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Turkey Neck Gravy

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Transform your Thanksgiving feast with a secret ingredient often overlooked – the turkey neck. Our turkey neck gravy recipe brings out a rich and savory flavor that perfectly complements your holiday spread.

By using the turkey neck, you can prepare your gravy in advance, saving those precious moments on the big day. No more last-minute scrambling after the turkey is out of the oven! This gravy gives you the rich, savory flavors that you get from a roasted turkey but it saves you precious time because you can make it ahead.

A serving plate with mashed potatoes and gravy being poured on the potatoes. A napkin and side salad in the background.

Turkey neck gravy is a great side dish for your Thanksgiving meal. The turkey neck makes a rich, savory broth and is an inexpensive way to make a delicious gravy, as the turkey neck is usually discarded.

Why You’ll Love This Homemade Turkey Gravy Recipe

Turkey neck gravy is a rich and flavorful sauce that is traditionally made with the neck and optional giblets of the turkey. It’s a delicious and versatile condiment that can be enjoyed with a variety of dishes, including mashed potatoes, stuffing, and turkey itself.

  • Delicious. Turkey neck gravy is a rich and flavorful sauce that is sure to please your taste buds. It is the perfect addition to any Thanksgiving or Christmas meal.
  • Versatile. Turkey neck gravy can be enjoyed with a variety of side dishes, including mashed potatoes, stuffing, roasted vegetables, and even on the turkey meat itself. It’s a great way to add flavor to your favorite Thanksgiving and Christmas dishes.
  • Easy to make. This old fashioned gravy is a relatively easy recipe to make.
  • Get the most out of your Thanksgiving turkey. If your fresh or frozen turkey came with neck or giblets, you can use them to make this delicious gravy.

Ingredients for Turkey Gravy With Turkey Necks – With or Without Giblets

Usually, you’ll find a sealed packet inside one of the neck cavity of a defrosted or fresh turkey. That packet includes a raw turkey neck as well as some giblets. The turkey neck makes a wonderful stock to make your turkey gravy with. The giblets are more of an acquired taste, but are a tradition to add to many family’s holiday turkey gravy.

If you use the giblets also, add them to the pot with the turkey neck and proceed with the recipe. At the very end of the gravy making, the giblets are usually minced up small and added back to the gravy right before serving.

To make turkey neck gravy, you will need the following ingredients:

For Homemade Turkey Neck Broth

  • Turkey neck
  • Garlic cloves, peeled and sliced lengthwise
  • Onion, peeled and quartered
  • Fresh herb bundle, tied with a string (bouquet garni)
  • Lemon zest strips from one lemon
  • Chicken, vegetable broth or water
  • Bay leaves

For The Turkey Neck or Turkey Giblet Gravy

  • Butter or other fat such as bacon fat
  • All-purpose flour
  • Hot turkey neck broth
Ingredients used to make turkey neck gravy.

Full ingredient amounts and directions are in the recipe card below.

How To Make Turkey Neck Gravy

Making gravy from turkey necks is a relatively easy process. This recipe makes a medium thick gravy. The gravy will thicken the longer it cooks. Here are the basic steps, starting with making the turkey stock first, then making the gravy recipe. If including giblets to make giblet gravy (neck, gizzard, heart, and liver), include them with the simmering chicken broth, water, or other liquid:

  1. In a 6-quart Dutch oven or large saucepan, add the turkey necks, onion, garlic, lemon zest and the bundle of herbs.  Pour the chicken broth into the pot and add the bay leaves.  Bring the pot to a boil, then immediately reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 hour. 
  2. Remove the pot from the heat, transfer the turkey neck to a plate and discard the onions and bay leaves. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve and discard the remaining solids. Return the broth to the pot. Keep the broth simmering on a back burner until needed. 

A turkey neck, vegetables and herbs in a pot with chicken broth being added. The finished broth in a pot with a serving spoon.

Process Steps

  1. Add the butter or fat to a skillet or saucepan set over medium heat and when it has melted, stir in the flour, mashing it to combine. Cook, stirring constantly, until the roux begins to turn a golden brown and releases a nutty fragrance, about 5 minutes. 
  2. Using a whisk, and whisking constantly, pour in the hot broth.  Continue to cook and whisking until the neck gravy thickens, about 2-3 minutes.  

TIP – The standard formula for a roux-based gravy to make 1 cup of gravy is 2:2:1 (2 tablespoons of flour, 2 tablespoons fat and 1 cup of broth), use this formula to make any quantity of gravy.

Adding flour to a butter in a skillet. Stirring the flour and butter to make a roux.
A skillet with the cooked roux and a tablespoon. A pitcher pouring broth into the cooked roux.
a skillet of turkey gravy and a wire whisk. Salt and pepper grinder in the background.

