Mom’s Famous Turkey Gravy and Roasted Butter Herb Turkey

I am so excited to share this Turkey Gravy with you. Β Our Mom is famous for many of the dishes she makes. Her chicken noodle soup, her chili, her potato salad, her lemon meringue pie, her Christmas caramels… the list goes ON and ON.. but the thing she is very most famous for is her turkey gravy. It is perfect and she really is famous for it.

Mom's Turkey Gravy

If you know our mom, you know she makes a traditional Sunday dinner.. every. single. Sunday. When we were growing up, she would alternate weeks between roast and turkey.. so every-other week we had her turkey dinner and it was all of our favorites! We would come home from church and know we had a famous feast to look forward to.Turkey, gravy, rolls, corn… seriously, it was like Thanksgiving every-other week. We were beyond spoiled. Don’t get me wrong, her roast and beef gravy are out of this world good… but her turkey dinners trumped it. They were (and still are) the best.


Any time I make this gravy, I always have people BEGGING for the recipe. It is a tough one to give because it has never been written down before. It is all according to taste. I have made this so many times, I seriously just throw things in without even thinking about the right amounts. As a rule of thumb.. we always use ALL of the turkey drippings. Some people throw out all but a half cup… big mistake. We use it all. If it ends up making a ton of gravy, so be it. We will sop it up with our dinner rolls. Sometimes we run out of potatoes before we run out of gravy… that’s ok too. Use it to make chicken (or turkey) pot pies later on. It is just too good to throw out.


The main trick to this gravy is a good roasting pan (see picture below). This one is the one my mom always made her turkeys and roasts in — so all of us kids bought one. It is the Wagner Ware Magnalite… or as we call it.. “The Magic Pot”. We cook the turkey in this as well as the gravy. We do it all in this one roasting pan. However, we have also had success using a good, ceramic lined Dutch oven. Really, all you need a heavy-duty pan that will fit a turkey and has a lid.roasting panOk onto the turkey recipe…. (and then I will get to the gravy)

I like to call this “Scarborough Fair” turkey.. because if you know the song, you know the herb mixture. Just 1 Tablespoon of each! I can’t help myself from singing the song when I make this. Gotta love Simon & Garfunkel!

Easy Butter & Herb Turkey

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  • 1 turkey breast (or small, full turkey)
  • 1/4 - 1/2 c. butter
  • 1 Tbsp. parsley
  • 1 Tbsp. sage
  • 1 Tbsp. rosemary
  • 1 Tbsp. thyme
  • salt to taste (about 1/4-1/2 tsp.)


  • Preheat oven to 325-degrees. Remember to use a good roasting pan (see above) or oven-friendly Dutch oven (one of those ceramic-lined ones). Remove any giblets or gravy packets included with turkey. Rinse turkey well, inside and out and pat dry (this is important.. you really want the butter to stick on there). Spray roasting pan with butter and place turkey in it. Melt butter and brush evenly over turkey. I like to make slits under the skin layer and brush butter up underneath the skin as well. Combine spices and rub over turkey (and under the skin layer). Add lid and cook according to turkey package directions.

Now.. on to the turkey gravy… did I mention that I love this stuff??? Be sure to serve this with our Mom’s mashed potatoes! YUM!

Mom’s Famous Turkey Gravy

Turkey drippings from turkey
gravy packet (if included with turkey)
1-3 tsp. Wyler’s chicken bouillon granules
pepper, to taste
1-2 c. milk
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/3 c. water
Leave drippings in roasting pan or dutch oven (remember to read above about roasting pans) and carefully place on your largest stovetop burner over medium heat. Remove any grease or fat from turkey drippings with wire mesh strainer or slotted spoon.
If a gravy packet is included with your turkey add that to the drippings– if not, no biggie.
Whisk up any little browned bits that may have cooked to the roasting pan… these add extra yummy flavor. Bring to a simmer. Sprinkle in bouillon granules (start with 1 tsp and add more later if it needs it) and pepper, to taste, then add milk (depending on how much gravy you want– we like LOTS of gravy so she usually adds about 2 c. of milk). Add more bouillon if needed for flavor. Keep tasting it as you add bouillon until you get the flavor you want. Bring back to a simmer.
In a separate, small bowl, combine cornstarch and water. Whisking constantly, slowly add cornstarch mixture a little at a time until thickened. REMEMBER…. make the gravy slightly thinner than what you usually prefer because it will thicken a little as it cools.


