Our Make Ahead Turkey Gravy recipe is simple, delicious, and will save you time and stress in the kitchen this holiday season. And since this recipes keeps in the freezer for 3-6 months, make a double batch and enjoy Thanksgiving flavors all winter long.
The Best Make Ahead Turkey Gravy
Make your Thanksgiving day to-do list more manageable by making this delicious gravy a few days ahead of time! You’ll still taste all those amazing Thanksgiving flavors thanks to juicy turkey wings, veggies, seasonings, butter, and perfectly seasoned stock. If you’re feeling inspired after seeing the entire gravy-making process below, check out our classic turkey gravy or turkey giblet gravy.
What You Will Need
- turkey wings – Provides that unmistakeable turkey flavor throughout your gravy.
- yellow onions , carrots, & celery stalks – Classic holiday veggies that provides tons of flavor.
- olive oil – Just a bit to help your ingredients cook evenly.
- kosher salt & ground black pepper – Don’t forget the OG seasonings!
- turkey stock – This ingredient acts as the base of the gravy. Chicken stock will work as well. Note that turkey broth is seasoned and might change the flavor of this gravy.
- butter – Because what is gravy with out some savory butter?
- all-purpose flour – Make this recipe gluten-free by subbing 1-to-1 gluten free flour instead.
How To Make Make Ahead Turkey Gravy
Start by preheating your oven to 350°F and place the turkey wings, onions, carrots, and celery on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle everything with olive oil and rub it thoroughly all over the ingredients. Then season everything with salt and pepper and pour two cups of stock into the pan. Now just throw it all in the oven on the middle rack and let it roast for around an hour.
Periodically check on the pan and add additional stock as it starts to cook down. This helps to keep everything moist and from drying out.
Once everything looks golden brown and is cooked through, remove the pan from the oven.
Next, transfer the turkey, veggies, and any turkey drippings to a 5.5 qt (or larger) dutch oven along with 4-5 additional cups of stock. Cover the dutch oven and let everything simmer for about an hour. Again, every once in a while check on the moisture level and add additional stock if it has cooked down. You should end with about three to four cups of liquid after that hour.
Remove the turkey parts and bigger veggie pieces and use a fine-mesh strainer to strain the remaining liquid into a large bowl.
Now bring a large cast iron skillet to medium-high heat and add the butter, watching to ensure that it melts. Then whisk in the flour, making sure it combines. Then slowly add the strained liquid, a quarter cup at a time a and whisk to combine. Continue this until all the liquid has been added.
Let your gravy simmer for a few minutes to help everything thicken up. Then give it a quick taste and add additional salt if needed. Then add a few splashes of water or broth to thin it out a bit more and let it simmer a bit more or until it has reached your desired consistency.
Remove your homemade turkey gravy from the heat and let it cool completely before transferring it into a freezer safe, airtight container. Just be sure to leave a little room at the top as this will expand when frozen. Now add your label, pop it in the freezer, and give yourself a pat on the back for being the proactive host that you are!
How To Serve Make Ahead Gravy
This is the fun part, y’all. We’ve seen everything from the classic neat little pool on top of mashed potatoes, to guests filling their plate and slathering every Thanksgiving dish in this creamy turkey gravy. There’s no right way to do it, folks. Just as long as you get to experience the most flavorful gravy on your thanksgiving plate.
We used turkey wings, but you can also use turkey thighs, the turkey neck, turkey legs, or other parts.
So glad you asked because it’s simple. Just replace the all-purpose flour with 1-to-1 gluten free flour. Enjoy!
Made this make-ahead turkey gravy recipe and loved it?! We would love it if you would take a minute and leave a star rating and review – it is also helpful if you made any substitutions or changes to the recipe to share that as well. THANK YOU!
This easy make ahead turkey gravy recipe is perfect as you prepare for Thanksgiving + the holidays! Check this item off your to-do list early!
- 4 turkey wings*
- 1–2 yellow onions, sliced
- 2–3 carrots, cut into 2 inch pieces
- 2–3 stalks celery, cut into 2 inch pieces
- olive oil
- kosher salt
- ground black pepper
- 7–8 cups turkey or chicken stock, divided
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour (sub 1-to-1 gluten-free flour)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place turkey wings, onions, carrots and celery on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and rub all over the turkey and veggies. Season with kosher salt and ground black pepper. Pour 2 cups of stock in the pan. Place in the oven, middle rack, and let roast approx. 1 hour.
- Check periodically and add additional stock to the pan as it starts to cook down (don’t let the pan dry out).
- Remove pan from the oven. Transfer the turkey, veggies and any drippings to a 5.5qt (or bigger) dutch oven along with 4-5 cups of stock. Cover and let simmer approx. 60 minutes. Add additional splashes of stock if it starts to cook down. You should end up with approx. 3 cups of liquid.
- Remove the turkey and bigger pieces of veggies. Strain remaining liquid.
- Bring a large, deep cast iron skillet to medium high heat. Add butter and let melt. Add flour and whisk to combine. Slowly add strained liquid 1/4 cup at a time and then whisk to combine. Continue until all the liquid has been added. Let simmer a few minutes as it thickens.
- Taste and add additional salt, as needed. Add additional splashes of broth or water to thin slightly. Let simmer to thicken more.
- Remove from heat and let cool completely. Transfer to a freezer-safe container (make sure to leave room – the liquid will expand as it freezes) and label clearly.
- Freeze fro 3-6 months.
- To thaw, remove from freezer and let sit in the refrigerator overnight. Transfer to a medium sauce pan and warm slowly over medium heat, stirring fairly continuously.
- *Turkey: you can use turkey wings here OR turkey thighs, turkey neck, etc. Sometimes if we are spatchcocking our turkey I save the backbone and throw that in the mix as well.
- Gluten-Free: to make gluten-free simply sub in some 1-to-1 gluten-free flour.
- Storage + Thawing: let cool completely and store in a freezer-safe container (be sure to leave room for expansion). Store in the freezer for 3-6 months. To thaw, place in the refrigerator overnight. Then place in a saucepan and warm slowly on medium heat, stirring constantly until it is warmed through. Serve and enjoy.
- Serving Size: 1/4 C
- Calories: 57
- Sugar: 0.6 g
- Sodium: 565.3 mg
- Fat: 4.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 3.7 g
- Protein: 1.4 g
- Cholesterol: 13.1 mg
Keywords: make ahead turkey gravy