If you’re in a pinch and you need to know how to make turkey gravy without drippings, you’ve come to the right place! This easy turkey gravy is full of all the savory, umami flavors you love—just without the turkey drippings.
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Whether it’s because you bought a cooked turkey for Thanksgiving or your bird just didn’t give you any drippings, you’re probably here because you’re wondering: is it even possible to make turkey gravy without drippings?!!
Well, here’s some good news: yes, you can make turkey gravy without drippings! And it’s actually pretty simple to do.
Simple Turkey Gravy Without Drippings
Homemade gravy is just a thickened mixture of fat, flour, and liquid. When we talk about turkey gravy for Thanksgiving, the fat is usually from the drippings, but it doesn’t have to be.
Of course, the problem when you use another fat instead of drippings for a gravy recipe is that you’re not getting the same meaty flavor. The solution? Add the turkey flavor in the liquid—use turkey stock! The stock allows you to make turkey gravy without drippings because it brings that turkey flavor to the table.
No turkey stock either? No problem! You can easily make some by boiling turkey bones in water. And if you don’t have time for that, well, you can cheat and use chicken stock. Is it technically turkey gravy? No, but it will still be tasty on your turkey and mashed potatoes!
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Butter – You can make this turkey gravy without drippings and dairy by substituting a plant-based butter.
- All-purpose flour
- Turkey stock – Store-bought turkey broth works too; just keep in mind that broth is seasoned, so you’ll need to add less salt. Use chicken broth or stock if turkey stock is unavailable.
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Thyme – Fresh thyme adds lots of flavor, so you don’t miss the drippings!
- Instead of thyme, you can use sage or rosemary. Dried herbs or poultry seasoning can be swapped in for fresh herbs, but you’ll need to use less because the flavors are more concentrated.
- For a different flavor, try using white pepper instead of black pepper.
- To make a gluten-free gravy, use gluten-free flour or cornstarch in place of the all-purpose flour.
If your turkey did give you some drippings, just not enough to make a full batch of gravy, just use what you can and substitute it for the butter. In other words, if you collect a tablespoon of drippings from the pan, use a tablespoon less butter in the gravy.
How to Make Turkey Gravy Without Drippings
- Melt the butter: Place the butter in a saucepan set over medium heat.
- Warm the stock: In another pot, warm the turkey stock.
- Whisk in the flour: Sprinkle the flour onto the melted butter, then whisk to incorporate and break up any lumps. Cook the roux for another 1 to 2 minutes, or until the flour begins to thicken and turn golden brown.
- Add the stock: Slowly pour the warm stock into the roux, whisking constantly.
- Season and finish: Add the salt, pepper, and thyme. Lower the heat to a simmer, then cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the gravy reaches your desired consistency.
Be sure to pour the stock in slowly and whisk constantly as you do so. This is how you keep your gravy from being lumpy!
While roast turkey and mashed potatoes are the most obvious ways to use this turkey gravy without drippings, feel free to get creative. It’s also delicious on roasted potatoes, or you can pour it over a batch of air fryer French fries and cheese curds for homemade poutine!
How to Store Leftover Turkey Gravy
Transfer leftovers to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 3 days. Warm it up over low heat on the stovetop before serving, or just pop it in the microwave.
Alternatively, you can freeze this turkey gravy without drippings in a freezer-safe container for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
Typically, the ratio is 1 tablespoon of flour for every 1 cup of liquid. That said, you can adjust the consistency of this easy gravy recipe by using a different ratio.
To make perfect Thanksgiving gravy, you’ll want to make sure your roux cooks a bit before you add the stock. And once it’s time to add the stock, do so slowly and whisk the whole time—this is what keeps your gravy from getting lumpy! Be patient and let the gravy cook and thicken, and always remember that if you’re not happy with the taste, you can add any seasonings you like! Soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce are great for adding umami flavor.
There are a few reasons why your turkey might not be making any juice, or drippings. First, the turkey could be overcooked, which means the juices cooked off in the oven. Second, it’s possible that you didn’t thaw the turkey all the way through, which means it will take longer to cook and won’t release as much juice.
Both cornstarch and flour will work to thicken your gravy, but flour is more traditional. Cornstarch will give you a clearer gravy, while flour will give you a more opaque gravy. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference.
Turkey Gravy Without Drippings
- ⅓ cup butter
- 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups turkey stock
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoon thyme, minced
- Heat the butter in a saucepan over medium heat until it's melted.
- In a separate pot, heat the stock until warm.
- Sprinkle flour over the surface, then whisk to incorporate together and remove any lumps. This mixture is called a “roux”. Cook for another 1 to 2 minutes so the flour begins to thicken.
- Once the stock is warm, slowly pour it into the roux, while whisking.
- Add salt, pepper and thyme.
- Lower the heat so the gravy is just simmering, then cook down until desired consistency, scraping the bottom periodically so it doesn’t scorch, about 10 to 15 minutes.