What’s The Difference: Sauce Vs. Gravy

It's a small difference but it matters in the taste!

You may dip and dunk to your heart’s desire but do you know what you are dipping and dunking your fried chicken nuggets into? 

If it’s ketchup, honey mustard, or even a barbecue sauce that you’re dunking your nuggets into, this is commonly a sauce. If you’re dunking your fried chicken and then pouring it over your steamed rice at a popular fast-food restaurant, it’s probably a gravy. 

How do you know if it’s a sauce and a gravy? What is the difference? It’s one big difference and it can matter to someone if they’re on a special diet. 

Photo by Shutterstock

Sauces can be made with any ingredient. Gravies are made from broths and stocks. 

In fact, gravies are a kind of sauce but not all sauces are gravies. 

Sauces meanwhile are a category of food that is made to enhance or make other food more appetizing, and they can be made from ingredients that are not meat-based. Gravies are commonly made with meat juices aka drippings, broths, or stocks that are thickened until it is able to lightly coat food. 

This difference may not seem like it should matter if someone is a vegetarian or even a vegan, eating a dish with gravy is not acceptable to their diets or lifestyle. The only kind of “gravy” that may be acceptable for those on these kinds of special diets are gravies made with a vegetable-based stock or broth. 

It should be noted that sauces can be made using broths and stocks as well but not all do so. This is what makes sauces easier to make acceptable for those on the strictest of diets. The good news about sauces is that they can be made with any number of ingredients that are friendly to diets. You just have to use ingredients that are labeled as such to be free of certain ingredients that may be contrary to your diet or might cause allergies. 

If you would love for your chicken meal to be more interesting, why not try a sauce or a gravy to pair with it? Here are ideas to try: 



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