How to make homemade giblet gravy is an easy Southern Thanksgiving recipe.  Use your turkey drippings, giblet stock, and cooked giblets to make this old fashioned gravy truly from scratch.  This will be your family's favorite gravy for holiday turkey and mashed potatoes!

Prep Time: 30 minutes
pouring giblet gravy on slices of roasted turkey
Christmas, Dips, Sauces, & Custards, Thanksgiving

How to Make Homemade Giblet Gravy

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This post was originally published on September 22, 2017.

Looking for an extra special gravy to make for this year’s holiday meal?  Fear not–you can make this homemade giblet gravy to go with your roasted turkey this Thanksgiving or Christmas.  This special gravy takes longer to make then regular gravy, but its rich flavor is worth every extra minute.

How do you pronounce giblet gravy?

Are you like me and have been pronouncing “giblets” incorrectly most of your life?  The proper way to pronounce to “giblet gravy” is with a soft g, like ji-blets.  It is pronounced the same in the US and in the UK.

plate of turkey and giblet gravy with biscuits, kale, and cranberry sauce

What is giblet gravy?

Giblet gravy is gravy made with the giblets of a turkey or chicken.  The giblets can be boiled or sautéed in a frying pan, then finely chopped or pureed and added to the gravy.  Giblet gravy can be made from homemade giblet stock and turkey pan drippings instead of just chicken broth for additional flavor.  It can also be thickened with a roux of fat and flour or a slurry of cornstarch and warm water.  Southern giblet gravies have a chopped boiled egg added at the end.

What ingredients are in giblet gravy?

Our version of giblet gravy starts off by making a giblet stock with the heart, gizzard, and neck of the turkey.  Give more flavor to the giblet stock by adding a sliced onion, one bay leaf, and a few sprigs of fresh spices like thyme, parsley, rosemary, or sage.  Next add the turkey fat and then make a roux from butter and flour.  Pour in the turkey drippings, giblet stock.  Add a bit of flavor with some more butter and a little bit of black pepper.  Thin it out with some chicken stock, and then add the cooked, diced giblets.  Your taste buds will bring you back in time to Thanksgivings of the past.

holding a forkful of turkey topped with giblet gravy

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What are giblets?

Giblets are the edible organs of a chicken, turkey, or duck that butchers put in a sealed bag in the body or neck cavity of a bird.  Don’t throw that bag out!  Giblets can impart a deep flavor to gravies, stuffing, and stocks for soups.  The most common parts you’ll find in your bag will be the neck, heart, and gizzard.  You may also find the kidneys and the liver.  Make sure to cook the giblets to 165 F to ensure safe eating.

How to Thicken Giblet Gravy

There are three main ways that home cooks thicken giblet gravy.  Our recipe uses the first method.

  • With a roux of equal parts fat (butter, bacon grease, oil) to flour.
  • With a slurry of warm water and flour whisked together.
  • Cooking it with the lid off for 3 to 10 minutes over medium low heat.

person holding a ladle of giblet gravy over a plate of turkey

What color should your roux be for giblet gravy?

Roux is a thickening agent made out of equal parts fat and flour.  For gravy, you can use a white roux, which takes 5 minutes of whisking, or a blonde roux, which takes 10 to 15 minutes of whisking.  A blonde roux will be tan in color, smell like toasted bread, and give you a darker gravy.  For this recipe, we used a white roux, but if you’d like the gravy to be darker, use a blonde roux.

What do you serve with giblet gravy?

Giblet gravy is most often made at Thanksgiving and Christmas in the U.S.  You can find it poured on top of the following holiday foods:

Can you make giblet gravy ahead of time?

Yes, you most certainly can, but since it uses the turkey drippings, you’ll also need to roast your turkey ahead of time.  If you’re planning on using your oven to cook other side dishes like cornbread dressing or casseroles, you’ll want your turkey to come out earlier in the day on Thanksgiving.  Giblet gravy keeps well in the fridge as long as it is covered.  Reheat refrigerated giblet gravy on top of the stove over medium low heat until it’s heated through.  Add a little chicken stock or water to thin it out, if necessary.

pouring giblet gravy on slices of roasted turkey

Can giblet gravy be frozen?

Yes and no.  It depends on the ingredients.  Our version of giblet gravy can be frozen for up to 4 months because it is thickened with a roux of butter and flour and contains no milk or cream.  If you choose to add milk or cream to your gravy, freezing it won’t be an option as the milk will separate from the gravy when thawed.  If you want to freeze the gravy, wait for it to cool and freeze in an airtight container or a zip top freezer bag.  When ready to use, allow the giblet gravy to thaw in the fridge overnight.  Add one or two tablespoons of chicken broth when reheating it in a saucepan to get the consistency of the gravy just right.

