Easy Turkey Gravy Recipe is a handy guide on how to make the best turkey gravy with turkey drippings.  Recipe includes instructions using cornstarch to make gluten-free gravy or flour, as well as make ahead tips!

Spoon in a boat of turkey gravy

Gravy anxiety…it’s a real thing.  At least it is for me!  There’s nothing that I hate more than standing over a hot stove, anxiously trying to perfect my turkey gravy while everyone is hovering around like vultures waiting for Thanksgiving dinner.

I think you may know what I’m talking about.

This easy Turkey Gravy Recipe is the perfect solution to all of your gravy anxiety….as well as mine.

I’ve been on a mission to get this recipe to you and it hasn’t been easy.  I’ve made two turkeys, two batches of turkey stock, and two batches of gravy to perfect what I’ve learned over the past several years.

That’s a lot of turkey, and luckily we’re not sick of it yet. 🙂

Turkey gravy in a gravy boat

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • This turkey gravy recipe covers all of the bases to make perfect gravy, including making it with a cornstarch to make it gluten-free, or using a flour slurry or roux.
  • You’ll learn how to make it in advance, either a few days before or weeks before, and how to reheat it from fridge or freezer.
  • I’ve included tips on how to upgrade your gravy by using alcohol like wine, bourbon or sherry to deglaze the pan, or adding giblets or herbs.

Recipe ingredients

  • Drippings:  The turkey drippings are where the real flavor comes from.  When the turkey is removed from the pan, pour the drippings into a fat separator.  
  • Fat:  Skim the fat from the top of the turkey drippings in the fat separator if you want to make turkey gravy with flour, or a roux-based gravy.
  • Homemade stock:  I highly recommend using homemade turkey stock because it has so much more flavor. It also contains gelatin from the bones, which gives the gravy its silkiness.  In a pinch, use turkey or chicken bone broth.
  • Thickener:  Use cornstarch for gluten-free turkey gravy, but I’ve included instructions to use flour as well.
  • Optional add-ins:  Alcohol such as white wine, bourbon or sherry for deglazing the pan, giblets and herbs such as rosemary, thyme or sage. 

How to make gluten-free gravy

Making homemade turkey gravy is extremely easy with these simple instructions.

I prefer to use cornstarch for gluten-free turkey gravy, but you can also use the same amount of arrowroot powder or potato starch.

Pro tip:  Make your gravy in advance by cooling it completely and storing in an air tight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator or a few weeks in the freezer. If frozen, defrost overnight in the refrigerator. Gently reheat make ahead gravy, thinning out with more turkey stock as needed.

See the recipe card below for full instructions.

How to make turkey gravy collage
  • Pour the turkey drippings from the pan into a fat separator or measuring cup. Let stand a few minutes until separated.
  • Skim off the fat and set the drippings aside.
  • Deglaze the roasting pan with 1/2 cup of turkey stock. Alternately, you can use bourbon, sherry or white wine and reduce the liquid by half. Pour this mixture into the drippings and heat in a medium sauce pan over medium heat until boiling.
  • Combine the cornstarch and water to create the cornstarch slurry. Reduce the heat to medium low and slowly whisk the cornstarch slurry into the hot stock mixture, whisking constantly to prevent lumps, and simmer until the gravy has reached the desired thickness.

How to make turkey gravy with flour

There are two ways to go about making this turkey gravy recipe with flour as shown below:

Roux-based gravy 

  • Cook equal parts flour and turkey fat for 1-2 minutes until browned and the mixture smells like shortbread. 
  • Slowly whisk in turkey drippings and stock to prevent lumps, and bring to a boil for 1-2 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until the gravy reaches the desired thickness.

Flour slurry

  • Cook the turkey drippings and stock over medium heat until boiling. 
  • Combine equal parts flour and water in a small bowl until a smooth paste is formed. Reduce the heat to medium low, then slowly whisk the cornstarch mixture into the hot stock mixture and simmer until the gravy reaches the desired thickness.
Spoon drizzling gluten-free gravy into a gravy boat

FAQs

What are drippings?

Drippings are the juices and fats that are released from the meat as it cooks. 

The drippings give your gravy amazing flavor and a silky mouthfeel.

How do you separate turkey fat from drippings?

The best way to separate the fat from drippings is by using a fat separator.

You can also pour all of the drippings into a measuring cup and let it stand for a bit.  When the fat rises to the top, it can be skimmed off.

What to add to turkey gravy to make it taste good?

Preparing turkey gravy with drippings is the way to go, because the drippings are the where the real flavor is at.

Using homemade turkey stock also makes a huge difference as it has more flavor, and it contains gelatin which give the gravy a nice silky mouthfeel.

From there, use alcohol such as bourbon, sherry or white wine to deglaze the pan for a nice layer of flavor, or add chopped giblets or herbs.

Can I make gravy in advance?

This recipe can be made in advance and even frozen!

For make ahead turkey gravy, prepare the recipe as outlined and cool completely.  Store in an air tight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator, then gently reheat before serving time, thinning the gravy out with a bit of warm turkey stock as needed.

