How to Make Basic Turkey (or Chicken) Gravy

Basic turkey or chicken gravy in a gravy boat alongside mashed potatoes with gravy

The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yield: 2 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
201 Calories
7g Fat
11g Carbs
23g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 201
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 8%
Saturated Fat 2g 9%
Cholesterol 77mg 26%
Sodium 320mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 23g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 17mg 1%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 304mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

There are many ways to make gravy for a turkey or chicken dinner, including some shortcut gravies 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. For best results, make your own stock.

Use this recipe for roasted turkey, chicken, or Cornish game hens and even turkey hash. 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.


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"Make a smooth, savory, thick gravy every time with this easy-to-follow recipe. Serve with any type of poultry, mashed potatoes, or fries." —Diana Andrews

Turkey (or Chicken) Gravy in a white gravy boat with a ladle
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 to 2 cups pan drippings (from roasted turkey, chicken, or Cornish hens)

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 to 2 cups stock (low-sodium or unsalted turkey or chicken stock, or water)

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • Black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Basic turkey or chicken gravy ingredients gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

  2. Pour the turkey or chicken pan drippings into a 2-cup measuring cup or gravy separator and skim the fat off. Alternatively, put the measuring cup in the refrigerator until the fat solidifies on top and can be easily skimmed off.

    Turkey fat in a glass measuring cup

    The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

  3. Put about 1/4 cup of the fat into a saucepan over medium heat.

    Fat poured into frying pan

    The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

  4. Stir in 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour.

    Flour stirred into fat in a skillet

    The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

  5. Cook, stirring for 2 minutes.

    Fat and flour stirred together to form gravy in a skillet

    The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

  6. Discard any remaining skimmed fat from the drippings. Add enough stock or water to the liquids left in the measuring cup to make 2 cups of liquid. Pour into the flour and fat mixture. Cook, stirring or whisking continuously, until thickened and bubbling. Continue cooking for about 1 minute, stirring constantly.

    Thickened gravy in a deep skillet

    The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

  7. Add kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

    Salt and pepper added to gravy in a deep skillet

    The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

  8. Serve immediately. Enjoy.

    Turkey or chicken gravy in a white bowl with a spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

Recipe Variations

  • For deeper 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.
  • For a rich herb gravy, 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 after the gravy has thickened. Cook, stirring, for about 1 minute longer.
  • For deeper flavor, add 2 tablespoons of dry white wine or Madeira to the saucepan along with the 2 cups of liquid, and proceed with the recipe.

How Long Do Drippings Last in the Fridge?

If you'd like to make gravy later or use the drippings another time, pour them into an airtight container. They will last in the fridge for up to five days. Reheat before using.