Overhead view of turkey gravy in a white gravy boat next to a plate with turkey and yams on a grey placemat on a wooden surface (with logo overlay)

How to Make Easy Homemade Turkey Gravy from Bones

Don’t let that turkey carcass go to waste, use it to make a turkey broth mixed with a few other ingredients to make an easy turkey gravy.

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You all know I love making things from scratch whenever possible. And that’s just what we did with this turkey gravy. I made a whole turkey in the instant pot recently and used the carcass and turkey drippings to make a delicious gravy. I’ve made a few other types of gravy recently (Brown GravySouthern Fried Chicken Gravy) but this was by far our favorite.

Since I don’t like to waste things until I’ve used them as much as possible, this was a great way to use the carcass from the cooked turkey. Justin helped me pull all of the meat off the bones, then I made gravy.

The only thing I don’t like about this is it takes a while, so it isn’t easy to make with the turkey. Since you need the bones, the turkey has to cook first. But, if you are making the turkey ahead of time, you can let this gravy simmer while you prepare everything else for the meal and the turkey rests. 

Simple Ingredients and Substitutes

Turkey Carcass

I used the carcass and bones from a roasted turkey I made in the Instant Pot for this recipe. The carcass can be from a turkey cooked any way, you just want the flavor of the turkey for this to make the best turkey gravy recipe. 

Chicken Broth

Using chicken broth or chicken stock will add some flavor and salt to the recipe. If you prefer, you can use water instead and add fresh herbs as it cooks. I would use fresh thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, oregano, sage, and black pepper. 

Yellow Onion

Yellow onions are a bit sweeter in taste, but won’t overpower the broth. If you don’t have a yellow onion, you could use leeks, shallots, or a white onion in its place. 

Carrot

The carrot doesn’t need to be chopped very much since it is just adding flavor to the turkey broth. You can use a full carrot, baby carrots cut in half, or shredded carrots. 

Celery

Just like the carrot, you don’t have to chop the celery into small pieces. It is just there to add to the flavor of the gravy. 

Garlic

I know this seems like a lot of garlic, but trust me, you want that flavor in there. Chop the entire head of garlic in half to release the juices and add it to your homemade broth. 

Flour

All-purpose flour will help thicken the homemade gravy after you’ve made the broth. If you want a thinner gravy, add a bit more water in this step or mix it in while the gravy is simmering. 

Water

Mix cold water with the flour before adding it to the broth so it doesn’t form lumps. The water doesn’t need to be very cold or hot, room temperature works for this. 

Salt

If you used a full-sodium chicken broth, you may want to skip the salt. 

What to Serve with this Easy Turkey Gravy Recipe

There are so many delicious meals you can make with this homemade turkey gravy recipe. I added it to our Thanksgiving menu and it was the perfect gravy to go with so many of the foods we served. 

Main Dishes

I love to pour Turkey Gravy over the main dish at Thanksgiving dinner. No matter how you make your Thanksgiving turkey, this flavorful gravy will complement the meat. These are my two favorite ways to make turkey:

Side Dishes

In addition to covering the meat with gravy, you can also add it to some of your side dishes.

Turkey Gravy Step by Step

Ingredients

  • bones/carcass of one cooked turkey
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 yellow onion (chopped)
  • 1 carrot (chopped)
  • 2 stalks celery (chopped)
  • 1 head garlic (halved crosswise)
  • 6 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Ingredients for turkey gravy: turkey carcass, chopped vegetables, water, salt, flour, and chicken broth

Preparation

In a large stockpot, add the turkey bones (and any liquid drippings for a more delicious flavor), chicken broth, onion, carrot, celery, and garlic, and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium heat and simmer until reduced by half, about 1 hour.

Water, broth, and chopped vegetables with seasonings in a large stockpot on a wooden surface

Strain the broth through a mesh strainer and discard the solids. NOTE: At this point, you have turkey broth or turkey stock. So if you aren’t looking to make gravy, you can save this broth for future use. You may see the fat rise to the top, if so, skim it off before moving to the next step. Return the liquid to the pan and bring to a boil.

Turkey broth in a stainless steel bowl with chopped vegetables strained out in a mesh stainer over a wooden surface

In a small bowl, whisk the flour and water together and mix them into the broth. This will help to thicken the gravy.

