Just Like Turkey Gravy

Down Memory Lane

You may have memories of a family member standing over a pan of turkey drippings, skimming off the fat and adding flour, maybe a little sherry–and if super traditional–chopped giblets that had been stewing all day. You can probably taste it now, thick, rich, delicious–but also very high in sodium and gluten. Making gravy is an art that scares some, but turning to the canned stuff is even worse.

No Heinz Here

The “rich and savory gravy, thoughtfully blended with flavorful pieces of real, roasted turkey, sea salt, and cracked pepper” is supposed to be so good that you’ll think it was made from scratch. It is low in calories and cholesterol, but (according to fooducate.com) it contains torulae yeast, ingredients similar to MSG, and is highly processed. It also contains industrial caramel coloring, which is made by reacting sugars with ammonia and sulfites under high pressures and temperatures. This food coloring is also quite bad for you.

All of that to say, making your own gravy can still be done–just as it traditionally has–just without all the bad fats and preservatives.

Adjust the Spices

Typically gravy is made with the pan drippings that develop from cooking the turkey, so it isn’t necessary to add extra spices, just flour. Because you won’t be using the fatty pan drippings, you’ll have to mirror your spices in the gravy. The below is a standard gravy using savory spices, but if you’re using Cajun flavors, lemon herb, jerk, etc., just use a similar spice profile in the gravy.

Just like Turkey Gravy ingredients

Just Like Turkey Gravy (Makes 1 ½ cup)

  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • ½ tsp. cornstarch
  • 3 Tbsp whole wheat flour
  • ⅛ tsp. dried sage
  • ⅛ tsp. marjoram (or oregano)
  • ⅛ tsp. thyme
  • ⅛ tsp. ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt


  1. Heat broth in medium saucepan over medium heat, reserving about 1 tablespoon.
  2. Combine cornstarch and 1 tablespoon broth in a small bowl, mix well.
  3. Add cornstarch mixture to broth and stir to combine.
    Just like Turkey Gravy cooking 2
  4. Add the flour one tablespoon at a time, whisking to incorporate completely each time.
  5. Add all spices to your roux and mix well.
  6. Bring gravy to a boil, reduce heat slightly, but keep bubbling.
    Just like Turkey Gravy cooking
  7. Let cook, stirring occasionally as to keep from sticking to the bottom of the pan until liquid is reduced by half (between 10-20 minutes).

Recipe Notes

  • To make vegetarian, use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
  • If you feel up to it and want to kick your gravy up a notch, add three glugs (heavy pours) of cream sherry while the gravy is reducing. Incorporate well and continue stirring.
  • The spices can be customized as needed. Use the spices with which you have seasoned your turkey or chicken to make the flavors complimentary.

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