This homemade turkey gravy recipe makes incredibly flavorful gravy from the turkey drippings and just a few pantry staples. It’s the best I have ever tried (no exaggeration), and it’s also incredibly easy to make.

Whether you’re making a traditional Roast Turkey or a Spatchcock Turkey, you’ll be left with drippings that encompass all of the wonderful flavors and seasonings you’ve added to your bird. Then, just whisk in flour and milk, and there you have homemade gravy to round out your Thanksgiving menu.

gravy from drippings in a gravy boat

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Homemade Turkey Gravy

There’s a funny thing about homemade gravy, the folks at your holiday table will remember it because the store-bought packet mixes and canned gravy can’t compete. I must have refilled my plate with Mashed Potatoes three times just to have more of the gravy.

After seasoning a turkey and cooking for hours, you’ll only need 5 more minutes to whip up this gravy recipe. Once you try this, you’ll never toss those turkey drippings again; liquid gold, my friends. Liquid gold.

Turkey Gravy Video

Watch how easy it is to whisk together this gravy using turkey drippings. Natasha’s fool-proof recipe comes together in just minutes.

Ingredients

Save those precious turkey drippings and add only a few pantry staples for this easy homemade gravy recipe.

  • Flour – all-purpose works best, but you can substitute gluten-free 1:1 flour 
  • Drippings from turkey – separate the fat from the drippings using a fat separator, or by skimming the fat off the top with a spoon. If you don’t have enough from the bird, add butter to the fat and/or chicken stock or turkey stock to the drippings until you have enough for the recipe
  • Milk – gives it a creamier texture, but you can leave it out or substitute water or chicken broth if desired
  • Salt and pepper – taste before seasoning, since the drippings have already been seasoned

Substitutions

Try these substitutions to make the gravy recipe fit your tastes:

  • Gluten-Free – Replace the flour with gluten-free 1:1 flour
  • Instead of drippings – Use butter and stock if you don’t have turkey drippings. Add sautéed garlic and shallot before making the roux to compensate for the missing flavor
  • Add seasonings – Try thyme, parsley, poultry seasoning, sage, or rosemary.
  • How to make giblet gravy – Boil giblets in water for an hour then strain and add the resulting broth to the drippings. Then mince the giblets (except the liver) and stir into the finished gravy if desired.
flour, milk, and turkey pan drippings to make sauce for thanksgiving

Pro Tip:

To make more gravy, simply increase the flour and grease drippings proportionately, because the roux is made with equal parts fat and flour. Add more stock or water to reach the desired consistency.

How to Make Turkey Gravy from Scratch

After cooking your turkey, use flour and the turkey drippings to create a roux, then thin it with milk and enjoy! Here are the easy-to-follow directions:

Prepare the Drippings

  • Strain drippings from the turkey roasting pan through a fine mesh sieve into a large measuring cup, then discard anything you catch in the sieve. Let drippings in the measuring cup rest for a minute, so the fat will float to the top and the broth will sink to the bottom.
  • Skim off 3 Tbsp of fat (or more if doubling the recipe) and transfer into a medium saucepan. If you don’t have enough, use butter until you get 3 Tbsp., then skim off and discard the excess fat left in the measuring cup. Measure out 2 cups of the remaining broth drippings. Add more chicken broth or water to equal 2 cups.
how to strain the pan drippings from a roasted turkey to make turkey gravy

Make the Gravy with Pan Drippings

  • Heat the saucepan with fat drippings over medium heat. Once fat starts to sizzle, whisk in 3 Tbsp flour and stir until well combined. Continue whisking until the mixture is starting to turn a light golden brown and begins to smell nutty or like cereal.
  • Gradually pour the 2 cups of broth drippings into your saucepan, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Bring to a light boil while whisking.
  • Add more milk, broth, or water to taste (this helps if your gravy seems too salty or too thick), and continue to simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm until ready to serve, then transfer to a gravy boat or serving dish.
How to make sauce using a roux for Thanksgiving dinner

How to Thin Gravy

To thin the gravy, add more liquid, but be aware that it’s easy to thin, but more difficult to thicken the gravy without getting a floury taste, so add liquid slowly.

