This Easy Turkey Gravy recipe is a delicious way to complete your holiday menu. This foolproof method creates silky-smooth turkey gravy in minutes.
After a marathon day of cooking, making the gravy is one of the last tasks to attend to before everyone can dig in to the Thanksgiving feast. And, in my kitchen, just as soon as the gravy is ready, it’s time to pour myself a glass of wine and relax!
There is almost always at least one or two starving boys hovering around the stove saying “How much longer, Mom?”. That’s why, over the years, I’ve worked to simplify this turkey gravy recipe so it is quick and easy so that you can get down to the important business of eating.
Despite the fact that this gravy is fast and easy, it is also my favorite. The addition of reserved turkey drippings and dry sherry combine to make this incredibly savory and delicious gravy for your turkey and mashed potatoes.
This foolproof method results in smooth and savory homemade turkey gravy worthy of gracing your holiday table.
Table of contents
- Pan drippings – Reserved juices from cooking your turkey.
- All-purpose flour
- Dry sherry – This is just wine that has been fortified with a little brandy, making it more complex than wine alone. A small amount adds great flavor to sauces and gravies. Most grocery stores stock dry sherry in the wine department. Avoid the aisle with “cooking wines” and go for the good stuff. You can pick up a bottle of dry sherry (like Christian Brothers) for about $10 or less. See the FAQ section below for substitutions.
- Broth – I always use low sodium chicken broth for turkey gravy but many stores will carry turkey broth during the holidays. Either will work.
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
How to Make Easy Turkey Gravy
When you remove your turkey from the roasting pan, you should be left with plenty of turkey drippings. Much of this liquid consists of fat that has cooked off while the turkey roasts but it’s full of the flavor of the turkey and any herbs and aromatics you may have used. It only takes a little of this rich, seasoned broth to add some body and tons of flavor to the finished gravy.
The gravy making process requires your full and constant attention and moves quickly. You should be finished with all of your other tasks before starting the gravy and plan to stay with it until it’s ready.
- Pour off all but about 4 tablespoons of the turkey drippings from the roasting pan and place it on the stove over medium heat. If you have a very large roasting pan, you may need to use two burners. If there are any large deposits of fat or solids stuck to the pan, use a large spoon to scoop them out and discard them. Add the butter to the drippings.
- When the butter has melted, whisk in 6 tablespoons of flour. Whisk quickly and constantly until the mixture is smooth.
- Add the dry sherry and whisk up any brown bits from the bottom and edges of the pan. Measure out 4 cups of broth and begin to add it, gradually, whisking to keep the gravy perfectly smooth.
- Add about 3 cups of the broth and then stop and whisk for a couple of minutes. The gravy will thicken as it comes to a simmer. If you would like it thinner, continue adding additional broth in small increments until desired consistency has been reached. Taste the gravy and season it with salt and pepper, to taste.
FAQ and Valerie’s Tips
A dry white wine like sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio is the best substitute for dry sherry. If you happen to have a bottle of madeira or marsala in your pantry, those can be used as well. If you want a non-alcoholic option, you can use a splash of apple cider or additional broth.
To enhance the color of gravy, whisk in a touch of Kitchen Bouquet browning and seasoning sauce. It works great to richen the color of gravies and sauces. A little goes a long way so just whisk it in a drop or two at a time, until you’re happy with the color. I use it from time to time but did not use it for the images in this post so that you can see the natural light color of turkey gravy.
If you’ve added to much broth and the gravy is too thin, mix about 1 tablespoon of cornstarch into ¼ cup water in a small bowl and stir to dissolve. Whisk the mixture into the gravy and allow to cook for another minute or two. Repeat if necessary to reach desired consistency.
Leftover gravy will thicken quite a bit when refrigerated. To reheat, warm it gently in the microwave or in a saucepan on the stove, adding a little water or chicken broth to thin it to the desired consistency.
More Thanksgiving Menu Basics
- How to Choose, Prep and Roast Your Turkey
- Herb Roasted Turkey (pictured in this post)
- Cornbread Stuffing with Sausage and Apples (pictured in this post)
- Cheesy Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes
- Bourbon Glazed Carrots
Wishing you and yours all the best this Thanksgiving!
Easy Turkey Gravy
- 4 tablespoons reserved turkey drippings
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup dry sherry
- 4 cups low sodium chicken or turkey broth, divided
- Kitchen Bouquet Browning and Seasoning Sauce, optional and only as needed
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Pour off all but about 4 tablespoons of the turkey drippings from the roasting pan. Place the roasting pan with the reserved drippings on the stove over one or two burners (depending on the size of your pan) set to MEDIUM. Remove and discard any large deposits of fat or skin from the bottom of the pan.
- Add the butter and once it has melted, sprinkle in the flour. Use a whisk to mix in the flour to make a roux. Whisk and cook the roux until lightly browned, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Pour in the dry sherry, using the whisk to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the roasting pan. Slowly pour in 3 cups of broth. Cook, whisking, until thickened. Add as much of the additional broth as needed to thin to the desired consistency.
- If you would like a deeper color to the gravy, whisk in a few drops of Kitchen Bouquet. Whisk it in, a drop at a time, until you reach the desired color.
- Taste and season with freshly ground pepper and a touch of salt, if needed.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated using generic ingredients, and is an estimate not a guarantee. For more accurate results, please refer to the labels on your ingredients at home.
This post originally published November 23, 2013. It has been updated with new text and images.