How to make a turkey

Mom’s Famous Turkey Gravy is made with rich, glorious turkey drippings and is the star of Thanksgiving dinner. Perfectly creamy and flavorful every time!

A gravy boat filled with turkey gravy next to a platter of sliced roasted turkey

Our mother is the best cook we know. Everything she makes is perfection. But the thing she is most famous for her is her turkey gravy. Anyone who has shared her table over the years asks for this turkey gravy recipe.Until now, we’ve never even written it down; it was just made to taste. But we finally got our mom to tell us step by step how she creates this savory, creamy gravy. It’s delicious over just about anything!

Thanksgiving Dinner All Year Round

If you know our mom, you know she makes a traditional Sunday dinner.  Every. Single. Sunday. When we were growing up, she would alternate weeks between roast and turkey.  We would come home from church and know we had a famous feast to look forward to: turkey, potatoes and gravy, rolls, corn… seriously, it was like Thanksgiving every other week. We were beyond spoiled. And the show stopper was always this Turkey Gravy.


Turkey gravy in a white gravy boat being drizzled over roasted turkey breast slices

How to Make Turkey Gravy

  • 1/2 to 1 cup turkey drippings from cooked turkey
  • 1 gravy packet included with the frozen turkey or turkey breast (optional, for a gluten free gravy, don't use the packet)
  • 1 tablespoon Wyler's chicken bouillon granules
  • pepper to taste
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water
  • salt (optional)
  1. After roasting a turkey or turkey breast, remove the turkey and leave the drippings in the roasting pan. Place the pan on the largest stove top burner on medium heat. If there is less than one cup of liquid in the pan, add enough water to make about one cup.  Whisk up any little browned bits that may have cooked to the roasting pan.  This adds delicious flavor to the gravy.  The heat from the stove helps loosen the browned bits on the sides of the pan.

  2. If you've used an aluminum pan to cook the turkey, don't place it on the stove after removing the turkey.  Add water to the drippings to make one cup.  Use a whisk or spoon to loosen the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

  3. Pour the liquid from the pan into a 2 cup or larger tempered glass measuring cup or glass bowl.  The fat from the drippings will rise to the surface.  Skim off the fat with a spoon.

  4. Pour the remaining liquid through a wire strainer into a medium-sized saucepan.  This will remove any turkey bits or fat and make a smooth, creamy gravy.

  5. If a gravy packet was included with the turkey, add it to the saucepan.  If you want a gluten free gravy, don't add the packet.

  6. Bring the liquid to a simmer.

  7. Stir in the bouillon granules and pepper.  

  8. Gradually whisk in the milk and bring back to a simmer.

  9. At this point, taste the gravy.  Add more bouillon and pepper if needed for flavor.  Do not add salt at this time.

  10. In a separate, small bowl, combine cornstarch and water.  Stir until there are no lumps.  It should be nice and smooth.

  11. Whisking the gravy constantly, slowly add cornstarch mixture a little at a time until the gravy is thickened to the consistency you desire. Make the gravy slightly thinner than what you prefer because it will thicken a little as it cools.

  12. Taste the gravy again.  If needed, add a little salt for flavor.

  13. Pour into a gravy boat and serve.

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This recipe makes approximately 4 cups of gravy when using a gravy packet.  If a gravy packet from the turkey is not used, this recipe makes approximately 3 cups.  

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