This simple pantry shortcut is perfect for casual dinners, potlucks, or any other time you want a quick, convenient pot of gravy.

Gravy is a simple enough holiday staple to whip up; it just requires some fat drippings from the turkey, some flour, and the ability to make a roux. But sometimes, you don’t want to wait until Thanksgiving or Christmas to savor the golden brew that makes everything on your plate taste amazing. Sometimes, you just want a bit of brown gravy and a bowl of instant mashed potatoes. The solution to those anytime cravings doesn’t require fat drippings from roasted poultry. In fact, it’s likely already in your pantry.

Basic bouillon cubes can substitute amazingly for animal fat in any basic brown gravy that you might need to whip up. The end result lands at a satisfying middle ground between gravy made from actual drippings and gravy produced from powdered packets; not top-tier, but still tasty and of decent quality. While it won’t substitute for homemade gravy cooked from freshly rendered drippings, the meat flavor provided by the broth can at least provide a significant flavor boost.

To make a gravy boosted with bouillon cubes, start by dissolving three or four cubes in a cup of hot water. If you use a powdered bouillon, or a wet product like Better than Bouillon, start with a couple of tablespoons and add to taste. Once the bouillon is prepared, whip up a roux. Heat a tablespoon or two of butter or oil on the stove, then add an equal amount of flour to the pan and whisk to incorporate. Cook the flour and fat mixture for a bit, until it’s golden-brown, then slowly incorporate your bouillon broth into the roux. If you add a little liquid at a time, the gravy should start to thicken, providing you with the much desired savory topping, if not the stuffing to go along with it.

Gravy made from bouillon cubes may not be exactly the same as the thick, meaty sauce that shows up each year at the holiday dinner table. But it’s a great accompaniment for office potlucks and everyday dinners. Once you’ve made gravy from bouillon cubes, you’ll be able to provide a delectable condiment to any meal you’d like, without having to roast an entire bird first.