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Make Ahead Turkey Gravy for Thanksgiving from The Food Charlatan

Make Ahead Turkey Gravy for Thanksgiving

This Make Ahead Turkey Gravy is so easy and saves tons of time and stress on Thanksgiving Day! No more running around while the turkey gets cold, trying to skim fat and whisk out lumps while everyone stares at you because you misjudged your time and they are starving. (Oh, is this just me??) 
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Servings 12 Servings
Calories 175kcal
Author Karen


  • 4 turkey wings or other parts 4 to 5 pounds total
  • 2 medium onions roughly chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 cups chicken broth *
  • 1-2 carrots chopped
  • ½ teaspoon thyme dried
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth *
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper more to taste
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt


  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a large baking sheet. (I used foil in the photo above out of habit, but there is no need.)
  • Place wings and other turkey parts on the pan. Scatter the onions over the pan.
  • Roast at 400 for 1 hour, up to an hour and 15 minutes. Make sure the parts are browned on top.
  • Remove the turkey parts to a large stock pot.
  • Place the baking sheet over two burners on your stove and turn both of them up to medium. Add 1 cup water and use a wooden spoon to stir up all the browned bits. When the bottom of the pan is clean, scrape the water into the pot with the turkey.
  • Add 6 cups chicken broth (or 6 cups water and 6 teaspoons turkey base.) Add the chopped carrots and the thyme.
  • Simmer uncovered for about 1 and 1/2 hours.
  • Remove the turkey parts and set aside. (You can pull off the meat and save it for something else, but I found that it was pretty tough.)
  • Pour the remaining onion and carrot mixture through a colander into a bowl. (You can discard the veggies or snack on them).
  • At this point I stuck the bowl in the freezer for about 20 minutes so that it was easy to skim the fat from the top.
  • Pour the broth back into the pot. Bring to a gentle boil.
  • Whisk together the flour and 2 cups broth, making sure to get out all the lumps.
  • Slowly whisk the flour mixture into the broth. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring. Stir in butter, pepper, and salt.
  • Taste it and see what you think. You can add more salt, pepper, thyme, or up to 1 teaspoon of turkey base.
  • Let cool and freeze in ziplock bags. Let the gravy thaw in the fridge overnight, or just stick it in the microwave.
  • If you are making a turkey on the day you plan to serve this gravy, add the fat-skimmed pan drippings to the gravy!


You can see in the photos that my roasting pan is lined with aluminum foil, but you don't need to worry about doing that since you want to scrape the browned bits anyway. I just did it out of habit. I used heavy duty foil and it worked out okay.
*Instead of chicken broth, I used Turkey Base from Better Than Bouillon. 1 teaspoon + 1 cup water = 1 cup broth. It has a really rich flavor and is perfect for making a very turkey-tasting gravy.


Serving: 0.3cup | Calories: 175kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 724mg | Potassium: 316mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 922IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg