I was all set to make a new slow cooker pot roast recipe when I realized I was missing one of the main ingredients – au jus gravy mix.
That little packet may seem small but it is responsible for a lot of the juicy flavor of the pot roast. It shouldn’t be skipped!
Luckily, there are lots of great au jus gravy mix substitutes. My pot roast was saved! If you are in the same situation, I know one of these au jus gravy mix substitutes will help you, too.
The best packet au jus mix substitute is brown gravy mix. Brown gravy mix is made the same way as packaged au jus and has a similar rich, beef flavor. Onion soup mix is another fantastic au jus gravy mix substitute. You can also try making homemade au jus using my recipe below.
- What is Au Jus?
- Au Jus Gravy Mix Ingredients
- Is Au Jus Gravy Mix Healthy?
- Substitute for Dry Au Jus Gravy Mix
- Best Jarred Au Gravy Substitute
- Healthy Au Jus Substitutes
- Dairy Free Substitutes for Au Jus Gravy Mix
- Easy Homemade Au Jus
- Easy Homemade Au Jus
- Final Considerations
What is Au Jus?
The French term “Au Jus” translated to mean “with juice”.
This refers to meats that are prepared or served with gravy or sauce made from the juices of the meat. Au jus as we know it is typically a dark beef gravy.
You can find pre-made au jus in jars or grab a packet of dry au jus gravy mix.
The dry packet mixes need to be mixed with hot water and whisked until thick and creamy. Jarred au jus is ready to be heated and served right away.
Au Jus Gravy Mix Ingredients
Most au jus gravy mix packets are made with salt, corn scratch, beef fat, onion, garlic, caramel color and other spices and stabilizers.
Every brand of au jus gravy mix will be a little different.
That dried beef fat, onion, garlic, cornstarch and spices will always be in there! That’s what gives you that beefy flavor and thick sauce.
Is Au Jus Gravy Mix Healthy?
Au jus is made primarily from beef fat drippings. This means it is made abundantly from fat.
The dry packets are also very high in salt. While it may not be very healthy, this is why au jus tastes so good!
Here is a quick look at the nutritional content for ¼ cup of standard au jus.
Substitute for Dry Au Jus Gravy Mix
Sometimes you just can’t find dry au jus gravy mix. Here are my favorite dry au jus gravy mix substitutes.
Each one will work well and can be used exactly the same to make a great au jus dipping sauce.
1.Beef Bullion Cubes
One of the easiest and more convenient substitutes for dry au jus gravy are beef bullion cubes.
Beef bullion cubes are pre measured which makes it very easy to turn it into au jus. They are also seasoned so you shouldn’t have to do much to get that au jus flavor you are looking for.
Whisk a beef bullion cubes into hot water until it has dissolved.
Simmer the mix until it has reduced by half. This will make the taste more concentrated and similar to au jus.
You can find beef bullion cubes in low sodium options, organic versions and all natural, chemical free cubes. Choose bullion cubes that fit your dietary needs.
2.Brown Gravy Mix
Can I use brown gravy mix instead of au jus? You sure can!
When looking at au jus vs brown gravy mix, you will notice they are very similar. Both are made with beef stock, beef pan drippings and seasonings.
However, brown gravy is much thicker and has an opaque color while au just is clear.
Brown gravy mix usually has flour and dried dairy. Keep this in mind if you need a dairy free au jus substitute.
Otherwise, brown gravy is nutritionally similar to au jus with 15 calories per servings and 208 mg of sodium.
Stir brown gravy mix into water and then bring the mix to a boil while whisking. Serve the brown gravy as a dipping sauce or pour it over your Mississippi roast.
It will be great substitute for au jus in Mississippi chicken or this Mississippi roast recipe from Belle of the Kitchen.
3.Onion Soup Mix
Onion soup mix is very often used to make au jus. In fact, it is my favorite au jus substitute.
Onion soup mix has a very similar flavor to au jus. It is just a little heavier on the onion taste!
However, that can be great if you’re looking for an au jus gravy mix substitute for Mississippi pot roast or a French dip sandwich.
Whisk the onion soup mix into hot water until it boils. Strain the mix so it has no onion pieces, making it completely clear like au jus.
A ¼ cup of prepared onion soup mix has 11 calories and 260 mg of sodium. It is quite similar to au jus gravy mix.
Can I substitute onion soup mix for au jus? Absolutely! The two are pretty interchangeable.
4.Chicken Gravy Mix
If you are looking for a beef free au jus substitute, try using a packet of chicken gravy mix instead.
Chicken gravy mix can be made exactly like beef au jus. Simply mix the powder into water and whisk while heating.
Chicken gravy will have a lighter color and a more mild taste. Add a drop or two of worcestershire sauce to make the chicken gravy darker.
Chicken gravy is higher in calories than au jus. It has about 30 calories and 332 mg of sodium.
Best Jarred Au Gravy Substitute
You can buy pre-made au jus gravy sold in bottles and jars. If you want an easy, liquid au jus substitute, try one of these options.
A simple beef broth can be used to replace au jus. But what is the difference between beef broth vs au jus?
