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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!
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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
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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 Pot Pie
- Thanksgiving Leftover Casserole
- Drizzled over The Perfect Mashed Potatoes
- Our Best Dinner Rolls taste amazing dipped the turkey gravy
- Pilgrim Sandwiches
- Slow Cooker Creamed Corn
- Roasted Frozen Green Beans
- Orange Cranberry Sauce
- Harvest Pear Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette Dressing
- Pies – So many delicious pies to choose from! You can stick with the Traditional Pumpkin Pie or Dutch Apple Pie or try something new, like our Island Pecan Pie or German Chocolate Pie.
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:
Mom’s Famous Turkey Gravy
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- In a separate, small bowl, combine cornstarch and water. Stir until there are no lumps. It should be nice and smooth.
- Whisking the gravy constantly, slowly add cornstarch mixture a little at a time until the gravy is thickened to the consistency you desire.
- 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.
- Pour into a gravy boat and serve.
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.