The Best Turkey Gravy is the most flavorful one, and it’s made from the pan drippings after roasting the turkey. There are only four ingredients in this simple gravy recipe, and the pan dripping are by far the most important one! I include a few very important tips to get the best tasting drippings, which will in turn give you the best tasting turkey gravy.
The Best Turkey Gravy
It’s officially that time of year. I spend all eleven months looking forward to this one day. I’m talking of course about Thanksgiving! I feel like Halloween and Christmas get all the love, while Thanksgiving usually gets pushed to the sidelines. For me, I can’t help but look forward to the chilly weather, football watching, and mainly… the food! Of all the Thanksgiving cuisine I love, this easy to make turkey gravy is by far my most highly anticipated.
It may seem crazy to say that I’m most excited about the gravy of all things, but this pan dripping gravy really is the best. Every year, myself and pretty much everyone else at the dinner table uses this gravy on more than just the turkey. I try my best to make enough so that everyone’s Mashed Potatoes, Stuffing, and Rolls also get a little love from this mouthwatering gravy. It really ties everything together perfectly!
This year, toss out that packet of instant turkey gravy mix and instead, make this quick and easy pan dripping gravy. After all, if you’re roasting a bird, you’ll have the pan drippings already there for you. Why waste them when you could make truly the BEST gravy ever? After taking the time to roast a whole turkey, don’t top it off with some store-bought sludge, especially when this gravy recipe is as delicious and simple as it is.
Ingredients In Turkey Gravy
- Butter – To avoid this gravy being too salty, opt for an unsalted butter.
- Flour – all purpose flour works best and you can substitute that with gluten free all purpose flour if you need to.
- Pan Drippings – The star of the show! Just remember to strain it before using, that way you don’t have any chunks in your gravy.
- Chicken Stock – It should also be unsalted, just like the butter. For the very best results, use Homemade Chicken Stock!
Tips for the Best Turkey Gravy
- The best tasting gravy starts with the turkey. I always stuff my turkey cavity with a few fresh herbs, some lemon, lime, apple, and onions. This will not only help the turkey meat have the best aroma, but it will also yield the most delicious juices for the pan drippings.
- Line the roasting pan with aluminum foil to better catch the drippings, and of course, to make clean up easier! No one likes scrubbing a roasting pan on Thanksgiving, after all.
- After placing the turkey onto the roasting rack, inside the roasting dish, add 1-2 cups of water, a quartered onion, and 2-3 garlic cloves to the roasting pan underneath the turkey. This will also help make the turkey meat and the gravy more flavorful and aromatic. The amount of water will depend on how long you will be roasting the turkey, i.e. the size of the turkey.
- When the turkey is done, pull it out of the oven and let it rest about 10-15 minutes right in the roasting pan. Then, gently lift the turkey and let some of the juices pour out of the cavity into the roasting pan. You don’t need a lot, just about 2-4 tablespoons should get the job done!
- Set the turkey aside to rest on the cutting board while you make the gravy. Making the gravy really won’t take long at all.
- Strain the pan drippings from the roasting pan into a measuring cup through a fine mesh strainer. I usually get anywhere between 1-2 cups of pan drippings.
- If you get a lot, save half of the drippings and freeze it to make more gravy later. You will only need about a cup to make the gravy.
- Watch the salt! Remember that you will be seasoning your turkey inside and out, so the drippings will already be seasoned. Taste the pan drippings first before making the gravy to decide if you will need to add any salt and pepper to the gravy.
How to Make the Best Turkey Gravy
First, let’s start with the turkey itself. Once it’s stuffed with fresh herbs, fruits, and veggies, then seasoned to perfection, it’s time to roast it! Line the roasting pan with aluminum foil – this will make catching the drippings and clean up way easier.
Time to prepare the drippings! Once the turkey’s cooked, allow it to rest for about 10 minutes. Next, lift the turkey to make some of the juices pour from the cavity into the pan. Then, strain the drippings through a fine mesh strainer.
Turkey Pan Drippings Gravy
Finally, let’s make the gravy. Before you even get started, make sure you have all of the ingredients measured out and ready to go, as this recipe is pretty quick moving.
Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat, then whisk in the flour. While whisking continuously, slowly pour in the pan drippings, then the chicken broth. Keep whisking! Taste first and then add salt and pepper if needed. Keep stirring until the gravy is nice and thick.
Can I make this gravy gluten free?
Absolutely! Just use gluten free all purpose flour instead of regular all purpose flour. Also, make sure that all of the seasonings for the actual turkey are gluten free too. Many seasoning mixes do contain gluten, so season your turkey with individual spices and herbs.
Storing and Reheating
Store any leftover gravy in an airtight food storage container in the refrigerator. Properly stored, your gravy will be fresh for up to 2 days. You can also freeze it in a zip-top freezer bag to extend the shelf life for up to 3 months.
To reheat, you can bring all of the leftover gravy to a simmer in a small sauce pot, over medium heat. If you only need a small potion, you can reheat it in a microwave.
How can I use leftover gravy?
Besides mashed potatoes of course, gravy is wonderful in numerous dishes! Use it as sauce on sandwiches, make Salisbury steaks for lunch, serve it with breakfast casseroles, eggs, and hash browns for breakfast and brunch.
You can even make a mushroom sauce for chicken and steaks with it by simply sautéing onions and mushrooms and then mixing in gravy. No matter how you use it up, you’ll be SO glad you have leftover gravy to enjoy!
Some More Recipes Perfect With Gravy
The Perfect Mashed Potatoes – These mashed potatoes are smooth, creamy, fluffy and sure to earn a permanent spot on your holiday menu.
Oven Roasted Potatoes – light and creamy one the inside and pleasantly crispy on the outside
Classic Stuffing – simple stuffing made with Italian bread, apples, celery, onions, and herbs. Don’t miss the tips on how to make bread stale quickly.
Mashed Cauliflower– cauliflower is quickly and easily done in an Instant Pot. This mashed cauliflower recipe is delicious, smooth, comforting, and it is Keto friendly.
The Best Turkey Gravy – Pan Dripping Gravy
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour*
- 1 cup pan drippings from roasting turkey
- 1 cup unsalted chicken stock
- salt** optional
- black pepper** optional
When Roasting the Turkey:
- The best tasting gravy starts with the turkey. You can do a few things to add more flavor like:-Stuff my turkey cavity with a few fresh herbs, some lemon, lime, apple, and onions.-Season outside of the turkey well. -After placing the turkey onto the roasting rack, inside the roasting dish, add 1-2 cups of water, quartered onion, and 2-3 garlic cloves to the roasting pan underneath the turkey. (The amount of water will depend on how long you will be roasting the turkey, i.e. the size of the turkey.)
- Line the roasting pan with aluminum foil to better catch the drippings, and of course, to make clean up easier.
Preparing the Pan Drippings:
- When turkey is done, pull it out of the oven and let it rest about 10-15 minutes right in the roasting pan.
- Gently lift the turkey and let some of the juices pour out of the cavity into the roasting pan, about 2-4 tablespoons worth.
- Strain the pan drippings from the roasting pan into a measuring cup through a fine mesh strainer.
- (If you have more than a cup of pan drippings, you can freeze the extra.)
Prepare the Gravy:
- Have all the ingredients measured and ready on hand before starting to cook because this recipe will go fast.
- Melt butter in a cooking pan over medium heat. Once melted, whisk in flour until smooth and blended.
- While whisking, start pouring in the pan drippings, and then chicken stock. Keep whisking until smooth. Taste to see if you need to add any salt and pepper.
- Slowly stir as the gravy comes to simmer and thickens. Cook for a couple extra minutes, stirring slowly, and take off heat.
Saving this recipe for Thanksgiving!
Couple of questions from an avid cook.
1. You don’t mention removing or separating the fat from the drippings? Wouldn’t it be greasy if you didn’t?
2. In regard to letting the cavity juices run out into the drippings, I would do this separately so I can check the temperature of these juices to be safe.
Please let me know your thoughts – hoping to try your pan gravy in November. Thanks!