Is Gravy a Condiment? It Can Be, But It’s Sauce & Side too!

Do you wonder, “Is gravy a condiment?” And you want to know if it is or not?

You’re at the right place, for in this article, we’ll help you reach the truth.


Before we start, let’s take a poll.

Do you think gravy is a condiment?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don’t know

So, is gravy a condiment or a Sauce, or a side dish?

In this blog post, We’ll explore the history of gravy, its different types, and how the gravies are prepared. 

I hope that by the end of this well-researched but short article, you’ll find the exact answer to the question, “Is gravy a condiment, and why is it a sauce?”

Let’s Define Terms to Know “Is Gravy a Condiment?” 

To identify the exact role of gravy as a culinary item, it’s essential to clear all confusion by defining all terms, like sauce, side, and condiment. Here we do it for you.

What is a Condiment and its Purpose?

A condiment is food preparation served in small quantities alongside other foods to enhance their flavor. 

Condiments can vary in consistency: liquid to semi-liquid and semi-solid. They also have various tastes like sweet, salty, acidic, hot, and umami or combinations of these primary flavors.

Before you move, remember that:

  • When a condiment is in solid or semi-solid form, it’s called a “dip.”
  • And when it’s in liquid or semi-liquid consistency, it’s a sauce. 

Some examples of condiments include ketchup, guacamole, etc.

What is a side?

A side dish is an edible preparation or dish (mostly a complete dish) served alongside the main dish/dishes. Side dishes serving come with 2 reasons:

  • Primarily to compliment the main course offering more variety of tastes.
  • To compensate for the quantity of the main course at some critical time without costing you a lot.
  • To balance the nutritional value of your meals by adding nutrients and fiber. Many sides, like salads and veggies, are excellent sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. 

Sides are served beside the main course, yet they mustn’t be confused with desserts. The reason is that they’re served at the end of the dinner and they’ve got nothing to do with the main course.

ON THE OTHER HAND, What’s a Sauce?

A sauce is a liquid or semi-liquid food preparation that adds flavor, moisture, and visual appeal when served beside the main dish. The quantity in which a sauce is served can vary depending on the recipe. Here is why sauces are used:

  • To add flavor
  • Add moisture so that the food is easy to consume. For instance, several fried items like fried wings have sauces.
  • For adding texture, such as creaminess, crunchiness, or spiciness.
  • To make food more visually appealing. For example, Manchurian sauce adds color, contrast, and shine to the rice.
  • To help bind ingredients together, such as in a stew or a casserole.
  • For thickening the food
  • To preserve foods such as a chutney or jam, have sauce to preserve veggies or fruits.

About sauce, you’ve got to remember two things:

  • If it’s served as a complimentary item, it’ll be called a condiment.
  • Yet, if it is compulsory to add sauce to your dish in some large quantity item and there is no fixed amount for serving sauces, it can be known as gravy.

What is gravy, finally?

Gravy is a sauce made by cooking, simmering, or thickening the juices of meat or vegetables that have been cooked. It’s thickened by simmering, adding flour. or cornstarch. 

The quantity of gravy is enough to cover the main ingredient of the dish thoroughly or form a pool around it. For example, you add gravy to roasted beef, or turkey that dips some part of your roast.

Many seasonings, spices, and herbs can go in the gravy depending on your recipe.

Garvy is added because:

  • It adds flavor to food, as gravy does to your Thanksgiving roasted turkey.
  • The gravy adds moisture to food in dry meats and vegetables.
  • It adds visual appeal to food through contrast color or shine.

Few Words on, “Can Gravy be a Side Dish?

Some cultures, cuisines, and our foodie fellow love gravy a lot. It’s why they want to enjoy it in huge quantities–probably a bowl full of gravy, or two!

It’s why they prepare it in such large quantities that it adds 100 to 300 percent to the main ingredient quantity, as Indian Aloo Gosht has.

If it’s the situation, it won’t be wrong to say that gravy is a side dish too.


Primarily, it’s a sauce!

Different Arguments for Gravy as a Condiment, Side Dish, or Sauce

Why do some people think gravy is a condiment?

Undoubtedly, gravy is a sauce because it has a thickness on the liquid side. Since it’s served with roasts, meatloaf, large chunks of veggies, and rice, it’s called gravy.

Yet, some people think it a condiment by supporting their argument by basing their argument on the following point:

  • It’s served on the side of a main dish.
  • You can skip eating it if you don’t like it; hence it’s complimentary.

However, such an opinion is inaccurate because: 

  • Gravy is also a sauce, and as a sauce, it’s served as an integral part of the dish. Though you can skip pouring it on your platter if you don’t like it. 

In the end, please let’s be flexible. And love our friends who take gravy as a condiment. They might not like it, therefore, perhaps they want to avoid it by calling it a condiment. In such cases, gravy is indeed a condiment for them.


Technically, gravy is a sauce!

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Cashmere Muhammad
Cashmere Muhammad

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