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Make Ahead Turkey Gravy

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Save yourself a bunch of time with this Make Ahead Turkey Gravy! Turkey wings, vegetables and herbs roast in the oven before cooking with wine and stock, creating a delicious base to this extremely flavorful homemade gravy. Can be made a few weeks in advance and froze or as little 3 to 4 days and keep refrigerated. Yields 4 cups.
Course Homemade Ingredients & Condiments
Cuisine American
Keyword from scratch, gravy, holiday, homemade, make ahead, Thanksgiving
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr 55 mins
Servings 4 cups
Calories 171
Author Laurie McNamara


  • olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions halved
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 3 short stalks celery chopped
  • 1 head garlic halved
  • 1 package (of 3) turkey wings thawed if frozen
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 6 cups turkey stock or sub with chicken stock
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons Wondra instant flour or sub with unbleached all-purpose flour *see notes beforehand


  • Preheat your oven to 400°.
  • Add a littel olive oil to the bottom of your roasting pan. Add onions, carrots, celery, garlic, turkey wings and thyme.
  • Drizzle more olive oil over top and season with a few pinches kosher salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Roast for 1 hour.
  • Deglaze the pan with wine. Pour in the broth and return the pan to the oven and continue roasting for 45 more minutes or until the liquids have reduced by half.
  • Remove turkey wings to a cutting board. Use the meat for a recipe (like soup!) or discard.
  • Strain the broth through a sieve into a bowl. Press the vegetables before discarding to get any liquids from them as well.
  • In a skillet, melt the butter. Once melted, whisk in the flour until dissolved. Then gradually pour in the hot broth.
  • Bring to a simmer over medium heat then reduce to medium-low and continue whisking while the gravy simmers. This could take 45 to 1 hour. Or if you’re like me and don’t want to wait that long, after about 30 minutes, make a cornstarch slurry and whisk it in. For a thinner gravy, whisk 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water. And for a thicker gravy (what we like!) I do 3 tablespoons of each.
  • Taste and season with more salt and pepper, if desired.
  • Once thickened, let cool before storing.
  • Make this as early as a month in advance and freeze – thaw before reheating. Or prepare it 3 to 4 days in advance and keep refrigerated in an air-tight container and reheat the day of.

To Reheat:

  • Thaw completely if frozen.
  • Add the gravy to a sauce pan and heat on low until hot.
  • If the gravy is too thick once reheated, add a few splashes of turkey stock or low-sodium chicken broth to thin it out


*If using unbleached all purpose flour for thickening, use only 4 tablespoons and cook it with the butter for 1 to 2 minutes before pouring in the hot turkey stock.
Pro Tip: While the gravy is warming, I fill the gravy boat with very HOT water. Then when it's time to serve the meal, I empty the gravy boat and quickly wipe it out before filling it with the gravy. This will keep it nice and warm.


Serving: 2tablespoons | Calories: 171kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 39mg | Sodium: 216mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g