Classic Turkey Gravy

Everyone needs a foolproof, go-to classic turkey gravy recipe. This is it. And all it takes is pan juices or drippings from your turkey, stock, butter, and flour.

If you’ve been reluctantly buying instant gravy mixes out of fear that making turkey gravy from scratch is too time-consuming or too complicated, let us assure you, it’s neither. This foolproof method for making silky smooth gravy requires very little effort and can be made while your turkey is resting. Maybe this year you let everyone at your table give thanks that your days of reconstituting gravy powder are over.–Angie Zoobkoff

Classic Turkey Gravy

A woman whisking a roasting pan of classic turkey gravy
Everyone needs a classic, foolproof, go-to classic turkey gravy recipe. This is it. And all it takes is pan juices or drippings from your turkey, stock, butter, and flour.

Prep 10 mins
Cook 10 mins
Total 20 mins
8 to 10 servings
212 kcal
5 from 1 vote
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  • Drippings from one (12-to-18-pound) roast turkey along with its roasting pan (1/2 to 1 cup drippings)
  • 2 3/4 cups store-bought or homemade turkey or chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons (1 1/2 oz) unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon chicken demi-glace (optional but will help immeasurably)
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry (optional)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


  • Place the roasting pan with the drippings on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Pour in 3/4 cup stock and bring to a brisk simmer, whisking or stirring to scrape up any browned bits stuck to the pan. Simmer until the liquid is slightly reduced, about 1 minute.
  • Carefully strain the contents of the pan through a fine-mesh sieve into a heatproof bowl or a fat separator. If your drippings are in a bowl, spoon off as much fat as possible.
  • In a saucepan pan set over medium heat, melt the butter. When it bubbles, add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until the flour is golden brown and has thickened to a paste, 3 to 6 minutes.
  • Slowly whisk in the defatted drippings from the bowl or the fat separator. Whisk in the remaining 2 cups stock and the demi-glace, if using, and cook, stirring constantly, until the gravy is smooth and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the sherry, if desired. Taste and, if desired, season with salt and pepper, going easy on the salt as the stock may already contain quite a lot.
  • Pour the gravy into a warmed serving dish.
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Show Nutrition

Serving: 1portionCalories: 212kcal (11%)Carbohydrates: 5g (2%)Protein: 2g (4%)Fat: 20g (31%)Saturated Fat: 9g (56%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 28mg (9%)Sodium: 141mg (6%)Potassium: 91mg (3%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 1g (1%)Vitamin A: 141IU (3%)Vitamin C: 1mg (1%)Calcium: 4mgIron: 1mg (6%)

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This turkey gravy was thick and glossy. The recipe easily serves 8 to 10 persons, unless everyone goes back for seconds or thirds, which they might!

I highly recommend using unsalted or low-sodium stock if you don’t have homemade on hand. The gravy was delicious but contained much more sodium than necessary.

This classic turkey gravy is a good starting gravy IF the drippings and broth are very flavorful.

The chicken demi-glace and dry sherry added a nice rich flavor. I felt the gravy was a little thin. Possibly another 1 1/2 tablespoons flour was needed. For my family, the gravy amount would serve 6 to 8, not 8 to 10.

This is an easy recipe for classic turkey gravy that will surely be a member of any holiday feast. This is a very textbook recipe for gravy and essentially what I have been making for 25 years. It’s nice to see a recipe for it, though, for those who are new to gravy-making.

This was a well-written recipe for making turkey gravy that will consistently turn out perfectly and a very good guide for someone who might be unfamiliar with making gravy from scratch. I made this with a turkey and then used the leftover gravy in a turkey pot pie a few days later and it gave the pie filling tremendous flavor!

I didn’t use the demi-glace or sherry. Someone should advertise the added benefit of making gravy in your roasting pan is that it takes care of getting all those browned bits off so you don’t have to scrub them later!!

These instructions indeed produce classic turkey gravy for Thanksgiving, made while the bird is resting and the side dishes are getting their final warm-up before sitting down to dinner.

I followed the directions, though not in order. I found it easiest to start with step 2; cooking the flour in melted butter until nice and peanut-butter brown, then adding in the stock and whisking until smooth and incorporated. That stayed simmering on the stove while I went back to step 1 and deglazed my roasting pan, which had only meager drippings from our 10-pounder. In step 3, adding the sherry and drippings with deglazing liquid to the gravy brought rich color and all the seasoning the gravy needed (be cautious if your drippings, like mine, taste salty). A few more minutes of simmering to achieve the correct consistency happens to take just enough time to gather the guests and admire the cook’s hard work, namely the turkey, most of which was drizzled, draped, or drowned in this classic gravy.

Originally published November 10, 2018


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