Homemade Turkey Gravy

4.99 from 85 votes

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Our Mom’s famous Turkey Gravy is made with rich, glorious turkey pan drippings and is the star of Thanksgiving dinner. Perfectly creamy and flavorful every time!

Top view of a Turkey Gravy boat next to a plate of mashed potatoes and gravy.
Featured with this recipe
  1. Ingredients for Turkey Gravy
  2. It All Starts with the Bird
  3. Frequently Asked Questions about Turkey Gravy
  4. Use this Gravy for More Recipes
  5. Thanksgiving Sides
  6. More Delicious Gravy Recipes
  7. Mom’s Famous Turkey Gravy Recipe

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. Seriously, it was like Thanksgiving every other week. We were beyond spoiled. Our mother is the best cook we know. Everything she makes is perfection. But the thing she is most famous for is her turkey gravy. Anyone who has shared her table over the years asks for this turkey gravy recipe. Until now, we’ve never even written it down; it was just made to taste. But we finally got our mom to tell us step by step how she creates this savory, creamy gravy. It’s delicious overall the classic dishes: mashed potatoes, turkey, vegetables, stuffing, roasted carrots, just about anything.

Ingredients for Turkey Gravy

Our mom laughs because there’s no real “secret” ingredient to her famous homemade turkey gravy, just ingredients that probably everyone has around the house! So here’s what you need to make the most show-stopping gravy ever:

  • Turkey drippings – from a roast turkey. Use a liquid measuring cup to get all that rich, delicious broth that comes from the turkey for the best flavor. If you don’t have enough drippings, use turkey stock, chicken broth or chicken stock to supplement.
  • Gravy packet – usually a packet of dry gravy mix is included with the frozen turkey or turkey breast. If your turkey doesn’t have one, a tablespoon or two of chicken or turkey gravy powder works great too.
  • Chicken bouillon – Our mom uses Wyler’s chicken bouillon granules, but you could use cubed bouillon.
  • Pepper – to taste
  • Milk -you’ll need two cups of whole milk or you can use a mixture of milk and heavy cream for a thicker gravy.
  • Cornstarch – this is used to thicken the gravy. You can use all purpose flour too.
  • Water – to combine with the cornstarch to make a slurry which will thicken the gravy.
  • Salt – to taste
Turkey Gravy in a serving boat next to a dish of mashed potatoes.

It All Starts with the Bird

Of course to get those flavorful drippings you have to make the turkey! Luckily, we have a fool-proof, step-by-step guide for Making the Perfect Turkey. Our Thanksgiving turkey recipe is full of fresh herbs: parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, onion, and celery. As a result, your gravy will have all those delicious flavors and herbs mixed in as well.

Frequently Asked Questions about Turkey Gravy

What to add to turkey gravy to make it taste better?

As mentioned above, two things really make a fantastic turkey gravy. First, the turkey drippings from a well-seasoned turkey or turkey breast. When that needs a boost, chicken bouillon granules (we love the Wyler’s brand) is a seasoning that gives richness and flavor to turkey gravy.

How long will gravy last in the refrigerator?

If kept in the fridge, turkey gravy should be used up in a day or two. Spoon the cold gravy into a skillet and warm over low heat and the turkey gravy will resume its creamy consistency within a few minutes.

Can I freeze gravy?

If you run out of potatoes before you run out of gravy (that’s happened to us many times) this turkey gravy freezes beautifully in a freezer safe container for up to three months!

Is this gravy Gluten Free?

This recipe is gluten-free IF you leave out the gravy packet that comes with the turkey. The rest of the ingredients are completely GF and it will still taste delicious.

Read More: 25+ Traditional (and easy!) Sunday Dinner Ideas

Use this Gravy for More Recipes

Turkey gravy can be used for much more than drizzling over turkey. Try it in some of these succulent and mouthwatering recipes:

Turkey Gravy pouring on a plate of mashed potatoes and turkey.

Thanksgiving Sides

Our Thanksgiving Recipes and Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner Sides are some of our mom’s most special recipes that hold so many beautiful memories. We are happy to share them with you:

More Delicious Gravy Recipes

No matter what you’re serving, there’s a scrumptious, savory gravy to go with it. Try a few of these favorites:

Turkey Gravy pouring on a plate of mashed potatoes and turkey.

Mom’s Famous Turkey Gravy

4.99 from 85 votes
Mom’s Famous Turkey Gravy is made from rich, glorious turkey drippings and is the star of Thanksgiving dinner. Perfectly creamy and flavorful every time!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8



  • ½ to 1 cup turkey drippings from cooked turkey
  • 1 gravy packet included with the frozen turkey or turkey breast (optional, for a gluten free gravy, don’t use the packet)
  • 1 tablespoon Wyler’s chicken bouillon granules
  • pepper to taste
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water
  • salt (optional)


  • After roasting a turkey or turkey breast in the oven, remove the turkey and leave the drippings in the roasting pan. Place the pan on the largest stove top burner on medium heat. If there is less than one cup of liquid in the pan, add enough water to make about one cup.  Whisk up any little browned bits that may have cooked to the roasting pan.  This adds delicious flavor to the gravy.  The heat from the stove helps loosen the browned bits on the sides of the pan.
    If you've used an aluminum pan to cook the turkey, don't place it on the stove after removing the turkey.  Add water to the drippings to make one cup.  Use a whisk or spoon to loosen the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
    Top view of cooked Turkey in a roasting pan for How to Cook a Turkey.
  • Pour the liquid from the pan into a 2 cup or larger tempered glass measuring cup or glass bowl.  The fat from the drippings will rise to the surface.  Skim off the fat with a spoon. Pour the remaining liquid through a wire strainer into a medium-sized saucepan. This will remove any turkey bits or fat and make a smooth, creamy gravy.
    Mesh strainer full of pieces from turkey drippings in a pan for Turkey Gravy.
  • If a gravy packet was included with the turkey, add it to the saucepan (if you want a gluten free gravy, don't add the packet). Bring the liquid to a simmer. Stir in the bouillon granules and pepper.  Gradually whisk in the milk and bring back to a simmer. At this point, taste the gravy. Add more bouillon and pepper if needed for flavor.  Do not add salt at this time.
    Pan of boiling drippings for Turkey Gravy.
  • In a separate, small bowl, combine cornstarch and water.  Stir until there are no lumps.  It should be nice and smooth.
    Slurry on a spoon for thickening Turkey Gravy.
  • Whisking the gravy constantly, slowly add cornstarch mixture a little at a time until the gravy is thickened to the consistency you desire.
    Whisking a pan of drippings while pouring slurry to thicken the Turkey Gravy.
  • Make the gravy slightly thinner than what you prefer because it will thicken a little as it cools. Taste the gravy again. If needed, add a little salt for flavor.
    Pan of Turkey Gravy with a ladle.
  • Pour into a gravy boat and serve.
    Turkey Gravy in a serving boat next to a dish of mashed potatoes.


For Gluten Free Turkey Gravy

  • Don’t use the turkey gravy packet that comes with the turkey or turkey breast.
  • This recipe makes approximately 4 cups of gravy when using a gravy packet.  If a gravy packet from the turkey is not used, this recipe makes approximately 3 cups.  

Nutrition Information

Serving: 0.5cupCalories: 93kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 3gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 554mgPotassium: 104mgFiber: 1gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 99IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 71mgIron: 1mg

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her three beautiful girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

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