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Homemade Turkey Gravy Recipe

No turkey is complete without a side of homemade gravy. Thankfully, making gravy from the pan drippings is super easy. Here are a few methods to make your own homemade turkey gravy to accompany your juicy turkey, whether you’re serving your bird for Thanksgiving dinner or any time of the year.

Turkey Gravy Recipe

How To Make Gravy With Pan Drippings

To Strain Or Not To Strain

Some people strain their drippings before adding it to a pot to make gravy. This is not a right or wrong issue, it’s strictly personal preference.

If you like smooth gravy with no lumps or bits of turkey, you’ll want to separate the liquid from the solids. To strain your pan drippings, you’ll need a medium bowl and a fine mesh strainer.

  • Place the mesh strainer over the bowl.
  • Use a ladle to scoop pan drippings out of the roasting pan and into the strainer, allowing the liquid to drain into the bowl.
  • Strain the pan drippings until you have 3 cups of liquid in the bowl.
  • Discard the solids.

If you don’t mind the solids, you can simply use a ladle to gently stir the pan drippings in the roasting pan, and scoop out 3 cups of liquid. Pour the pan drippings into a medium bowl.

Preparing Gravy

  • Collect your pan drippings and set them aside in a separate bowl.
  • Melt about 1/4 cup of butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan.
  • Whisk in 1/4 cup of flour to make a roux.
  • You can add 2 teaspoons of thyme (ground, dried or fresh, chopped) during this step as well. Whisk butter, flour, and thyme together for about one minute.
  • Slowly Whisk in your pan drippings about 1/2 cup at a time. Continue to whisk, bring the gravy to a boil.
  • When gravy comes to a boil, reduce heat slightly and continue whisking until thickened. This can take 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.

A few notes on pan drippings: If you don’t have enough pan drippings to make three cups, use as much as you can, then add chicken broth to make up the difference. If you have a lot of fat (the oily layer on the pan drippings), you can spoon off as much of that as you can before scooping out your pan drippings.

Alternate Thickening Method

  • An alternative thickening technique is to add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to 1/4 cup of room temperature chicken broth. Stir until cornstarch is mixed well into the broth.
  • Bring butter, thyme, and pan drippings to a boil over medium heat.
  • Slowly stir cornstarch mixture into pan drippings and simmer until thickened. *Don’t put all of the cornstarch mixture in at once. To avoid over thickening, or jelly-like gravy, pour in a little at a time, stir it around and simmer it for a minute to see how much it thickens. Continue adding the cornstarch mixture until you reach the desired consistency.
  • Continue to stir until gravy has thickened.
  • Turn off heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

If your gravy gets too thick, add a little more broth, a splash at a time until you get back to your desired thickness.

Turkey Gravy Ingredients

  • Pan drippings from the roasting pan that the turkey was cooked in
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup of flour (if making roux)
  • 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch (if using alternate thickening method)
  • 1/4 cup of chicken broth (if using cornstarch to thicken)
  • Thyme – I prefer 1 to 2 teaspoons of ground, dried thyme. If you use fresh thyme, chop it finely and sauté it in the butter to soften it before adding other ingredients
  • Salt and pepper

What To Add To Homemade Turkey Gravy

If you want to add more seasoning to your homemade turkey gravy, you can add more herbs, fresh or dried. You may want to try:

  • Garlic
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Parsley

If you like onions, sauté 1/4 cup of finely chopped onion in 1/4 cup of butter in the sauce pan with the fresh or ground herbs. Cook until onions are soft, then add the other ingredients and pan drippings.

While we like our homemade turkey gravy pretty basic for our Thanksgiving turkey since we are topping it on stuffing, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, and other Thanksgiving sides. But if you are adventurous and want to try adding something else to your gravy, here are a few things you can experiment with:

  • 2-3 tablespoons of of heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons of sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup of chopped mushrooms (sauté in butter before adding the rest of the ingredients)

Can You Make Turkey Gravy Without Pan Drippings?

Yes! You can make gravy with this recipe by using chicken or turkey broth, or vegetable broth if you prefer.

How To Store Leftover Gravy

Leftover turkey gravy can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 5 days, and in the freezer for up to six months.

How To Use Leftover Gravy

You probably have leftover turkey (and mashed potatoes) to smother with gravy, but you can add it to other recipes too. Pour it over a casserole, use it as the sauce in a chicken pot pie, use it as a dip for crescent rolls or french fries, make a poutine, add it to cooked and crumbled breakfast sausage and serve it over biscuits, make chicken and dumplings.

Here are the best ways to reheat gravy and a list of Creative Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes if you need inspiration!

Homemade Turkey Gravy Social

Homemade Turkey Gravy

Yield: 3 1/2 Cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Use the pan drippings from your roasted turkey to make this easy homemade turkey gravy recipe.

Ingredients

  • 3 Cups Pan Drippings from Roasted Turkey
  • 1/4 Cup Butter
  • 1/4 Cup Flour
  • 2 Teaspoons dried, ground Thyme
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Collect your pan drippings and set them aside in a separate bowl.
  2. Melt about 1/4 cup of butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan.
  3. Whisk in 1/4 cup of flour to make a roux.
  4. You can add 2 teaspoons of thyme during this step as well. Whisk butter, flour, and thyme together for about one minute.
  5. Slowly Whisk in your pan drippings about 1/2 cup at a time. Continue to whisk, bringing the gravy to a boil.
  6. When gravy comes to a boil, reduce heat slightly and continue whisking until thickened. This can take 5 to 10 minutes.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Heidi Deal
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Raj

Thursday 17th of November 2022

Hi So nice recipe. Very helpful information for homemade turke gravy recipe. I like.

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