Great Gravy Guide

Simple, plain old-fashioned gravy from the pan drippings made just seconds before setting all the food on the table is the easiest and quickest method. This makes for a deeply flavorful gravy that enhances everything on the plate with a touch of savory goodness.

It’s also one of the easiest gravies to make. From roux to table, it takes about five minutes and requires only a pan and a whisk. That’s something we can handle even after a long day of cooking with the promise of dinner only moments away. This recipe uses the drippings from one 12- to 14-pound roast turkey. You’ll need 2 cups of broth for finishing the gravy.

What You Need


  • Pan drippings from a 12- to 14-pound roast turkey
  • 1 to 2 cups broth or water
  • Vegetable oil or butter, as needed
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • Optional extras: splash of sherry, splash of wine, teaspoon of minced herbs like rosemary, thyme, or sage


  • Measuring cup
  • Saucepan
  • Whisk


  1. Gravy prep. After you’ve removed the turkey from the oven and set it aside to rest, set the roasting pan over medium-high heat on the stovetop. You may need to span two burners. When the pan drippings are hot and sputtering, pour in a cup of broth and begin scraping all the bits from the bottom of the pan.
  2. Separate the fat and drippings. Pour the deglazed pan drippings into a measuring cup and place this in the refrigerator or freezer, wherever there is space. In the 30 minutes it takes to rest the turkey, the fat and drippings will separate and the fat will begin to harden. This makes it easier to skim off just the fat for making the gravy.
  3. Measure the fat. Skim the fat off the top of the drippings. You should ideally end up with about 1 cup of pan drippings and 1/4 cup of fat. If you have less, you can make up the difference with broth or oil, respectively. If you have more, discard a little of the fat and use less broth in the next step. If you have a lot more, you can also double the recipe.
  4. Make a roux. Place the fat in a saucepan over medium-high heat. When the fat is hot, whisk in the flour to form a thin paste. Let this cook for a few minutes until bubbly.
  5. Add the pan drippings. Next up, pour in the pan drippings and whisk to combine with the roux. This will form a thick, gloppy paste.
  6. Add the broth. Finish the gravy by whisking in a 1/2 cup of broth. You can add more broth for a thinner gravy or let the gravy cook a few minutes for a thicker gravy. Taste the gravy and add salt, pepper, and any extras to taste.

Recipe Notes

For a very smooth gravy, strain the pan drippings before adding them to the gravy. Gravy can be kept refrigerated for up to a week or frozen for up to three months. Reheat gently over low heat while whisking occasionally to prevent the sauce from breaking.