Gravy is a perfect complement for savory meals. This flavorful sauce is an absolute must for roasts, mashed potatoes, Swedish meatballs, meatloaf, and your special Thanksgiving turkeys.
But, if you have prepared much more than your guests can eat, how long can you refrigerate gravy? Can you freeze gravy to extend its shelf life?
A short answer, yes! Freezing gravy helps to improve its shelf life. Keep reading to find the practical details of freezing and handling frozen gravy.
The Best Way To Freeze Gravy
Gravy is typically made with drippings of meat juices from roasted meat or poultry and thickened with cornflour or wheat flour. Other ingredients such as butter, cream, milk, mushroom are often added to enhance the flavor and taste.
Unfortunately, homemade gravy has a limited shelf life. When kept in the refrigerator, this savory sauce only stays fresh for two days. The fate is similar to store-bought gravy once you open the package.
If you have gravy leftovers that you can’t finish within a day or two, freezing significantly improves the shelf life. After all, no single drop of this lip-smacking sauce should go to waste.
Just a side note, flour-based gravy freezes better than milk and cream-based gravies. Dairy-based gravy tends to curdle and separate after thawing. Fortunately, you can always fix the consistency later during reheating.
You have two options to freeze gravy: in individual portion size or in ice cube trays. The latter makes more sense if you live alone and only need a small amount each time.
Here is our step-to-step guide to freezing gravy—both for homemade or store-bought gravy.
- 1. Prepare gravy as usual. If you are freezing leftover gravy, make sure to boil the sauce before freezing. Boiling kills any bacteria, consequently helps in preserving the gravy for long term storage.
- 2. Divide gravy into individual serving sizes or freeze it in ice cube trays. If you choose the latter option, flash freeze the gravy for a few hours until the liquid is frozen solid.
- 3. Place gravy or frozen gravy cubes in freezer bags or containers.
- 4. Leave appropriate headspace around one inch to allow for expansion during freezing.
- 5. Seal the bag tightly.
- 6. Mark the package with the freezing date.
- 7. Transfer the pack into the freezer.
Don’t forget to check your freezer’s temperature regularly. Make sure that the temperature is set to 0 °F (−18 °C) or lower.
How Do You Defrost Frozen Gravy?
Defrosting frozen gravy is pretty easy and straightforward. Simply remove it from the freezer and let it sit in the fridge to thaw slowly.
Don’t thaw frozen gravy on the kitchen counter or at room temperature. Keep in mind that this sauce is perishable, and room temperature promotes bacterial growth.
To reheat defrosted gravy, pour it into a skillet and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.
Milk-based or cream-based gravies tend to separate after thawing. But, you can always fix it by adding cornstarch or flour a little bit at a time until your sauce reaches the desired consistency. Stir until the gravy is smooth and thick.
How Long Can You Freeze Gravy?
Freezing gravy helps extend its shelf life from just a couple of days to 3 to 4 months. Flour-based gravy retains its flavor and tastes better than dairy-based ones. Make sure that the gravy is boiled before freezing to kill the bacteria. (*)
When stored longer than that, gravy may still be safe to consume. However, the flavor may have dropped significantly, resulting in a much less appetizing sauce.
No, absolutely not. Gravy is highly perishable and should be kept in the fridge. If it’s left out overnight, it may have gone bad or spoiled. Even if it’s not, it probably won’t taste good.
Yes, gravy goes bad pretty quickly, mainly when left out at room temperature longer than two hours. Make sure to refrigerate any leftover as soon as you finish a meal, or consider freezing it to extend its shelf life.
Yes, you can freeze mashed potatoes and gravy separately. Cool down mashed potatoes, pack in individual portions, and freeze up to 2 weeks. You can freeze gravy in single portion size or in ice cubes, whatever suits your situation.
There is no strict limitation on how many times you can reheat foods, including gravy. However, repeated reheating may significantly decrease the flavor and taste of your gravy.
Yes, you can freeze biscuit and gravy separately for later serving. Bake the biscuits, as usual, let them cool down, pack into a freezer bag, and freeze. Prepare the sausage gravy, let it cool quickly, divide into appropriate serving size, pack into a freezer bag, and let it freeze.
Gravy complements your savory meals and makes them taste more delicious. Whether having leftovers or preparing ahead of time, rest assured that you can freeze gravy for future serving.
Make sure to boil the gravy thoroughly and let it cool down rapidly. Divide into appropriate serving size and pack it into a freezer bag or container. Alternatively, you can also freeze gravy in ice cube trays for smaller serving sizes.
Freeze gravy up to 3 to 4 months to enjoy its best flavor. If thawed, gravy curdles or becomes watery, add cornstarch or flour during reheating to fix the consistency.
*Image by cjaman/depositphotos