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How to Make Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Gravy

No, I'm not talking about giving up gravy on Thanksgiving. That is not a world I want to live in, nor do you. What I'm really saying is you should stop MAKING gravy on Thanksgiving. It's time-consuming, takes up space, and if things go wrong, it'll take even more time to fix (I'm looking at you, lumpy gravy). What you should do instead is make gravy days or even weeks ahead of time. Here's how to do it, and how to give it a final boost of freshly roasted turkey flavor right before serving.

Thanksgiving Gravy

Photo by Meredith

How to Make Make-Ahead Gravy

Choose the Right Recipe

Now that you're giving yourself plenty of gravy-making time, use a recipe that makes rich, flavorful stock from scratch. Chef John's Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy has you roast turkey wings and vegetables before simmering them to make turkey stock.


More Thanksgiving gravy recipes.


Hold the Cream

If your recipe is enriched with milk or cream, hold off on adding it until you're heating up the gravy on Thanksgiving. For example, if you're making Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy with Porcini Mushrooms and Marsala Wine, you would follow the recipe, but stop short of adding cream. Just remember to do it on Thanksgiving!

Stash It

After making gravy, you should let it cool before storing it in the fridge for up to two days, or freezing it for up to three months (per USDA guidelines).


Learn how to freeze and thaw food the right way.


Flavor Boost

A plentiful stash of make-ahead gravy is going to save you so much time and effort on Thanksgiving. The one and only thing you have to do before serving is to add pan juices from the roast turkey, whisk in the optional milk or cream, and adjust the seasonings to taste.


Good Gravy

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Vanessa Greaves

About Vanessa Greaves

Good food, friends, and fun are always on the menu. Check out things that make me go yum: foodelicious On Instagram On Twitter @vanessa_greaves