  1. Trisha says:

    This all sounds wonderful! What kind of bullion? Beef, chicken, another kind? Thanks!

    • Erica says:

      Whoops! Glad you said something! I fixed it on the recipe… it’s chicken bouillon..

  2. Lisa says:

    I’m interested in the “magic pot”. Can you buy it locally or is it online? Also what size of pot is yours? Thanks!

    • Erica says:

      I have only found them online. I will post a link to where you can buy them in this post in the next little bit…

  3. Jen says:

    Where do you buy the magnalite roasters?

  4. susan yakus says:

    Does it matter if it is whole milk or 2%?

    • Erica says:

      Nope! We usually just use skim!

  5. Tiffany says:

    Hi Erica, it’s your Cars Fast Pass line pal πŸ™‚ I love your blog, what size of magic pot or Dutch oven should I get?

    • Erica says:

      Hey!! I am emailing you right now! πŸ™‚

  6. Jan says:

    What size is your “Magic Pot”? I’ve been looking into buying one on eBay! I’m guessing the 18″ would be best for turkey baking.

    • Erica says:

      Mine is the 15″ which is perfect for a turkey breast (we have a smaller family)… when my kids get older I will definitely be upgrading to the 18″ or bigger!

  7. Carolyn says:

    I have one of those roasters-it’s the size of a VW. Barely fits in my oven. But it is fantastic and they come in different sizes.

  8. Janelle says:

    OH MY GOODNESS!!! My mom and I were trying to find something new and different for our thanksgiving dinner this year and so a couple of weeks ago, we tried this recipe, your rasp. cranberries, and your Island Pecan Pie. We were blown away! Now you have to know, we cook a lot and normally our thanksgiving food is pretty darn good, but this time, (I know we aren’t supposed to brag on ourselves) I believe this was one of the best meals I have EVER eaten. We have always used Magnalite roasters on our roasts and ham, and I have always wondered if you could do a turkey in one (we have always done ours in a bag) we just never have. Well we will never use a bag again! We passed on our knowledge from our attempt a few weeks ago to our extended family and they used the recipes yesterday too and everyone was raving about their dinners. You guys are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! We also made your fruit salad recipe, the one with the pistachio pudding, and also your coconut cream pie and we now have the perfect Thanksgiving meal! Thank you,thank you, thank you for making this the best Thanksgiving EVER! ( Tell your mom hello from Sister Reary (my mom). Have a Merry Christmas, here is hoping you can make my Christmas as good or better than my Thanksgiving!! πŸ™‚

    • Erica says:

      Janelle– Thank you so much for commenting! I am so glad that your Thanksgiving dinner turned out so great… and that you used so many of our recipes! I told my mom “hello” from your mom and she said “Oh I LOVE her! They are such a wonderful wonderful family”… then went on to tell me what a talented and amazing family you have! Sounds like our two families need to get together and have a huge feast of some sort! Promise me that next year you will add our cranberry-sausage stuffing to the mix.. it is life changing. πŸ™‚ I am dying that you have never used your roasting pan for turkey before! We seriously don’t make turkey without it! I am glad we helped you to find another use for it! We even use it on the stove-top to make stews and soups when serving a lot of people. It just has such good, even heating. Sheesh, look at me… I should just be a spokesperson for Magnalite. Anyway– Merry Christmas to your family as well! Tell your mom that OUR mom says “hi” back πŸ™‚

  9. Kelli Wells says:

    I came across your blog from Pinterest and was hooked! Went to EBay and bought the Magnalite 12 Q pot. Tonight I made your turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy. OMGosh!!! Best meal ever! I have been making those for 20+ years and have never had it turn out so perfect. I “might” have even had a couple of spoonfuls of the gravy by itself! Thank you SOOOO much!

    • Erica says:

      I am SO happy to hear that you liked it!!!! I hear ya about the gravy.. I am frequently “tasting” spoonfuls of the gravy at a time! LOL I should seriously be a spokesperson for Magnalite because I can’t live without their roaster! So glad you found us! Please keep coming back for more recipes!

