How To Make Gravy Now For Thanksgiving–or Christmas!

This is a great recipe for gravy that is so easy to make and can be made now and frozen for up to six weeks!

I love getting most of my Thanksgiving meal done in advance so I don’t have to stress on turkey day. This way I can relax and enjoy the company of my guests.

For this gravy, assemble the ingredients.


Basic Gravy

makes about 4 cups

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

32 ounces low-salt chicken broth

salt and pepper to taste

optional: browning liquid, like Gravy Master

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle in flour. Whisk to incorporate. Keep stirring for several minutes to develop the color of the roux


When the roux is tan and smells nice and toasty, pour in the chicken stock slowly while whisking like a son of a gun. When the gravy approaches boiling, it magically thickens.

If the gravy is too pale, add in a browning liquid like Gravy Master a few drops at a time until you have a nice brown color you like.

Add salt and pepper to taste. (Definitely under-season if you are going to add turkey drippings before serving.)


Allow to cool, transfer to a freezer-safe container. This gravy can be frozen for six weeks or stored in the fridge for a day or two before using.  You can double this recipe and use half for Thanksgiving and half for Christmas!

Allow frozen gravy to defrost in refrigerator before using. Reheat in saucepan shortly before dinner is served, while the turkey rests after roasting. Sometimes as it defrosts and heats up, the gravy looks grainy. Just keep heating and stirring and it will be fine.

At this point you can add a few tablespoons of the turkey drippings (separated from any fat) and adjust the seasonings. Add in the drippings slowly and taste frequently, especially if you brined your bird. The drippings may be very salty.

This recipe is from Diane Philips’s cookbook, Happy Holidays from the Diva of Do-Ahead. It’s a useful book all year ’round, and the same place I got my make-ahead mashed potatoes recipe.

If you give this gravy recipe a try, let me know how it works out. I’ve made this for several years and it’s always turned out well.

This recipe can be made vegan by substituting olive oil and vegetable broth. Still tastes delicious!

I like simple, basic gravy from scratch. How do you do gravy on Thanksgiving? Packet, jarred, simple from scratch, or fancy with giblets?

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