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How to Make a Roux

A simple and traditional roux recipe to use for gravy, sauces and to thicken soups and stews. This authentic and easy roux recipe will be your go-to thickener for cooking.

A cast iron skillet with flour.

What is roux?

The definition of roux according to the Merriam Webster Dictionary is:

‘ a cooked mixture of flour and fat used as a thickening agent in a soup or a sauce’

I would like to add that the flour and fat are cooked in equal portions by weight. It is used to make gravy, and to thicken sauces, soups and stews.

The fat can be butter, oil, bacon fat (my favorite) or lard. The French traditionally use butter. The flour is cooked into the fat where it loses it’s raw flavor and takes on a slightly nutty flavor. The longer you cook the flour, the darker the roux gets. The darker a roux gets, the more flavor it develops but you lose some of the thickening property.

When making roux, you want to cook over medium heat, preferably in a cast iron skillet (holds heat really well) and stir constantly to prevent burning the flour. If it is cooking too fast, simply reduce heat. If you are making a light colored roux, it will cook up in just a few minutes. From this basic roux recipe, you can add liquid to make sauces or add directly to soups and stews as a thickener.

The nicknames of roux according to its darkness:

white roux – blonde roux – peanut butter roux – brown roux – black roux

Roux is used in three of the five French mother sauces – béchamel sauce, veloute sauce and espagnole sauce. It is also prevalent in Eastern European countries as well as the northeastern Mediterranean. Due to the French influence in Louisiana, roux is common in American southern cooking as well.

What you can make with roux:

If you haven’t tried any of these recipes, don’t you think it’s about time you tried these magnificent foods? All of these recipes aren’t difficult and use simple ingredients. You can expand your kitchen repertoire quickly with these skills so feel free to take on the roux challenge and make some of these recipes. The easiest is probably cheese sauce or alfredo sauce, in my honest opinion.  This roux recipe is easy peavey and the real deal.  Bon appetite!

A cast iron skillet with oil and flour.

If your roux looks like this add more flour.

A cast iron skillet with flour.
How to Make a Roux

How to Make a Roux

Yield: Varies
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Make an easy roux with just two ingredients, flour and fat.


  • 1 Tbs butter (may substitute oil or lard)
  • 1 Tbs of all purpose flour


  1. Heat a small skillet over medium heat and add oil.
  2. Once oil is warmed, add flour and stir almost constantly.
  3. When the roux has developed the desired color and smells nutty, it is done, remove from heat or continue with another recipe that requires roux.


  • I wrote the ingredients 1:1 ratio. Most home cooks use tablespoons but a roux ratio is actually by weight. So if the roux looks too dry, add more fat. If it looks too oily add more flour. You will get the hang of it after making it a few times. The weight ratio is more of an issue if you are making a larger batch.
  • Most recipes, especially ones with white sauces, call for a light colored roux, so only cook until the roux has a nutty flavor.
  • For darker roux's, cook longer.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 65Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 46mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g

Did you make this recipe?

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Friday 7th of December 2018

Roux-making is such an essential cooking technique to master, and you've broken it down so perfectly for success! I always love how velvety sauces come when prepared with a proper roux. It's so versatile too, since you can build it from light to dark. Once you master skills like these, it really does expand your cooking repertoire. Great post!


Monday 3rd of December 2018

Thanks to my love of gumbo, I've made plenty of cajun-style rouxs, and rather few classic French ones. I don't really know why that is - but honestly, I should start using them more! I love how wonderfully they serve to both build lovely flavour AND thicken/texture a recipe. It's nice to get so much out of a fairly simple technique. Thanks for all the info and tips here - always wonderful to have good info to work with!


Monday 3rd of December 2018

Every home cook needs to know the the basic techniques of making a roux and you have covered all the bases here. My favorite think about roux is that you can make is as light or dark as you want. It's the simple things, right? :) Thanks for sharing!

Marisa Franca

Monday 3rd of December 2018

This has a lot of great information!! Everyone should know how to make a roux! I do everything by feel but for a person starting out your tips are right on. Fantastic post


Monday 3rd of December 2018

Thanks for breaking this down. A classic cooking technique to build upon. There are so many places to go with this basic beginning. Great post.

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