  10. Leigh says:

    Please make sure you get the right roaster. The name ‘Magnalite’. Is now owned by a different company than the company who owns the formula for materials used in original cookware! Please research! The site is the correct manufacturer to receive cookware equivalent to the original. I am a careful consumer, no way connected to the company mentioned. I found reviews concerning this cookware will confirm this and provide further information. Be careful before you buy. Good luck. πŸ™‚

  11. Liz says:

    Sounds good. Thank you

  12. Judy says:

    Do you take the grease out of the drippings before making the gravy?

    • Erica says:

      If there is excess grease, we will take it out but if there’s just a little bit we will leave it in… It adds a great flavor!

  13. Julia says:

    In the recipe for the turkey is that for fresh or dried herbs?

    • Erica says:

      Dried… if you use fresh, you will want to use at least twice as much. Hope this helps!

      • Grace says:

        This is probably a dumb question, but I should NOT be using ground herbs/spices? Looking forward to making this! πŸ™‚

        • Echo says:

          You can definitely use the ground spices if you want. They will also taste great. When I use ground spices instead of fresh, I rub them between my hands before adding them to the gravy. This will bring out more of the flavors of the spices. Thanks for asking!

          • Grace says:

            You rub the powder between your hands?

          • Echo says:

            You rub the spices (parsley, sage, rosemary) between your fingers to break them up a little. This releases more of the flavor of the spice.

          • Grace says:

            I’d heard of breaking up dried herbs and spices to release more flavor, but not the already-ground-into-powder ones. I learn something new all the time! πŸ™‚ Happy Thanksgiving!

  14. Jenn says:

    Oh wow! I MUST try this gravy! My girlfriend’s mother in law had the best gravy recipe ever but she passed away without ever passing it on and we’ve been searching for a replacement ever since. Nothing measures up! But, if you can eat this by the spoonful then I must give this a try!

    I know you don’t do measurements but can you possibly give me any idea at all as to how many cups of turkey drippings you’re talking about? I always make a 20 pound turkey so I am not sure how many cups of drippings a “small” turkey makes! Please help because I am definitely trying this on Thanksgiving this year!

    Thanks so much!

    • Erica says:

      For a small turkey, I only keep about a cup or two– which is usually all of the drippings available. If it seems like there is excess drippings I will discard some but usually I use as much of the drippings as I can because it adds the best flavor. I hope this helps! Let us know if it turns out like your girlfriend’s mother-in-law’s!

  15. Jennifer says:

    I can’t seem to find the gravy recipe…. Only the turkey recipe. Desperately wanting to try this.

    • Erica says:

      Hi Jennifer– Thank you for pointing out that is was missing! I was able to fix the problem.. it should be there now πŸ™‚

  16. Jennifer says:

    Hi Erica!

    Happy Thanksgiving! I just picked up one of these vintage Magnalite roasters (the 21″!) and for the price my husband is expecting his Thanksgiving dinner to be amazing. Could you help me out with a few questions I have about it?

    -How do you monitor the temp of the meat inside the pot? Seems like if I keep opening the oven and the pot to take the temp, it will really throw the temp off.

    -Would the small wire from a remote meat thermometer disrupt the seal of the lid enough to affect the roasting or could I use one?

    -Any idea approximately how long I might cook a 20 lb. turkey? I have read by some that these cook much faster than normal and I would like all of my food to come out about the same time.

    Thank you in advance!

    • Erica says:

      Great questions.. as a rule of thumb they say 20 minutes per pound of turkey(at 350-degrees) but that can vary because you are using the magnate. A small wire from a remote meat thermometer shouldn’t disrupt the seal of the lid… If you are worried about it you can place some aluminum foil around were the wire is to keep the good seal– but really, it should be ok. πŸ™‚ The meat thermometer is definitely the best way to go to make sure it isn’t over/under done. Hope this helps! Let us know how it turns out.

      We love that roasting pan– sometimes the turkey we get is too big to fit the lid over the top so we just cover the pan it with foil as best we can and place the lid on top of the turkey. You just want to trap in that heat/moisture as much as you can.

      • Jennifer says:

        What great advice! Thank you so much!

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