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Turkey Gravy Recipe with Pan Drippings

Transform those flavorful browned turkey drippings into a delicious turkey gravy in just minutes! Nothing beats a good old-fashioned turkey gravy recipe. Homemade gravy is liquid gold, and there’s no substitute.

Need a turkey recipe to go with this amazing gravy? Try my spatchcock turkey or this succulent easy roast turkey.

Pouring gravy over slices of turkey.

This Turkey Gravy recipe offers an easy approach to making the most flavorful and impeccable gravy, which is a Thanksgiving essential. After all, a good gravy is the single element that brings together the myriad flavors of your feast. Excellent gravy is the crowning glory, if you ask me, thus, learning how to make turkey gravy is an essential part of preparing that delicious Holiday meal. My secret to a rich and silky smooth turkey gravy is using the pan drippings from my cooked turkey. 

Turkey Gravy Ingredients

  • 2-1/2 cups pan drippings from a cooked turkey.
  • 4 tablespoons butter will add creaminess and richness to the gravy.
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour will thicken and give the gravy the right consistency.
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme to flavor the gravy.
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste.

What Are Pan Drippings?

Found at the bottom of the pan, these drippings contain the concentrated flavors of the turkey, the seasonings, and the juices that have caramelized while cooking the turkey. This creates a foundation for the gravy that is rich in taste and unmatched by store-bought or powdered gravy alternatives.

Making turkey gravy in a saucepan.

How To Make Turkey Gravy

  1. Collect the pan drippings: Remove your turkey from the roasting pan, and do not discard the pan drippings. Instead, take those drippings and strain them through a fine-mesh sieve. Discard the solids and reserve 2-1/2 cups of pan drippings. If you do not have enough pan drippings, add chicken broth to the drippings to make 2-1/2 cups of liquid.
  2. Cook: Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan. Add the flour to the melted butter and whisk for about a minute or until browned. Add in 1/2 cup of the reserved pan juices and whisk until incorporated. Slowly add in the remaining juices and continue to whisk until the gravy is smooth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer and whisk in the chopped fresh herbs. Continue to whisk and cook until thickened and bubbly, about 4 to 5 minutes. 
  3. Finish: Remove from heat and taste for seasonings; adjust accordingly.

Recipe Tips And Variations

  • Whisk Constantly: As you add the drippings to the roux, whisk continuously to prevent lumps. This also incorporates the roux evenly for a smooth, velvety texture.
  • Season: Taste your gravy before serving. If it’s too salty, a splash of water or unsalted broth can balance it out. If it’s too bland, a pinch of salt or pepper can bring the flavors together.
  • Keep It Warm: Gravy cools and thickens quickly, so keep it warm until it’s time to serve, or make sure to reheat it gently while frequently stirring to maintain the perfect consistency.
  • Herbs: Use any fresh herbs available to you. If fresh isn’t an option, dried herbs work well too—use 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme and a range of 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of dried rosemary.
  • Flavors: Consider enhancing your gravy with a touch of richness by stirring in some cream, or adding a splash of sherry, wine, or brandy for a deeper flavor profile. A little soy sauce can also introduce a savory element. Don’t hesitate to experiment to find the flavor that you like.
  • Lemon: For a slight tang that can brighten the flavors, mix in a teaspoon of lemon juice to the gravy.
  • Substitute: If turkey pan drippings are not at hand, the gravy can be made using drippings from a roast chicken, or you can opt for chicken or vegetable broth for a similar savory base.
Turkey gravy in a gravy boat.

How To Make Ahead

  • To make ahead, follow the recipe to prepare the gravy, then let it cool before refrigerating it in a covered container for 2 days. When you’re ready to serve, transfer the gravy to a saucepan and dilute it with a bit of chicken broth or water according to your preference for consistency. Warm it gently over medium-low heat until it’s thoroughly heated, which should take roughly 10 minutes.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for 2 to 3 days.

More Thanksgiving Recipes

Pouring gravy over slices of turkey.

Turkey Gravy Recipe

Katerina | Diethood
Transform those deliciously browned turkey drippings into a delicious Turkey Gravy in just minutes!
5 from 14 votes
Servings : 8 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients
  

  • cups pan drippings from roast turkey breast
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves, or ¼ to ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions
 

  • Take turkey drippings and loosened browned bits from the roasting pan where you cooked the turkey and strain them through a mesh sieve.
  • Discard the solids and reserve 2-1/2 cups of the pan drippings. If you do not have enough pan drippings, add chicken broth to the drippings to make 2-1/2 cups liquid. Set aside.
  • Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute or until browned and starts to smell nutty. Pour in 1/2 cup of the pan drippings and whisk until well incorporated.
  • Slowly whisk in the remaining pan drippings; continue to whisk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer; whisk in chopped herbs and continue whisking until thickened and bubbly, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and taste for salt and pepper; adjust as needed.
  • Serve warm.

Notes

  • Whisk continuously to prevent lumps. This also incorporates the roux and makes a smoother texture.
  • Season to taste: Taste the gravy; if it’s too salty, add a splash of water. If it’s too bland, add a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Keep It Warm: Gravy cools and thickens quickly, so keep it warm until it’s time to serve.
  • For a different flavor, add a splash of wine, sherry, brandy, soy sauce, lemon juice, or cream.
  • Gravy can also be prepared with turkey broth, roast chicken drippings, chicken broth, or vegetable broth.

Nutrition

Calories: 65.88 kcal | Carbohydrates: 3.11 g | Protein: 0.59 g | Fat: 5.78 g | Saturated Fat: 3.61 g | Cholesterol: 15.05 mg | Sodium: 157.57 mg | Potassium: 23.5 mg | Fiber: 0.1 g | Sugar: 0.01 g | Vitamin A: 174.93 IU | Vitamin C: 2.06 mg | Calcium: 3.44 mg | Iron: 0.24 mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy thanksgiving recipe, holiday side dish recipe, how to make gravy, turkey gravy, turkey gravy with drippings
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