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How to Make Gravy from Scratch {Turkey Giblet Gravy}

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This truly is the BEST giblet turkey gravy, that you can make-ahead! Silky, rich, and oozing with amazing turkey flavor! This ain’t no boxed gravy my friends and much easier than you think!

This has been my go-to turkey gravy recipe for years. I love it because you can make it ahead, it comes together at the last-minute for amazing gravy, bursting with flavor and depth!

Browsing for more delicious holiday dinner recipes? Try these: Instant Pot Turkey Breast, Funeral Potatoes, Best Thanksgiving Stuffing, and Cheesy Asparagus Bake.

Easy turkey giblet gravy square image with sliced turkey breast on cutting board poured with rich turkey gravy.

If you are really pressed for time, you can actually finish it ahead of time, cool completely, freeze, and then re-heat when ready to serve, if needed thinning with a little extra chicken or turkey stock. you may have to thin with a little chicken stock or turkey drippings).

PRO TIP | If you bought a frozen turkey and are in the process of thawing it, it’ll provide you a chance to remove the giblets and see whether your turkey is fully thawed!

Best turkey giblet gravy with gravy poured over sliced turkey breast.

How to prepare giblets for gravy

  • Retrieve giblets; (yes, you have to get your hands dirty) place turkey in a sink on a plate and cut the package open. The neck is typically in the larger cavity while they usually put the sack of giblets in the other end.
  • After removing giblets, rinse the turkey with cold water, pat dry using paper towels, dry it well, cover it in plastic wrap, place on a plate (or you’ll have turkey juice all over your fridge) and return to fridge until ready to prepare.
  • Try my super easy, amazingly tender turkey recipe or this Instant Pot Turkey Breast.
  • Rough chop giblets, you can leave the neck whole
Holding raw turkey under running water to rinse out cavity.

Ingredients for turkey gravy without drippings

As always, these are the primary ingredients, measurements and full instructions are in the printable recipe card at the end of the post.

Turkey Stock Ingredients

  • Turkey Giblets | You cannot very well make giblet gravy without the giblets! What are giblets you ask? When you purchase a fresh or frozen turkey, unless it is marked without giblets, tucked in one cavity or another, will be a bag filled with the giblets; the heart, kidneys, liver of the turkey — this is what gives this gravy the best flavor!
  • Veggies | All of the best stocks begin with veggies, we’ll use the classics here; celery, carrots, onion and garlic
  • Chicken Broth or Stock | Unless you can find turkey stock (which Trader Joe’s often carries during the holidays) chicken stock or broth will be just fine!
  • Marsala Wine | This is the flavor kicker! But, use Sherry or even Apple juice, if you can’t find Marsala
  • Herbs | Every good turkey gravy has delicious herbs, I used bay leaves, fresh rosemary and fresh sage.

Turkey Gravy Ingredients

  • Butter | For this recipe, use real butter, no blends, it adds creaminess and smoothness — we don’t count calories on holidays and birthdays!
  • All-Purpose Flour | You can easily swap out a good Gluten-Free All Purpose flour if trying to make Gluten-Free Turkey Gravy, I do it all the time!
  • Apple Cider Vinegar | Apple cider vinegar works best, but you can certainly use regular vinegar or a wine vinegar if you can’t get ACV!
Raw turkey giblets on cutting board, chopped onions, celery and carrots in background; the backbone of Giblet Turkey Gravy.

