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January 16, 2024

Turkey Gravy

In a few simple steps, impress your family with homemade turkey gravy so good, you’ll never settle for gravy from the can again!

Categories

  • Fall
  • Thanksgiving
homemade turkey gravy seasoned with thyme, bay leaf and parsley being poured over turkey and mashed potatoes
Photography by Gayle McLeod

The Best Homemade Turkey Gravy

We’re here to give you all the deets on how to make the absolute best turkey gravy. Rich and silky, this easy turkey gravy recipe is here to be poured over whatever your heart desires. May we suggest a pile of steaming mashed potatoes? While this can be considered “make ahead” turkey gravy, it’s so simple that you can make it the day of. Creating a rich homemade turkey stock with carrots, onions, celery, and thyme makes sure your gravy flavor is complex and darn delicious – almost as good as grandma’s turkey gravy recipe. You might even be the new “turkey gravy from scratch” maker in the group.

carrot, celery, onion, spices, turkey necks, flour, butter, olive oil & chicken bouillon in bowl to make turkey gravy

What is the Secret to Good Gravy?

Wondering what to add to turkey gravy to make it taste better? Look no further. One of our all-time favorite secret tips is to make turkey gravy from drippings! The easiest way to get turkey drippings is from roasted turkey. Just save all the delicious flavorful juices from this Perfect Roasted Turkey Recipe or Roasted Spatchcocked Turkey, strain em’, and add em’ right in. Our second most asked question to making the best turkey gravy: is turkey gravy better with flour or cornstarch? We understand the dilemma and while some turkey gravy recipes might call for cornstarch, we’re team flour on TMP. Why? Creating a deep roux, a mix of butter and flour (and, in this case, turkey drippings!), we build a base layer of golden brown flavor. It also creates the ideal thickness – when you pick up your spoon, it should coat the back and leave a glossy finish.

a pot of homemade turkey gravy seasoned with thyme, bay leaf and parsley being stirred with a wooden spoon

What Do You Need for Turkey Gravy

This gravy for turkey recipe is super simple yet packed with flavor. With only a few staple ingredients, and in just about an hour and a half, you’ll have foolproof, rich, flavorful gravy.

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • Turkey necks

  • Fresh thyme

  • Bay leaf

  • Fresh Italian parsley

  • Onion

  • Celery

  • Carrot

  • Chicken bouillon

  • Pan drippings (from a roast turkey)

  • Unsalted butter

  • Flour

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly cracked black pepper

homemade turkey gravy seasoned with thyme, bay leaf and parsley on top of  turkey and mashed potatoes

What Can I Serve with Gravy?

The easy answer to this question is EVERYTHING. It makes a great sauce for anything mashed, smashed, or fried. But really, we like to pour it over Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, or any roasted veggie (helloooRoasted Butternut Squash!). We especially like a big bowl on the Thanksgiving table to douse over our Cornbread Stuffing or Green Bean Almondine. All year long we devour this easy turkey gravy over Homemade French Fries and use it as a sauce to dip in our homemade biscuits like these Bacon and Cheddar Biscuits. We could never forget the OG way to use the best turkey gravy, an open-faced turkey sandwich, which we make with leftover turkey from Perfect Roast Turkey Recipe. The possibilities are endless.

How to Make Turkey Gravy

Don’t let the turkey necks intimidate you: we promise this will be the only turkey gravy recipe you use. Fresh, flavorful turkey stock combines with turkey drippings and a deep roux to create the most luxurious, gravy you’ve ever tasted.

  1. Make the turkey stock! Brown the turkey necks to release all the caramelized yummy bits, then add in all the fresh herbs, seasonings, veggies, and water. Bring to a boil then reduce for about an hour. Pro tip: prepare the rest of your dishes while you wait.

  2. Create a deep roux! Combine the butter and tasty turkey drippings. Slowly whisk in the flour and cook until golden brown and smells fragrant. This will be used as a thickening agent to create a full-bodied gravy.

  3. Combine! Slowly add in the stock little by little to not break the roux. Whisk continuously until all the stock has been added. Bring to a simmer for about 5 minutes. When it reaches your desired consistency, remove it from the heat. Keep in mind when cooled, it’ll become thicker.

homemade turkey gravy seasoned with thyme, bay leaf and parsley on top of  turkey and mashed potatoes

Tools You’ll Need For Gravy for Turkey

Our Favorite Turkey Recipes

Why save turkey for Thanksgiving when we can enjoy it all year long? We’ve made a list of 10 Best Ground Turkey Recipes but we love turkey in all forms. Try:

When in Doubt, Add Gravy!

Our favorite part of the week is seeing all the delicious recipes you tag us in! We can’t think of a better way to celebrate the holiday season than with gravy! Take a picture of your turkey gravy and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

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Turkey Gravy

  • Serves: 8
  • Yields: 4 cups
  • Prep Time:  5 min
  • Cook Time:  1 hr 15 min

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 turkey necks
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 medium yellow onion, quartered
  • 2 celery ribs, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup pan drippings from a roast turkey
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, plus more to taste

Method

  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is glistening, add the turkey necks and cook until golden brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add 5 cups of water along with the thyme, bay leaf, parsley, onion, celery, carrots and bouillon, stir to combine. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low and simmer uncovered until the turkey neck is cooked through, and the stock is slightly reduced, about 60 minutes.

  2. Place a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl and strain the stock, set aside.

  3. Heat the same pot over medium-high heat. Add the butter along with the turkey pan drippings and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, sprinkle in the flour and whisk continuously until smooth and golden brown, about 3-4 minutes.

  4. Very slowly whisk in the turkey stock, until combined. Season with salt and pepper. Increase the heat to medium and simmer, whisking occasionally until the gravy has thickened, about 5 minutes. Serve warm.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories242
  • Protein4 g
  • Carbohydrates9 g
  • Total Fat21 g
  • Dietary Fiber1 g
  • Cholesterol35 mg
  • sodium202 mg
  • Total Sugars2 g

Turkey Gravy

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

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  • Anna

    If I already have homemade turkey stock, how much will I need?

    I would say 3-4 cups.

  • Jenn

    Fantastic Gravy!

    Thank you! Glad you liked it!