How to Thicken Gravy

To thicken the gravy, stir in a cornstarch slurry (mix 1 Tbsp of cornstarch with 2 Tbsp cold water to make the slurry). The gravy will thicken as it cools, so consider that when serving the gravy.

Common Questions

What is a roux?

This turkey gravy is thickened with a roux, a mixture of fat and flour in equal proportions that is used to thicken many sauces. Using flour to thicken the gravy is better than cornstarch because it reheats better and doesn’t leave an aftertaste.

Can I make this gravy without pan drippings?

Sure, use butter in place of fat, and chicken broth or turkey broth in place of the drippings. Be sure to add seasoning if you go this route, because you won’t have the drippings to flavor the gravy—try sautéing shallots and garlic in the pan before making the roux. To add more flavor, try making our easy mushroom gravy.

Why is my gravy lumpy?

Be sure to use a whisk rather than a wooden spoon to constantly stir the flour. The secret to smooth gravy is to add the pan drippings slowly while whisking to help incorporate the flour without causing it to clump. You can also try sifting the flour.

To fix lumpy gravy, simply pour the gravy through a fine mesh sieve before serving and discard the lumps.

Can I double the recipe?

Absolutely! It’s simple to double this turkey gravy recipe by increasing the flour and grease drippings proportionally. Add more turkey stock or chicken stock to reach your desired consistency.

Thanksgiving sauce made with pan drippings in a serving dish

To Serve Turkey Gravy

Gravy is a staple on most Thanksgiving menus, and this homemade turkey gravy will be the star! We serve it warm in a gravy boat for easy pouring.

Of course, we use gravy to dress our turkey and mashed potatoes, but if a few drips (or more) end up on our stuffing, Dinner Rolls, and Brussels sprouts, we won’t be at all upset. If you have any leftovers after Thanksgiving, try the gravy with these delicious recipes:

Make-Ahead

To make the gravy ahead, you’ll need to substitute the turkey drippings. See our tips for making gravy without drippings above.

  • To Refrigerate: Store cooled gravy in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
  • Freezing: freeze for up to 4 months
  • To Reheat: thaw the gravy in the refrigerator overnight, then heat in a saucepan on the stove over low heat so it won’t curdle, or microwave in 15-second intervals until warm. Add chicken stock or water to thin, if necessary.
Thanksgiving turkey gravy recipe in a gravy dish with a ladle

Our easy turkey gravy recipe uses pan drippings to create a savory rich sauce to compliment all your Thanksgiving dishes. You’ll never go back to store-bought mixes or cans when you see how easy and tasty it is to make yours at home!

More Thanksgiving Recipes

This gravy is always on our Thanksgiving menu. Here are a few of our other favorite classic Thanksgiving dishes:

