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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.

turkey gravy served in a clear gravy boat

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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.

top down image of turkey gravy in a clear gravy boat and a plate of Thanksgiving dishes

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!

ingredients to make turkey gravy

Ingredients

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!

Variations

  • 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.

Quick Tip

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.

steps to make turkey gravy without the turkey drippings

How to Make Turkey Gravy Without Drippings

  1. Melt the butter: Place the butter in a saucepan set over medium heat. 
  2. Warm the stock: In another pot, warm the turkey stock.
  3. 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.
  4. Add the stock: Slowly pour the warm stock into the roux, whisking constantly.
  5. 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.
plate of Thanksgiving dishes with homemade turkey gravy poured on top of the roasted turkey servings

Quick Tip

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!

Serving Suggestions

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.

FAQs

What is the ratio of flour to liquid for gravy?

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.

How do you make good gravy?

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.

Why is my turkey not making any juice?

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.

What makes better gravy, cornstarch or flour?

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.

More Thanksgiving Favorites

Turkey Gravy Without Drippings

Turkey gravy without drippings is full of all the savory, umami flavors you love—just without the turkey drippings!
No ratings yet
Course: Dinner, Thanksgiving
Cuisine: American
Author: Kasey Schwartz
Servings: 6 – 8 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients  

  • cup butter
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups turkey stock
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoon thyme, minced

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

Turkey broth, chicken stock, or chicken broth can be used instead of turkey stock if needed.

Nutrition

Calories: 174kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 561mg | Potassium: 150mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 39IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword: turkey gravy, turkey gravy without drippings
Did you make this recipe?Mention @kasey_allthingsmamma or tag #allthingsmamma!

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About Kasey Schwartz

Hi, I’m Kasey, Founder of All Things Mamma – where I am dishing up family favorite recipes that are easy to make with simple, everyday ingredients. Plus – tips and tricks for living your best life!

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