Make Ahead Turkey Gravy Recipe

30 Comments

5 from 11 votes
Jump to Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

This make-ahead turkey gravy recipe is a must for a low-stress Thanksgiving and Christmas! This homemade, no-drippings gravy is easy, delicious, and made with 5 ingredients!

Looking for more make-ahead Thanksgiving favorites? I think you’ll love my easy Giblet Gravy recipe, Make Ahead Roast Turkey and Sweet Potato Casserole.

Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy in white gravy boat on stone background - addapinch.com

Easy Turkey Gravy

This homemade turkey gravy is so easy to make. It does not require drippings and can be prepared well ahead of time to make your cooking and holiday even easier. It is delicious served with roast turkey, chicken, mashed potatoes, and dressing!

Why You’ll Love This Easy Turkey Gravy Recipe

  • No Drippings: You do not need turkey drippings to make this recipe.
  • Make-Ahead recipe: You can prepare this gravy ahead of your holiday meal.
  • Freezer-Friendly Gravy: You can make this easy gravy months in advance and store it in the freezer until needed.

Another reason this gravy is such a favorite lies in its simplicity. It’s as easy as it gets and only has a few basic ingredients. Since it’s so quick and easy, I find myself making it all through the year – no need to save it for just the holidays!

Sliced Roast Turkey, Mashed Potatoes topped with Make Ahead Turkey Gravy, and Roasted Brussels Sprouts on white dinner plate. // addapinch.com

How to Make Turkey Gravy

You can check the recipe card below to get the full set of ingredients and instructions for this make-ahead gravy. Here is a quick overview of how to make this easy gravy recipe.

Ingredients for the Gravy

Five ingredients used to make gravy.

This easy gravy only has a few simple ingredients:

  • Butter – I use salted butter, but you can also use unsalted butter if you prefer it.
  • Salt and Pepper – Used to season the gravy as it cooks. You can add more to taste if needed.
  • Flour – All-purpose flour is used for the gravy.
  • Turkey stock or broth – You can make your own, use store-bought, or use chicken stock or broth if needed.

Three Steps to Perfect Gravy

  1. Make a roux – Butter, seasonings, and flour are cooked to the desired coloring.
  2. Add stock – Turkey stock is whisked into the roux to the desired consistency.
  3. Serve, store, or freeze – Serve immediately or follow make-ahead storage instructions.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Make a Roux

Making roux for the base of gravy.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add salt and pepper and slowly whisk in the flour. Cook until the flour and butter are fully incorporated, reaching the desired coloring you prefer. This can range from a light blonde to a more traditional nut color.

Add Turkey Stock or Broth to the Roux

Once the roux has reached the desired color, constantly whisking, slowly pour in the turkey stock, and cook until the gravy is thickened to your desired consistency.

How to Make Turkey Stock

Place the turkey legs in a Dutch oven or stockpot. Add salt and pepper and cover with water. Cook on a low simmer, covered, until the meat is tender and the stock is thick and colorful, about 4 hours. Add more water if needed to keep the turkey covered with water while cooking. Remove the turkey legs from the stock and refrigerate them for future recipes, like turkey wraps or turkey pot pie.

Serve the Gravy or Store to Serve Later

Sliced Roast Turkey, Mashed Potatoes topped with Make Ahead Turkey Gravy, and Roasted Brussels Sprouts on white plate. // addapinch.com

Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. Serve warm or follow the make-ahead instructions to store and serve later.

Make Ahead Turkey Gravy

How to Store and Freeze Turkey Gravy

To store. Prepare your turkey gravy as instructed and then allow it to cool completely. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for two days.

When ready to serve, reheat in a medium saucepan until it reaches a rolling boil. If it is too thick, add a bit more stock until it reaches your preferred consistency.

To freeze. Store the gravy in freezer-safe containers for up to 6 months. Then, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat at a rolling boil before serving.

