Make your bird holiday-ready with a savory turkey gravy recipe. The key to creating a perfect turkey gravy topping for your potatoes and turkey is using the flavorful drippings from your cooked turkey.

By Katlyn Moncada
Updated October 06, 2020
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Making gravy from turkey drippings is an essential part of preparing a delicious holiday meal. The time to start your gravy is while your roast turkey recipe is resting before being carved. (We recommend the Pakkawood Carving Knife and Fork Set, $59, Sur la Table.) Your cooked bird should rest outside the oven for 15 to 20 minutes before you slice into it, so you have plenty of time to complete the easy steps of your homemade turkey gravy. We'll show you how to make homemade gravy for Thanksgiving in just a few simple steps.

Turkey Drippings
Credit: Andy Lyons

Use the Turkey Drippings

After moving the turkey from the roasting pan to a cutting board for carving, pour the pan drippings from your roasting pan into a large glass measuring cup or fat separator ($15, Bed Bath & Beyond). Be sure to scrape the browned turkey bits from the pan into the cup—they're full of flavor.

Get Our Perfect Turkey Gravy Recipe

Skim the Fat and Reserve

Skim and reserve the fat from the drippings. Pour ¼ cup of fat into a 2-quart saucepan or skillet with sides. Discard any remaining fat.

Test Kitchen Tip: If you don't have ¼ cup fat from your drippings, add melted butter to make ¼ cup.

add flour to chicken gravy stir with whisk
add drippings to chicken gravy with whisk
Left: Credit: Amy Allen
Right: Credit: Amy Allen

Make a Roux and Cook the Turkey Gravy

Making a smooth turkey gravy from scratch requires a smooth turkey gravy roux. For that, you'll need equal parts fat and flour. Stir in ¼ cup all-purpose flour into your reserved fat in the saucepan.

Add enough chicken broth to the remaining drippings in the measuring cup to equal 2 cups of total liquid. Gradually add the broth mixture to the flour mixture in the saucepan while whisking to keep the roux smooth. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly—this cooks away the raw flour flavor. Then cook and stir 1 minute more.

Serve and Season the Gravy

Strain the gravy by pouring it through a fine-mesh sieve ($11, Target) into a serving dish. This is an optional step but is handy for those who prefer a silkier, lump-free gravy. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

This tried-and-true process to make a classic gravy recipe is a great way to impress your guests when hosting your next Thanksgiving or Christmas gathering. Be ready to pass that gravy boat around again to pour on the second helpings of turkey and mashed potatoes.

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