Enjoy this gluten-free turkey gravy with your Thanksgiving meal, your favorite turkey dishes, mashed potatoes, or on top of stuffing!
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It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without turkey gravy making an appearance on the holiday table. As I was growing up, my mom often bought pre-made pouches of seasonings and added water to them to make gravy for holiday meals.
Later on, she branched out and started using jarred gravy for Thanksgiving. One less step, one less thing to fuss over.
As I got to start making my own family’s holiday meals, I realized just how delicious homemade turkey gravy can be for not only Thanksgiving but with other dishes too.
There’s something satisfying about making it homemade that allows you to add as much seasoning and flavor as you want, without having to hope that what you’re eating isn’t full of a bunch of extra ingredients you don’t really need.
If you’re like me, you love homemade turkey gravy. If you’re also like me, you make it homemade for more than just that reason.
Many gravy recipes often contain gluten, so it’s important for us gluten-free folks to have a go-to recipe for slathering on roast turkey and mashed potatoes that we can feel good about.
The recipe I’m sharing with you in this post is my favorite recipe for Thanksgiving, but we also make it sometimes when we have turkey meatballs or just want a hot turkey sandwich and slather it on like a sauce between bread.
If you’re looking for a gluten-free turkey gravy recipe, I hope you love this recipe. Before we get to that, let’s talk about turkey gravy in general to make sure we’re on the same page about what ingredients to use and which ones to look out for on a gluten-free diet.
Find out what turkey gravy is made of, if gravy is generally gluten-free, and of course if turkey gravy is gluten-free. We’ll also talk about what makes “turkey gravy” different from just plain “gravy” to help you understand what the difference is.
Finally, I’ll walk you through the steps to make my gluten-free turkey gravy recipe so you know exactly what to do when it’s time to make this in your own kitchen.
Let’s talk turkey (gravy)!
What is turkey gravy made of?
Most traditional turkey gravy recipes are made with butter, flour, turkey stock or broth, salt, and pepper. Sometimes other ingredients can be added for extra flavor, like herbs and seasonings.
Turkey stock or broth is often homemade, but it can also be made with store bought turkey stock.
Is gravy generally gluten-free?
Most traditional gravy recipes call for all purpose flour which when isn’t otherwise noted contains gluten. Most all purpose flour is made from wheat flour, making this food not generally safe for a gluten-free diet.
That said, with a few simple tweaks to the ingredients, you can have a delicious gluten-free gravy with the right swaps.
Read on: Gluten-free gravy
Is turkey gravy gluten-free?
Many turkey gravy recipes contain gluten, because all-purpose flour is called for in most gravy recipes. It is possible to make gluten-free turkey gravy by using a gluten-free flour in place of all-purpose flour or thickening the gravy with cornstarch instead of flour.
What makes gravy “turkey gravy?”
Turkey gravy gets its name from the stock or broth used, the liquid used in making the gravy. Turkey gravy is different from just a plain “gravy” because it uses turkey stock or turkey stock. You can call a turkey gravy a gravy, but all gravy is not turkey gravy.
The difference in a specific type of gravy is the liquid that’s used in the ingredients. For example, if you were to make a turkey gravy, you’d need to use turkey broth or stock. Chicken gravy is made with chicken stock or broth.
Both types of these gravies are “gravy,” but you can get more specific by calling out what liquid is used, like turkey gravy or turkey gravy.
Read on: Gluten-free sausage gravy
How to make gravy gluten-free
There are two easy ways to make a gravy recipe gluten-free gravy: use gluten-free flour or use cornstarch (or other starch, such as arrowroot or tapioca) as a thickener.
To make a gluten-free gravy with gluten-free flour, you’ll simply replace all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour that has xanthan gum.
The xanthan gum will help your gravy thicken. If your flour doesn’t have xanthan gum, you’ll likely want to add this to your recipe separately. You can follow the recipe as written.
To make a gluten-free gravy using cornstarch or other starch, you’ll combine cornstarch with cold broth or stock, then bring the mixture up to a simmer, where the cornstarch will thicken the liquid. You can season it as you wish.
Both of these options produce delicious-tasting gravy, and it’s really a matter of preference as to which method you use. For my recipe, I used a gluten-free flour blend, but I have also used the cornstarch method and enjoyed that as well.
Read on: Is cornstarch gluten-free?
Read on: Is tapioca gluten-free?
What flour should I use in my gluten-free turkey gravy
I’ve seen many different gluten-free turkey gravy recipes with many different types of gluten-free flours used. Some with just one flour, like sweet brown rice flour, and others with a gluten-free flour blend. Others use a starch, like cornstarch or arrowroot starch.
