Thanksgiving Gravy

Gravy is a crucial part of Thanksgiving dinner—do it right and it can breathe new life into your turkey or mashed potatoes. And while good gravy can make or break the meal, it's easy to drop the ball after a long day of cooking. The good news is that even the best gravy only takes 15 minutes of active work. Whether you're looking for a super-simple gravy or a more complex variation flavored with fresh herbs, apple cider, or mustard, we have eight recipes that will treat your turkey with the respect it deserves.

Gravy is a crucial part of Thanksgiving dinner—do it right and it can breathe new life into your turkey or mashed potatoes. And while good gravy can make or break the meal, it's easy to drop the ball after a long day of cooking. The good news is that even the best gravy only takes 15 minutes of active work. Whether you're looking for a super-simple gravy or a more complex variation flavored with fresh herbs, apple cider, or mustard, we have eight recipes that will treat your turkey with the respect it deserves.

The Best Turkey Gravy

Classic Gravy Made Simple
The best turkey gravy starts with chicken stock, which we fortify with the neck, gizzards, and trimmings from the turkey, plus a variety of vegetables. After simmering and straining the stock, all that you need to do is make a roux out of butter and flour and slowly incorporate the stock to make a rich, glossy gravy.
Get the recipe for The Best Turkey Gravy

Even Easier Turkey Gravy
If you're overwhelmed by the rest of the dinner and want an easier gravy, you can skip making a the fortified stock and simply thicken drippings from the turkey with a roux—be careful to add the dripping gradually, so that they don't clump. With such a simple recipe, this gravy has about as pure a turkey flavor as you can get.
Get the recipe for Even Easier Turkey Gravy

Rich and Creamy Gravy With Fresh Herbs
White gravy isn't particularly traditional for Thanksgiving, but that doesn't mean it has no place on your holiday table. This recipe takes our basic gravy and adds 1/4 cup heavy cream right at the end. We also stir in sage, thyme, and rosemary to give the gravy a pleasant herbal flavor and aroma.
Get the recipe for Rich and Creamy Gravy

Gluten-Free Gravy
You don't need to eat wheat to have a great gravy—this recipe uses the same technique as our basic gravy, but swaps the white flour for sweet rice flour. Feel free to use sweet rice flour as a gluten-free alternative in our other gravy recipes, too.
Get the recipe for Gluten-Free Gravy

More Gravy Recipes

Gravy FAQs

Help! My gravy's (a) too lumpy (b) too thin (c) starting to separate. What did I do wrong?
Let's not worry too much about what you did wrong; let's worry about how to fix it. Lumps in gravy can be removed either by straining the lumps through a fine-mesh strainer or by blending the lumps in using a countertop or immersion blender. A thin gravy can be thickened by whisking in either a paste of butter and flour (about a tablespoon or two of each) or a lump-free slurry made from a teaspoon or two of cornstarch and a tablespoon or so of the gravy. There's no easy formula for how much of either to add since it depends on your batch-size and how thin the gravy is, so add each in small increments and allow a couple minutes of simmering time for the starches to thicken before deciding to add more. A broken gravy with fat pooling on the surface can be brought back together with more starch (flour or cornstarch, as described for thickening a gravy); by emulsifying it with a blender; and/or by blending in more liquid in the form of water or stock (emulsions can often break if they over-reduce). For more detailed instructions, read our article on fixing common gravy problems.
Can I make gravy ahead of time? What's the best way to store it?
Yes, you can make gravy ahead of time. You can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. In most cases, it will reheat nicely, either in the microwave (make sure to stir every 30 seconds to one minute to heat it evenly and prevent a skin from forming) or in a saucepan over very gentle heat (stir or whisk often). If anything does go wrong, just remember that lumps can be fine-strained or blended out, and an overly thick gravy can be thinned with a little stock or water (an overly thin one, conversely, can be thickened by simmering briefly with a little extra cornstarch slurry).
What's the best way to keep gravy warm?
Your biggest concerns when keeping a pot of gravy warm on the stovetop are a skin forming on top and the bottom scorching, both from a lack of stirring while on the heat. Both can be avoided by stirring and scraping the bottom frequently, but that assumes you're holding the gravy in a saucepan on a burner. Even better is to free up the burner for one of the many other Thanksgiving dishes that likely demand it and find another way to keep your gravy warm. Read more about our favorite ways to keep gravy warm without hogging a burner.