Homemade turkey gravy is a simple part of a Thanksgiving meal, but a vital one. Without gravy, the turkey and dressing will lack the finesse and depth synonymous with this iconic meal. Turkey gravy made from drippings or stock is small thing that supports such a huge meal often proves impossible to conquer. A bad gravy can feel as though it ruins the rest of the meal. Making a turkey drippings gravy is easy if you follow the right process step by step.
Turkey Gravy Recipe Backstory
If you’ve ever tried to make turkey gravy, then you likely have a story or two about how horrible it turned out. Let’s use a fictional woman as an example. We’ll call her Amanda.
It’s Amanda’s first year of marriage and she’s hosting Thanksgiving dinner at her house. Making gravy will be a snap right? She just has to grab a recipe off a site like Crabby Housewife and she’s good to go. She whips it together but the gravy is lumpy. She’s embarrassed, but everyone has fun anyway.
The next year, Amanda is a pro. The gravy will be a snap. The only problem? This time, the gravy is runny and never thickens up.
Finally, Amanda takes the time to read the detailed instructions that go with the recipe and serves up the perfect gravy. Everyone cheers and she’s proud of her burgeoning cooking skills.
Don’t worry, Amanda. We’ve all been there. Cooking takes practice and lots of advice from others. That’s why we’re here!
Easy Turkey Gravy Tips
How do I make easy turkey gravy with drippings?
Warm and creamy, this easy turkey gravy recipe will enhance the taste of everything it tops.
- Strain turkey drippings.
- Add 2 tablespoons of flour to a coffee mug and fill the mug with cold water.
- Whisk the water and flour until all lumps are gone.
- Turn up heat and bring drippings to a boil.
- Once drippings start to boil, add water and flour mixture from mug.
- Stir briskly with whisk.
- Keep stirring until the mixture begins to thicken and then slowly stir in the broth a little at a time.
- Once all broth is added, turn heat down and stir until mixture thickens to the consistency of pancake batter.
- Immediately remove from heat and add seasoning as desired.
- Transfer to a gravy boat and serve.
Can I make turkey gravy with stock?
You can certainly make turkey gravy without drippings, but it will have a slightly lighter appearance and taste. When you don’t have turkey drippings to start your gravy, you can sub in melted butter or bacon grease instead. Another option is using a tasteless cooking oil, such as canola. Follow the rest of the instructions as listed above.
How do I get the lumps out of my gravy?
If your gravy turns lumpy, it is because you didn’t get the flour whisked into the water all the way. Flour causes lumps in your gravy. If the sauce hasn’t thickened yet, you can use a fork to break up the lumps and then whisk the flour into the mixture. However, if the gravy has already started to thicken, it is best to throw it out and start over.
Why is my gravy runny?
You don’t have enough flour to thicken up your gravy. You can try sprinkling a bit more in or adding corn starch to thicken it. However, do this a very little bit at a time, whisking as you go or you’ll get lumps.
Can you make homemade turkey gravy ahead of time?
Yes! Just pull it off the heat before it thickens fully. In this case, you want it a little runny. Just before serving it, you’ll add more drippings for flavor and heat it to thicken it up. You may need to add a bit of corn starch to thicken it. This will require some experimentation, so if you’re a beginner, you may want to have some canned gravy on hand to serve in a pinch.
Can I freeze turkey gravy?
The short answer is yes. However, if you add any cream or milk, it will not freeze well. If you use the ingredients in this recipe, you can freeze it for three or four months. Go ahead and make a big batch and freeze enough for Christmas dinner, too!
When do I season my gravy?
We recommend you season at the end. This allows you to taste the gravy and prevents over-salting.
How much gravy do I need per person?
About 4-5 tablespoons each is a good measure. Some people won’t use any and others will pile on extra. It tends to balance out. It’s always best to have too much than not enough. You can use up the leftovers later.
More Traditional Holiday Recipes
Looking for more recipes to serve this holiday season? Check these out:
- Aunt Emma’s Southern Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe and Tips
- Easy Chocolate Chip Turtle Cookie Bars: Soft and Chewy Cookie Recipe
- Holiday Dinner Cost-Saving Tips
- Pumpkin Pie Dip Sugar Free Gluten Free and Good
You May Need
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It’s important to keep your gravy warm so it doesn’t thicken up and turn lumpy while people are waiting to eat. We love this gravy boat on a warmer stand with a candle to keep it ready to eat throughout dinner and even for a second round of eating.
Easy to Make Thick Turkey Gravy
Bursting with flavor, this turkey gravy from stock and drippings is a mouth watering delight. You can also make this turkey gravy without drippings, add cornstarch to thicken it or make it ahead. No matter what, it will taste better than store bought turkey gravy.
- ¼ cup of turkey drippings
- 2 – 4 tbs of all-purpose flour
- 2 cups of broth (this can be a combination of strained turkey drippings/juice and water or a purchased turkey/chicken broth)
- ¼ to ½ tsp salt to taste
- ¼ to ½ tsp pepper to taste
Pour strained turkey drippings into a skillet over medium heat.
In a coffee mug, add 2 tbs of the flour and fill with cold water.
Using a salad fork or small whisk, mix the water and flour until there aren’t any lumps.
Bring drippings to a boil and add water/flour mixture.
Stir with a whisk.
As the drippings begin to thicken, slowly stir in the broth, a little at a time allowing the mixture to thicken. Add more broth, stir until the gravy thickens again. Continue until the entire volume is thick.
Use a spoon to taste the gravy. Add salt and pepper if needed by stirring into the gravy, careful not to over-thicken.
Pour gravy into gravy boat or bowl and add a ladle.
- If the gravy doesn’t thicken, you can repeat the first step.
- Add the remaining two tablespoons of flour to the coffee mug.
- Fill with water, mix with fork or whisk and stir into the gravy.
- If the gravy becomes too thick, you can always thin by stirring in more water or broth.
Making Gravy Using Turkey Drippings
It’s easy to make turkey gravy from the drippings. While you can use a roux recipe for a gravy, the turkey flavoring created by the drippings cannot be imitated or surpassed.