With this simple roux recipe, you will learn how to make a roux from a light blonde roux to a rich, dark chocolate brown roux to make soups, gumbos, sauces and so much more. Let's make some roux!
One of the biggest questions I get on the blog here is how to properly make a roux. I use a roux in many different recipes, particularly Cajun and Creole gumbo, which is one of my favorite dishes in the world.
The key to a great gumbo, and many other dishes, starts with a good quality roux. This post will show you how to make a proper roux.
What is a Roux?
A roux (pronounced "roo") is essentially an equal mixture of oil or other fat and flour that is stirred and cooked slowly, continually, in a pot until browned. It is used as a thickening agent and flavor builder for making gravy, casseroles, soups and sauces, as well as gumbo, a hugely popular dish from Louisiana.
Let's talk about how we make a roux, shall we?
- ½ cup peanut oil or vegetable oil - You can use other fats, like butter, lard or bacon fat
- ½ cup flour
How to Make a Roux - the Recipe Method
Heat the oil in a large pot or pan to medium heat, then stir in the raw flour.
Stir constantly. The oil and flour will combine to form a liquid slurry. If you don’t keep stirring, the roux will start to burn and you’ll have to start over, so do not stop stirring.
Stirring is a must!
You can smell when the roux burns. It’s acrid, unpleasant, a bit like burnt popcorn. If this happens, toss it and start over. It will ruin the flavor of whatever you are making. So be careful, and don’t bring up the heat too high to hurry your roux along.
What you’re looking for is the color of the roux. It starts out the color of flour, very light, batter-ish, but as it heats, it will begin to brown, going from a white roux to light brown to the color of peanut butter or copper, and eventually to a rich chocolate brown.
How Long Does it Take to Make a Roux?
A roux can take anywhere from 5-45 minutes, depending on the amount you are making, your desired color and amount of heat Personally, I take 20-30 minutes for my typical roux of 1/2 cup each oil and flour, which gives me a roux a copper or peanut butter color. The roux is great then, coaxed of outstanding flavor. When I make a smaller batch roux, such as 2-3 tablespoons each of oil and flour, it takes much less time.
If you continue to cook and stir longer, you'll achieve a darker chocolate color that is even richer in flavor, but a darker roux usually results in thinner sauces, gumbos and soups for most home cooks. It doesn't thicken as much as a lighter gumbo, though it does have a more nutty flavor. Feel free to experiment to discover which shade of roux produces the best flavors for your taste buds.
Here is How My Roux Looks
This is after about 20 minutes. If you keep cooking the roux and stirring, the roux will turn to a dark chocolate brown color.
How to Make a Roux in the Oven
You can also make a roux in the oven. Some chefs in New Orleans prefer this method, as they can make larger batches with much less effort. Even though it takes longer than traditional roux, it is much more hands off. Some may feel making an oven roux is cheating, but who cares if it saves you time?
To make an oven roux, whisk together flour and oil in a cast iron pan or Dutch oven, then bake it at 350 degrees F for about 2-1/2 hours. Give it a good stir every 20 minutes.
Once your roux has reached your preferred color, remove it and use it as you would in any gumbo or similar recipe, such as a fricassee or etoufée.
If you make a larger batch, freeze your roux in containers and use later.
Boom! Done! You now have a roux! Now you can use it in any recipe you'd like. Making roux is easy, isn't it? No problem at all.
What to Make with Roux?
A good roux is often the first step for many recipes, including making gumbo, soups, stews, white sauces or dark sauces with a dark roux, cheese sauces and soups, making gravy and so much more.
Recipe Tips & Notes
- Keep Stirring the Roux. It is extremely important to keep stirring the flour so it does not stick to the bottom of the pot, where it can burn. If you burn your roux, do not use it. It will give your gumbo, soup or sauce an unpleasant acrid flavor. It is best to start over. Try using a figure eight pattern when stirring to get the entire bottom of the pot evenly, and do not use too high of heat.
- Best Oil for Roux. Neutral oils with higher smoke points are best for roux making, to avoid burning your roux. Peanut oil is very popular, as is canola oil. You can make a roux with olive oil, but it is more likely to burn because of the lower smoke point.
- Other Fats for Roux Making. You don't need oil to make a roux. Try it with clarified butter, which has a higher smoke point than regular butter, or use saved bacon fat, or lard. You can make roux with most fats and flour.
That's it, my friends. I hope you enjoy my easy roux recipe. Let me know if you make it. I'd love to hear how it turned out for you. Keep it spicy!
Try Some of My These Popular Recipes that Start with a Roux
- Cajun Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
- Seafood Gumbo
- Creole Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
- Gumbo Z’Herbes – “Green Gumbo”
- How to Make Gumbo
- Shrimp Creole Recipe
- Shrimp and Grits
- Shrimp Etouffee
- Crawfish Etouffee
- Chicken Fricassee
- King Ranch Casserole
- Cajun Style Carrot Soup
- Easy Creole Sauce
- How to Make Beer Cheese
Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.
How to Make a Roux (Easy Roux Recipe)
- ½ cup peanut oil or vegetable oil
- ½ cup flour
- Add ½ cup peanut oil to a large pot and heat to medium heat. Add flour and stir.
- Cook for 10 minutes, constantly stirring, until the roux lightly browns to a blonde roux, or continue stirring and cooking for up to 30 minutes for a roux the color of chocolate. The roux will darken as you stir, from very light brown to copper or peanut butter brown, then then to light chocolate, then dark chocolate, then very, very dark brown.