Serving Suggestions

Turkey neck gravy is most popular during the Thanksgiving season. However, it can be made at any time of year. Turkey gravy is also a great way to add flavor to your everyday meals like Shepherds Pie, Mashed Potatoes, Pork Loin Roasts, and Turkey Pot Pie.

Additional recipes that complement this turkey neck gravy are:

A pitcher of turkey gravy on a saucer with a spoon. A napkin and flowers in the background.

Substitutions and Variations

Here are a few substitutions and variations when making gravy with turkey necks:

  • You can add other vegetables like shallots, celery, carrot, and mushrooms to flavor the broth.
  • You can also add herbs and spices to the gravy, such as thyme, sage, or a pinch of poultry seasoning blend.
  • For a creamier gravy, add 1/2 cup of heavy cream or half-and-half at the end of cooking.

Storage Options

  • Turkey neck gravy can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • It can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
  • To reheat the gravy, simply thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and then heat it over low heat in a saucepan until warmed through.

Tips For Success

  • For a richer flavor, brown the turkey neck in the butter before simmering to make stock or broth.
  • To make a smoother gravy, strain it through a fine-mesh sieve before serving.
  • If the gravy gets too thick, add more chicken or turkey broth to thin it down.
  • If you like, you can pick the meat off of the turkey neck and add it to the gravy after it has been cooked.
  • Giblets are optional. If you like them, boil them with the neck when making the turkey broth, then return them finely diced after straining the gravy and serving.

More Great Recipes

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know when the gravy is thickened?

The gravy is thickened when it coats the back of a spoon and has cooked for at least 5 minutes.

What if the gravy is too thin?

Combine a tablespoon of flour into a jar or mixing bowl with 3 tablespoons of cold water. Whisk or shake to mix, ensuring there are no lumps. Whisk into the simmering gravy, stirring constantly while adding the water and flour thickening mixture. Bring to a boil, the reduce to medium and simmer for 5 minutes so the the flour is cooked completely.

What is the difference between turkey neck gravy and turkey gravy?

Turkey neck gravy is made with the turkey neck, while traditional turkey gravy is made with the turkey drippings. Turkey neck gravy is typically richer and more flavorful than turkey gravy.

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Gravy being poured over mashed potatoes.

Turkey Neck Gravy

No turkey drippings? No problem! This is how to make a savory turkey gravy from the turkey neck, a flour roux and broth.
5 from 3 votes
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 2 Cups
Calories: 145kcal
Author: Pat Nyswonger

Ingredients

  • 1 turkey neck
  • 1 medium onion peeled and quartered
  • 3 garlic cloves peeled and sliced lengthwise
  • Fresh herb bundle tied with a string (bouquet garni)
  • Lemon zest strips from one lemon
  • 6 cups chicken vegetable broth or water
  • 3 bay leaves
  • For the Turkey Gravy:
  • 4 tablespoons butter or other fat such as bacon fat
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups hot turkey neck broth

Instructions

For the Turkey Neck Broth:

  • In a 6-quart Dutch oven or large saucepan, add the turkey neck, onion, garlic, lemon zest and the bundle of herbs.  Pour the chicken broth into the pot and add the bay leaves.  Bring the pot to a boil, then immediately reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 hour. 
  • Remove the pot from the heat, transfer the turkey neck to a plate and discard the onions and bay leaves. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve and discard the remaining solids. Return the broth to the pot. Keep the broth simmering on a back burner until needed. 

To Make The Turkey Gravy:

  • Add the butter or fat to a skillet or saucepan set over medium heat and when it has melted, stir in the flour, mashing it to combine. Cook, stirring constantly, until the roux begins to turn a golden brown and releases a nutty fragrance, about 5 minutes. 
  • Using a whisk, and whisking constantly, pour in the hot broth.  Continue to cook and whisking until the gravy thickens, about 2-3 minutes.  

Notes

  • The standard formula for a roux-based gravy to make 1 cup of gravy is 2:2:1 (2 tablespoons of flour, 2 tablespoons fat and 1 cup of broth), use this formula to make any quantity of gravy.
  • This recipe makes a medium thick gravy. The gravy will thicken the longer it cooks.
  • To make a darker colored gravy add a few drops of gravy browning sauce.
  • You will find browning sauces available in most major supermarkets under names like Kitchen Bouquet and Gravy Master. It only takes a small amount to transform a pale colored sauce/gravy to a rich appetizing color.
  • A bouquet garni can be made with either fresh herbs, tied together with a string or dried herbs wrapped and tied in cheesecloth. Any combination of herbs may be used, however, the classic French bouquet garni is a combination of parsley, thyme and bay leaves.
  • Adding the hot broth and whisking will prevent lumps from forming in the sauce.  
  • If you like, you can pick the meat off of the turkey neck and add it to the gravy after it has been cooked.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 145kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 128mg | Sugar: 1g

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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