If frozen, thaw the gravy completely in the refrigerator, then reheat gently, thinning it out with warm turkey stock as needed.

Recipe tips

  • Pro tip:  Make your gravy in advance by cooling it completely and storing in an air tight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator or a few weeks in the freezer. If frozen, defrost overnight in the refrigerator. Gently reheat make ahead gravy, thinning out with warm turkey stock as needed.
  • Every year, I roast a turkey a few weeks before Thanksgiving to make stock and gravy.  This makes my life easier on Thanksgiving Day and we get to enjoy another turkey dinner.
  • The amount of gravy this recipe yields will vary based on how long you cook it. You’ll end up with 2 1/2 cups for thicker gravy, or 3 cups for a thinner gravy.
  • Strain the drippings and brown bits if you’d like a smoother gravy.
  • Customize this recipe: Boil the giblets (neck, gizzard, heart and liver) in water for about one hour and chop them up if you’d like to make giblet gravy. Add chopped herbs such as rosemary, sage or thyme for additional flavor as well.
roast turkey sliced on a platter with gravy pouring

More Thanksgiving recipes you’ll love:

Did you try this recipe?  If so, be sure to leave a review below and tag me @flavorthemoments on Facebook and Instagram!

Spoon in a boat of turkey gravy

Easy Turkey Gravy Recipe

Learn how to make the best turkey gravy with turkey drippings.  Recipe includes instructions using both cornstarch and flour, as well as make ahead tips!
1
reviews

Leave a Review »

Ingredients

  • 1 cup turkey drippings if you have less than 1 cup, simply use more turkey stock to make up the difference
  • 2 cups homemade turkey stock divided
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cornstarch Slurry

  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch + 3 tablespoons water

Flour slurry

  • 6 tablespoons flour + 6 tablespoons water

Roux

  • 6 tablespoons flour + 6 tablespoons fat from drippings if you have less than 6 tablespoons of turkey fat, use butter to make up the difference

Instructions 

  • Remove the turkey from the pan and pour the drippings into a measuring cup or gravy separator. Let stand for a few minutes to allow the fat to rise to the top.
    1 cup turkey drippings
  • Place the roasting pan over 1-2 burners over medium heat. Deglaze the pan using 1/2 cup turkey stock and scrape up the brown bits from the pan. Pour into the rest of the drippings. *Alternatively, you can use 1/2 cup of alcohol such as white wine, bourbon or sherry, and cook until reduced by half. Bourbon is my personal favorite! Proceed below using cornstarch slurry, flour slurry or roux.
    2 cups homemade turkey stock

Gravy with Cornstarch (gluten free):

  • Skim the fat from the top of the turkey drippings and discard.
  • Place the turkey drippings and stock in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  • Combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Reduce the heat to medium low, and slowly whisk the cornstarch slurry into the hot stock mixture, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Simmer until the gravy has reached the desired thickness, whisking often.
    3 tablespoons cornstarch + 3 tablespoons water
  • Remove from heat and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
    Salt and pepper

Gravy with flour (slurry):

  • Skim the fat from the top of the turkey drippings and discard.
  • Place the turkey drippings and stock in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  • Combine the flour and water together in a small bowl until smooth. Reduce the heat to medium low, and slowly add the flour slurry to the drippings and stock, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Simmer until the gravy has reached the desired thickness, whisking often.
    6 tablespoons flour + 6 tablespoons water
  • Remove from heat and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

Gravy with flour (roux):

  • Skim 6 tablespoons of fat from the top of the turkey drippings and place in a medium sauce pan. If you don't have 6 tablespoons use butter to make up the difference. Add the flour and cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring often, until browned and the roux smells like shortbread.
    6 tablespoons flour + 6 tablespoons fat from drippings
  • Slowly add the turkey stock to the roux while whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Continue whisking until the mixture comes to a boil, then boil for 1-2 minutes longer. Reduce heat and simmer, whisking occasionally, until the gravy reaches the desired thickness.
  • Remove from heat and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Serve warm and enjoy!

Notes

  • Pro tip:  Make your gravy in advance by cooling it completely and storing in an air tight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator or a few weeks in the freezer. If frozen, defrost overnight in the refrigerator. Gently reheat make ahead gravy, thinning out with more turkey stock as needed.
  • Every year, I roast a turkey a few weeks before Thanksgiving to make stock and gravy.  This makes my life easier on Thanksgiving Day and we get to enjoy another turkey dinner.
  • The amount of gravy this recipe yields will vary based on how long you cook it. You’ll end up with 2 1/2 cups for thicker gravy, or 3 cups for a thinner gravy.
  • Strain the drippings and brown bits if you’d like a smoother gravy.
  • Customize this recipe: Boil the giblets (neck, gizzard, heart and liver) in water for about one hour and chop them up if you’d like to make giblet gravy. Add chopped herbs such as rosemary, sage or thyme for additional flavor as well.

Nutrition

Calories: 61kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 39mg, Sodium: 35mg

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.

Did you try this recipe?Be sure to tag @flavorthemoments with the hashtag #flavorthemoments on Instagram so I can see what you made!

Sharing is caring!