Learn How to Easily Make a Roux by simmering and stirring equal parts flour and either butter or oil. You can then use this homemade roux to thicken your favorite sauces or flavor a batch of Cajun gumbo. A few tips and tricks will also teach you how to master this cooking technique so you never mess it up again!

Light brown roux is prepared for a sauce or gravy.

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Roux Recipe

Making a Roux from scratch doesn’t have to be that hard or complicated.

In fact, once you learn the basic steps you’ll be able to easily whip up a white or blonde roux to use in cream sauces, or a dark chocolate brown roux to add TONS of flavor to a Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo recipe!

Use it all up right when you make it or store some for up to a month in the refrigerator.

And runny or bland rouxs? You can say goodbye to them because you’ll learn some tips and tricks to make an ultra thick roux or a flavor-packed kind.

A wooden spoon is used to stir light brown roux.

What is a Roux?

A roux is composed of flour and fat and is used to either thicken sauces or flavor soups and stews. It is typically comprised of equal parts flour and fat.

Rouxs can be white, blonde, or brown in color with their flavor intensity increasing as they darken. However, the thickening ability of roux is inversely proportional to its flavor potential. So a white roux has a stronger thickening ability while a brown roux will only slightly thicken sauces and stews.

Cook’s Note: The darker the color of a roux, the more flavor it will have. The lighter the color of a roux, the more thickening ability it will have.

Flour, butter or oil, are the ingredients in this recipe.

Ingredients

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As mentioned previously, you will only need two very basic ingredients to make a roux from scratch: fat and flour. Let’s dive a little deeper into the best types of these ingredients to use:

  • Flour: Regular all purpose flour works the best and it can be bleached or unbleached. Some gluten-free all purpose blends will work but not all of them.
    • And Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 definitely doesn’t! I learned this the hard way when batch after batch kept coming out super runny. So if your roux isn’t thickening up, just know that it’s not you – it’s probably the type of flour you’re using!
  • Fat: Butter and oil (vegetable, olive, peanut, etc.) are the most commonly used fats. But other animal fats, such as bacon grease, lard, and sausage drippings, may also be used.

Step by step instructions for how to make different types of roux.

How to Make a Roux

You can make a roux in whatever type of skillet, saucepan, or pot (such as a Dutch oven) you have available.

Generally, the larger the pot, the more you will have to watch it since the roux will burn more quickly.

You can also either use a wire whisk if making your roux in a metal pan or a wooden spoon if making it in a ceramic-coated one.

Instructional pictures show how to make a roux.

White Roux (2-3 Minutes)

  1. Place a saucepan, skillet or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add ½ cup of butter or oil and wait for it to start sizzling slightly. Sprinkle in ½ cup of flour and begin stirring immediately.
  2. You’ll notice the roux begin to thicken up rather quickly. Keep stirring constantly at this point to prevent it from burning.
    1. This stage is called a WHITE roux and is great to use as a thickener for sauces, soups or stews.

Instructional pictures show how to make a blonde roux.

Blond Roux (3-5 Minutes)

  1. The roux will start to thin out slightly after a few minutes and you can slow down how often you’re stirring it.
  2. After 3-5 minutes you will have what’s called a BLONDE roux.
    1. This can be used to make creamy and lightly-colored sauces such as a bechamel or a sausage gravy.

Instructional pictures show how to make a light brown roux.

Light Brown Roux (10-15 Minutes)

  1. To get a darker colored roux continue cooking it for another 5-25 minutes.
  2. After 10-15 minutes of cooking you will have LIGHT BROWN roux.

Instructional pictures show how to make a dark brown roux.

Dark Brown Roux (20-30 Minutes)

  1. Continue simmering and stirring for another 10 minutes or so, totally about 20-30 minutes. Your roux will continue to get really dark and develop a ton of flavor the longer you cook it.
  2. If you have the time, you can even cook your roux for up to an hour!

The roux is lifted out of the pot with a wooden spoon.

FAQs

Why isn’t my roux thickening up?

The most common culprit for a roux not thickening up is the type of flour. Regular all purpose flour is the best to use. Gluten-free and Paleo mixes do not tend to clump up as easily as gluten-filled varieties and may result in a runny roux.

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Why isn’t my roux turning brown?

The heat from the stove is what helps turn a roux that deep, chocolate brown color typical of a gumbo roux. If your roux isn’t to your desired color yet, simply crank up the heat a little bit and give it some more time.

Can I save leftover roux or freeze it?

You can either choose to use your roux immediately or store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Roux can also be frozen for up to a year in smaller increments so you can pull it out whenever you need it.

A wooden spoon is used to mix the roux.

How to Use Roux

You can use your white, blonde, or brown roux in any of the following recipes:

Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo

Instant Pot Chicken Vegetable Soup

Cauliflower au Gratin

Brown Gravy

Bechamel Sauce

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