Learn how to make this super easy turkey gravy from pan drippings! This recipe shows you how to utilize the pan drippings from your holiday turkey to elevate the flavor of your Thanksgiving gravy. It’s quick to make, uses simple ingredients, and is full of flavor!
Every holiday meal needs to have a delicious gravy! This turkey gravy recipe is super simple to make and uses pan drippings from roasted turkey to add a rich savory taste.
The ingredients to make it are simple but the taste is transformed by using lots of aromatics to infuse the store-bought broth with flavor, fresh herbs for brightness, and bouillon for layers of turkey seasoning. I also use a roux as a base for the gravy to develop the perfect color and a deep flavoring that is a must for Thanksgiving dressing!
Tip: make this recipe several weeks or days ahead of time to make your holiday meal planning even easier!
What are Turkey Drippings?
Turkey drippings or driblets are from the bottom of the pan after you roast your turkey. In order to get a really flavorful gravy, I use the leftover turkey pan drippings to add richness and turkey flavoring that instantly elevates the taste of the gravy!
The best way to get the drippings out of the pan is to add a splash of broth and then use a spatula to scrape the bottom of the pan. Be sure to get all the turkey bits and flavorings into the broth – then pour that liquid into the finished gravy.
Ingredients – What You Need
Below you’ll find the full list of ingredients needed to make this recipe happen.
Turkey stock or broth: For the base of the gravy! You can use turkey broth or chicken broth (homemade or store-bought works). I recommend using low sodium so you can customize the flavor as needed.
Flour: this is to make the base of the gravy (called the roux) I recommend all-purpose flour.
Butter: to make the base of the roux (you will need equal measurements for the butter and flour).
Turkey bouillon cubes or paste: this is used to infuse a lot of flavor into the broth! Because bouillon is so concentrated in flavor you won’t need to use salt.
Carrots, celery, celery leaves, and onion: these vegetables are used to infuse flavor into the store-bought broth to help layer more flavor into the gravy.
Fresh herbs: I use fresh rosemary and sage to infuse flavor into the broth and then for sprinkling on top of the gravy.
Turkey drippings: this recipe calls for the bottom drippings from roasting a turkey.
How to Make Turkey Gravy From Dippings
(1) First add the broth in a pot with the celery, celery leaves, herbs, and onion. Let cook on a medium simmer infuse it with flavor for about 10 minutes.
(2) Then in another pot melt the butter.
(3) Then add the flour to the melted butter and whisk.
(4) Continue to whisk the butter and flour together, stirring constantly until the color turns golden and the flour taste is gone. Keep the heat low to avoid burning your gravy.
(5) Then slowly add the broth slowly to the pot with flour and butter (1 cup at a time). Then add the turkey pan drippings, bouillon, black pepper to taste, and chopped fresh herbs! Let simmer, whisking often until the gravy consistency thickens. Keep warm until ready to serve.
Tips For a Succcessful Gravy
Why we use a roux for gravy – A roux is the base of the gravy that is made from equal parts butter and flour. Mastering a roux for gravy is easier than you think and will add color, depth, and most importantly – rich flavoring to your gravy.
The longer the roux cooks the browner the gravy – a tip with making the “roux” for gravy is the longer you cook the roux the darker the gravy will be. This recipe calls for a lighter brown roux which takes about 4-5 minutes, the color should be golden brown.
Use broth to fix the consistency – if the gravy turns out to be too thick add a little bit more broth until it reaches your desired consistency.
Fresh herbs are a must – to add fresh flavor I recommend using fresh herbs instead of dried. My top choices for herbs are sage and rosemary, but you can also use thyme and parsley.
Make it ahead of time – save time and prepare this turkey gravy a week or even several weeks ahead of time! Prepare it as instructed then let it cool completely before storing it flat in freezer-friendly bags (air removed) or an air-tight container. Freeze for up to 1 month, then let thaw, reheat, and add the pan drippings on the day you cook your turkey!
What to Serve it With
Our favorite way to serve this gravy is of course with turkey! Drizzle it over a whole roasted turkey or our air fryer turkey breast with herb and maple glaze! Be sure to also serve it with mashed potatoes, some roasted Brussels sprouts, and a salad like our apple pomegranate harvest salad!
Easy Turkey Gravy From Drippings
- 2 1/2 cups turkey broth low sodium
- 1 fresh rosemary sprig
- 2-3 fresh sage leaves
- 1 celery stalk plus the leaves
- 1 small onion, halved
- 1 carrot
- Simmer the broth: roughly chop the vegetables into large pieces, and add to a pot with the broth along with the rosemary sprig and sage leaves. Let the broth simmer on medium heat for about 10 minutes.
- Make the roux: In a separate pot melt the butter, then add the flour and whisk constantly for about 4-5 minutes until the color turns golden and the flour taste has cooked off. Tip: keep the heat low to avoid burning the roux.
- Slowly add the broth: after the broth has simmered with the aromatics, use a measuring cup to transfer the broth 1 cup at a time to the roux, stir constantly as you add the broth slowly.
- Add the drippings: In the pan you've roasted your turkey in, remove all the ingredients except the turkey drippings. Add a splash of broth and use a spatula to scrape the turkey bits and drippings until it absorbs into the broth. Then transfer the drippings and broth to the gravy pot.
- Stir in the seasonings: add the bouillon, black pepper to taste, and chopped sage and rosemary. Let the gravy simmer for several minutes whisk every so often until the consistency thickens. Taste, season if needed, and serve! Keep warm on the burner until ready to serve.