Turkey Gravy Recipe

4.99 from 110 votes
Author: Natasha Kravchuk
Turkey gravy in gravy boat with turkey in background
Hands down, the best turkey gravy. Try this and you'll never toss those turkey drippings again! This turkey gravy makes 2 1/4 cups gravy. You can scale up by adding more fat drippings or butter along with flour and stock.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 8 people
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour, or use Gluten-Free 1:1 flour
  • 3 Tbsp fat drippings from roasted turkey
  • 2 cups turkey drippings, skimmed of fat (add water or broth if needed to make 2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup milk, stock, or water, or added to desired consistency
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Once your Thanksgiving turkey has been transferred from the roasting pan and is resting, make your turkey gravy. Strain all drippings from the turkey pan through a fine mesh sieve into a large measuring cup. Discard anything you catch in the sieve. Let drippings in the measuring cup rest for a minute, the fat will float to the top and the broth will sink to the bottom.
  • Skim off 3 Tbsp of fat and transfer into a medium saucepan (add butter if you don't have 3 Tbsp). Skim off and discard excess fat left in the measuring cup. You should have about 2 cups of drippings left in the measuring cup after the fat is removed. Add more water or broth if needed to make 2 cups.
  • Set the saucepan over medium heat. Once the oil is starting to sizzle, whisk in 3 Tbsp flour and stir until well combined. Continue whisking until the mixture is starting to turn a light golden brown, about 2 minutes.
  • Gradually pour the remaining broth from drippings into your saucepan, whisking constantly. Bring to a light boil while continuing to whisk.
  • Add 1/4 cup milk, stock, or water to your desired consistency and taste, and simmer for 5 min. Season with salt and pepper to taste if needed. Remove from heat, cover with a lid, and keep warm until ready to serve, then transfer gravy to a gravy boat to serve. It will thicken slightly as it cools.

Notes

To thin the gravy, add more liquid, but be aware that it’s easy to thin, but more difficult to thicken the gravy without getting a floury taste, so add liquid slowly.
To thicken the gravy, stir in a cornstarch slurry. Make the slurry by mixing 1 Tbsp of cornstarch with 2 Tbsp cold water.

Nutrition Per Serving

65kcal Calories3g Carbs1g Protein6g Fat1g Saturated Fat2g Polyunsaturated Fat3g Monounsaturated Fat0.02g Trans Fat2mg Cholesterol221mg Sodium25mg Potassium0.1g Fiber1g Sugar14IU Vitamin A12mg Calcium0.2mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Turkey Gravy Recipe
Amount per Serving
Calories
65
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
6
g
9
%
Saturated Fat
 
1
g
6
%
Trans Fat
 
0.02
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
2
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
3
g
Cholesterol
 
2
mg
1
%
Sodium
 
221
mg
10
%
Potassium
 
25
mg
1
%
Carbohydrates
 
3
g
1
%
Fiber
 
0.1
g
0
%
Sugar
 
1
g
1
%
Protein
 
1
g
2
%
Vitamin A
 
14
IU
0
%
Calcium
 
12
mg
1
%
Iron
 
0.2
mg
1
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Condiments, Sauce
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Turkey Gravy
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $
Calories: 65
Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

 

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the creator behind Natasha's Kitchen (established in 2009), and I share family-friendly, authentic recipes. I am a New York Times Best-Selling cookbook author and a trusted video personality in the culinary world. My husband, Vadim, and I run this blog together, ensuring every recipe we share is thoroughly tested and approved. Our mission is to provide you with delicious, reliable recipes you can count on. Thanks for stopping by! I am so happy you are here.

Read more posts by Natasha

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Recipe Rating




Comments

  • Melissa
    November 14, 2023

    Great recipe – easy to make and absolutely delicious. 10/10 We’ve made your recipe for years everyone loves it!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      November 14, 2023

      That’s wonderful, Melissa!

      Reply

  • jess
    November 14, 2023

    this was literally so easy and super tasty! thank you so much for sharin this amazing recipe!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 14, 2023

      You’re welcome! I’m so happy you enjoyed it, Jess!

      Reply

  • Bonnie Palinkas
    November 14, 2023

    Hi Natasha
    Can I double up your turkey gravy recipe? I have approximately 20 people coming for dinner.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 14, 2023

      Hi Bonnie, if you have enough turkey drippings that should work well! I hope you love this recipe!

      Reply

  • Brenda
    December 24, 2022

    Merry Christmas just wanted to say your recipes are amazing ! I’m doing 2 turkeys this year so I thought I’d do one this evening and as I’m rubbing just butter on the outside of the bird you came into my head , so I looked you up and thought oh I’m going to do this so I did we will see what happens tomarrow morning making your gravey as well I’m sure it will taste amazing can’t wait

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 25, 2022

      Aww, thank you, Brenda! Merry Christmas to you!

