5 of the best turkey gravy recipes on a Thanksgiving table.

I Tried Our 5 Most Popular Thanksgiving Gravy Recipes and Found a Make-Ahead Stunner

Bid farewell to last-minute stress.

The expression “it’s all gravy” doesn't seem to apply on Thanksgiving, considering whoever’s in charge of the sauce can be found sweating over the stove at the final hour. In search of a gravy recipe that would break that cycle, I tested the five most popular gravy recipes on Allrecipes.com in search of one that was delicious and could actually be made in advance. What did I find? Spoiler alert: Prepare for the big day to feel a whole lot easier—and for your guests to request your recipe. 

What Makes a Perfect Gravy? 

The perfect gravy is savory, well seasoned, and brimming with deep turkey flavor. It should be super-smooth and easy to pour, without any starchiness or clumps of flour. Of course, it should also easily come together without any last-minute stress.

Which Gravy Recipes Did I Test? 

I tested the five most popular gravy recipes on Allrecipes.com, which included one you can make and freeze in advance, one built on the turkey giblets, one with serious turkey flavor, one great for first-timers, and one that I loved the most. Here’s what I found.

Make Ahead Turkey Gravy

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Most Surprising: Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy 

  • Fast facts: Developed by SUE1956, has 380 reviews with a 4.7-star rating

I’ve long assumed that gravy is best served directly after it’s made, leaving me all but tied to the stovetop just before sitting down to eat. But this silky-smooth recipe, which gets its flavor from roasted turkey wings, proved me wrong in the best way possible. Not only can you refrigerate it a few days prior, but you can make it weeks in advance and pop it in the freezer.  

Reheating is simple, and you’d never know it wasn’t made that day: Simply reheat the refrigerated gravy in a saucepan over low heat until bubbly, whisking occasionally. (Frozen gravy can be thawed in the refrigerator overnight.) If it looks watery or separated, don’t panic: It will come together to form a perfectly thickened sauce. 

Get the recipe: Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy 

Giblet Gravy.

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Most Thick and Rich: Giblet Gravy

  • Fast facts: Developed by SUZANNE, has 83 reviews with a 4.3-star rating

This old-school family recipe (it’s been enjoyed for 50 years!) will quickly become a tradition at your table, too. Turkey giblets give it its meaty, savory flavor, and the addition of hard-boiled eggs makes it extra rich. It yields a whopping eight cups, so don’t hold back: Pour it over your turkey, mashed potatoes, and that cornbread stuffing, too. 

For the perfect pourable consistency, stir in the cornstarch slurry slowly and only add as much as you need. You’ll also want to wait to add the eggs until after the gravy has thickened; otherwise, they’ll fall apart. 

Get the recipe: Giblet Gravy

Turkey Giblet Gravy

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Biggest Turkey Flavor: Turkey Giblet Gravy

  • Fast facts: Developed by Bryn Audrey, has 20 reviews with a 4.2-star rating

In addition to being flavored with the turkey neck and giblets, this gravy also gets a boost from the turkey’s rich and savory drippings. How’s that for making the most of the bird? 

A chopped hard-boiled egg contributes to the flavor and texture, but if you prefer a super-smooth gravy, feel free to leave it out. Otherwise, the ingredient list is extremely straightforward: Thanks to the built-in flavor of all the turkey parts, the only extra seasonings you need are salt and pepper. Make sure your turkey comes with giblets; if not, you can purchase them separately. 

Get the recipe: Turkey Giblet Gravy 

Simple Turkey Gravy.

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Fastest and Easiest: Simple Turkey Gravy 

This thick yet pourable gravy is wildly easy to prepare. It yields a classic, silky sauce that will impress even your most discerning guests, and can be easily scaled up or down depending on the size of your crowd. 

I was thrilled with its complex flavor, considering it started with store-bought stock, and couldn’t wait to drizzle it over turkey the second I pulled it off the stove. Just remember it will continue to thicken as it cools, so remove it from the heat a few minutes early.

Get the recipe: Simple Turkey Gravy 

Chef John's Make Ahead Gravy.

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Best Overall: Chef John’s Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy 

  • Fast facts: Developed by Chef John, has 404 reviews with a 4.6-star rating

This savory recipe, made with roasted vegetables and turkey wings, saves everyone from the dreaded last-minute gravy-making. It’s smooth, well seasoned, and not too thick: the perfect consistency for pouring over turkey and mashed potatoes. 

More to love? Leftover gravy tastes great on far more than just other Thanksgiving  leftovers—and trust me, you’ll want to use up every last drop. Pour it over biscuits, make a turkey pot pie, or whip up a mouthwatering pasta with minced cooked turkey, too. 

Get the recipe: Chef John’s Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy 

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