How to Make Turkey Gravy That's Lump-Free and Full of Flavor

Dress your holiday bird to impress with a silky, savory, lump-free gravy made from flavorful turkey drippings.

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. 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 make your homemade turkey gravy while it rests. We'll show you the simple steps that will take your Thanksgiving gravy from fine to fabulous.

turkey drippings fat pan wooden spoon
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 ($17, Bed Bath & Beyond). Be sure to scrape the browned turkey bits from the pan into the cup—they're full of flavor.

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.

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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