This homemade turkey gravy recipe makes incredibly flavorful gravy from the turkey drippings and just a few pantry staples. It’s the best I have ever tried (no exaggeration), and it’s also incredibly easy to make.
Whether you’re making a traditional Roast Turkey or a Spatchcock Turkey, you’ll be left with drippings that encompass all of the wonderful flavors and seasonings you’ve added to your bird. Then, just whisk in flour and milk, and there you have homemade gravy to round out your Thanksgiving menu.
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Homemade Turkey Gravy
Table of Contents
There’s a funny thing about homemade gravy, the folks at your holiday table will remember it because the store-bought packet mixes and canned gravy can’t compete. I must have refilled my plate with Mashed Potatoes three times just to have more of the gravy.
After seasoning a turkey and cooking for hours, you’ll only need 5 more minutes to whip up this gravy recipe. Once you try this, you’ll never toss those turkey drippings again; liquid gold, my friends. Liquid gold.
Turkey Gravy Video
Watch how easy it is to whisk together this gravy using turkey drippings. Natasha’s fool-proof recipe comes together in just minutes.
Save those precious turkey drippings and add only a few pantry staples for this easy homemade gravy recipe.
- Flour – all-purpose works best, but you can substitute gluten-free 1:1 flour
- Drippings from turkey – separate the fat from the drippings using a fat separator, or by skimming the fat off the top with a spoon. If you don’t have enough from the bird, add butter to the fat and/or chicken stock or turkey stock to the drippings until you have enough for the recipe
- Milk – gives it a creamier texture, but you can leave it out or substitute water or chicken broth if desired
- Salt and pepper – taste before seasoning, since the drippings have already been seasoned
Try these substitutions to make the gravy recipe fit your tastes:
- Gluten-Free – Replace the flour with gluten-free 1:1 flour
- Instead of drippings – Use butter and stock if you don’t have turkey drippings. Add sautéed garlic and shallot before making the roux to compensate for the missing flavor
- Add seasonings – Try thyme, parsley, poultry seasoning, sage, or rosemary.
- How to make giblet gravy – Boil giblets in water for an hour then strain and add the resulting broth to the drippings. Then mince the giblets (except the liver) and stir into the finished gravy if desired.
To make more gravy, simply increase the flour and grease drippings proportionately, because the roux is made with equal parts fat and flour. Add more stock or water to reach the desired consistency.
How to Make Turkey Gravy from Scratch
After cooking your turkey, use flour and the turkey drippings to create a roux, then thin it with milk and enjoy! Here are the easy-to-follow directions:
Prepare the Drippings
- Strain drippings from the turkey roasting pan through a fine mesh sieve into a large measuring cup, then discard anything you catch in the sieve. Let drippings in the measuring cup rest for a minute, so the fat will float to the top and the broth will sink to the bottom.
- Skim off 3 Tbsp of fat (or more if doubling the recipe) and transfer into a medium saucepan. If you don’t have enough, use butter until you get 3 Tbsp., then skim off and discard the excess fat left in the measuring cup. Measure out 2 cups of the remaining broth drippings. Add more chicken broth or water to equal 2 cups.
Make the Gravy with Pan Drippings
- Heat the saucepan with fat drippings over medium heat. Once fat starts to sizzle, whisk in 3 Tbsp flour and stir until well combined. Continue whisking until the mixture is starting to turn a light golden brown and begins to smell nutty or like cereal.
- Gradually pour the 2 cups of broth drippings into your saucepan, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Bring to a light boil while whisking.
- Add more milk, broth, or water to taste (this helps if your gravy seems too salty or too thick), and continue to simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm until ready to serve, then transfer to a gravy boat or serving dish.
How to Thin Gravy
To thin the gravy, add more liquid, but be aware that it’s easy to thin, but more difficult to thicken the gravy without getting a floury taste, so add liquid slowly.
How to Thicken Gravy
To thicken the gravy, stir in a cornstarch slurry (mix 1 Tbsp of cornstarch with 2 Tbsp cold water to make the slurry). The gravy will thicken as it cools, so consider that when serving the gravy.
This turkey gravy is thickened with a roux, a mixture of fat and flour in equal proportions that is used to thicken many sauces. Using flour to thicken the gravy is better than cornstarch because it reheats better and doesn’t leave an aftertaste.
Sure, use butter in place of fat, and chicken broth or turkey broth in place of the drippings. Be sure to add seasoning if you go this route, because you won’t have the drippings to flavor the gravy—try sautéing shallots and garlic in the pan before making the roux. To add more flavor, try making our easy mushroom gravy.
Be sure to use a whisk rather than a wooden spoon to constantly stir the flour. The secret to smooth gravy is to add the pan drippings slowly while whisking to help incorporate the flour without causing it to clump. You can also try sifting the flour.
To fix lumpy gravy, simply pour the gravy through a fine mesh sieve before serving and discard the lumps.
Absolutely! It’s simple to double this turkey gravy recipe by increasing the flour and grease drippings proportionally. Add more turkey stock or chicken stock to reach your desired consistency.
To Serve Turkey Gravy
Gravy is a staple on most Thanksgiving menus, and this homemade turkey gravy will be the star! We serve it warm in a gravy boat for easy pouring.
Of course, we use gravy to dress our turkey and mashed potatoes, but if a few drips (or more) end up on our stuffing, Dinner Rolls, and Brussels sprouts, we won’t be at all upset. If you have any leftovers after Thanksgiving, try the gravy with these delicious recipes:
To make the gravy ahead, you’ll need to substitute the turkey drippings. See our tips for making gravy without drippings above.
- To Refrigerate: Store cooled gravy in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
- Freezing: freeze for up to 4 months
- To Reheat: thaw the gravy in the refrigerator overnight, then heat in a saucepan on the stove over low heat so it won’t curdle, or microwave in 15-second intervals until warm. Add chicken stock or water to thin, if necessary.
Our easy turkey gravy recipe uses pan drippings to create a savory rich sauce to compliment all your Thanksgiving dishes. You’ll never go back to store-bought mixes or cans when you see how easy and tasty it is to make yours at home!
More Thanksgiving Recipes
This gravy is always on our Thanksgiving menu. Here are a few of our other favorite classic Thanksgiving dishes: