Homemade Turkey Gravy is so easy to make and absolutely delicious, especially when you use the leftover drippings from your Thanksgiving turkey. You can embrace the giblets stored inside your turkey and use the them to make a delicious giblet gravy, or leave them out if you want a turkey gravy recipe without giblets in it.

Turkey gravy in a white gravy boat being poured over turkey slices on a plate with cranberry sauce and broccoli.

We had TWO turkeys at Thanksgiving dinner when I was growing up. My mom usually hosted and we’d always have at least 30-50 people there. Mom would make one turkey and my Grandma would make the other, and they would both use the turkey drippings to make the best homemade turkey gravy!

They say the star of Thanksgiving is the turkey, but I’d argue that the Turkey Gravy and cranberry relish really make or break the meal! I’m all about “sauces” and dips and those two things are top favorites on my entire Thanksgiving plate.

I love to make a big well in my homemade mashed potatoes for the gravy, I love it over my Turkey, and I love it lightly drizzled on stuffing. Everyone always loves a smear of leftover gravy and cranberry sauce on our turkey sandwiches the next day, too.

How to make turkey gravy:

Homemade gravy is so easy and delicious.  Below are steps for making turkey gravy with or without the giblets.

What are giblets?

When you buy a turkey (or chicken), you will find the neck, heart, liver, and gizzards from the bird stored inside its cavity.  Before cooking your turkey, you should remove the giblets and set them aside.  You can use the turkey giblets to make the best homemade turkey giblet gravy!

What are drippings?

Drippings are what’s left in the roasting pan after cooking the turkey.  This includes fat that has melted and any bits of meat that have fallen off.

A saucepan with turkey gravy with giblets and a wire whisk.

How to make turkey gravy with drippings and giblets:

When you remove your giblets from the turkey, rinse them with cold water and store them in a ziplock bag in the refrigerator until you are ready to use them.

When you are ready to make your giblet gravy, place all of the neck, heart, liver, and gizzards of the turkey in a sauce pan, cover them with water and bring it to a boil.  Simmer the giblets 1 hour.

Remove the giblets, save the water, and chop the giblets into small pieces.

Boiled giblets on a cutting board next to another photo of the giblets chopped into small pieces.

When you have taken your turkey out of the oven, pour the drippings into a bowl.  Allow the fat to separate and skim it from the top of the drippings.

Add about one cup of the drippings to the roasting pan or a sauce pan.  Whisk in about ½ cup of flour and make a roux by allowing it to turn to a golden brown color.  Add broth and more drippings, stirring until it thickened, and add the giblet meat.  Season the gravy with salt and pepper and make sure to taste it to be sure it has the flavor you are looking for!

Step-by-step photos for making turkey gravy with turkey drippings, broth, flour and giblets.

 

How to make turkey gravy without giblets:

To make turkey gravy without giblets, throw the giblets from the turkey away and make turkey gravy using the drippings from the pan.

A white plate with slices of turkey covered in gravy, broccoli, and cranberry sauce.

Storing and Making Ahead of Time:

To store:  Store leftover gravy in a sealed container for 2-3 days.

To Make Ahead:  Make the gravy as directed.  Allow it to cool and store it, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.  To reheat, pour it into a saucepan and add a couple tablespoons of chicken broth or water to thin it (use your best judgement for how thin/thick you like it).  Heat it on medium low heat until warmed through (about 15 minutes).

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Recipe

Turkey gravy in a white gravy boat being poured over turkey slices on a plate with cranberry sauce and broccoli.
Prep 10 mins
Cook 10 mins
Total 20 mins
Add to Meal Plan

Ingredients
  

  • drippings from roasted turkey
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (or turkey or vegetable broth)
  • salt and pepper , to taste
  • giblets and neck of uncooked turkey , optional