Gravy is best reheated once. I freeze in smaller portions, so I only reheat what I need.

Recipe Variations

Gluten-Free Turkey Gravy with Cornstarch. You can use cornstarch to make gravy, but you’ll change the method slightly. Melt the butter, then add the turkey stock, salt, and pepper. In a small bowl, whisk together a slurry using cornstarch and water (2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup water) until smooth and slowly drizzle into the warm stock (whisking constantly) until it is thickened. Remember that the gravy will continue to thicken as it cools. 

Gluten-Free Turkey Gravy with Gluten-Free Flour. You can substitute the all-purpose with your favorite gluten-free flour, such as Cup 4 Cup.

Dairy-Free Turkey Gravy. Use your favorite vegan butter or margarine.

Chicken Gravy. Use chicken stock or broth in place of the turkey stock.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use turkey pan drippings to make turkey gravy?

If you have turkey pan drippings, you can use them in addition to or in place of the turkey stock in this recipe.

I can’t find turkey stock or broth in the grocery store. What should I use?

You can use chicken stock or broth, which is usually very easy to find. This would make chicken gravy, but it would still be delicious and similar.

You can also purchase turkey legs from the grocery store and make your own turkey stock. See my instructions to make it.

How do you make a thick turkey gravy?

You can easily adjust the consistency of your turkey gravy to your liking by adding more or using less turkey stock in the gravy.

How long does homemade gravy keep in the refrigerator?

You can make homemade gravy and store it in the refrigerator for up to two days before serving.

Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy in gravy boat - addapinch.com

Doesn’t that make the holiday meal sound easier?! I like to make cooking stress-free on the holidays by making many recipes ahead of time. You may like my Make Ahead Thanksgiving Recipes and Meal Plan for even more make-ahead ideas! I hope you find that helpful, too.

Here’s my Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy recipe. I think you’ll love it!

Make Ahead Turkey Gravy Recipe

5 from 11 votes
Make Ahead Turkey Gravy Recipe – This easy turkey gravy recipe is essential to your holiday menu! Simple enough to make on the holiday, but perfect as a make ahead gravy recipe!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Servings: 48 tablespoons

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 cup salted butter, cubed
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups turkey stock , or turkey broth, chicken broth or pan drippings from cooking turkey, if you have them.

Instructions 

  • Make a roux. Melt butter in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and slowly whisk in flour. Cook until the flour is fully incorporated into the butter and gravy is your preferred color (from light blonde to a nut a brown color).
  • Add stock. Once that stage is reached, constantly whisking, slowly pour in the turkey stock and cook until the gravy is thickened.
  • Serve, store, or freeze. Remove from the heat and serve immediately or cool, pour into an airtight container and store or freeze. If serving from made-ahead turkey gravy, reheat in a medium saucepan until warmed throughout If the gravy is too thick, add more stock until it reaches the desired consistency.

Notes

How to Store and Freeze Turkey Gravy

To store. Prepare your turkey gravy as instructed and then allow it to cool completely. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for two days.
When ready to serve, reheat in a medium saucepan until it reaches a rolling boil. If it is too thick, add more stock until it reaches your preferred consistency.
To freeze. Store the gravy in freezer-safe containers for up to 6 months. Then, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat at a rolling boil before serving.
Gravy is best reheated once. I freeze in smaller portions, so I only reheat what I need.

How to Make Turkey Stock

You can also purchase turkey legs from the grocery store and make your own turkey stock if desired. 
Place the turkey legs in a Dutch oven or stockpot. Add salt and pepper and cover with water. Cook on a low simmer, covered until the meat is tender and the stock is thick and colorful about 4 hours. Add more water if needed to keep the turkey covered with water while cooking. Remove the turkey legs from the stock and refrigerate them for future recipes.
Makes 3 cups.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 tablespoon | Calories: 27kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 61mg | Potassium: 18mg | Fiber: 0.04g | Sugar: 0.2g | Vitamin A: 60IU | Vitamin C: 0.03mg | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 0.1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Enjoy!
Robyn xo

