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easy turkey gravy poured into a bowl

Make Ahead Turkey Gravy

This make ahead Turkey Gravy is so incredibly easy to make, kicked up with a touch of cayenne pepper, and just so darn tasty....you NEED this spicy gravy in your life.
Course sauce
Cuisine American, Thanksgiving
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Broth cook time 6 hours
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 16 servings
Calories 165kcal


Turkey Broth:

  • 3-4 pounds turkey parts/carcass
  • 4 cups chopped vegetables (carrots, onion, celery, other vegetable scraps)
  • 2 bay leaves


  • Pour the drippings in a small glass bowl and set aside until ready to use.
  • Add the butter to the turkey drippings in a skillet and heat to medium heat.
  • Add the flour and stir to combine until a paste forms. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes.
  • Add the minced onions and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the brandy, cayenne pepper and black pepper. Slowly stir in the broth, ½ cup at a time until a gravy forms.
  • Stir in the cream and salt. Add additional salt to taste if desired.

Turkey Broth (Optional):

  • Combine the turkey pieces, chopped vegetables and bay leaf in the slow cooker.
  • Cover with water and cook on high for 6 hours.
  • Drain and let cool to room temperature. Reserve 4-5 cups for the gravy recipe.


  1. If you don't have enough turkey drippings, you can use turkey wings and/or giblets and roast them in a pan with 1-2 cups of stock in a 425F degree oven until the stock is reduced significantly, mimicking dripping (takes about 30 minutes).
  2. You can make this ahead by purchasing smoked turkey pieces and following the steps in #1 above.
  3. For an extra peppery flavor, add in an additional ½ teaspoon black pepper.
  4. Add ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika for an even smokier flavor.
  5. Substitute white wine or sherry for the brandy. You can also just use more stock.
  6. Note if you use store bought broth, taste the gravy before adding any salt.
  7. If gravy is too thick, add additional turkey broth until desired consistency is reached.


Serving: 0.25cup | Calories: 165kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 449mg | Potassium: 148mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 391IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 1mg