Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy


This make-ahead turkey gravy allows you to spend more time on other parts of the meal on Thanksgiving day. It's rich in flavor thanks to roasted turkey wings. I discovered this recipe years ago. Store it in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
2 hrs 55 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 15 mins
8 cups

Save time on Thanksgiving Day by making your gravy in advance. This make-ahead turkey gravy is just as delicious as its day-of counterparts, but it's far more convenient.

Make-Ahead Gravy Ingredients

This make-ahead gravy starts with turkey wings roasted with quartered onions. The wings and onions are combined with other ingredients (water, broth, carrots, and thyme) to make a flavorful stock, which is thickened with flour and butter. The make-ahead gravy is finished with a pinch of ground black pepper.

How to Make Gravy Ahead of Time

You'll find the full, step-by-step recipe below – but here's a brief overview of what you can expect when you make this make-ahead turkey gravy:

1. Roast the turkey: Arrange the turkey wings in a roasting pan and scatter quartered onions on top. Roast until the meat is brown, then transfer the wings and onions to a large stockpot.
2. Make stock: Add water to the pan and scrape up the browned bits. Pour the water (with the browned bits) into the pot along with six cups of broth, carrots, and thyme. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 90 minutes. Discard and/or save meat and cooked vegetables.
3. Make gravy: Skim and discard the fat. Bring to a gentle boil. Whisk the flour into the reserved broth, then whisk the mixture into the simmering broth. Continue to simmer until the gravy thickens. Add the butter and pepper.

turkey gravy in a clear glass gravy boat

How to Reheat Make-Ahead Gravy

When you're ready to serve, transfer the gravy to a skillet and reheat slowly over low heat on the stove. Stir frequently until the gravy is simmering.

Can You Freeze Make-Ahead Gravy?

Spoon the cooled gravy into zip-top bags. Label the bags with the date and lay flat in the freezer. Freeze for up to four months. Thaw in the fridge and reheat on the stove.

If you plan to reheat the gravy in smaller amounts, consider freezing it in ice cube trays. Once it's frozen, transfer the cubes to zip-top bags and freeze flat.

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"We always deep fry our turkeys, so this recipe is great for us," says dockgirl. "And even if you don't, it's sure nice not to be in the kitchen making gravy at the last minute before serving dinner!"

"This is the best gravy," according to LuvYankee46. "I saved the fat from the top and used cornstarch instead of flour at the end. This is going to save so much time and reduce the stress of making gravy after the turkey is done."

"This recipe saves me every Thanksgiving," says JODI. "It's fabulous, and I love that I can make it a couple weeks before and freeze. It's almost impossible to mess up and consistently delicious. It saves me the gravy drama on Thanksgiving Day."

Editorial contributions by Corey Williams


  • 6 large turkey wings

  • 2 medium onions, peeled and quartered

  • 1 cup water

  • 8 cups chicken broth, divided

  • ¾ cup chopped carrots

  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme

  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Gather all ingredients.

    All ingredients gathered to make turkey gravy.

    Allrecipes/Oana Ennis

  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

  3. Arrange turkey wings in a single layer in a large roasting pan; scatter onions over top.

    turkey placed in a roasting pan with onions scattered on top.

    Allrecipes/Oana Ennis

  4. Roast in the preheated oven until wings are browned, about 1 hour 15 minutes.

    Turkey roasted until browned.

    Allrecipes/Oana Ennis

  5. Transfer wings and onions to a 5-quart stockpot.

    a top down view of turkey wings being transferred from a roasting pan to a stock pot.

    Allrecipes/Oana Ennis

  6. Add water to the roasting pan and stir, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan.

    Water added to pan to scrape off all the brown bits.

    Allrecipes/Oana Ennis

  7. Pour water and pan scrapings into the stockpot.

    Scrapings and water from pan being poured into stock pot of turkey and onions.

    Allrecipes/Oana Ennis

  8. Stir in 6 cups chicken broth, carrots, and thyme. Set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.

    Broth, carrots and thyme added to the stock pot.

    Allrecipes/Oana Ennis

  9. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 1 1/2 hours.

  10. Transfer wings to a cutting board and let sit until cool enough to handle. Pull off skin and meat. Discard skin and reserve meat for another use.

    Once turkey is cooled, peel skin off.

    Allrecipes/Oana Ennis

  11. Pour contents of the stockpot through a large strainer into a 3-quart saucepan. Press on vegetables in the strainer to extract any remaining liquid; discard vegetables.

    Juiced being pressed out of the vegetables.

    Allrecipes/Oana Ennis

  12. Skim and discard fat from the turkey broth, then bring to a gentle boil.

    Juices from the vegetables coming to a boil in a sauce pan.

    Allrecipes/Oana Ennis

  13. Whisk flour into the remaining 2 cups chicken broth in a bowl until smooth.

    Flour whisked into broth until smooth.

    Allrecipes/Oana Ennis

  14. Gradually whisk flour mixture into the simmering turkey broth. Simmer, whisking occasionally, until gravy has thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in butter and pepper.

    Butter and pepper stirred in.

    Allrecipes/Oana Ennis

  15. Serve immediately or pour into containers, cool, and refrigerate or freeze.

    a low angle view of a spoonful of gravy being lifted out of a white gravy boat.
    Oana Ennis/Allrecipes

Editor's Note:

Please note the differences in yield, ingredient amounts, cook time, and preparation when using the magazine version of this recipe.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

59 Calories
3g Fat
3g Carbs
5g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 32
Calories 59
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 3g 4%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 15mg 5%
Sodium 18mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 1mg 4%
Calcium 8mg 1%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 68mg 1%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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