How to Make Gravy from Scratch

Step One | Make Turkey Stock

  • Chop onions, celery and carrots, a rough chop is fine for all.
  • I ran out of regular carrots to chop, but had some fresh shredded carrots so just decided to use a generous handful of those! It’s ok to improvise!
  • Heat olive oil in a large pan, nice and hot, over medium-high heat and toss in your giblets and your veggies; stand back it’ll spit and spurt at you!
adding veggies to giblet skillet to brown for turkey giblet gravy.
  • Allow to brown for a minute, then turn the giblet pieces and give your veggies a stir.
Browned giblets with vegetables in a skillet with a wooden spoon.
  • Once they are nice and browned and you have some browned bits sticking to the bottom of the pan, increase the heat slightly and pour in your marsala, (or sherry, I’ve used both), deglazing the pan.
  • Prefer not to use alcohol? Use apple juice, chicken or turkey stock instead.
Pouring in marsala to deglaze the pan for turkey giblet gravy.
Hand holding two fresh bay leaves with skillet in background with giblets and gravy for turkey gravy stock.
  • Give it all a good stir and bring to a simmer.
  • Cover and simmer for an hour.
  • If you are putting it together right away, strain after you’ve simmered for an hour. If you are making the gravy a day or two ahead of time, then let it sit as is overnight in the refrigerator.

Step Two | Straining the Homemade Turkey Stock

Strain through a mesh colander into a large bowl or another pot, let sit for a few minutes to allow all of those yummy juices to drip out.

straining simmered gravy base through strainer into pot.

DOGGIE THANKSGIVING | If you have a dog, give them the veggies and the giblets (not the neck) they can choke on the bones.

Toss the rest away and keep that homemade turkey stock, will probably measure about 3 cups, you’ll need about 4 cups, you should get another cup from the turkey drippings which you’ll add later. However; the turkey drippings are not necessary to make this gravy!

If you are making the gravy before you cook the turkey, just add chicken or turkey stock to yield 4 cups. Set aside.

PRO TIP | If you have time, refrigerate, until fat layer is solid, then using a spoon or spatula skim off the fat.

Gravy base in glass bowl with fat separated at the top.

How to Make Turkey Gravy without Drippings

  • Melt the butter in a large pot or saucepan over medium-high heat
  • Add all-purpose flour (or sub Gluten Free All Purpose) to make a roux.
  • Whisk for 1-2 minutes until slightly browned, this gets rid of the flour pasty flavor, an important step.
Whisking flour into brown roux for homemade turkey gravy from scratch.
  • Slowly pour in reserved stock whisking while you pour, which is hard to do when you are trying to take a picture with one hand and pour with the other.
Pouring giblet turkey stock into roux, whisking until thick for how to make gravy from scratch.
  • Bring gravy to boil; whisking and cook 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cook 10 minutes.
  • Stir in vinegar and adjust seasonings with sea salt and pepper.

WHY VINEGAR? | I receive a lot of questions about adding vinegar. The gravy will still taste delicious without it, believe it or not a touch of vinegar brightens the flavors of sauces and gravies. Just a touch, you don’t want to taste the vinegar. Apple Cider Vinegar may be replaced with a red or white wine vinegar, regular vinegar (start out with a little less) or even balsamic vinegar.

Bottle of apple cider vinegar near skillet filled with giblet gravy and a whisk.

CAN I MAKE GIBLET GRAVY AHEAD OF TIME?

Yes! Allow to cool completely, then store in fridge until ready to use, may even be frozen up to 3 months.

When ready to serve, return to pot on stove, warming over low heat, thinning with chicken or turkey stock if too thick.

Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper if needed. Drippings from the roasted turkey are perfect to add in to continue to bring added flavor!

Turkey giblet gravy square image with turkey breast sliced on cutting board and pouring rich turkey giblet gravy over the top.

What can I serve with Giblet Gravy

Easy turkey gravy with or without drippings image of pouring gravy on turkey breast.

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20 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    We cook our turkey on the charcoal grill and I’ve bought gravy. Not any more, this is the most spectacular gravy I have ever had and can’t wait to make it again. I had a vac-sealed bag of carrots, celery, and onions in my freezer, bought Marsala wine and used apple cider vinegar. Couldn’t ask for better; thank you so much!!

  2. 5 stars
    We did a Thanksgiving test run and gave this a shot this past weekend. And WOW. So so so so incredibly delicious! Can’t wait to serve this to the whole fam next week.