This homemade 5-minute gravy recipe gives you instructions on how to make gravy from meat drippings or stock. Perfect for the holidays or year-round!
In my opinion there aren’t very many cardinal sins you can commit in the kitchen, but wasting the precious drippings from your Thanksgiving Turkey or roast is one of them. Why? You can use them to make the most killer 5-minute gravy. In this recipe, I’ll teach you all you need to know to whip up a gravy that will outshine the turkey itself….
For those of you out there that are craving gravy, but have no plans to roast a big piece of meat for drippings – we have you covered. You’ll also find step-by-step instructions to make a quick gravy using a simple combination of butter, flour, and stock or broth.
Hot Tip: If you’re tapped for energy after making your turkey or roast, simply dump the drippings into an airtight container and store them in the fridge or freezer to make the gravy another day.
Making 5-Minute Gravy With or Without Drippings
You can make amazing gravy with or without the drippings of a turkey or roast. Here, find a quick rundown of the process using either drippings or good, old-fashioned butter and stock.
Making Gravy With Meat Drippings
- Separate the Fat & Drippings: There are two ways to separate the fat from the drippings: 1) allow the fat to manually rise to the top as it hardens and skim it off with a spoon, or 2) use a fat separator to make the process easier.
- Melt the Fat: Next, melt the fat in a deep skillet until it comes to a slow simmer.
- Whisk in the Flour: Slowly, whisk in the flour to the melted fat until smooth and cook the mixture for a couple of minutes.
- Whisk in the Drippings: Finally, whisk in the drippings until the mixture is silk smooth. Bring the gravy to a simmer, then immediately remove it from heat. Serve and enjoy!
Making Gravy Without Meat Drippings
- Melt the Butter: If you don’t have fat from drippings, simply melt equal parts butter in a deep skillet. Be extra careful not to burn the butter.
- Add in the Flour: Next, add in the flour, whisking until smooth. Cook the mixture for a couple of minutes.
- Finish with Stock or Broth: Instead of liquid drippings, whisk in equal parts of chicken or beef broth or stock. Allow the gravy to come to a simmer, then immediately remove it from heat. Note: You may need to add a bit of salt and/or onion powder to taste depending on the brand/style of broth or stock you use. Enjoy!
Hot Tip: Looking for a solid broth to substitute for drippings? Better than Bouillon Chicken Base or Beef Base is an incredible alternative to dry chicken or beef bouillon cubes. So flavorful!
Tips to Make the Best 5-Minute Gravy
Here you’ll find some pro tips to help you make the best 5- minute gravy, no matter if it’s Thanksgiving or just a regular old weeknight meal.
- Use a fat separator. A fat separator takes all the tediousness out of separating the fat from the meat drippings. If you’re a homemade gravy fanatic, it’s worth the investment!
- Don’t burn the butter/fat. If you burn the butter/fat, it will make the gravy taste bitter. Work on a low heat and only simmer the butter/fat until it’s melted before adding the flour.
- Take the gravy off the heat after it begins to simmer. There’s nothing worse than your precious meat drippings going to waste by burning the gravy! Once you whisk in the drippings, immediately remove the gravy from heat and serve.
We all know that gravy is awesome slathered over Thanksgiving turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing. There’s nothing wrong with keeping it classic! However, if you’re whipping up this 5-minute gravy outside of the traditional holiday season (go you!), you can pour it over air fryer chicken thighs or air fryer pork chops. It is also amazing over steamed white rice, quinoa, or buckwheat.
Whether you’re storing your leftover Thanksgiving gravy or double or triple the recipe to freeze, find all the top storage tips here.
- Refrigerator: If you plan to eat the gravy within 3-4 days after cooking, store it in an airtight container or sealable canning jar in the fridge. This will not only keep the gravy from absorbing lingering smells in your refrigerator, but will also allow it to continue to develop its flavors as it marinates in itself. YUM!
- Freezer: If you want to batch cook gravy and have a couple of quarts on hand for 3 months, allow the gravy to cool completely and separate it into freezer-safe bags or containers. To thaw, simply place the gravy in the fridge overnight.
Reheating Tip: The best way to reheat gravy is in a saucepan over low heat, stirring it constantly until it warms through. Additionally, never add cold gravy into a hot pan. Always add the cold gravy in first and then turn the pan on afterward. This will prevent it from burning!
What can I use instead of meat drippings to make gravy?
If you don’t have meat drippings on hand, swap the fat for butter and the drippings for broth or stock. Keep in mind you’ll likely need to add a good amount of salt to compensate if you’re using homemade stock or low-sodium store-bought brands.
Which is better to thicken gravy, cornstarch or flour?
Flour is a better-tasting option over cornstarch when it comes to thickening your gravy. This is why it’s recommended to make the gravy first with flour and only use a tiny amount of cornstarch if it turns out too thin.
What do I do if my gravy is too thin?
If your gravy is way too thin, this is a good time to tap the powers of a cornstarch slurry. To make one, mix one tablespoon of cornstarch with one tablespoon of cold water in a small bowl. Next, whisk the slurry into the gravy until well-combined. If your gravy is still too thin, keep adding 1:1 cornstarch to cold water slurries until you get the right texture.
How long does gravy last in the fridge?
Gravy lasts 3-4 days when properly stored in the fridge in an airtight container.
Can I freeze gravy?
Yes, you can freeze gravy and store it for up to 3 months. To make your life easier, store it in quart or half-quart containers so you can thaw smaller portions at a time.
Other Recipes to Make for Thanksgiving
- How to Make a Smoked Turkey – Complete guide to smoked turkey
- Easiest Roasted Turkey Recipe – Classic oven-roasted turkey
- Guilty Mashed Potatoes – Decadent mashed potatoes
- Bacon Brussels Sprouts Salad – Pan-fried brussels with bacon
- 1/2 cup fat from drippings or butter
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 qt drippings or meat stock
- Divide the fat from the meat drippings. You can do this manually by letting the fat naturally rise to the top and harden before you skim it off, or you can use a fat separator if you have one.If you're not using meat drippings, skip to the next step.
- Place the fat or butter into a deep skillet and bring it to a simmer.
- Slowly whisk the flour into the melted fat/butter, continuing to whisk the mixture until everything is well-combined. Cook for an additional 2 minutes.
- In small portions, whisk the drippings/stock into the flour mixture until silky smooth. Bring the mixture to a simmer and immediately remove it from heat.
- Serve the gravy while it's piping hot. Enjoy over turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, rice, and so much more!
I love the Better than Bouillon also! I assume that if I used that in place of some of the stock/brother, I would add the equivalent amount of water needed, correct?
Isn't it just the best?! It tastes like homemade stock that's been slow cooking all day long. You're 100% correct - use the same portions of liquid and season with the Better Than Bouillon concentrate as directed on the bottle (I believe it's 1 tsp per cup, but feel free to adjust that if you don't want it so salty). Hope this helps and thanks for reaching out! We love to hear from ya.
what can i substitute the drippings for? maybe a broth?
Yes, you can replace with with a good quality broth. Maybe you would need to add a bit more seasoning. Enjoy!
That is one beeee-you-tiful picture! I knew I would have no extra time to spend on gravy but that photo convinced me otherwise. Keep up the good work!
Oh dear!! The sweetest compliment of all. Seriously, thank you!!! Honestly I get it, after baking that turkey it might be overwhelming. I think you may get more compliments for the gravy than the turkey 😉 So so good!