How to Fix Gravy Problems

  • Lumpy: use a sieve to strain out lumps.
  • Too thick: add giblet broth, turkey drippings broth, chicken broth or filtered water until it’s the desired consistency.
  • Too pale: cook the roux longer when you make it.  A blonde roux cooks for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Too thin: mix equal amounts of flour and water in a separate bowl, then add to the gravy and cook until thickened.

plate of sliced turkey breast topped with giblet gravy

What is the calories and nutritional information for giblet gravy?

For a 1/3 cup of giblet gravy, the calories would be 230.  Giblet gravy is low in carbs, sugars, and sodium.  It also has vitamin A and iron in it.  For more nutritional information, scroll to the bottom of the recipe card.

How do you make giblet stock?

  • Place the turkey neck, heart, and gizzards in a small saucepan and cover with filtered water. 
  • Next, add the aromatics and spices.  I added a yellow onion, fresh thyme, sage, parsley, rosemary, and a bay leaf. 
  • Cover the saucepan and bring it to a boil, then simmer for an hour while the turkey is roasting in the oven. 
  • Remove the giblets and turkey neck and set aside.
  • Strain the stock by pouring through a fine mesh strainer.  Discard the aromatics and spices.

How to Make Giblet Gravy from Scratch

Start by gathering the ingredients for the giblet stock.  Slice the onion, and rinse the fresh spices and the meat.

ingredients for the turkey stock

Place the neck, heart, and gizzards in a small saucepan, then pour the cold filtered water over the gizzards.

pouring water into a saucepan

Place the sliced onion, fresh spices, and the dried bay leaf on top of the gizzards. 

turkey neck and giblets in pot of water with herbs

Cover and bring to a boil over medium high heat.

boiled turkey neck and giblets in water

Turn the heat down to medium low and let the giblet stock simmer covered for an hour while the turkey is roasting in the oven.

cooked turkey neck and giblets in a saucepan

With a large spoon, remove aromatics, spices, neck, and giblets.  Discard the aromatics and spices, but keep the neck and giblets.

removing the turkey neck and giblets from the stock

Strain the giblet stock by pouring it through a fine mesh strainer.  Reserve the giblet stock for the giblet gravy.

straining the turkey stock with a sieve

To finish cooking the meat, fry the heart, gizzard, and turkey neck in butter for a few minutes.  Set aside to cool, then slice the gizzard and heart.

browning the turkey neck and giblets in a frying pan

Sauté the turkey neck and the sliced giblets in butter over medium heat for a few minutes until cooked through.  Set aside to cool, then chop the heart and gizzard into small pieces with a sharp knife, and pull the meat off the neck with your fingers.  Set aside.

browned giblets and turkey neck in a frying pan

Once the roasted turkey is done cooking, place the turkey on a large cutting board and strain the pan drippings.  Discard any bits that are in the strainer, then let the  drippings cool.  As it cools, the fat will rise to the top and separate from the drippings.

straining drippings from roasted turkey

Remove the fat from the pan drippings carefully with a large spoon or ladle and place in a medium sized saucepan.  Add butter, if necessary, to get 1/2 cup of fat.

melted butter in a saucepan with a whisk

Make the roux.  Set the pan over medium high heat and add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time to the turkey drippings, whisking constantly. Traditionally, a roux is equal parts flour to fat, but you can make it thinner or thicker as desired.

whisking the flour into the melted butter to make a roux

To have a nice brown gravy, cook the roux until it’s a darker color.  This will take roughly four minutes of constant whisking so the flour doesn’t burn.

whisking the roux

Over medium heat, gradually pour in 1/2 cup of giblet stock and 1 cup of turkey drippings into the roux, whisking constantly.

adding the turkey stock to make the gravy

Whisk in two tablespoons of butter.

adding butter to the giblet gravy

Add 1/2 cup of chopped giblets and turkey neck meat.

adding turkey meat and chopped giblets to the gravy

Add in some freshly cracked black pepper.  Simmer uncovered for 3 to 10 minutes on medium low, stirring occasionally, to thicken the giblet gravy.

seasoning the giblet gravy with black pepper

Add more giblet stock, low sodium chicken stock, or filtered water to thin out the gravy until it’s the desired consistency.

pouring stock into the gravy to thin it

Whisk in the liquid until it’s smooth. Taste.  Adjust seasonings, if necessary.  Pour into a gravy boat if you’re feeling fancy or a 2 cup glass measuring cup if you’re being casual.

whisking the giblet gravy in a saucepan

This giblet gravy will thicken up a little bit while it sits, so if you don’t like thick gravy, make it a little thinner.  Enjoy over your favorite sliced roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, homemade cornbread stuffing, or buttermilk biscuits.

person holding a ladle full of giblet gravy

Pro Tips for Making Giblet Gravy

  • Want a variation?  Add bit of cream instead of butter for a richer tasting gravy.
  • Don’t want to make a roux?  Use a slurry of flour and water.
  • Want to thin your gravy?  Use giblet stock, filtered water, or low sodium chicken broth.
  • Want a different base for your giblet stock?  Use bacon grease to saute the celery, onion, carrots.
  • Don’t like the cooked giblets chunky?  Puree them in a food processor or blender with some giblet stock or chicken broth.
  • Want a Southern giblet gravy?  Add a chopped or sliced boiled egg to the gravy just before serving.
  • Want to add the liver?  Never boil the liver, as it is very strong tasting.  Just sauté in butter or bacon fat for a richer flavor, then dice.
  • Need a bit of color?  Add some chopped pimentos at the very end along with the chopped boiled egg.