Water and flour in a glass measuring cup with a wire whisk over a wooden surface

Bring to a boil again and reduce to medium-low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Stir in the salt and serve warm from a gravy boat. If you want a thinner gravy, stir in a bit more water or chicken broth. For a thicker gravy, whisk in a little bit of flour. 

Turkey gravy being poured onto a plate with mashed potatoes, turkey, and candied yams with a butter dish behind on top of a grey placemat on a wooden surface (vertical)

On this plate: Instant Pot Turkey, Turkey Gravy, Creamy Homemade Mashed Potatoes, Candied Yams

Turkey Gravy Leftovers

Storage: Let the leftover gravy cool to room temperature. Store in a sealed glass jar or airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

Reheating: To reheat, pour into a medium saucepan and heat over low, stirring often, until it returns to the same consistency.

Freezing: You can also freeze the gravy for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw in the refrigerator for 1 day before reheating.

Recipe

Originally Published On: October 5, 2020

Last Updated On: March 18, 2024

Overhead view of turkey gravy in a white gravy boat next to a plate with turkey and yams on a grey placemat on a wooden surface

Turkey Gravy

Don't let that turkey carcass go to waste, use it to make a turkey broth mixed with a few other ingredients to make an easy turkey gravy.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Course:
Homemade Staple
Cuisine:
American
Keyword:
broth
|
gravy
|
turkey
Dietary Needs:
Dairy-Free
|
Egg-Free
|
Nut-Free
Meat:
Chicken/Turkey
Servings: 4 cups
5 from 10 votes

Ingredients

  • bones/carcass of one cooked turkey
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 yellow onion (chopped)
  • 1 carrot (chopped)
  • 2 stalks celery (chopped)
  • 1 head garlic (halved crosswise)
  • 6 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

  • In a large stockpot, add the turkey bones, chicken broth, onion, carrot, celery, and garlic and bring to a boil
  • Reduce the heat to low and simmer until reduced by half, about 1 hour
  • Strain the broth through a mesh strainer and discard the solids
  • Return the liquid to the pan and bring to a boil
  • In a small bowl, whisk the flour and water together and mix into the broth
  • Bring to a boil again and reduce to medium-low for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Stir in the salt and serve warm
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Nutrition Facts
Turkey Gravy
Amount Per Serving (0.5 cup)
Calories 41 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Sodium 1013mg42%
Potassium 238mg7%
Carbohydrates 7g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 1274IU25%
Vitamin C 18mg22%
Calcium 20mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutrition content will vary based on brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes, and more.

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24 thoughts on “How to Make Easy Homemade Turkey Gravy from Bones”

  1. I know I am in the minority but I just am not a fan of gravy! HOwever, my dad loves to make it so I am sending him your recipe because I know he is always looking for new ones for the holidays.

  2. 5 stars
    I’m very impressed. I love to cook but to make that gravy from scratch is extra for me. I wouldn’t discard all those delicious veggies, they’d go in a hearty soup. Yummy! 🙂 <3

    1. I usually throw them in the compost after being used for something like this. I find that when trying to add them to soup they break down since they’ve already been cooked so long.

  3. Gravy makes everything better! I’m not traveling for Thanksgiving this year and am already gathering recipes to make! This is on the list for sure.

  4. 5 stars
    I love how easily you have set out the instructions here. I can relate to what you say about not being a fan of how long this can take, but you can really feel a wonderful sense of satisfaction when you are enjoying this with those you care about. Can’t wait to give this a go the next time we have turkey.

  5. I’ve never made turkey gravy from scratch but i will definitely try this year using your recipe. Thank you for sharing.

  6. 5 stars
    I love making things from scratch too like this Turkey gravy. I know for some people, they’d think it’s too much of a hassle and takes more time but I enjoy the process. Makes me feel good thinking I made things from scratch

  7. 5 stars
    I like how every part of the turkey became useful because of this gravy recipe. My mom also has her own gravy recipe that i always love to pair with fried chicken and mashed potato.. I don’t know what she put in her gravy though but it always has a distinct buttery flavor to it.
    Thank you for sharing this gravy recipe

  8. 5 stars
    I always use a ready-made packet to use as gravy coz I don’t know how to make it. Thanks for this recipe! I will try it.

  9. 5 stars
    Made a double batch for an office party. It was also my first making a gravy from scratch. I would definitely use this recipe again! Thank you for making the directions so easy to follow.

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