Posted: Nov 19, 2012 5:00 AM
Making turkey gravy for Thanksgiving doesn't need to be stressful. Use this simple recipe and the how-to tips for fail-proof gravy.

If there is one thing that can throw off the most seasoned cook on Thanksgiving, it's the gravy. But it doesn't need to be difficult. Learning the tips and tricks to fix your gravy (if it becomes too thin or too thick) takes the guess work out of it.

One of the sure-fire ways to get a gravy that is full of flavor is to use the drippings from the roasted turkey. Do not, I repeat, do not throw away those browned bits at the bottom of your roasting pan. That's where all the flavor lives.

First you'll make a roux (pronounced roo), which is just a fancy name for a thickening agent. This is made by whisking together and cooking a fat (in this case, that's the butter) and flour until the roux is dark brown. A dark brown roux means a rich, dark brown gravy. Next, slowly add the turkey drippings mixed with some broth and whisk until the gravy thickens. You'll be rewarded with a thick, flavorful gravy. Your mashed potatoes will thank you.

Easy turkey gravy for Thanksgiving collage

Easy turkey gravy for thanksgiving

Makes about 3 cups of gravy


  • 3-1/2 cups (approximately) turkey broth or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Salt, to taste (if necessary)


  1. Pour the turkey drippings from the roasting pan into a large measuring cup. Let it rest for about 10 minutes, then skim off and discard the fat. You can also use special measuring cups that separate the drippings from the fat.
  2. Add enough turkey or chicken broth to the drippings to equal 4 cups of liquid.
  3. Set the roasting pan, with the browned bits on the bottom, over two burners set to medium heat. Add and melt the butter, scraping up the browned bits with a wooden spoon.
  4. Add the flour and whisk to form a roux. Cook until the roux is dark brown, 4 to 5 minutes.
  5. Whisking constantly, slowly add the broth mixture. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce the heat slightly to bring the gravy to a simmer.
  6. Cook, whisking frequently, until the gravy is thick and smooth, 10 to 15 minutes. Lower the heat to keep the gravy warm. Whisk occasionally to stop a skin from forming until ready to serve.

Easy turkey gravy for Thanksgiving main image

Tips and tricks

  • If the gravy is too thick, whisk in additional turkey or chicken broth, 1/4 cup at a time.
  • If the gravy is too thin, continue to simmer and whisk. If the gravy does not thicken more, make a slurry. This is done by completely dissolving flour or cornstarch into water. Add the slurry a little bit at a time, whisking and simmering, until the gravy thickens.
  • If the gravy is too salty, add a little water to dilute it slightly. Additionally, you can add a few slices of potato, which will absorb the extra salt. Remember to remove the potato slices before serving the gravy.
  • If a skin forms on top of the gravy, skim off the skin and bring the gravy to a simmer, whisking constantly.

Other Thanksgiving ideas

How to host a Thanksgiving potluck
Simple Thanksgiving table settings
Green bean casserole with sautéed mushrooms and shallots