Stress less by making turkey gravy days or even weeks ahead of Thanksgiving.
Looking down on a carafe of make ahead turkey gravy garnished with fresh thyme and cracked black pepper
Credit: Allrecipes Magazine

What if I told you you should stop making gravy on Thanksgiving?

Hear me out: Of course you should make Thanksgiving gravy. I'm just saying you should stop making it on Thanksgiving Day. Why? Because it's time-consuming, takes up valuable stovetop space, and if things go wrong, it'll take even more time to fix (I'm looking at you, lumpy gravy).

What you should do instead is make gravy days or even weeks before Thanksgiving and stash it in your fridge or freezer until turkey day.

Here's how to make gravy ahead of time and how to give it a final boost of freshly roasted turkey flavor right before serving.

Tips for Making Turkey Gravy Ahead of Time

1. Choose the Right Recipe

Now that you're going to give yourself plenty of gravy-making time, use a recipe that makes rich, flavorful stock from scratch. This top-rated Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy recipe has you roast turkey wings and onions before simmering them with broth, carrots, and thyme to make turkey stock. Then you'll use that stock to make gravy. See how it's done!

2. Hold the Cream

If your recipe is enriched with milk or cream, don't add it until you're heating up the gravy on Thanksgiving. For example, if you're making Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy with Porcini Mushrooms and Marsala Wine, you would follow the recipe, but stop short of adding cream. Just remember to do it on Thanksgiving!

3. Stash It Away

After making your turkey gravy, you should let it cool before storing it in the fridge for up to two days or in the freezer for up to three months (per USDA guidelines). More: Get tips to safely freeze, thaw, and reheat foods.

4. Last-Minute Flavor Boost

A plentiful stash of make-ahead gravy is going to save you so much time and effort on Thanksgiving. Don't let those delicious pan juices from your roast turkey go to waste, however; you can add them to your premade turkey gravy for an instant flavor boost. After reheating your turkey gravy on the stove over medium heat, all you have to do is whisk in the optional milk or cream and adjust the seasonings to taste.

Check out our entire collection of Thanksgiving Gravy Recipes.