Sliced Roast Turkey, Mashed Potatoes topped with Make Ahead Turkey Gravy, and Roasted Brussels Sprouts served on white dinner plate. // addapinch.com

Welcome to Add A Pinch

About Robyn

Robyn Stone is a cookbook author, wife, mom, and passionate home cook. Her tested and trusted recipes give readers the confidence to cook recipes the whole family will love. Robyn has been featured on Food Network, People, Southern Living, and more.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Review




30 Comments

  1. Brenda Botbyl-Velez says:

    My husband is gluten free so I can’t use flour for my gravy. How can I do this to make it gluten free? Cornstarch or gluten free flour???

    1. JL Sankot says:

      I also am gluten intolerant and use cornstarch to thicken gravy. Just be sure to dissolve it in a cold liquid before stirring it into the hot broth–I just use water.

    2. Kira says:

      How much cornstarch did you use?

  2. Ange says:

    Can u buy turkey stock ?

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Yes, it does come packaged to buy in most stores. Thanks!

  3. Brenda says:

    How do you make the gravy if you haven’t cooked the turkey to get stock?

    1. D says:

      I get some turkey legs at the store and make my own stock to use. I’ll add the drippings while reheating. It works well.

  4. Sue says:

    Hi Robyn if I made the dressing ahead would you ever consider adding some of the dripping from the turkey I have your book and love your blog. Have gotten many great recipes. Sue

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Sure, Sue! It will be delicious! I hope you enjoy the gravy!
      I’m thrilled you enjoy the book and the recipes! I’m so honored you have it and find recipes you enjoy!
      Thanks so much Sue!

  5. Dan Mikesell says:

    Turkey broth has disappeared from our local markets several years ago but Penzey’s Turkey Soup Base works great.

    Your star rating is not working right. I want to do a 5 but it will only allow a 4. I skipped it. I don’t want to drop your average. 🙂

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Thanks so much for sharing that with me, Dan!
      Not sure why the rating isn’t working well but I do appreciate you letting me know! Thanks! 🙂

  6. Leah says:

    Can you make it and freeze it? I made it a week and a day ahead of T-day and do not want it to spoil.

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Hi Leah,
      Like in the recipe, you can store in airtight container in fridge for up to one week. But if you wish to freeze it, wrap well in airtight container for freezing, then reheat like I say in directions of this recipe – whisking really well while heating to prevent lumps. Enjoy! Thanks!

  7. Sabrina @ Familynano says:

    5 stars
    Last year I made my gravy ahead for the first time and it was the best! This recipe looks wonderful!! And I agree – we definitely live in a VERY mistrusting culture these days.
    Thanks Robyn

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Doesn’t it just make the day all the more enjoyable knowing that you are ahead of the game?! I love it! xo

  8. Mary says:

    5 stars
    Making this ahead of Thanksgiving will give me more time to focus on cooking some delicious sides! And it is so simple

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      I love making dishes ahead as well, Mary! I find it to be such a help! I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Thanks so much! xo

  9. maureen says:

    5 stars
    I never thought about making the gravy ahead of time because I use the pan drippings, I always do it when the turkey is resting, but everything else is also needing attention then… but getting some drippings before the turkey is resting is ahead of time really…something else I can do that makes getting everything to the table closer to the same time is helpful!! Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      I love making as much ahead of time as I can so that I can spend time with my guests that special day! I hope this and some of my other make ahead recipes are a huge help to you! Happy Thanksgiving to you as well! Thanks so much! xo

  10. M says:

    THANK YOU so very much for all of your recipes! I’ll be making the gravy soon! You’re the BEST!

    1. Barbara K. Arnett says:

      I just made for Wed. Amazing. Great taste and what a time saver. Thank you.

    2. Robyn Stone says:

      So happy to hear that Barbara! Thanks! xo