The next time you roast a turkey, take the time to make homemade giblet gravy.  It is the perfect finishing touch for mashed potatoes and sliced turkey during the holidays. 

Our Go-To Kitchen Tools for Giblet Gravy

Giblet gravy is the perfect accompaniment to these other Thanksgiving classics.

roasted turkey in a pan bowl of sour cream mashed potatoes turkey stuffing in a pan

The pleasure of a 5 star review for this homemade giblet gravy would be greatly appreciated.

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pouring giblet gravy on slices of roasted turkey

How to Make Homemade Giblet Gravy


  • Author: Brooke
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 2 1/2 cups 1x

Description

How to make homemade giblet gravy is an easy Southern Thanksgiving recipe.  Use your turkey drippings, giblet stock, and cooked giblets to make this old fashioned gravy truly from scratch.  This will be your family’s favorite gravy for holiday turkey and mashed potatoes!


Scale

Ingredients

For the Giblet Stock

  • turkey neck, heart, and gizzard
  • bay leaf (optional)
  • 1 medium onion sliced (optional)
  • 4 sprigs of fresh herbs, such as thyme, rosemary, sage or parsley (optional)

For the Gravy

  • 1/2 cup turkey fat, skimmed from the top of the turkey drippings
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup turkey drippings
  • 1/2 cup giblet stock
  • 7 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cooked turkey giblets and neck meat, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth, reserve to thin the gravy

Instructions

Making the Giblet Stock

  1. Rinse the heart, gizzard and turkey neck.
  2. Place in a medium sized saucepan and cover with 2 cups of filtered water.
  3. Optional: add the sliced onion, bay leaf and three or four sprigs of fresh spices
  4. Bring to a boil then simmer for one hour.

Finishing the Meat

  1. If the giblets aren’t cooked enough, fry them in 2 Tbsp of butter for 5 minutes over medium heat.
  2. Dice the cooked giblets (heart and gizzard) and chop the turkey neck meat and transfer to a bowl.

Making the Roux

  1. Pour the turkey drippings into a medium bowl.   You should have 1 1/2 cups if you roasted a 14 pound turkey and poured in two cups of chicken stock.  Place the cooked turkey on a cutting board. If you need a fail proof roasted turkey recipe click here for our recipe.
  2. Separate the fat from the turkey drippings by letting it sit for a while.  The fat will rise to the top.
  3. Put the fat into a medium saucepan over medium heat.  If there isn’t enough turkey fat from your cooked turkey, add butter until you have 1/2 cup.
  4. Gradually add your flour to your turkey drippings 1 Tbsp at a time while whisking.  You will want a paste that isn’t too greasy.  Once you’re happy with the consistency of your roux, cook it while whisking for 4 minutes or until your roux is a brownish color.  If you want a darker gravy, cook your roux longer.

Finishing the Gravy

  1. Gradually pour in the 1/2 cup of giblet stock into the roux while whisking constantly until smooth.  Continue adding the 1 cup of turkey drippings to get the gravy to the right consistency.
  2. Add two tablespoons of butter and stir.
  3. Next, stir in your 1/2 cup of chopped, cooked giblet and turkey neck meat.
  4. Simmer for 3 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to thicken the gravy.
  5. Add a bit more black pepper, roughly 1/4 teaspoon.
  6. If needed, add low sodium chicken stock or filtered water to thin out your gravy.
  7. Taste, adjust seasonings, if necessary and pour into a gravy boat.

Notes

  • The pleasure of a 5-star review for this homemade giblet gravy recipe would be greatly appreciated.
  • 👩🏻‍🍳 Want to see our latest recipes?  Subscribe to our email newsletter to get our latest recipes, fun food facts, food puns, and behind the scenes news about our blog.
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Boiled
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: gravy, sauces, Thanksgiving

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4 thoughts on “How to Make Homemade Giblet Gravy

  1. This recipe is awesome, my gravy is similar but this sounds better than mine. I save been chopping the neck meat,heart and gizzard in a food processor and I then put in my stuffing for more flavor. I am a sage lover, for my stuffing and gravy I make lots so I can have lots of gravy left over for using with the turkey left overs. Thanks for the new idea.

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