How to Make Turkey Gravy Without Roasting a Whole Turkey

Silky, creamy and smooth, this turkey gravy is so flavorful without using the turkey drippings from a whole turkey. Roasting turkey wings along with other vegetables creates the traditional flavor for the holidays in such an easy way.

Even if you’re not roasting a whole turkey, you can make the most delicious, flavorful turkey gravy by roasting turkey wings with vegetables and using those drippings to make the gravy. The other plus to using this method is that you can make the gravy in advance and just reheat on the day that you’ll be serving it.

As the turkey wings are roasting, the juices drip down into the vegetables, which also get soft and caramelized as they bake. The chicken broth keeps the vegetables from scorching and catch all the turkey drippings as they roast. The liquid becomes packed with flavor, which will be used to make the turkey gravy.

Video of How to Make Turkey Gravy Without Roasting a Whole Turkey

Ingredients For Turkey Gravy

  • turkey wings and/or other turkey parts; you can usually find turkey wings, drumsticks, thighs or neck at the grocery store. You can use any of these to make the turkey gravy.
  • vegetables – onions, carrots, celery, garlic – all these vegetables are traditionally used to roast along with a whole turkey, so you really get the flavor passed along in the gravy
  • fresh herbs – you can use any herbs that you like, such as parsley, thyme, sage, rosemary, etc.
  • turkey fat/butter – if there isn’t enough fat rendered from the turkey pieces, just use butter to create the roux.
  • all purpose flour – this will be used to thicken the gravy
  • chicken broth – you can use vegetable broth instead
  • salt, ground black pepper, to taste

How to Make Turkey Gravy

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and roast the vegetables with the broth and the turkey wings until the turkey is cooked through and golden.
  • Set the turkey aside to be enjoyed as the entree. Strain the vegetables through a fine mesh sieve, pressing on the vegetables to extract as much liquid out of them as possible. Separate the turkey fat from the broth.
  • In a saucepan on the stove, heat up the turkey fat and add any additional butter until melted. Add the flour and whisk to combine until smooth.
  • Pour in the broth/drippings gradually, whisking the whole time.
  • Cook until the gravy thickens. Serve hot with mashed potatoes.

How to Make Turkey Gravy in Advance and Then Reheat

Make this entire recipe from start to finish, store the gravy in the refrigerator up to 3 days in advance. Reheat in a saucepan on low heat until it’s smooth and heated through. You may need to add just a bit of broth to thin it out, if the gravy thickens too much as it stands.

If you are making turkey gravy in advance and then roasting a whole turkey or turkey breast, you can also add in some of the turkey drippings into the already prepared gravy to add additional turkey flavor.

Storing the Gravy and Freezing Turkey Gravy

Turkey gravy should be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

It also freezes really well! Freeze any leftover gravy in an airtight container or a freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw and reheat on low heat in a skillet, or use in any recipe instead of cream of chicken soup/cream of mushroom soup. It’s great added to roasts (add it to the Instant Pot or slow cooker along with a roast.) or casseroles.

Print
clock clock icon cutlery cutlery icon flag flag icon folder folder icon instagram instagram icon pinterest pinterest icon facebook facebook icon print print icon squares squares icon heart heart icon heart solid heart solid icon

How to Make Turkey Gravy Without Roasting a Whole Turkey

  • Author: Olga’s Flavor Factory

Description

Silky, creamy and smooth, this turkey gravy is so flavorful without using the turkey drippings from a whole turkey. Roasting turkey wings along with other vegetables creates the traditional flavor for the holidays in such an easy way.


Ingredients

Scale

4 turkey wings or other turkey parts, such as drumsticks, thighs, neck, backbone, etc. 

3 onions

3 carrots

3 celery stalks

handful of garlic cloves

handful of fresh herbs, such as parsley, thyme, rosemary, sage, etc.

salt, ground black pepper, to taste

2 – 2 1/2 cups chicken broth

1/4 cup turkey fat/butter, total

1/4 cup all purpose flour


Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Wash, peel and coarsely chop all the vegetables and herbs. Place them in a rimmed baking sheet. Pour in the chicken broth over the vegetables. Place a wire rack on top of the vegetables.
  • Season the turkey wings/drumsticks with salt and ground black pepper. Place the turkey on top of the wire rack and roast in preheated oven until the turkey is golden brown and cooked through. (The turkey wings should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit on an instant read thermometer. drumsticks/thighs should be 170-175 degrees Fahrenheit in the center.)
  • Set the cooked turkey meat aside and enjoy as an entree for dinner.
  • Strain the vegetables through a fine mesh sieve, pressing on the vegetables to extract as much liquid out of them as possible. 
  • Use a gravy separator or a spoon to skim off the turkey fat from the top of the drippings and broth. The fat will naturally rise to the top as it stands. 
  • Place the turkey fat into a saucepan. If there isn’t enough turkey fat, add more butter to equal a total of 1/4 fat and butter. Cook on medium heat until melted. Add the flour, whisking to combine until all the flour is incorporated into the butter. Cook for a few minutes until it becomes lightly golden in color. 
  • Gradually pour in the broth, whisking the whole time until it is all incorporated. Keep whisking until the gravy starts to thicken up. Reduce the heat to low and cook for a few minutes, just until you see bubbles across the entire surface of the gravy, the gravy is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and is the consistency that you are looking for. 
  • Serve hot. 

Notes

Turkey Gravy can be made entirely in advance, up to a few days ahead of time. Store it in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. Reheat on low heat in a saucepan on the stovetop. Add a bit more broth if needed to thin it out. 

Turkey Gravy can also be frozen up to 3 months. 

4 Comments

  • E. Richard Osterhout

    You are totally amazing (children,work,blogger), we love all of your recipes, and have tried many of your great Russian ones, Regards, Rich

  • Mila

    So happy I found this recipe just in time for thanksgiving tomorrow!!! How long do the turkey legs/thighs cook in the oven ( approximately)

    • olgak7

      The time really depends on the size of the turkey pieces that you use, anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. Turkey wings need to reach 160-165 degrees Fahrenheit on an instant read thermometer and any dark meat (thighs/drumsticks) need to reach 175 degrees Fahrenheit in the center.

Leave a Comment

Recipe rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.