Thanksgiving just isn’t the same without the most perfect turkey gravy to pair with your turkey and creamy mashed potatoes, am I right?!
Every year I make this incredible turkey with pure maple syrup and an herb butter and I’m telling you the drippings made all the difference. It’s like a perfect salted gravy with a hint of savory herbs and maple. TOO GOOD!
I’ll also be making my famous turkey gravy recipe this year and I hope you’ll do the same, it’s super simple — all you need is turkey or chicken drippings. So let’s get to it…
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Ingredients in homemade turkey gravy
You’ll need just four simple ingredients to make this easy turkey gravy recipe. It comes together quickly and will be a favorite on your Thanksgiving table! Here’s what you need to make it:
- Butter: you’ll add some butter to a skillet to help create a roux with the flour as the base for the turkey gravy.
- All purpose flour: a bit of all purpose flour will help thicken the gravy to the right consistency. No cornstarch necessary! Feel free to use whole wheat or all purpose gluten free flour if you’d like.
- Turkey drippings: the key to a good turkey gravy is to use the pan drippings from the turkey you cook. That way it’s plenty rich and flavorful without needing to add extra ingredients like heavy cream. Get my best ever turkey recipe here! Some people use the turkey giblets in their gravy recipes, but I just toss those.
- Salt & pepper: to perfectly season the turkey gravy.
- Extras: feel free to add in some fresh herbs like rosemary, parsley, and thyme.
How to make turkey gravy (4 simple steps!)
Start with my amazing herb butter maple roasted turkey and go from there! This is how to make gravy from turkey drippings:
- Measure out the drippings. First make sure you have enough turkey drippings and stock to equal about 4 cups. If you don’t have enough turkey drippings from your roasting pan, you can always make up the difference by adding chicken broth to equal 4 cups total.
- Make a roux, then add drippings. Next, you’ll essentially make a roux or slurry by adding butter to a large skillet or saucepan and placing it over medium high heat. Melt butter, then whisk in a little bit of flour and then slowly add in the drippings/stock, a little bit at a time, alternating with the flour and vigorously whisking away any lumps. I add in around 3-3 ½ cups of liquid to start, then see if I need to add more to make the gravy the perfect consistency.
- Simmer & thicken. Reduce to medium low heat, bring the mixture to a simmer (not a boil), and allow it to thicken up for a few minutes. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon and add more stock to thin if necessary.
- Taste & adjust. Taste and add freshly ground salt and pepper if needed. Sometimes I like to add an extra teaspoon or two of chopped herbs such as rosemary or thyme to add more flavor, it just depends on what kind of gravy you like! Serves 4-6. Double if you want to serve more.
How to make turkey gravy without drippings
If you have a pre-cooked turkey (or are skipping turkey altogether) feel free to just use turkey or chicken stock to make the gravy. However, I do really recommend using real drippings or even a little bacon grease as the flavor is a GAME changer. Easy!
Tips for making perfect turkey gravy
- Be sure to add the drippings slowly to the roux to avoid any clumping (instead of pouring it all in at once)
- Note that it’s easier to thin your gravy by adding drippings than to thicken it, so be mindful when adding more drippings or stock
- Once you serve the gravy and it sits at room temperature it will naturally thicken — so keep that in mind as you thin it out!
Store it for later
Store this simple homemade turkey gravy in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Simply reheat the gravy on the stovetop or in the microwave before serving.
This is a great way to make the gravy ahead of time and store it until you’re ready to serve it at Thanksgiving.
Can you freeze turkey gravy?
Yes! Let the gravy cool completely before transferring it to a freezer-safe container, bag or even ice tray. When you’re ready to use it, thaw the gravy in the refrigerator before reheating it in the microwave or on the stovetop.
What to serve with homemade turkey gravy
Check out all of my Thanksgiving recipes here, plus a few suggestions for what to serve with (and pour this gravy onto):
And remember, learn exactly how to host Thanksgiving here!
I hope you love this easy homemade turkey gravy recipe! If you make it be sure to leave a comment & a rating so I know how you liked it. Enjoy, xo!
Homemade Turkey Gravy
Delicious homemade turkey gravy made with just four simple ingredients! This wonderful, simple turkey gravy recipe is easy to make and full of flavor. Perfect for adding to your favorite mains and side dishes on Thanksgiving!
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup all purpose flour (or use whole wheat or all purpose gluten free flour)
- 3-4 cups turkey drippings/stock (plus additional chicken broth if necessary)
- Freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste
- Extra herbs (rosemary + thyme), if desired
First make sure you have enough turkey drippings + stock to equal about 4 cups. If you don’t have enough turkey drippings, you can always make up the difference by adding chicken broth to equal 4 cups total.
Add butter to a large skillet and place over medium high heat. Once butter is melted, whisk in a little bit of flour and then slowly add in the drippings/stock, a little bit at a time, alternating with the flour and vigorously whisking away any lumps. I add in around 3-3 ½ cups to start, then see if I need to add more to make the gravy the perfect consistency.
Bring the gravy to a simmer (not a boil) and allow it to thicken up for a minute or two, stirring occasionally. Add more stock to thin if necessary. Taste and add freshly ground salt and pepper, if needed. Sometimes I like to add an extra teaspoon or two of chopped herbs such as rosemary or thyme to add more flavor, it just depends what kind of gravy you like! Serves 4-6. Double if you want to serve more.
To freeze: let the turkey gravy cool completely before transferring it to a freezer-safe container, bag or even ice tray. When you’re ready to use it, thaw the gravy in the refrigerator before reheating it in the microwave or on the stovetop.
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats
This post was originally published on November 23rd, 2022, and republished on November 20th, 2023.