Easy make-ahead turkey gravy

November 23, 2020

I don't know about you, but I like to get as much done as possible before the day of Thanksgiving. There are so many different dishes to prepare! I like to spend time with my family rather than all my time in the kitchen. And I tend to get frazzled easily if there are too many things going on.

 I have been making this gravy for years. Gravy is one of those things you have to make at the last minute, and it sure is nice not to have that going on along with everything else.

Package of turkey drumsticks (2 or 3)

3 or 4 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks

Large onion, quartered


1/3 c oil

1/2 c flour

6 c chicken broth

pepper and salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Put the drumsticks, carrots, onion, parsley, and oil in a roasting pan over two burners on the stove. Brown the drumsticks for about 3 minutes per side; stir and brown the vegetables.

Transfer to the oven and roast for 30 minutes. Remove carrots, onions, and parsley. Remove drumsticks for another use. Put the roasting pan back on the stove and whisk the flour into the pan drippings. Add the broth and pepper, whisking constantly. Bring to boil, then simmer for about 45 minutes. Strain and salt to taste.

Can be made up to three days ahead of time or earlier and frozen. Reheat over medium heat; add a few tablespoons of broth if necessary.

Don't do what I did and use a foil pan. Use a regular roasting pan. I found this pan while sorting through stuff and thought I'd use it up. You can see where the drumsticks burned a little and I got some burnt pieces in the gravy. I did strain most of those out, and it tastes just fine. But now I know why I never use these pans! They're too flimsy for high heat.

I make a sausage stuffing, and I never want the mess of cooking the sausage and sautéing the onions and celery for it on Thanksgiving morning. I do this ahead of time, too, and those casseroles are already in my freezer. I'll make a simple cranberry orange relish on Tuesday because that always tastes better after having had a chance to sit awhile. I'm going to do the sweet potatoes in the crockpot this year to save room in the oven. And my husband will slice up the ham ahead of time.

My daughter is doing the pies and her MIL is bringing a vegetable dish.

In fact, the only "big" jobs to do Thanksgiving day, besides the turkey, are peeling the potatoes and making the rolls. Now that I think about it, I might make the dough ahead of time, too.

I hope you are all able to celebrate Thanksgiving in some way this year, even if it looks different. We are having a very small gathering. We have, all eight of us, been carefully social distancing ahead of time (even more than usual) so we can be together. 

Happy Thanksgiving! Even in this difficult year, there is much to be thankful for. xo.


  1. I was just thinking about you!

    I just posted a little tea-for-one and a sweet gift you sent me years ago made it's way to the post.

    Also - be sure to visit the post before that one to enter my awesome artisan soap giveaway!!!

    Love ya, lady. Hugs.

  2. Happy Thanksgiving, Deborah! I agree that there's always something to be grateful for.

  3. What a great idea!!! I have never made the gravy ahead of time and it is the last-minute thing I hate to do! Thanks for sharing this! I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! xo Diana

  4. Happy Thanksgiving, Deborah. I'm a huge fan of making things ahead, too. I did the gravy similar to yours last year and it was a hit!

  5. This is good to know. It's good to hear from you, Deborah. Happy Thanksgiving. Be well!

  6. Making the gravy ahead of time is a wonderful idea, the same with making other dishes ahead also. Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful time with family. ~ FlowerLady

  7. Oh, my, that gravy looks SO yummy! And all the other dishes sound amazing, too! You are so right - we all have so much to be thankful for, not only on Thanksgiving, but every, single day. His mercies are new every morning, and that alone is SO much to praise Him for. May He bless you and your family with an amazing Thanksgiving holiday together, sweet friend.

  8. I love making dishes ahead of time for Thanksgiving too. It's less stressful that way and saves you time in the kitchen. Thanks for sharing how to make homemade turkey gravy. Have a nice week and a happy Thanksgiving Deborah.

  9. First time I’ve commented on your blog. I made giblet gravy the day ahead and put in refrigerator. The next day we just heated it up in the microwave and it was great. Saved that stress of having one more thing yo do on thanksgiving day. Sharon

    1. Thank you for stopping by Sharon. Yes, keeping things simple and stress-free is my motto!


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