Healthy Holiday – Making Homemade Gravy

Quick! What’s missing from this picture?

That’s right. Good gravy! It’s the gravy! In my book, gravy is a necessary element of a holiday dinner. Not only does it taste delicious, but it also covers a multitude of culinary sins. Dry turkey and tasteless stuffing are disguised when doused liberally with good, homemade gravy.

Yet, gravy can be one of the most intimidating parts of a holiday meal to prepare. I know that growing up we often relied on gravy mix packets or jarred gravy. Though there might be many families represented at our gatherings, few guests were willing to step up to the plate and risk making lumpy gravy.

Now I have to wonder what kinds of preservatives and additives lurk in those packets and cans we so easily consumed. Ahem. So, I would hold that homemade gravy is much better for you — even if it’s made from drippings.


While I am no food scientist, I do think that gravy is pretty simple once you understand about fat and starches and how they combine. Many moons ago — before I rediscovered television — I learned all my food knowledge from cooking magazines. And this guy named Alton Brown explained the science behind gravy. Ahhh! I get it, now!

I don’t follow AB’s recipe, per se, but the method as he described it in the magazine and here in this video helped me “get” what gravy was supposed to be.

You can make your gravy ahead of time if you use chicken or turkey broth. Or you can make it the day of Thanksgiving with the drippings from the turkey pan.  This will add amazing flavor to your gravy.

Here is the recipe we use at our house.


Ready for a healthier holiday? Visit my fellow Healthy Holiday bloggers for great inspiration in planning a nutritious and delicious holiday meal. Not only are we providing healthier dishes for every course of your holiday meal, but we’ll also be talking turkey at a Twitter party on Wednesday night. Be there or be square!

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Comments

  1. Mmmm, I hardly ever get to make this because we rarely make large quantities of meat. My mom heats up her broth in the microwave while she starts the gravy and it makes it so much easier to incorporate.

    Maybe I’ll try this recipe next time instead of using a mix. :)

  2. I try every year and it turns out awful–so I always keep jarred gravy on hand *just in case*. So I think I’m going to attempt it this year and see where it gets me. I really DO want to provide homemade gravy but I don’t want it to taste like mud either.

    Fingers crossed for a decent gravy this year!

  3. I’ve never used flour when making gravy. My mom taught me years ago to use cornstarch as a thickener.
    I’ve never had someone say my gravy was bad-must be all the training my mom pounded into my head! LOL
    Whisk, whisk, whisk!

  4. I always make homemade gravy, but I whisk the flour with water before adding it to the drippings and broth. I agree that the pan drippings and browned bits make the best gravy.

  5. I guess I make semi home-made gravy – I use the juice from the meat, top it up with water if necessary and I add ‘Bisto’ to thicken it. I wondered how people make that creamy coloured gravy, they obviously don’t use Bisto, so thanks for this!

  6. “Good gravy! It’s the gravy.” Made me laugh out loud! :)

  7. AllieZirkle says:

    I hadn’t seen this AB flick. HILARIOUS! Drinking a shot at the end. LOL only Alton!

    Good tips :)

  8. I loved that video!! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Homemade gravy is one of the few things I am very proud of myself for. :) I had never tried making it before I got married, but in the last three years I’ve become quite a “pro.” I use chicken or beef bullion, water, and whatever drippings I have. Plus a milk/flour mixture for a thickener and then seasonings. I ♥ gravy!!

  10. Great post! I love Alton Brown. Every time I go to make gravy I end up calling my mom. I use pretty much the same recipe and technique as in your post. Homemade gravy (esp from pan drippings) is the best!

  11. I am a terrible gravy maker.
    Thanks for making it look a little easier.

    I’m going to let my mother in law make it this year. Ha!

  12. I usually toss the pan on the stove, deglaze with stock (chicken boxed simmered in neck and back bits on the stove), smush some flour with butter on the side and add once at a boil. Simmer and season. Then serve! Not scary at all. And I am absolutely convinced chicken fat cures colds. lol

  13. I always, always make gravy from scratch, pretty much like Jasi described. I do it for any roasted meat. My mother also made it when she panfried meats. My daughter has learned how to make it too. It’s just that first two or three minutes of making it that is tricky, and when I taught my daughter, I took the pan off the heat until enough broth was stirred in, bit by bit, smoothly enough to make a liquid. After that it is all good.

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