      Reply

  • Diana Morrison
    December 23, 2022

    Meant to leave this after Thanksgiving…I’m 75 and been making Thanksgiving dinner for a LONG time. Natasha, this was the BEST turkey I’ve ever had thanks to your recipe. BTW, I’m making it again for Christmas dinner! Thank you for sharing.
    D. Morrison/Hoschton, GA

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 23, 2022

      That’s wonderful, Diana! So glad you loved this recipe. Thank you for sharing.

      Reply

  • Martine Gibbons
    December 19, 2022

    I follow your recipes SO often!! Your instructions are easy to understand & nothing takes too long nor have too many ingredients. Everything turns out perfectly! Thank you!!!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 19, 2022

      That’s wonderful, Martine! So glad you loved the recipe.

      Reply

  • Lynn
    November 26, 2022

    I used your roast Turkey and gravy recipes. Both turned out great! Our wonderful turkey was moist and flavorful. The gravy was the best, next year I will double ( or maybe 2 1/2 times) the recipe. Thank-you!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 26, 2022

      That’s just awesome! Thank you for sharing your wonderful review, Lynn!

      Reply

  • Natalia
    November 24, 2022

    Fifth year of trying to make a juicy Turkey and finely I found my go to receipt .
    Thank you so much .
    My family was obsessed with this year Turkey .
    I’ve cooked 23 pound bird and followed the ingredients from one of the comment Natasha’s mentioned . Worked fantastic .

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      November 24, 2022

      That’s wonderful, Natalia! I’m so glad to hear that.

      Reply

  • Nancy Jones
    November 22, 2022

    This looks so much easier then my mom’s turkey giblet gravy with home made turkey stock that I will make tomorrow . Actually, the gravy is easier to make then yours, it is the stock that takes awhile but it is my mom’s recipe.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      November 22, 2022

      No worries, I hope you will love our recipe too!

      Reply

      • Kris
        November 23, 2022

        My sister’s friend had to cook his turkey ahead of time. He decided to place broth(turkey or chicken) in the turkey before cooking it. This helps with creating plenty of extra gravy. She is trying it tomorrow.

        Reply

        • Natashas Kitchen
          November 23, 2022

          I hope it turns our great!

          Reply

  • Tangie NP
    November 20, 2022

    I try my Turkey so I don’t have drippings. One trick is to make ahead some Turkey wings/drumsticks for drippings. Just salt.pepper then, roast on 400 for 1.5 hr in a roasting pan. I use a bit of dry white wine to deglaze and then I refrigerate so it separates. I also make my own Turkey broth and use those two amazing things for the gravy.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      November 20, 2022

      Thank you so much for sharing that with us, so helpful!

      Reply

  • Kelly
    November 7, 2022

    You have to scape the brown bits from the roasting pan into the drippings!!! If you don’t, you’re missing TONS of flavor!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      November 7, 2022

      Thanks for reminding us, Kelly!

      Reply

  • Star P
    December 15, 2021

    I made an absolutely perfect turkey following the recipe. So I had to give the gravy a try. Being only the second time I’ve ever made homemade gravy I half expected to fail. But it seriously was the most delicious part of the meal and really made everything come together. Thank you so much for the awesome and easy recipe!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      December 17, 2021

      I’m so happy you loved the gravy! Turkey gravy absolutely makes the meal for me and it’s so easy if you have the drippings.

      Reply

  • Denis Shcherbakov
    November 26, 2021

    Excellent gravy recipe to go with your roast turkey recipe. Wow. Really loved the richness of flavor. I only got 1/2 cup of drippings from the turkey and had to get the other 1 and 1/2 cup from chicken broth, which I enriched with turkey giblets and some mushrooms. Flavor was excellent and smoothness was perfect. Thank you!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 27, 2021

      Thank you so much for sharing that lovely review with me, Denis!.

