour can be used in place of regular flour for those with gluten intolerance. For lactose-intolerant individuals, select dairy-free milk alternatives when creating a creamy gravy texture. These adjustments ensure that hamburger gravy accommodates various dietary needs while maintaining flavor and nutritional benefits.


Hamburger gravy is more than just a nostalgic comfort food; it’s a versatile and nutritious dish that can fit into various dietary preferences. By following simple steps and incorporating fresh ingredients, you can create a delicious gravy that’s perfect for any meal. Whether you’re looking to add more protein to your diet or need a hearty dish that can be easily customized, hamburger gravy offers endless possibilities. So, next time you’re in need of a comforting and satisfying meal, give hamburger gravy a try and enjoy its rich flavors and adaptability.

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