To choose a gluten-free flour blend, you’ll want to find one that has xanthan gum in it. This ingredient acts as a thickening agent that you won’t find in most other gluten-free flours. When you make a gluten-free roux, the xanthan gum helps to turn the turkey stock or broth into a thicker sauce or gravy.
I prefer King Arthur Gluten-free Measure for Measure Flour, because it provides consistent results across many different types of recipes for me, but also because I can make gravy in a similar way I’d make it if I were using normal flour.
Read on: 5 Best Gluten-free Flour Blends
Read on: Is rice flour gluten-free?
Can I make gluten-free turkey gravy without flour?
You can easily make a gluten-free turkey gravy without flour by using cornstarch instead of flour to make a gluten-free roux.
To do this, combine cornstarch with cold turkey broth or stock. Then bring this liquid to a simmer, where the cornstarch will thicken and turn into a lovely gravy. Season it as you like with salt, pepper, herbs, or other seasonings.
What liquid should I use in gluten-free turkey gravy?
To make a gluten-free turkey gravy, you’ll want to use a gluten-free turkey broth or gluten-free turkey stock. The difference between the two is that broth is made using turkey meat and vegetables, whereas turkey stock is made using turkey bones and vegetables to create the flavorful liquid used in gravy.
It’s important to note that not all broth and stock is gluten-free, so it’s necessary to seek out a brand that labels their products with a gluten-free label.
You can make your own turkey broth or turkey stock at home if you wish, or choose to buy an option in a can or carton from the grocery store. You can buy turkey stock at grocery stores in the fall months near Thanksgiving mostly, but you may be able to find it year round on some websites.
To make turkey broth at home, simmer turkey meat, vegetables, water, and some fresh herbs for a few hours. You’ll then want to strain out all the solids. The leftover liquid will be perfect for a homemade gluten-free turkey gravy.
To make turkey stock at home, combine turkey bones, vegetables, and fresh herbs with water in a large stockpot for a few hours until the gelatin releases and a thick stock is created. Strain the solids from the liquid, and you’ll be left with a rich, flavorful turkey stock that will make a great addition to a homemade gluten-free turkey gravy.
Can I use turkey drippings in my gluten-free turkey gravy?
Of course! To add even more flavor to your gluten-free turkey gravy, add turkey drippings from a roasted turkey to your gravy. Depending on how much volume you have from your turkey drippings, you may want to scale back how much stock or broth you add to the gravy.
Turkey drippings will give you a ton of turkey flavor in your homemade gluten-free turkey gravy.
How to make gluten-free turkey gravy
Making gluten-free turkey gravy at home is simple with just a few ingredients. If you want to make your gravy dairy-free as well, be sure to use dairy-free or vegan butter in place of normal butter.
Melt the butter
In a saucepan over medium high heat, melt the butter or vegan butter.
Make a gluten-free roux
Add the gluten-free all purpose flour to the butter, and whisk. Cook for about 30 seconds. You want it to get to a slightly brown color.
Add the turkey stock or broth
While continually whisking the gluten-free roux in the pan, pour in the turkey stock or broth until well combined. Add the salt, pepper, and other seasonings if you’re using them.
Simmer and reduce
Bring the turkey gravy to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium low. Simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes, or until the gravy has thickened and is a consistency you like.
Serve and enjoy
Serve with your Thanksgiving meal, on roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, gluten-free stuffing, or any other dishes you love to douse with gravy.
What do I put gluten-free turkey gravy on?
You can use gluten-free turkey gravy on anything you’d put gravy on otherwise. Here are just a few ideas and how we use it in my house:
- On roasted turkey
- On mashed potatoes
- On gluten-free stuffing
- On turkey meatballs
- On hot turkey sandwiches
- ¼ cup butter or vegan butter
- ¼ cup gluten-free all-purpose flour (I used King Arthur Measure for Measure blend)
- 2 cups turkey stock or broth
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- Optional herbs: thyme, rosemary, and sage
- In a saucepan over medium high heat, melt butter.
- Whisk in the gluten-free all purpose flour and allow to cook about 30 seconds. You're looking for it to get slightly brown.
- While continually whisking, pour in the turkey stock or broth until well combined. Add the salt, pepper, and herbs, if you're using them.
- Bring the gravy to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium low.
- Simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes, or until the gravy has thickened and is a consistency you like.
If you have clumps in your gravy, you can scoop them out, use an immersion blender to blend them in, or transfer everything to a blender (keeping it vented and a towel over the small top vent) to blend away the clumps.
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If you love turkey gravy for Thanksgiving or any time of year with your favorite turkey dishes, I hope this gluten-free version of this recipe has shown you that you can still enjoy the best parts of a meal even while avoiding gluten.
Gluten-free turkey gravy is perfect for a holiday meal, but can also be used to slather on mashed potatoes, turkey meatballs, or on hot turkey sandwiches. Yum!