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Make this gravy ahead of your big dinner! Easy to make and full of flavor, you’ll love this turkey gravy, and so will your family.
Step by step photos and instructions below!
This is a make-ahead turkey gravy without pan drippings, so you don’t have to wait until the last minute when your turkey is cooked to begin your gravy!
Take the stress out of the big day! Making homemade gravy ahead is the best way to ensure your cooking goes well when making the holiday meal. We make a yummy stock with some seasoned up turkey legs, and use carrots, onion and celery to round out the base flavors.
Once those have been roasted to get max flavor, we then simmer them in broth to further enhance the goodness.
Then, we make a roux with butter and flour, whisk in the kicked up turkey stock, and you’ll serve your family amazing, flavorful, velvety gravy perfect over anything!
Why you’ll love this recipe:
- It’s a make ahead gravy recipe, meaning you’ll make it and store it in the refrigerator and reheat when you need it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Add a little more stock or water to thin it out.
Heat in a saucepan or microwave over medium low heat.
Absolutely you can. Gravy can be stored in the freezer for up to 4 months. See notes for instructions.
What to serve with Gravy
I have included step by step photos and instructions, as well as tips and tricks in the post. If you’d rather skip all that, scoot right on down to the full recipe card located at the bottom of the post.
What to do with leftovers
Store in an airtight container or in a bowl covered in plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat until it is piping hot!
You can use turkey wings or legs, or a mixture of both to make the stock.
Chicken broth, turkey stock or water can be used to simmer the turkey legs.
Add a couple of bay leaves to the stock while simmering for added flavor.
Freeze in small 1 cup containers for up to 4 months. Reheat in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
The full list of ingredients and quantities is found in the printable recipe card below.
- Turkey Legs. Grab a package of these in the meat section of the grocery store.
- Onion, Carrots, Celery. These form the flavor of the gravy base.
- Butter. I use salted butter. 4 tablespoons on the turkey, 4 tablespoons in the gravy.
- Seasonings. I use garlic salt, black pepper, poultry seasoning and smoked paprika.
- Flour. Plain all purpose flour.
- Stock. Chicken or turkey stock can be used, as well as water.
- 9 x 13 baking dish, or large baking sheet
- Large stock pot or large Dutch oven
- Medium saucepan
How to make this recipe
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The full list of ingredients, quantities and instructions can be found in the printable recipe card below.
Roast the turkey and vegetables
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the onion, carrots and celery in a 9×13 baking dish. Place the turkey legs on top of the vegetables.
In a small bowl melt 4 Tbs of the butter, add all the seasonings to the butter and whisk to combine.
Pour the seasoned butter over the turkey legs.
Bake for about 45 minutes. We are not looking to cook these through, they will finish cooking in the stock (so no need to worry about internal temperature, we just want to get some good golden brown color on the legs and veggies).
Make the stock
Transfer the legs and all the veggies and turkey drippings (pan juices) including all the browned bits from bottom of the pan to a large saucepan.
Pour in the 4 cups of stock or water, bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer uncovered for an hour, then remove the vegetables and legs from the pot.
Make the gravy
In a sauce pan melt butter over medium heat.
Once the butter is melted, whisk in the flour and allow to cook for 30 seconds.
Whisk in all of the stock and continue whisking over medium heat until it comes to a bubble and thickens.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Transfer to a gravy boat or other serving jug, and set aside until ready to serve.
More delicious Thanksgiving sides:
- Easy Stuffing Recipe. This super easy stuffing recipe combines bread, onions, celery, fresh herbs, and stock and is SUPER delicious! Skip the box, and make your own homemade stuffing!
- 30 Minute Dinner Rolls. Make these dinner rolls from scratch in just about 30 minutes!! These are great for holidays, weeknights, basically – any time you need them.
- Homemade Cranberry Sauce. This Homemade Spiced Cranberry Sauce is not your average “open-a-can” variety! It features warm spices like cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg and a pop of fresh citrus, and is DELICIOUS!
- Sweet Potato Casserole. A wonderful combination of sweet potatoes, brown sugar, and an ooey-gooey topping of marshmallows and pecan streusel!
- Green Bean Casserole. A super tasty version of a classic, made from scratch using fresh ingredients. This green bean casserole is a family favorite that everyone will love!
- Slow Cooker Turkey Breast. Free up your oven and cook your turkey low and slow! This Slow Cooker Turkey Breast is the perfect way to cook perfectly seasoned and juicy turkey.
- Creamy Mashed Potatoes Recipe (Make-ahead!). Creamy, dreamy and decadent, this easy mashed potato recipe will make your side dish dreams come true!
- Easy Scalloped Potatoes are a great side dish to any meal. Thinly sliced potatoes, layered with onion, flour, seasonings, and butter, baked, and topped with a little cheese… ready to devour!
Make Ahead Turkey Gravy
Roast the turkey and vegetables
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place the onion, carrots and celery in a 9×13 baking dish.
- Place the turkey legs on top of the vegetables..
- In a small bowl melt 4 tablespoons of the butter.
- Add all the seasonings to the butter and whisk to combine.
- Pour the seasoned butter over the turkey legs.
- Bake for about 45 minutes. We are not looking to cook these through, they'll cook fully in the stock .No need to worry about internal temperature, we just want to get some good color on the legs and veggies.
Make the stock
- Transfer the legs and all the veggies and drippings from the baking dish to a large stock pot.
- Pour in the 4 cups of stock or water.
- Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer uncovered for an hour.
- Remove the vegetables and legs from the pot.
Make the gravy
- In a small saucepan melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat.
- Once the butter is melted, whisk in the flour and allow to cook for 30 seconds.
- Whisk in all of the stock.
- Continue whisking over medium heat until it comes to a bubble and thickens.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Transfer to a gravy boat or other serving jug, and serve.
Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.