Au jus gravy is made from browned pieces of meat. Beef broth can be made from cooking down beef bones. Both are made from beef but just different parts of the animal.
Buy premade beef broth in the grocery store and simply heat it up to use as au jus.
Try adding a little worcestershire sauce, garlic powder or extra salt to make the broth more flavorful.
There are only 3.7 calories in ¼ cup of beef broth. With just 141 mg of sodium, it is a low sodium au jus substitute as well.
6.Jarred Au Jus
If you can’t find packaged au jus gravy, look for bottled au jus. Bottled au jus is also super convenient. Just pour it into a bowl, heat it up and it is ready to use!
Jarred au jus may be a little more expensive than powdered mix since it is premade. However, it is nutritionally identical.
Try a few different bottled au jus brands and see which you like best. Some big spice companies make fantastic au jus that you should definitely try!
7.Homemade Au Jus
It isn’t very hard to make your own au jus. I recommend making a big batch of my au jus recipe below then freezing it to have on hand.
Anytime you need au jus, just take some out of the freezer to thaw!
My homemade au jus is made with beef pan drippings. If you do not have beef pan drippings, use butter instead.
Add a teaspoon of dried beef granules for extra beefy flavor.
Healthy Au Jus Substitutes
8.Beef Stock Powder
Beef stock powder is made from beef stock that has been dehydrated into a simple powder.
The powder is mixed with water to turn it back into delicious beef stock. It is very easy to use and lasts quite a while in your pantry.
Stock up on beef stock powder so you always have some on hand!
Beef stock powder has a more mild taste than au jus. It does not have many spices or herbs added to the mix.
To replace au jus with beef stock powder. Use 1 ½ times the recommended amount of powder when mixing it into the water. This will give you a stronger taste that is closer to au jus.
Beef stock has about 7.8 calories and .1 gram of fat per cup. It also only contains 118mg of sodium making it a healthier substitute for au jus.
Vegetable bullion can be used to make vegetarian au jus gravy. This is great if you are making a vegetarian style sandwich that needs a little extra sauce.
Whisk vegetable bullion into water then heat to make a vegetable sauce. Try simmering the sauce with some sliced porcini mushrooms to get a richer, umami taste.
Vegetable bullion may not have as much fat or contain meat, but it does still have quite a bit of salt.
While it is healthier than au jus gravy mix in some ways, ½ cube does have 840 mg of sodium. Keep this in mind when using this au jus gravy mix substitute.
Dairy Free Substitutes for Au Jus Gravy Mix
Many au jus gravy packets contain dairy. Butter and milk solids are often used to make the au jus creamy.
If you need a dairy free substitute for au jus gravy mix, try one of these options instead.
10.Homemade Au Jus Gravy Mix
Thinking about making au jus gravy mix, homemade version? I can help! You can actually mix up your own au jus gravy power then store it in your pantry.
In a small bowl, mix together 4 Tbsp of powdered beef bouillon granules, 4 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp dried parsley, 1 tsp dried thyme, ¼ tsp ground black pepper, ¼ tsp garlic powder and 4 Tbsp cornstarch. Store the mix in an airtight container.
When you need fresh au jus, mix 4 tsp of your homemade au jus gravy mix with 2 cups of water.
Bring the mix to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Enjoy right away!
Making your own au jus gravy mix is a great way to control the spices and ensure there is no MSG or other unwanted chemicals in your mix.
Adjust the seasonings to your preferred taste. Use low sodium beef bouillon to cut back on the salt. Skip the pepper for a less spicy au jus.
11.Dairy Free Beef Bouillon
There are several great brands of dairy free beef bouillon. Better than Bouillon brand is made with very simple ingredients. It is gluten free, dairy free and it is also organic.
Replace the au jus gravy mix packet with 24 grams of dairy free bullion. Whisk it into water and then use it just like you would use au jus. You won’t notice the difference at all!
Easy Homemade Au Jus
- 4 Tbsp beef drippings
- 1 ½ Tbsp flour
- ½ cup red wine
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
- 3 Tbsp minced onion
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- ½ tsp dijon mustard
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- Add the beef drippings to a large skillet and heat over medium high heat.
- Add the garlic and onions and saute in the beef fat for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minutes.
- Pour in the red wine, whisking constantly.
- Whisk in the beef broth and bring the mix to a simmer.
- Add the mustard, thyme and salt and simmer for 15 minutes, uncovered.
- Strain the mix, discarding the veggie pieces and keeping the clear broth.
- Enjoy while warm!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 67Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 308mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 4g
A good au jus can really help make a meal perfect. It adds flavor and a certain amount of class. Just saying a meal has “au jus” makes it sound fancy!
Try some of my au jus substitutes and you are sure to create a delicious sauce and a perfect meal. Enjoy!
My name is Keren Tayler. I am a stay-at-home mama to three lovely girls, Sarah + Rachel + Hannah. Prior to becoming a mom, I worked in the accounting field. I am also a Certified Food Handler. My goal is to be an informative source for any topic that relates to mom’s life and homemaking.