How To Make Turkey Gravy Without Turkey


Making Turkey GravyThe simplest method for making the best turkey gravy you’ve ever tried! This Homemade Turkey Gravy Recipe is easy to make and delicious.

How To Make Turkey Gravy Without Turkey

Drippings-Infused Turkey Gravy

Every year, as we begin to post Thanksgiving recipes, we get a flood of questions about gravy.

Why is a dish as simple as gravy causing a such uproar?

This, I believe, stems from earlier generations of American cooking, when progress and modernization meant that Thanksgiving side dishes came from boxes and cans, and gravy was made from powdered packets.

These Thanksgiving dinners, with gelatinous cylinders of cranberry sauce and stuffing made from pouches of dehydrated onions and herbs, are remembered fondly by most adults of a certain age.

How To Make Turkey Gravy Without Turkey

Homemade Turkey Gravy

Thankfully, the American culinary mindset has completed a full circle.

We want to start from scratch again. We want personal quality control over what we eat and put into our bodies.

Gravy appears to be the final frontier in returning Thanksgiving dinner to its roots.

How To Make Turkey Gravy Without Turkey

Recipe for the Best Turkey Gravy

The best turkey gravy is made with roast turkey pan drippings. However, you will still need to add some turkey broth to achieve the desired consistency.

Recipe for the Best Turkey Gravy

The best turkey gravy is made with roast turkey pan drippings. However, you will still need to add some turkey broth to achieve the desired consistency.

You can buy turkey broth around the holidays, or you can roast a small turkey before Thanksgiving and use the meat in various recipes while saving the bones for broth.


  • 1-3 cups pan drippings from turkey (and optional turkey giblets)
  • 1 1/2-3 1/2 cups turkey or chicken broth (low sodium) (or chicken stock)
  • 5 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onions
  • 3 tbsp. fresh chopped herbs (sage, thyme, rosemary)
  • seasoned with salt and pepper
How To Make Turkey Gravy Without Turkey

Making Turkey Gravy with Drippings

Instructions for Making This Simple Gravy…

Roast Your Turkey- Depending on the size of your turkey and how it is prepared, it will produce anywhere from one cup to several cups of drippings. To enhance the turkey drippings, some people add water and vegetables to the roasting pan. Others flavor the turkey and drippings by stuffing it with fresh herbs and onions. These are both excellent suggestions, but they are not required. Even if you start with a dry roasting pan, you will end up with drippings. If you brine your turkey, the drippings will be extremely salty. To avoid over-seasoning your gravy, taste the dripping before beginning to make it.

Make a Roux – Instead of adding butter or oil to the gravy, skim some fat from the turkey drippings and whisk it with flour in a large saucepan over medium-high heat to create the thickening base for your gravy. As the roux cooked, I added chopped onion and fresh herbs to enhance the flavor of the gravy.

Measure Your Drippings- To begin, you’ll need 4 cups of pan drippings and broth (or stock). Not all drippings have the same fat-to-liquid ratio and flavor intensity. As a result, taste the drippings to determine how much to add. Add fewer drippings and more broth if your drippings are very salty. Skim off some of the fat before adding it if they are very fatty. However, if your drippings taste great and contain some fat but not all of it, use all of them. Then, using as little broth as possible, fill the measuring cup to the 4-cup mark.

Whisk! – To make silky smooth turkey gravy, pour the liquid into the roux while vigorously whisking. Allow the gravy to simmer until it reaches the desired consistency.
Loosen the gravy – Gravy thickens while cooking and even more as it cools. It’s a good idea to save some broth to whisk into the gravy right before serving so it doesn’t become too thick.
When you’re ready to serve your delicious Thanksgiving meal, strain the gravy through a fine mesh sieve to remove the onions, herbs, and any clumps.

The Complete Thanksgiving Homemade Turkey Gravy Recipe is Listed Below. Enjoy!

How To Make Turkey Gravy Without Turkey

Questions and Answers

Here are some of the comments and emails we’ve received in response to previous Thanksgiving posts…


You make the following recipe. wink


Use our best turkey gravy recipe, which is listed at the bottom of this post. It does not let you down!


You can make turkey gravy without using pan drippings if you follow this recipe. 4+ cups of turkey broth can be substituted.

Will the gravy taste as good? To be honest, no.

However, it will still taste good and is a viable option when cooking a turkey breast without pan drippings.


Yes. Just rewarm the gravy and whisk in some extra broth to loosen it, if needed.


Yes. Freeze small portions of the gravy in airtight containers. That way, you can only take out what you need later. Frozen gravy can be stored for up to 6 months.


Obviously, vegan gravy is not the same as turkey gravy. You can use this recipe by replacing the liquid with vegan vegetable broth and the roux with 1/4 cup of vegan butter (plant-based).

How To Make Turkey Gravy Without Turkey

You Must Try These Traditional Thanksgiving Recipes!

How To Make Turkey Gravy Without Turkey

Nutrition information, including calorie, carbohydrate, cholesterol, and sodium percentages, can be found on the printable recipe card below.

Our Other Recipes

How To Make Turkey Gravy Without Turkey

How To Make Turkey Gravy Without Turkey

Prep time: 5 minutesCook time: 10 minutesTotal time: 15 minutesServings:12 servingsCalories:173 kcal


The simplest method for making the best turkey gravy you’ve ever tried! This homemade turkey gravy recipe is easy to make and delicious! This Thanksgiving, make it.



  1. After roasting a turkey, there are drippings left in the bottom of the pan. Depending on the size of your turkey and exactly how you prepare it, your turkey could produce anywhere from 1 to 5+ cups of drippings. If you brined your turkey, the drippings will be very salty. It’s important to taste the dripping before you start making gravy. If starting with “briny” drippings, use only 1 cup of dripping, or your gravy will be way too salty. Also, make sure to use low-sodium broth so you have better control over salt content.
  2. Skim off 1/4 cup of turkey fat from the drippings and place it in a sauté pan. Set over medium heat and whisk in the flour to create a roux. Add the chopped onion and fresh herbs, and cook until the onions are soft and the roux is golden. 
  3. Meanwhile, measure out the pan drippings and broth to a total of 4 cups combined. This is not an exact science, as all drippings are different based on how to prepare your turkey. Be careful not to add too much of the drippings if they are very salty. Also, you want some turkey fat in the mix, but if your drippings are primarily fat, use fewer drippings and more broth. 
  4. Pour the liquid into the roux, whisking to incorporate evenly. Once the mixture is smooth, simmer to allow it to thicken. The thickness of your gravy is entirely up to you. I like mine thick enough so coat a spoon. Once you reach your desired consistency, turn off the heat. 
  5. Taste the gravy, then salt and pepper as needed. Gravy will thicken as it cools, so either set it on a warmer or set a lid over the pan, and keep a little extra broth to stir in at the end and loosen the gravy.
  6. When ready to serve, rewarm if needed. Whisk, 1/4-1/2 cup of additional broth into the gravy if needed. Then use a sieve to strain out the onions and herbs as you pour them into a gravy bowl. Serve immediately. 


  • Making this recipe? Follow us on Instagram and tag @mfiaz07 so we can share what you’re cooking!
(Visited 32 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This div height required for enabling the sticky sidebar