The best turkey gravy starts with Make-Ahead Turkey Stock, which relies on readily available (and relatively inexpensive) turkey wings. Make a batch now for all your Thanksgiving needs (stuffing, braised green beans, etc.) and stash it in the freezer for up to 3 months. That said, you can make a perfectly delicious gravy using store-bought low-sodium turkey or chicken broth. Choose your path and proceed at will.
With a high-quality stock in hand, this classic turkey gravy recipe is a foolproof path to Thanksgiving dinner’s ultimate condiment. It’s incredibly easy to make while the turkey rests just as the procession of side dishes from kitchen to holiday table begins.
If it’s your first time hosting Thanksgiving and you’re shaky on how to make gravy, the process is simple: Melt butter, whisk in flour until toasty, then add hot stock and the drippings from your roast turkey. The trick is slowly introducing liquid to the roux; too fast, and you risk lumps. Add the stock little by little until the roux thins to a liquid state, then combine the two elements in their entirety and simmer on the stovetop until the gravy reaches your desired consistency.
Note that gravy thickens as it cools. The general rule is to take it off the heat when it’s still slightly runny; that way it’s the ideal texture when it’s time to douse your mashed potatoes. Fill your gravy boat with boiling water before you start (then tip it out and quickly dry) and the sauce should stay warm through the end of dinner. To reheat for any stragglers, have a little extra stock on standby. Warm the gravy on low heat, whisking periodically and adding more stock if needed to loosen.
Need a gravy you can make in advance? Done. More of our best Thanksgiving recipes right this way.