How to Make Gravy from Turkey Drippings

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3 minutes
October 3, 2022
Carole JonesJump to Recipe

Ditch the junk in the jar, or the powdered packets, and learn how to make gravy from turkey drippings with this easy recipe. Once you’ve made the real deal, you will never go back to sub-par Thanksgiving day gravy again. Plus, once you learn how to make a gravy, you can apply the same principles to every other type of gravy you want to make. Seriously, it is so simple!

How to Make Gravy from Turkey Drippings

I can remember the first Thanksgiving I ever hosted and honestly, the gravy was the one item that intimidated me the most. I don’t know why, but it seemed so mysterious of how I was supposed to take the juices from the bottom of my roaster and turn it into a gorgeous, smooth gravy.

I was intimidated for no reason….and you shouldn’t be either!

How to Make Gravy from Turkey Drippings

What are drippings?

Simply, the drippings from your turkey are all the juices and fat that left behind in the bottom of your roasting pan after your turkey has completely finished roasting. They are the reason your gravy will taste amazing because they came directly from the turkey itself. No broth or mix can ever taste better than these fresh drippins.

turkey gravy in a pot

Do I have to separate the fat from the drippings?

If you want the smoothest, creamiest turkey gravy, yes you do. There are some recipes that have you make the gravy directly in the roaster pan, but I know from experience that doing so will create lumps.

Separating the fat is very simple. First, you pour the drippings through a strainer into a medium sized bowl then let it sit for a few minutes. The fat will rise to the top and you can skim it off with a spoon. But do NOT throw that fat away because it is the base for your gravy!

If you want to make it even easier, you can purchase a gravy fat separator which pours from the bottom of the drippings, leaving the fat behind.

Plate of turkey, gravy and brussels sprouts

What is a roux?

A roux is the base of every good gravy or sauce. Simply put, it is equal parts fat and flour cooked together and used to thicken sauces…in this case, your Thanksgiving gravy. First the fat is heated, then the flour is whisked in and cooked. The longer you cook the roux, the darker it will become and the darker your gravy will be. For this setting, I prefer a roux that is on the blonde side as far as color.

Once your roux cooks, you are ready to add the remaining drippings from the turkey. You whisk them into the cooked roux, allow the mixture to come to a boil so it can thicken, and you end up with lump-free gravy every. single. time.

A roux is the secret to smooth, creamy gravy my friend!

How to Make Gravy From Turkey Drippings Video

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How to Make Gravy from Turkey Drippings

How to Make Gravy from Turkey Drippings

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Simple recipe for creating the best turkey gravy from the drippings!

  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: about 3 cups 1x

Ingredients

Scale

Drippings from the cooked turkey

1 tablespoon butter

46 tablespoons flour

Kosher salt

Black pepper

Instructions

  1. Pour the drippings through a strainer to remove any pieces. Let sit for a few minutes until the fat rises to the top.
  2. Using a spoon, skim off most of the fat from the top and place it into a medium saucepan. It’s ok if you don’t get it all. You just want enough fat, about 3-4 tablespoons total.
  3. Heat the pan over medium high heat and add the butter. Allow it to melt completely.
  4. Sprinkle in the flour, one tablespoon at a time, and whisk it together well. The amount will vary depending on how much fat you removed but you want the fat / flour mixture to be like a thick pancake batter. Cook for 2 minutes, whisking the whole time.
  5. As you whisk, slowly add the drippings, allowing the gravy to thicken before adding more. Again, the amount you need will vary. Keep allowing the gravy to thicken after each addition of drippings, until it reaches the consistency you would like.
  6. Taste and add kosher salt and pepper as needed.

Notes

*The gravy will thicken as it begins to cool so it should be a bit thinner than you think when in the pan.

*If needed, you can add some chicken broth if you don’t have enough drippings on their own.

  • Author: Carole Jones
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/4 cup
  • Calories: 43
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Sodium: 20 mg
  • Fat: 2 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 2 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 2 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Carole Jones

Carole Jones is an Arizona-based cookbook author & food blogger. She's authored The 30 Minute Cooking From Frozen Cookbook and the self-published Take 5: Chicken e-cookbook. For the past 15 years, Carole has shared her culinary adventures cooking and baking for her six brutally honest children here on My Kitchen Escapades. Hot, crusty bread is Carole's love language, but her two adorable grandchildren are a close second. Yes, second. Don't judge.

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