Instructions
 

  • Place the neck, heart, liver, and gizzards of the turkey inside a medium size sauce pan.  Cover the giblets completely with water and bring the water to a boil.  Once boiling, simmer for 1 hour or until the meat is cooked through.
  • Next, use a slotted spoon to remove the giblets from the water and set them aside. At this point you can decide to discard the liquid from the giblet water or save a little of it to use at the very end of making your gravy if you need to make the gravy thinner. Otherwise you don't need this liquid).
  • Once the giblets have cooled, remove the livers and discard them (they add a really strong taste and flavor not many people like). Use your fingers to remove any meat from the turkey neck. Add the meat to the rest of the giblets and discard what's left of the neck. Then dice the giblets into small pieces and reserve them for the gravy.
  • When you have taken your turkey out of the oven, pour the drippings (what’s left in the roasting pan after cooking the turkey.  This includes fat that has melted and any bits of meat that have fallen off) from your turkey roasting pan into a large bowl.  (Tip the pan away from your body and be careful not to burn your self)!
  • Now let the drippings sit for a minute, allowing the fat to naturally separate from the rest of the drippings.  You will notice that the fat will rise to the top, leaving the drippings and liquid on the bottom.  Use a large spoon or ladle to skim (remove) most of the fat from the top of the the drippings. 
  • To make the gravy, use a large sauce pan and add 1 cup of drippings to the pan. 
  • Add ½ cup flour to the pan and whisk together until it makes a smooth paste. (At this point, you'll need to use a little of your own judgement.  You want a pasty consistency.  If yours seems a little greasy, add more flour).
  • When you have found the right consistency, whisk the mixture slowly over the heat as it begins to brown.  You are creating a roux.  
  • Once you get a nice golden brown color, add 4 cups of chicken broth and 1 additional cup of drippings.
  • Allow the gravy to cook, whisking constantly for about 5 to 8 minutes, or until thickened.  Then add the giblet meat.
  • At this point, decide for yourself if you like the consistency of the gravy. If the gravy is too thick, add giblets broth or drippings liquid.  If gravy is too thin, cook for about 10 minutes. If it's still thin, add a cornstarch slurry (mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water and then add to the gravy). Continue heating until gravy thickens to desired consistency.
  • Once your happy with the consistency of your gravy, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and enjoy!
  • Store leftover gravy covered, in the refrigerator.

Notes

Find all THANKSGIVING recipes HERE.
To store:  Store leftover gravy in a sealed container for 2-3 days.
To Make Ahead:  Make the gravy as directed.  Allow it to cool and store it, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.  To reheat, pour it into a saucepan and add a couple tablespoons of chicken broth or water to thin it (use your best judgement for how thin/thick you like it).  Heat it on medium low heat until warmed through (about 15 minutes).
 
*Gravy recipe adapted from the Pioneer Woman

Nutrition

Calories: 25kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 1gSodium: 18mgPotassium: 58mgCalcium: 3mgIron: 0.3mg

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Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. The flavor was good, but I skimmed all the fat from the drippings, and so my roux never got that toasty golden brown. Next time I’ll include a few tablespoons of the fat.

  2. 5 stars
    First time cooking Thanksgiving dinner. I used this gravy and the Easy No-fuss turkey recipe. Both the Turkey and Gravy were perfect. I left out the giblets and only used dippings from the pan and turned out incredible. So easy. Thanks so much!

  3. 5 stars
    I ama a half Italian half American woman who lives in Italy and started cooking a Thanksgiving turkey only three years ago to honor my American roots. I have always made only corn bread and salads, but since I once cooked a turkey following your recipe I can’t let anyone else do it. Easy and very good! Thank you, my Thanksgivings have become more delicious ever since

  4. I am a 45 year old woman who has never cooked a turkey, much less made an entire Thanksgiving meal (My family are all excellent cooks, so I have been relegated to “salad maker” and “drink bringer”!). My infant daughter and I couldn’t make to see family this year, so I decided this was my time to go for it! I cooked a 15lb turkey using your Easy No Fuss recipe, and made the Turkey Gravy, Sausage Cranberry Pecan Stuffing, and Sauted Brussel Sprouts with Cranberries and Pecans. Everything turned out wonderful! I can cook! Honestly, I think it was the tastiest Thanksgiving meal I’ve ever had (and *I* made it all!). What a fantastic day. Thank you so much for these recipies- easy to follow, lots of pictures, helpful tips, just perfect for this novice cook. I sent pictures to the whole family and have a newfound excitement about cooking from scratch. Truly- thank you.

  5. Question, so do you discard the turkey broth that you made from boiling the neck and giblets? Then when you make the gravy you use the chicken broth/ stock on the roux? Is that right?

    1. Yes, discard the water from cooking the giblets and use the turkey dripping from roasting your turkey and chicken broth.

  6. I am making the gravy for the first time, MIL usually makes, but COVID! Can I use the water from cooking the giblets instead of the broth? I won’t be adding the meat to the gravy tho. Also can you use cornstarch instead of the flour? I’d love to make it ahead, so I can spend more time with family!

    1. Hi Leslie, if you don’t have the broth from the turkey then I would substitute chicken broth. (The water from the giblets wont be flavorful enough on it’s own–you definitely need broth :-).)

  7. Sounds great. Excited to try this. What do you do with the giblet water? Do you use that instead of chix broth? Thank you!

  8. Any tips to get more drippings from the turkey pan? I’ve followed these recipes around 5 times already (and I love them) but I always feel like i rarely get any drippings and when I do it’s mostly fat! I was wondering if you had any advice! Thanks in advance!

    1. The liquid you get is sort of case by case depending on your turkey, vegetable rack at the bottom, etc. Just get as many drippings as you can, use chicken broth and it will be flavorful and yummy!

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