Authentic Mexican Gravy Recipe

Authentic Mexican Gravy Recipe

Mexican gravy, also known as salsa, is a thick and tasty sauce that is used to accompany various dishes of Mexican cuisine, such as enchiladas, burritos, tacos, chilaquiles and more. It is made with a roux of flour and lard, to which chicken broth, chili powder, cumin, oregano, garlic and salt are added.

It is an easy sauce to prepare and very versatile, as it can be adapted to different levels of spiciness and flavor. In this article, we will show you how to make an authentic homemade Mexican gravy, with the detailed ingredients, the way to prepare it, tips, variations and interesting facts.


To make an authentic homemade Mexican gravy, you need the following ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup of lard
  • 1/4 cup of flour
  • 4 cups of chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon of oregano
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Salt to taste


To prepare an authentic homemade Mexican gravy, follow these steps:

  1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, melt the lard.
  2. Add the flour and stir well with a wooden spoon to form a roux. Cook for about 5 minutes, until it takes a light golden color.
  3. Add the chicken broth gradually, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to medium-low.
  4. Add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, garlic and salt. Mix well and let the sauce cook for about 15 minutes more, until it thickens to your liking.
  5. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning if necessary. It is ready to serve!


Here are some tips to make an authentic homemade Mexican gravy:

  • You can use vegetable oil instead of lard if you want a lighter or vegetarian version.
  • You can use whole wheat or gluten-free flour instead of regular flour if you want a healthier or gluten-free version.
  • You can use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth if you want a vegetarian or vegan version.
  • You can use more or less chili powder depending on the level of spiciness you prefer. You can also use fresh or dried chilies, chopped, instead of chili powder if you want a more natural or intense version.
  • You can add other seasonings to your taste, such as cilantro, onion, tomato or grated cheese.


Here are some variations to make an authentic homemade Mexican gravy:

  • Red sauce: It is the most classic and simple version. It only carries the basic ingredients that we have mentioned before.
  • Green sauce: It is a fresher and more aromatic version. It is made with green tomatillos instead of chili powder, and cilantro and jalapeños are added.
  • Ranchera sauce: It is a more rustic and colorful version. It is made with red tomatoes instead of chili powder, and onion, pepper and cilantro are added.
  • Mole sauce: It is a more complex and sophisticated version. It is made with a mixture of dried chilies, bitter chocolate, peanuts, almonds, raisins, cinnamon and clove.

You may also be interested in these other authentic Mexican food recipes:

Interesting facts

Here are some interesting facts about Mexican gravy:

  • The word gravy comes from the French “gras”, which means fat. It refers to the juice that the meat releases when cooked.
  • Mexican gravy is an adaptation of the Anglo-Saxon gravy, which was introduced in Mexico during the French intervention in the 19th century.
  • Mexican gravy is an essential ingredient of the national dish of Mexico, the chilaquiles, which consist of fried tortillas bathed in sauce and topped with cheese, cream, onion and chicken.
  • Mexican gravy is one of the most popular sauces in the United States, where it is consumed with dishes such as chili con carne, meatloaf, french fries and huevos rancheros.

We hope you liked this article on how to make an authentic homemade Mexican gravy. If you dare to try it, share your opinion and your photos with us.





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