Low Sodium Beef Gravy

Low Sodium Roast Beef and Gravy

It has definitely been a while since my last post – almost two weeks!  It has just been one of those months.  My job is in grant writing and the busy season for grant writing is the first five months of the year (grant season!).  So that means that over the next several months, I will probably have some longer breaks between posts.  I will definitely do my best to keep on top of the blog (because I love doing it), but life might get in the way sometimes.

Low Sodium Beef Gravy

Oh but some very exciting things have happened in the last couple of weeks.  I have got a brand new super handsome baby nephew (congrats Jess and Anthony)! He is a little Mr. Perfect and I can’t wait to meet him.  Also, my stepdaughter had her 13th birthday (this is the start of the easy years, right?).  I made her a ridiculous rainbow tiered cake that was too much work, but worth it because she really liked it.  Okay enough about my life updates, on to the recipe!

I have never been one who is super crazy about gravy, but Joe most definitely is.  So I have been trying to hone my gravy since pretty much day one of diagnosis.  I think I finally hit the jackpot here.  My secrets?  First, the roast you get will make a difference on the flavor of the gravy.  We prefer a cross rib chuck roast, which just gives it a really great beef flavor.  Second, I cook the roast with a bit of celery and onion.  When I make the gravy, I use some of the onion in the slurry, which also adds flavor.  I also use just a bit of cream cheese in the slurry, which adds some creaminess and a bit of sodium, which boosts flavor.  Finally, like the Oven Baked Beef Stroganoff, I add a bit of soy sauce.

I start by cooking the roast in a slow cooker all day.  Then I use a fat separator for the drippings so that we don’t get all that fat.  (See how much came from our roast?!)

Low Sodium Beef Gravy

Then I make a slurry using a bit of unsalted beef broth, cream cheese, flour, and some of the onions that I cooked with the roast.  I use an immersion blender to do this.  If you don’t have one, I highly recommend it.  Mine even has several attachments that I use frequently (like a chopper).  Anyway, back to gravy…

Low Sodium Beef Gravy

Low Sodium Beef Gravy

Then I simmer the drippings, add the slurry and seasonings and simmer until it is nice and thick.  I serve this with Creamy Low Sodium Mashed Potatoes.  Hint: The gravy is really good leftover on hashbrowns the next day.

Low Sodium Beef Gravy

Low Sodium Beef Gravy

Low Sodium Roast Beef & Gravy

SODIUM COUNT: 173.8 mg per serving, 2086 mg in the entire recipe 

YIELD: 12 servings, about 4 ounces beef (cooked weight) and 1/3 cup gravy

Prep Time 30 minutes
Servings 12


For the Beef:

  • 4 pounds cross rib chuck roast (or roast of your choice, though this cut makes great gravy)
  • 1.5 cups unsalted beef broth (like Swanson)
  • 1 medium onion (sliced)
  • 1 medium stalk celery (quartered)
  • Fresh ground black pepper (to taste)

For the Gravy:

  • 3/4 cup unsalted beef broth (like Swanson)
  • 2 Tbsp cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce


For the Beef:

  1. Place the beef in a slow cooker with broth, onion, celery, and black pepper. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-6 hours, until meat is tender.

For the Gravy:

  1. When the meat is cooked, remove the roast from the slow cooker and tent with foil. Remove the onion and celery from the pot and set aside (you will use a few slices of onion, so don’t toss it.)
  2. Skim the fat from the liquid in the crock pot. Add 4 cups of the liquid to a large deep skillet or saucepan. If you do not have 4 cups liquid, add water until the liquid measures 4 cups. Heat over medium-low heat until simmering.
  3. While the drippings are heating, make a slurry by blending ¾ cup broth (cool or room-temp) with a few of the cooked onions, flour, and cream cheese. (I use an immersion blender.)

  4. Add the slurry to the saucepan a little at a time, stirring well after each addition. If the gravy gets to your preferred thickness before you’ve added all the slurry – stop; do not add the rest of the slurry.

  5. Stir in the onion powder and soy sauce and cook on low for about five more minutes. (This will cook the flour so that you don’t have that raw flour taste.)

Recipe Notes

Yield: 12 servings – about 4 ounces meat (cooked weight) and 1/3 cup gravy
Sodium: 173.8 mg, Calories: 413.0, Total Fat: 31.3 g, Saturated Fat: 12.8 g, Cholesterol: 111.4 mg, Carbohydrates: 4.0 g, Fiber: 0.3 g, Sugar: 0.6 g, Protein: 26.9 g.

The gravy alone is about 870 mg in the entire recipe, or about 72.5 mg per 1/3 cup serving.

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I love tinkering in the kitchen. I am incapable of seeing a recipe and making it as-is. This tendency to tweak recipes has come in handy in adapting our family favorites to be low sodium-friendly.

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