      Reply

  • Joel Lehr
    November 25, 2021

    OMG!!!! I just tried this. First time making proper gravy from drippings. IT IS AMAZING!!! Thank you Natasha.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 25, 2021

      You’re welcome! I’m so happy you enjoyed it, Joel!

      Reply

  • Patti
    November 24, 2021

    Your turkey recipe was wonderful. I did modify it some because my mom watches her salt consumption and it was still delicious. Under the skin, I only used regular salted butter and only about half as much butter as the recipe called for.
    Inside the turkey, I stuffed it with the onion, garlic and parsley. I did salt and pepper the outside. I did not use any lemon at all inside or outside.
    The turkey was moist and delicious!
    I wanted to write this post just to say this recipe is so good even when you modify the flavors.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      November 25, 2021

      Hello Patti, nice to know that you enjoyed this recipe and thank you for sharing that with us!

      Reply

    • Wanda Brown
      November 8, 2023

      Hi Natasha, I’m not cooking the turkey this year so I won’t have drippings. Is there something else I can use that will give it a flavor?

      Reply

      • NatashasKitchen.com
        November 9, 2023

        Hi Wanda! You can use broth for more flavor.

        Reply

  • Peter Egan
    November 20, 2021

    Hi Natasha , A trick I use to remove fat – after removing turkey , heat up drippings , add ice cubes and watch the fat cling to the cubes. Works every time. Then just discard ice with fat hanging on.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 20, 2021

      Great idea! Thank you so much for sharing that with me.

      Reply

  • Yvonne Patton
    November 16, 2021

    Hi there – love your recipes but just got diagnosed with a gluten sensitivity (groan). Is there anything I could substitute for the flour to make gravy? Thanks

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 16, 2021

      Hi Yvonne, cornstarch may work. Usually, you would use half of the amount of cornstarch instead of flour. I have not tested it in this recipe so let me know how it goes if you try it.

      Reply

  • Franky
    October 25, 2021

    Hi Natasha,

    I made this recipe last year and it was phenomenal. This year I need to double this recipe and although Tim sure I’ll have enough fat, I probably won’t have enough broth from the turkey, do you think adding extra broth to be able to double this recipe would work?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      October 26, 2021

      Hi Franky, You could add more broth to increase the overall amount but it will dilute the flavor a bit. It would still taste great but not as rich in flavor if you double it.

      Reply

  • Audrey
    December 28, 2020

    I had more than enough turkey drippings so did add any water. Very easy to make and very tasty. My only mistake is that I added in salt without first tasting the turkey drippings. The gravy was a bit salty. It advisable to first taste the gravy before adding in salt.

    Reply

    • Audrey
      December 28, 2020

      Forgot to rate it in my first comment. I give this recipe a five star.

      Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 28, 2020

      I’m so happy you enjoyed that. Thank you for sharing that with us!

      Reply

  • Debbie Hawkins
    December 26, 2020

    Hi Natasha – so happy I found you!!! My normal Christmas is extremely busy with kids and grandkids and me wanting to spend time with them when they are with us… I usually just buy a butterball, make stovetop stuffing, and make mashed potatoes from a box, and canned gravy – lol but because of covid It was just my husband, my daughter, and a neighbour who lives alone. Soooo I had lots of time to finally make a GREAT Christmas Dinner – Your juicy roast turkey was absolutely incredible – as was the gravy, and mashed potatoes…… My husband raved and raved about how good everything was – “This is the BEST Christmas Dinner EVER!!!!” They were so full from the dinner there was NO room for his favourite – your pumpkin pie. (Had it later with rum and eggnog lol). I have learned so much from you (and thank you for the videos which helps immensely.) I am a true follower. I am so proud that I can actually cook such incredible meals following your step by step directions!!!! Looking forward to many more!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 26, 2020

      Awww, that’s the best! Thank you so much for sharing that with me, Debbie! I’m glad your Christmas dinner turned out perfect!

      Reply

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