Sauces and Condiments

The Best Simple Turkey Gravy Recipe

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Last updated on December 27th, 2021 at 04:20 pm

For some reason unknown to humanity, my wife does not like gravy. And no, I’m not going to say that she magically loves this gravy because it is perfect. She still hates this. But I don’t get it because it is just a super flavorful sauce that distills all the deliciousness of the roasted turkey into a simple turkey gravy.

I mean, it starts out with a stick of butter so how can it be bad?

Sometimes I can get away with just calling a gravy a sauce and she won’t really notice. But with turkey, potatoes, and gravy that trick doesn’t really work. Too iconic. Either way, maybe you can enjoy this thyme and turkey-infused reduction at your next family feast.

Pouring this simple turkey gravy over potatoes and slices of roast turkey

This was actually a recipe of opportunity. I was already making my sage roasted turkey, and so decided to kill two posts with one turkey. Since turkey and gravy go hand-in-hand and you can use drippings from the turkey to help make gravy, it just made sense.

So, let’s all upset my wife by making a delicious and velvety sauce to perfectly pair with our turkey and potatoes.

Start it with a Roux

I get a little bit happy inside whenever there is a chance to have a recipe that features a roux. It is the namesake of the site and the very first post I published was on how to make a roux. Look there for much more in-depth info on how a roux actually works in a recipe.

This simple turkey gravy recipe starts off with a roux, to which we then add the drippings from the pan or turkey stock to get to just the right consistency.

Add butter to the pan and melt it. Then, for added flavor, add in some garlic and thyme and let it simmer for a minute or two. When that has cooked, whisk in the flour. Continue to whisk it as it cooks and bubbles for a few minutes. This will help cook out a little bit of that straight flour flavor.

Next, pour in a mixture of turkey drippings and stock. Whisk it together and bring it to a boil so that it starts to thicken. Thin it with more drippings/stock if needed.

In my sage roasted turkey recipe, I call for cooking the turkey in a roasting pan. I also note to add some sage, thyme, and turkey or chicken stock to the bottom of the roasting pan. While the turkey cooks, the butter slathered over it will drip down along with juices from the turkey itself.

These drippings are the delicious lifeblood of a good gravy. Using this in the gravy will help to impart a whole lot more flavor than using stock or broth alone. Though I don’t turn my nose up at stock, in fact, I did have to supplement a little with some chicken stock to thin things out because there weren’t quite enough drippings in the pan.

Hint – use a fat separator to help separate the fat from the rest of the drippings. Since we already use butter as the main fat for the roux, we don’t need any extra in this sauce.

Slather it in Turkey Gravy

Not that I would ever accuse you of ever making any kind of cooking mistake, but sometimes a turkey can overcook a little and turn slightly dry. Gravy to the rescue!

A slathering of simple turkey gravy can help bring some much-needed moisture to pair with your protein. And it will also pack in the flavor. A properly made gravy will be salty, savory, and lusciously creamy.

A ladle set in gravy on the table with potatoes and green beans

Gravy and potatoes are a classic combo for a reason. Fluffy and buttery homemade potatoes are a perfect backdrop for the rich flavor of gravy. Make sure to have some bread or dinner rolls to soak up any gravy left on the plate after devouring the turkey and potatoes.

So hop on this gravy train and whisk together a batch for Thanksgiving or any other time you are serving mashed potatoes.

How did yours turn out?

I’d love to hear when you try out this turkey gravy! Take a pic of your food and share your success with me by adding it to your Instagram stories or feed, and tagging me @doyouroux, or by using #doyouroux.

Plus, leave a rating to let me know how you liked the recipe. It helps me out a lot to know how things worked out… or didn’t.

Simple Turkey Gravy

Recipe by Marc PetersonCourse: SauceDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time



Start with a simple roux to make this salty, savory, and lusciously creamy but simple turkey gravy for Thanksgiving potatoes


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)

  • 1 teaspoon minced thyme

  • 1 large clove garlic, minced

  • 1/2 cup flour

  • 3 to 4 cups total turkey drippings and/or turkey/chicken stock

  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat
  • Add the thyme and garlic to the pan and simmer them while stirring for 2 to 3 minutes
  • Whisk the flour into the butter, bring it to a simmer while whisking, and let it cook for 3 minutes
  • Pour the drippings and/or stock into the pan, whisk it to combine, and bring it to a boil until it begins to thicken, and then turn the heat to low
  • Taste the gravy and add salt and pepper as needed in 1/4 teaspoon increments – note that there are times where no salt is needed, it depends on the drippings
  • If the gravy thickens too much, then whisk more stock into the sauce to thin it out 1/2 cup at a time


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    1. Tonya Alexander

      Great recipe!

    2. Pingback: How to Make a Roux - How To Tuesdays - Do You Roux?

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