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Turkey Gravy From Drippings

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Our recipe for delicious turkey gravy from drippings is one of the best and easiest ways you can make rich and flavorful homemade gravy that will elevate your turkey dinner! The caramelized browned bits left in the roasting pan infuses the gravy with rich flavor. It’s absolutely perfect turkey gravy for drizzling on turkey breast, mashed crockpot potatoeshot stuffing, and more. 

Drizzling gravy over slices of turkey on a plate.

There’s no doubt about it- turkey drippings are key to the very best gravy.

And instead of tossing out those flavorful juices and drippings at the bottom of the pan, you can repurpose them into a separate menu item that will complete your holiday meal. 

This recipe for turkey gravy can be used with any of our more traditional roasted turkeys, including our Paper Bag Turkey RecipeSpatchcock Turkey and our Garlic-Herb Roasted Turkey Breast.

Basically, any roast whole turkey recipe that gives you juices in the bottom of the roasting pan will work. It’s the best way to make gravy from scratch!

Why This Gravy Recipe Works

If you ask us, creamy, rich, flavor-packed gravy is an essential for any Thanksgiving dinner or holiday meal with a beautiful roast turkey on the table. 

The cups of drippings you typically get are like liquid gold when it comes to flavor. They’re fatty and savory, and meaty.

Just a few extra ingredients are all you need to transform them into the most flavorful gravy.

Here’s why this is the best turkey gravy recipe:

  • It makes use of savory pan juices and drippings from the roasted turkey, which gives the gravy a delicious flavor.
  • It’s a simple gravy recipe that comes together with just five ingredients and a few minutes of prep. 
  • Once you try it, you’ll agree-  there’s nothing quite like homemade gravy from drippings!

Ingredients Needed for this Turkey Gravy

Here’s a look at what you will need for this easy turkey gravy recipe. For a full look at the ingredients and ingredient amounts, scroll to the bottom of the page to view the printable recipe card. 

  • Turkey pan drippings. The main ingredient that brings all the flavor! Save all the drippings from the turkey when it finishes cooking.
  • All-purpose flour. To create a roux and thicken the gravy.
  • Chicken broth and drippings. Extra stock will help stretch the drippings and give you enough for a large batch of gravy.
  • Salt and pepper. ​Add this to taste to season your gravy. 

How to Make Turkey Gravy with Drippings

This is an old-fashioned turkey gravy, made with basic ingredients and without pre-made mixes or preservatives! It will give you really good gravy, made just the way true gravy was intended. Your Thanksgiving turkey will never be the same. 😉 

Here’s a look at the process, but be sure to check out the printable recipe card for all of the details. 

  1. Transfer the roast turkey to a platter or carving board to rest. Place the turkey roaster pan (with the leftover pan juices in the bottom) on the stovetop over medium heat. Pour 1 cup of broth into the pan, scraping up the brown bits stuck to the bottom.

Scooping the fat layer off of the turkey drippings.
  1. Pour the turkey drippings and stock into a measuring cup and spoon off the fat into a saucepan. Add the rest of the drippings to a small saucepan and simmer with extra stock. 
Adding flour to turkey drippings to make gravy.
  1. Place the saucepan that has the fat from the drippings on the stove. Sprinkle the flour over the fat and mash with a spoon or spatula. 
Whisking flour and turkey drippings in a saucepan.
  1. Cook the fat/flour mixture, stirring constantly, until it looks like a smooth paste. 
Pouring turkey drippings into a saucepan.
  1. Using a whisk, slowly pour in the drippings and chicken stock, whisking continuously until the gravy thickens. Season the gravy to taste. Transfer it to a gravy boat or serving dish, and enjoy! 

Why Turkey Gravy with Drippings is a Thanksgiving Must-Have

Thanksgiving is the time when we pull out all the stops in the kitchen. It’s not just about the turkey or the stuffing; it’s also about those rich, delicious sides that make the meal truly special.

One of those essential sides has to be turkey gravy made from authentic turkey drippings. It’s the fabric that weaves the entire Thanksgiving meal together, acting as the perfect complement to not just your turkey, but also your mashed potatoes and stuffing.

So, if you’ve never made gravy from turkey drippings before, this Thanksgiving is the perfect time to start

Hot turkey gravy in a saucepan,

Pro Tips for Using Drippings to Make Turkey Gravy

  • A fat separator pitcher is a great tool to use when making gravy. It makes it easy to separate the fat from the drippings.
  • Adding hot stock to the roux will keep the gravy from lumping.
  • You can easily adjust the consistency of the gravy to your own liking. For a thinner, sauce-like gravy, add extra broth in small amounts until it reaches the desired consistency.
  • This recipe makes a medium-thick gravy. The longer you cook and whisk the gravy, the thicker it will get.
  • You can also make a thicker gravy by blending 2 tablespoons of soft butter with 2 tablespoons of flour in a small dish until it becomes a paste. Whisk it into the gravy in small amounts until it reaches the desired consistency.  This is a French finishing method called a beurre manie.
  • Another way to thicken the gravy is to combine a tablespoon of cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of cold water and whisk into the gravy, a little at a time, cooking it until it thickens to your liking.
  • Store any leftover gravy in a covered jar or similar airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. You can also freeze it in an airtight container for up to 6 months. 

