How to Make Basic Turkey (or Chicken) Gravy

Turkey Gravy
The Spruce
  • 15 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 5 mins
  • Yield: 2 Cups (about 8 Servings)
Ratings (45)

There are many ways to make gravy for a turkey or chicken dinner, including some shortcuts using butter instead of pan drippings along with chicken or turkey stock.

This is a recipe for a classic turkey gravy made with pan drippings, flour, and water or stock. Purchased chicken or turkey stock may be used, but it should be a good quality stock and low in sodium or unsalted.

Use this recipe for roasted turkey, chicken, or Cornish game hens. The recipe can easily be scaled up or down for a large roasted turkey or smaller hens. It depends on how much fat you have in the drippings. A small amount of butter can be added to the turkey or chicken fat if you do not have 1/4 cup.

See the tips and variations below the recipe for some optional additions and flavor ideas.

What You'll Need

  • 1 to 2 cups pan drippings (from roasted turkey or chicken or Cornish hens)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 to 2 cups water (or low sodium or unsalted stock)
  • Kosher salt (to taste)
  • Black pepper (to taste)

How to Make It

  1. Pour the turkey or chicken pan drippings into a 2-cup measuring cup or gravy separator and skim the fat off.
  2. Put about 1/4 cup of the fat into a saucepan.
  3. Stir in 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour.
  4. Cook, stirring for 2 minutes.
  5. Discard any remaining skimmed fat. Add enough water to the liquids left in the measuring cup to make 2 cups of liquid. Pour the 2 cups of liquid into the flour and fat mixture. Cook, stirring, until thickened and bubbling. Continue cooking for about 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  1. Add kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Tips and Variations

  • For richer flavor, use a good quality chicken or turkey stock (unsalted or low sodium) instead of water.
  • To make giblet gravy, put the neck, heart, and liver in a saucepan and cover with salt-free or very low sodium stock or water. Simmer over low heat for about 1 1/2 hours. Drain the giblets and chop the meat (discard the cooking liquid and gristle and remove meat from the neck). Add the chopped giblets to the saucepan with the 1/4 cup of fat and proceed with the recipe.
  • Rich Gravy With Cream and Fresh Herbs - After the gravy has thickened, add 1/4 cup of heavy cream, 1 teaspoon fresh finely chopped sage, 1/2 teaspoon of fresh finely minced rosemary, and 1 teaspoon fresh finely chopped thyme. Cook, stirring, for about 1 minute longer. Add kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
  • With Wine - Add 2 tablespoons of dry white wine or Madeira to the saucepan along with the 2 cups of liquid and proceed with the recipe.
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 199
Total Fat 10 g
Saturated Fat 3 g
Unsaturated Fat 4 g
Cholesterol 52 mg
Sodium 264 mg
Carbohydrates 8 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Protein 17 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)