Often eschewed as an unpronounceable additive on ingredient lists, xanthan gum is actually something you'll want to learn about. Typically derived from corn, xanthan gum is produced when a glucose, sucrose, or lactose is fermented by bacteria. The product is a gummy substance (hence the name) that is then dehydrated and ground into powder. Xanthan gum is used as a thickener and stabilizer in recipes and packaged foods from salad dressing to ice cream. When rehydrated by liquid in a recipe, xanthan gum swells to alter the consistency of a product. Due to its ability to make a batter sticky and elastic, xanthan gum is often called for in gluten free baked goods in addition to grain free flour to mimic the development of gluten. 

This recipe for a classic sausage gravy swaps flour or cornstarch for xanthan gum. The gum thickens the sauce and keeps it from separating without altering the flavor. 

Quick Sausage Gravy

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes



  1. Heat a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add sausage, and cook, stirring often and breaking up chunks with the back of a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Stir in milk, cream, and hot sauce. Sprinkle with xanthan gum; stir well to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until gravy comes to a boil. Stir in black pepper, and serve immediately.