Simmered with aromatic herbs, easy turkey gravy from drippings is an effortless way to make incredible gravy. You don't even need a recipe, but this recipe will never fail.
This gravy turns out so rich and creamy and needs just three ingredients - turkey drippings, the right amount of flour, and a little water. It's the perfect topping for all your Thanksgiving favorites.
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Easy Turkey Gravy
Every Thanksgiving table needs homemade turkey gravy! This recipe for turkey gravy from the drippings enhances everything from mashed potatoes to stuffing to juicy, tender turkey.
This gravy from turkey drippings is a family recipe from my mom. She always made it seem like the easiest thing in the world to make, and, with a few tricks, it can be just as easy for you. One taste, and you'll agree that it's the best turkey gravy you've ever made.
After all, what is gravy but a sauce made from the juices of the meat and then thickened with flour or cornstarch to get the right texture? It's easier to make turkey gravy from scratch than you might think.
This recipe starts out with the juice from our Thanksgiving turkey. The juices are easily captured when your turkey is cooked in an oven bag, then transferred to a saucepan after the turkey is finished cooking.
- Turkey Drippings
- All-purpose Flour
- Giblet Stock (optional)
- Cream or Milk (optional)
If you want to make organic turkey gravy, use organic ingredients. Otherwise, this is a simple recipe made from ingredients that are easy to find.
For dairy-free gravy, do not use cream or milk. For creamy dairy-free turkey gravy, use a non-dairy substitute. Almond milk is a good choice.
How to Make Turkey Giblet Stock
After cleaning the turkey and removing the giblet packets and neck from inside, place the giblets and neck into a small saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat, cover, and simmer for two hours.
At this point, you can follow the directions for the gravy below, using the giblet stock as you would turkey drippings, or you can add it to turkey soup, turkey chili, or any dish calling for turkey or chicken stock.
How to Make Turkey Gravy from Drippings
- Pour turkey drippings from roasting pan into a medium saucepan.
- Add enough water to flour to make a thin paste.
- Temper the flour paste with about ¼ cup of the turkey drippings. This raises the temperature of the flour paste so it will not form lumps when added to the hot turkey drippings.
- Whisk the paste into the remainder of the drippings in the saucepan.
- Bring it to a boil and stir often until it begins to thicken.
- Your gravy should have a nice body to it when it has done.
- Use low sodium or unsalted turkey stock if there aren't enough pan drippings.
- Remember to strain the pan drippings.
- Whisk in some turkey stock if the gravy is too thick.
- Whisk in a cornstarch slurry if the gravy isn't thickening with flour. Make the slurry with 2 parts cold water and 1 part cornstarch.
Gluten-Free Turkey Gravy
You can make gluten-free gravy with cornstarch instead of flour.
- Make a cornstarch slurry with 2 parts cold water and 1 part cornstarch. Note the water must be cold. Mix it until it is smooth.
- Slowly pour a little of the cornstarch slurry into the pan with the drippings, whisking while pouring.
- Add a little more of the slurry if the gravy is too thin.
Make Ahead Turkey Gravy
You can use turkey stock or broth to make turkey gravy in advance. It will not have the same deep rich flavor as it would with being made from drippings.
Use 4 cups of turkey stock (or broth) to make the gravy.
Place the gravy in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat it in a saucepan over low heat.
How to Serve Turkey Gravy
A classic turkey gravy boat and ladle is the best way to serve the gravy. You can also serve it in a small pitcher.
How to Store and Reheat Turkey Gravy
Leftover gravy should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Reheat gravy in a saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently until it is warmed.
Can you freeze turkey gravy?
Yes. Freeze leftover turkey gravy in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the fridge overnight.
All the Recipes You Need for a Stress-Free Thanksgiving
Turkey Gravy From Drippings
- Turkey drippings from a 16-20 lb turkey
- Giblet stock (optional)
- ¼ cup All-purpose flour (use cornstarch for gluten-free version)
- water (cream or milk can be substituted)
- Strain the turkey drippings into a medium saucepan.
- In a measuring cup, mix ¼ cup flour and just enough water to make a thin paste.
- Add ¼ cup turkey drippings into this paste to temper (bringing the temperature up so that when added to hot liquid it will not form lumps).
- Once it is smooth and well mixed, whisk it into the remainder of the turkey drippings in the saucepan. Keep the heat at medium and continue whisking until the mixture starts to thicken.
- At this point, if the gravy is the consistency you want, just pour it into your gravy boat and serve.
- If you would like it a bit thinner or creamier, you can add some of the giblet stock (if you cooked them from the turkey) and, as an option, a little cream or milk.
This post has been updated with new photos, step-by-step directions, and more useful information. It was first published on November 8, 2013.