Turkey Gravy Without Drippings

Turkey Gravy Without Drippings, is that even possible you may wonder?  And I'm here to tell you yes! Now you may not have ever wondered such things if you're a traditionalist and roast your turkey in a pan in the oven. But for those of you who BBQ or deep-fry their turkeys, you know this dilemma all too well! 

But not to worry, this recipe is quick and easy and will provide you with a delicious gravy any time of year! Even when there is no turkey on the table and you're craving some gravy for a roast chicken or to spoon over your mashed potatoes

Homemade gravy in a silver gravy boat

The Ingredients:

  • Shallots, Celery, and Carrots I like to include a combination of these three vegetables for the best flavor.
  • Chicken Broth For this recipe I use chicken stock because it's typically more available, and makes a great chicken gravy too! But if you have time to plan ahead you can seek out Turkey Broth instead.
  • Butter/Flour To create a thickening base you'll create a "roux" which is equal parts butter to flour. Once the butter foams, add the flour and whisk until a paste forms
  • Dry White Wine For gravy stay away from the sweet wines, you'll want a Chardonnay or a dry Sauvignon Blanc. 
  • Garlic You'll add a clove of minced garlic to deepen the flavor
  • Worcestershire Sauce Not only adds flavor but will deepen the color as well. 
  • Dijon Mustard The Dijon really gives the gravy the zing it needs but a little dab will do ya! ½ teaspoon is all you need. 
  • Curry Powder My Father is famous for adding curry powder to his gravy and I have taken to holding the same opinion when it comes to gravy. It adds a wonderful warming spice to the flavor.
  • Herbal Bouquet Another great way to add flavor is with herbs. You'll create a bouquet, tied with butcher's twine of rosemary and sage. It will steep into the gravy as it simmers for 10-15 minutes.
  • Cornstarch/Very cold water The cornstarch will thicken the gravy further once it is done. Mix the cornstarch with very cold water to create the "slurry" then be sure the gravy is hot and bubbling. It needs these components (the cold water + the hot liquid) in order to activate the thickening process. 

Ingredients for homemade gravy laid out on a counter

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Achieving the Best Flavor Without Drippings:

  • A gravy without drippings relies on vegetables to get its flavor.
  • I like the combination of shallots, carrots, and celery to get the best mix of flavors.
  • The shallots can be swapped for white onion, ¼ of a cup if needed.
  • Prep the vegetables by cutting them into a large dice, they eventually will get strained out of the gravy. They will just be used to steep into the broth to give it more complex flavors.

diced shallots, carrots, and celery on a cutting board

Creating a Roux

  • A roux is equal parts butter and flour and is used at the base of the gravy to thicken it. If you prefer a runnier gravy, more of an au jus, then the roux may be enough to thicken it.
  • But for those who prefer a very thick gravy, worthy of spreading over buttermilk biscuits or spooning over mashed potatoes, then you'll also want to add the cornstarch at the end for additional thickening.
Roux in a pot with a whisk on a counter
A roux created in a pan for homemade gravy without drippings

Steeping the Herbs for Flavor:

  • Never underestimate the power of fresh herbs to wake up any sauce, soup, or gravy.
  • Steep them in the gravy like you would a tea bag and you'll be rewarded with a delicious savory herbal flavor. 
  • It's a technique I also use in my White Bean, Sausage, and Kale Soup that creates a delicious underlying rosemary flavor to the soup. 

Gravy in pot with herbs steeping and wooden spoon

Straining the Gravy:

  • Once the gravy simmers and steeps with the vegetables and the herbs, you'll strain it.
  • I use a fine-mesh sieve to catch everything, and once you remove the strainer you'll find a nice smooth gravy ready to be thickened to your desired constancy.
Vegetables Straining in a fine mesh sieve over a pitcher
Separating the solids from the gravy with a fine mesh strainer

Tips for Thickening Gravy:

  • To thicken your gravy you'll create a cornstarch slurry, which is equal parts cold water and cornstarch. 
  • For gravy, I typically use 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to 2 tablespoons of very cold water. I wouldn't use more than this or it will make the gravy a bit too gummy and gelatinous
  • Also, be sure your water is very cold when you mix it with the cornstarch and the gravy is very hot. Otherwise, when you pour the slurry in, it won't activate the thickening process. 
  • If the gravy becomes too thick after adding the slurry, thin it with a bit more broth.
  • Check for seasoning, add salt and pepper as desired, and serve with turkey or over-mashed potatoes! 

Gravy poured over mashed potatoes

Make-Ahead Tips:

  • You can make the gravy 1-2 days ahead, cool down, and refrigerate.
  • Then reheat in a saucepan, thinning with broth if needed, until desired consistency is reached.

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A silver gravy boat with Turkey Gravy in it

Turkey Gravy Without Drippings

Yield: Serves 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

A delicious homemade turkey gravy without drippings can be yours with this simple and easy recipe! Great for holiday turkeys or even weeknight mashed potatoes!


  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) Olive Oil
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • 4 tablespoon (60g) Butter
  • 4 tablespoon (30g) Flour
  • ¼ cup (60ml) dry white wine (Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc etc)
  • 4 cups (950ml) chicken broth or turkey broth
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 teaspoon (15ml) Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5ml) Dijon mustard
  • Curry powder, large pinch
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 sprigs fresh sage
  • 2 tablespoon (15g) cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoon (15ml) very cold water


  1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Add shallots, carrots, celery. Saute until tender and fragrant, season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  2. Melt butter in a pan, once foamy, add flour. Whisk until a thin paste forms. Add wine, whisk until a thicker paste forms, add broth. Whisk and simmer to remove any clumps.
  3. Once smooth, add garlic, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, curry powder, dried thyme, whisk until combined.
  4. Tie herbs into a bouquet with butcher's twine. Add bouquet to the broth and simmer for 10-15 minutes
  5. Line a 4-cup Pyrex Pitcher with a Fine Mesh Sieve. Pour the mixture over a sieve and discard solids.
  6. To thicken gravy further, transfer gravy back into the pot, bring it to a boil.
  7. Meanwhile, whisk together the cornstarch slurry by combining cornstarch and water. Slowly add the slurry into the gravy, whisking all the while, until thickened.
  8. Check for seasoning add salt and pepper as desired.


You can omit the wine if needed, just add ½ teaspoon more Dijon Mustard and perhaps a dash or two more of Worcestershire sauce.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 118Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 643mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 5g

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  1. This looks fantastic! Currently pregnant and looking for every possible make-ahead shortcut this year. Do you think the texture will be affected if I make this, store in fridge for a day, then re-heat before serving? Thanks, Beth!

    1. Oh sure you can do that! It will congeal overnight a bit, but all you have to do is reheat it and it will smooth back out into gravy. This recipe is also an easy shortcut if you didn't want to cook the whole bird! Easy and delicious! Congrats! (and yes DO take it easy this year!)

  2. I love your website and videos! If fresh rosemary and sage can't be found, is it possible to substitute dried and in what amount?

    1. Oh sure! You could use 1/2 tsp of dried rosemary and 1/4 tsp dried sage 🙂 So glad you enjoy the site!

    1. Yes for a smooth gravy you will want to discard them (or pop them into the compost bin!) but if you don't care about the texture, you could absolutely leave them in 🙂