Recipe: Nutrient Dense Starch-Free Gravy — SCD, GAPS

Recipe: Nutrient Dense Starch-Free Gravy — SCD, GAPS post image

At this time of year, savory meats and poultry are on the menu. Before I went grain-free it was easy to make a gravy from a commercial mix. Of course, it had none of the nutrient benefits of a real bone broth and it was laced with chemicals. Now, the challenge is to make a thick gravy which tastes good without flour (or additives). It’s actually very easy. I’ll tell you how to do it.

For many years I avoided eating foods with gravy because I didn’t want the added fat, flour and questionable additives in gravies. However, traditional meats and poultry were made with gravies for both taste and nutrition. The benefits come from the base of the gravy that was made from traditional bone broths.

In this post I go over the benefits of bone broths and why you should try to have at least one cup of a good homemade bone broth each day. In this post I talk about the huge differences between commercial store bought broths and those that are properly made at home.

There are other ways of consuming bone broths. These include making a delicious gravy that everyone will love. You start with roasted onions. If you are avoiding grains and starches as indicated for the SCD, GAPS and Paleo diets, gravy made with roasted onions and homemade bone broth is heavenly. Frankly, it is so good, I prefer it over any other type of gravy.

Onions are Nutritious

Onions have a good nutrient profile and most people can tolerate onions. They are high in vitamin C, folate, potassium and choline. They have a bit of protein, vitamin A, fiber, magnesium and phosphorus. They are considered strongly anti-inflammatory and low on the glycemic index.

Most importantly, onions are sulfur rich. Why is sulfur important? One doesn’t usually hear about sulfur. But it is very important for many metabolic processes in the body.

Sulfur is Necessary for Many Important Metabolic Processes

  • Sulfur is required for the synthesis of glutathione, a critical antioxidant that protects us against free radicals and helps the liver neutralize toxins.
  • Sulfur is required for taurine synthesis. Taurine is essential for proper functioning of the cardiovascular system, the muscles and the central nervous system.
  • Sulfur binds the two chains of amino acids that form insulin, a critical hormone necessary for sugar metabolism.
  • Sulfur is part of the amino acid methionine, a critical aspect of methylation and gene expression.
  • Sulfur is part of the amino acid cysteine, another important part of glutathione.

Sulfur Containing Vegetables have Organosulfur Compounds

The alliums are onions, garlic, leeks and shallots. The brassicas are broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and brussel sprouts. These vegetables contain sulforaphane which has been shown to be anti-carcinogenic and protective against stress.

Eat your onions. They are good for you.

Roasted Onions, roasted onions for gravy

Roasted Onions


  • 2 large yellow or sweet onions, unpeeled


  • Baking dish


  1. Place the unpeeled onions in a baking dish
  2. Roast at 425 degrees F for about 1 hour or until the skins are deep golden brown and blistered
  3. Pierce with a knife to be sure it is soft inside
  4. Serve without the skin, with butter, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, coconut cream, sour cream or just sea salt or go ahead and use them for gravy

How to Use Roasted Onions To Make Gravy




  1. Add 2 onions to a pot with 2 cups of beef broth or chicken broth to make a gravy that is thickened just with the onion and does not need any flour or starches — puree with a stick blender
  2. If you have a roasted chicken or turkey or a meat dish ready, use some of the vegetables and juice from that as well and blend together
  3. If the gravy is too thick, add more broth
  4. You will have a delicious, savory gravy in minutes!

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour

Check out more recipes for soups and broth!

This post is shared at: Gluten Free Wednesday, Mommy Club, Sustainable Ways, Wheat Free Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Party Wave Wednesday, Healthy 2Day, Allergy Free Wednesday, Full Plate Thursday, Fight Back Friday, Foodie Friday, Gluten Free Friday, Seasonal Celebration, Melt in mouth Monday, Monday Mania, Barnyard Hop, Hunk a Meat Monday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Traditional Tuesday, Health & Soul Hop,  Paleo AIP Recipe, Real Food Wednesday, Allergy Free Wedensday

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Leave a Comment

  • Tessa@TessaTheDomesticDiva November 21, 2012, 10:01 am

    my mouth is watering! this look ridiculously good and I have never tried roasting a whole onion before, fabulous idea!

  • Judy@Savoring Today November 21, 2012, 10:31 am

    Great idea! I was reviewing gravy recipes, all of which use flour for thickening or reducing stock for HOURS, thinking there must be a better way. Thanks!

  • Cassidy @ Cooking Gluten (& Dairy) Free November 21, 2012, 10:44 am

    Awesome idea! I’ve never roasted a whole onion before or even thought about using it as a thickener – genius!

  • susan November 21, 2012, 11:31 am

    this looks wonderful! I’ll definitely be trying this recipe. I do wish there was an option to print just the recipe however.

    • Randy November 21, 2012, 4:21 pm

      Susan, all you have to do is highlight & copy the recipe. Then open a word processing program,paste and print it. Whoola..a printed recipe.

  • Diane Balch November 25, 2012, 4:52 pm

    Onions are my favorite vegetable and thanks to your post I now know how nutritious they are… your gravy sounds fantastic. Thanks for sharing it on foodie friday.

  • Marty November 26, 2012, 7:56 am

    I love sauteed onions but for some reason I have never considered roasting them! My son, who follows a gluten free diet, might or might not enjoy the gravy recipe. He has some sensory issues that also come into play. But we are always looking to add new things into his diet so I will give it a try. Plus I have several friends that I know will be happy to have this shared with them 🙂

  • Samantha @ Awkward Girl Gets Fit November 27, 2012, 11:52 am

    Brilliant! I’ll be trying this soon.

  • Judy@Savoring Today December 3, 2012, 7:51 pm

    Glad to see this on Hearth & Soul Hop — great recipe. 🙂

  • R. Finn January 3, 2013, 10:59 pm

    Hmm, mine didn’t seem to thicken much. I’m wondering if my onions weren’t large enough, or if 2 cups of broth was too much, or if my broth (homemade bone broth) isn’t quite right?

    • Jill January 3, 2013, 11:20 pm

      Hi R. FInn,
      Yes, it depends on your stock and onions — they should be really large — and it will never be as thick as a gravy made with flour, but it will taste really good.

  • Ronan September 10, 2013, 1:55 pm

    Should you peel the onions before adding to the gravy? Wouldn’t the skin be inedible?

  • Eileen @ Phoenix Helix November 13, 2013, 9:30 pm

    Hi Jill! Would you like to join us again at this week’s Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable? If yes, this recipe would be perfect! I’m planning on using it at Thanksgiving, myself.

  • Ron March 29, 2015, 10:30 pm

    Mine did not come out that thick either but it was thick enough. Before going on the SCD diet in Oct. 2014, I could not tolerate onions at all but now that I have been on it for 6 months, I will see how the onions affect me. I added some carrots and mushrooms and a tiny amount of liquid from a roasted chicken and blended it in my Ninja so it would blend faster. The salt helps and it is pretty darn good. Thanks.