Turkey gravy is a must for Thanksgiving! Let me show you how easy it is to make homemade turkey gravy in just a few minutes, with or without turkey drippings.

Homemade turkey gravy made from pan drippings is a must for Thanksgiving!

Gravy is the delicious glue that often brings a whole meal together, and nowhere is that more true than on Thanksgiving. It just wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without a heavy drizzle of turkey gravy over the mashed potatoes, stuffing, and most of the things on my plate.

Fortunately, making homemade gravy takes less than 10 minutes while your turkey rests. Many resources tell you to make gravy ahead of time to get it out of the way, but the drippings on the bottom of the roasting pan is where you’ll find the best concentrated flavor. Waiting to make gravy this way is well worth the effort!

So, put someone else on turkey carving and table-setting duty, and let’s make some gravy! If you happen to not any pan drippings, don’t worry, I’ve got instructions for you too.

Table of Contents

Homemade turkey gravy made from pan drippings is a must for Thanksgiving!

Ingredients you’ll need

  • Turkey drippings— Everything that’s left in the pan after your turkey is done roasting. They have so much flavor! 
  • Turkey broth or chicken broth—You can use store-bought broth (or stock), or I like to make my own using Better Than Bouillon base. My mom actually used the cooking liquid from mashed potatoes to make gravy, so this is also an option if you don’t have broth.
  • Butter—  It’s the base for the “roux”, or thickener, for this gravy. It also adds flavor.
  • All-purpose flour—  The other component needed for the roux. Gluten-free flour will work too.
  • Kosher salt and pepper—  Pan drippings will be plenty seasoned, so make sure to taste your gravy before adding any salt and pepper.

What if I don’t have turkey drippings?

No stress! You can still make this turkey gravy recipe. You’ll just need these additional ingredients:

  • Shallots and/or garlic—  Either will help boost the flavor of your gravy, or you can use both.
  • Fresh rosemarythyme and/or sage—  I prefer to use a combination of all 3 (look for the “Poultry Blend” packet of herbs at your grocery store), but you can use any or all of these herbs.
Homemade turkey gravy made from pan drippings is a must for Thanksgiving!

How to make homemade turkey gravy

  1. Prepare turkey pan drippings. Remove turkey from roasting pan and cover with foil to rest until you’re ready to serve. Add 1 cup of broth to the pan and scrape up all the brown bits off the bottom of the pan with a whisk. Pour everything from the pan into a liquid measuring cup (preferably quart-size or larger if you have one). Place the measuring cup into the freezer while you prepare the roux.
  2. Make a roux. Add butter to a large saucepan and melt over medium heat. (If you are making gravy without pan drippings, add shallots and garlic to the butter and cook for a few minutes until softened.) Add the flour and whisk to make a thick paste or “roux”. Let the mixture cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring often, until it turns a golden brown.
  3. Remove fat from the drippings. Remove the measuring cup from the freezer and spoon the fat off the top of the measuring cup. A few minutes in the freezer should bring all the fat to the top of the cup and harden it a little, making it easier to skim off. (If more time is needed, put it back in the freezer for a few minutes, and remove roux from heat if needed while you wait). The liquid fat can also be skimmed from the drippings without chilling in the freezer, or you can use a fat separator if you prefer.
  4. Add broth to the roux. Pour more broth into the pan drippings to equal 4 cups total. Slowly add it all into the roux while whisking constantly. (If you are making gravy without pan drippings, stir in the fresh herbs.) Bring gravy to a boil, then simmer on medium low heat for about 1-2 minutes until thickened. Taste and add salt and black pepper as needed. Be sure to taste first, as often turkey drippings are very salty and you might not need to add much, if any.
  5. Keep gravy warm until ready to serve. And enjoy! Leftover turkey gravy should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

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This recipe was originally published November 2018.

Homemade turkey gravy made from pan drippings is a must for Thanksgiving!

Homemade Turkey Gravy

Servings: 16 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Making turkey gravy at home from turkey drippings is easy!

Ingredients
 

To make gravy with pan drippings:

  • Turkey drippings from roasted turkey
  • 2-3 cups Turkey or chicken broth/stock
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • Salt and pepper , to taste

To make gravy without pan drippings:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups Turkey or chicken broth/stock
  • 1 shallot , finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves , minced (can be used in addition to, or instead of shallot)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, thyme, sage (use any combination)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions
 

To make gravy with pan drippings:

  • Add 1 cup of chicken/turkey broth to the pan the turkey was roasted in and scrape up all the brown bits off the bottom of the pan with a whisk.
  • Carefully pour everything from the pan into a liquid measuring cup (preferably quart-size or larger if you have one). Place the measuring cup into the freezer for a few minutes while you prepare the roux. This helps the fat rise to the top where it will harden, making it easier to remove.
  • Add butter to a large skillet or saucepan and melt over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until combined to make a thick paste or "roux". Let the mixture cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring often, until it turns a golden brown.
  • Remove pan drippings from the freezer and spoon the fat off the top of the measuring cup. Add more chicken/turkey broth to the drippings to equal 4 cups total.
  • Slowly add the liquid to the roux while whisking constantly. Bring to a boil, continuing to whisk frequently. Simmer for about 1-2 minutes, until thickened.
  • Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Be sure to taste first, as often turkey drippings are very salty and you might not need to add much, if any.

To make gravy without pan drippings:

  • Add butter to a large skillet or saucepan and melt over medium heat. Once butter is melted, add shallots and/or garlic and cook for a few minutes until softened and fragrant.
  • Add the flour and whisk until combined to make a thick paste or "roux". Let the mixture cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring often, until it turns a golden brown.
  • Slowly add 3 cups of broth to the roux while whisking constantly. Stir in fresh herbs, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, continuing to whisk frequently. Simmer for about 1-2 minutes, until thickened. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  • Keep warm until ready to serve.

Notes

  • A layer of liquid (water or broth) in the bottom of the roasting pan while the turkey roasts will prevent the drippings from burning. Check periodically and add more liquid as needed throughout baking time.
  • If desired, strain drippings to remove any large pieces of herbs, turkey skin, etc. that may have collected in the roasting pan.
  • I’ve found chilling the drippings in the freezer is a great way to remove the fat, but it does take a few extra minutes. You can also use a spoon to remove the liquid fat without chilling it, or you can use a fat separator
  • Yields about 4 cups.
Calories: 29kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 6mg, Sodium: 143mg, Potassium: 24mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 66IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 2mg, Iron: 1mg
Cuisine: American
Course: Side Dish
Author: Annalise
Have you tried this recipe?I’d love to hear about it! Leave a rating and review below, or take a photo and tag it on Instagram @completelydelicious with #completelydelicious.