​Serving Suggestions

Turkey gravy on turkey is a no-brainer, but here are a few other dishes that would be extra tasty with a generous pour of hot gravy on top. 

Helpful Tools for Making Gravy

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Some Other Recipes We Are Sure You Will Love:

Our Sweet Potato Crunch Casserole is a must on our Thanksgiving table! Sweet potatoes, pecans and a crispy streusel topping bring all the classic holiday flavors for Turkey Day. You can easily prep this casserole in advance to free up time (and oven space) for other dishes on your menu, too!

Our Creamy Turkey Pot Pie with White Sauce is a great way to use up leftover turkey! Tender chunks of meat, savory vegetables and a rich and creamy white sauce is tucked into a buttery pie crust for a cozy, comfort food dish! This easy recipe is bound to be a crowd pleaser and it’s a wonderful way to make the most of Turkey Day leftovers. 

Turkey Noodle Soup is hearty, savory and flavorful. This simple, turkey spin on a classic chicken noodle soup always comes in handy a couple of times a year! Made with a leftover turkey carcass, you can ensure that no part of the turkey goes to waste with this old-fashioned, homestyle recipe. 

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Pouring turkey gravy over slices of turkey on a plate.

Turkey Gravy From Drippings

Yield: 2-1/4 cups of gravy
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Turkey gravy made from drippings has a delicious flavor and is a favorite part of a turkey dinner!. The caramelized drippings left in the roasting pan is the key to this rich gravy and a must for mashed potatoes, hot stuffing or to drizzle on turkey slices.

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons fat from the turkey drippings
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth or juices from the roast turkey
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper

Instructions

  1. Transfer the roast turkey to a platter or carving board to rest.
  2. There will be some juices left in the roasting pan. Set the pan on a stovetop burner over medium heat, pour 1 cup of broth into the pan, scraping up the brown bits stuck to the pan.
  3. Pour the drippings from the pan into a measuring cup and spoon off 4 tablespoons of the fat to a small dish.
  4. Add the remaining drippings to a small saucepan and keep simmering on a back burner with additional broth to equal 3-4 cups of liquid.
  5. Set another saucepan or skillet over medium heat and add the 4 tablespoons of fat. If there was not 4 tablespoons of fat to spoon off the drippings, add enough butter or bacon fat to equal 4 tablespoons.  Sprinkle the flour over the fat, mashing with a spoon or spatula to combine. 
  6. Cook the fat/flour mixture, stirring constantly, until the mixture looks like a smooth paste.
  7. Using a whisk, slowly pour in the remaining drippings and broth while whisking continuously until the gravy thickens. This will take about 2-3 minutes for a gravy of medium thickness. If the mixture starts to clump up when you pour the warm turkey broth into the saucepan, stop pouring briefly and whisk vigorously.
  8. Whisk in the Dijon, Worcestershire, salt and pepper. Taste the gravy and season with additional salt and pepper if desired.
  9. Remove from the heat and transfer to a gravy boat or serving dish.

Notes

  • A fat separator pitcher is a great item to use for gravy making.
  • If you don't have enough fat from the drippings, add enough melted butter to get 4 tablespoons of fat.
  • Adding hot broth will keep the gravy from lumping.
  • For a thinner sauce-like gravy, whisk in additional broth in small amounts until it reaches the desired consistency.
  • This recipe makes a medium-thick gravy. The longer you cook and whisk the gravy, the thicker it will get.
  • Additional ways to thicken the gravy: in a small dish, blend 2 tablespoons of soft butter with 2 tablespoons flour until it becomes a paste. Next, whisk it into the gravy in small amounts until it reaches the desired consistency.  This is a French method called a beurre manie.
  • Store any leftover gravy in a covered jar in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. To reheat, add the gravy to a saucepan with a small amount of broth or water and set over medium-low heat until hot.
  • You can also store the gravy in a covered container in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 41Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 264mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 0gSugar: 3gProtein: 3g

Nutrition information is a guideline only. It is calculated automatically by third-party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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Pat Nyswonger

Pat is a wife, mom of four adult children, and grandmother to seventeen beautiful children. She is a self-taught home cook and loves creating delicious meals for her family and friends. Her kitchen is the hub of activity in her home, and she loves to entertain.

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