Healthy Turkey Gravy is rich, smooth, gluten free and low sodium gravy made completely from stock or with turkey pan drippings.

This is the best gravy for your healthy mashed potatoes served with boneless turkey breast and healthy cranberry sauce!

Turkey gravy in small pot, mashed potatoes and turkey in serving dishes nearby.

This healthy turkey gravy is absolutely delicious whether made with or without pan drippings.

I would argue that gravy is the best part of Thanksgiving dinner, besides the maple syrup pumpkin pie and healthier sweet potato casserole, of course. It binds all the savory dishes together!

Since it’s just 4 of us, I often air fry turkey breast and we do not end up with the drippings. That is how I learnt to make turkey gravy from stock and other pantry staples.

It is definitely one of our must-serve side dishes for turkey!

What Makes This Turkey Gravy Healthy and Tasty?

  • Low fat: You can make this healthy turkey gravy with turkey breast juices, any broth or skimmed turkey pan drippings. We go over all low fat gravy options below.
  • Delicious: Despite the low fat factor, gravy comes out rich, smooth and flavorful.
  • Easy to make: No need to make a roux and this low-sodium gravy recipe is ready in 5 minutes.
  • Great for make ahead: Save time and make it ahead. You will not need to wait for turkey drippings and just use broth from a carton.

Ingredients and Notes

This is just a list of simple ingredients to make this healthy gravy recipe. It is convenient for shopping list and full measurements are located below in a recipe card.

  • Broth, pan drippings or meat juices: Makes flavorful base of the turkey gravy. Turkey broth would be ideal, if you can find it at the store. Any store-bought broth like vegetable broth, chicken broth, beef broth, mushroom broth or homemade chicken stock will work. Either option is delish for this gravy!
  • Butter: Just 1 tablespoon adds enough fat to make this gravy not taste “healthy”.
  • Cornstarch: To thicken and keep the gravy gluten free. I find I prefer its smooth texture to a flour version. Although see notes below for substitution.
  • Seasonings: Salt and pepper, if using low-sodium stock and to taste. Dried or fresh herbs like rosemary, sage, thyme etc., if using only stock or would like to add more to taste.
Chicken broth, butter, cornstarch, salt and pepper.

How to Make Healthy Gravy from Roasted Turkey Pan Drippings

Making gravy from a roasted turkey can be healthy with a few tips and easy as well.

  • Prep drippings: Pour desired amount of roasted turkey drippings in a large cup or small saucepan and let them cool off (faster in the refrigerator) enough so the fat will solidify on top. Then remove it with a fork.

In a rush? If you want lighter gravy and have no time to skim the fat, use half drippings and half low-sodium broth. You can also invest in a fat separator.

  • Make slurry: Whisk 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 2 tablespoons cold water for each cup of drippings in a separate small bowl.
  • Cook: Bring drippings to a boil, whisk in slurry (quickly stir before adding as it settles fast) and cook on medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes or until gravy has thickened.
  • Adjust to taste: Because everyone’s drippings will have different seasonings, taste the gravy and adjust, if necessary.

You can still add a bit of fat to this gravy, if you wish. Aim for 1 tablespoon of butter or skimmed turkey fat per 1 cup of liquid. This way you still will consume way less fat than with any classic gravy.

How to Make Gravy Without Turkey Drippings (from Stock)

If you have drippings from a lean part like Instant Pot turkey breast or want to make healthy turkey gravy from stock only, a carton of store-bought broth or stock can do wonders.

  • Use broth or turkey breast juices: Pour desired amount of broth to the bottom of the pan with turkey breast juices and scrape off the browned bits with a spoon to combine. Or use only stock of choice.

Use herbs stuck onto the mesh: If you roasted a turkey breast in a mesh pouch, roasted browned bits of herbs have stuck to it. Shake them off into a pan after removing mesh from the roast.

  • Add fat: For each cup of “drippings” or broth, add 1 tablespoon butter and bring to a boil.
  • Thicken gravy: Make slurry by whisking 1 tbsp of cornstarch with 2 tbsp of cold water for each cup of drippings. Pour into pot with boiling broth, whisk to combine and simmer on medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes or until gravy has thickened.
  • Adjust to taste: Do a taste test for the salt if you used regular broth. You may not need to add salt at all if you used low-sodium stock.

Tips for Best Low Sodium Turkey Gravy

Turkey gravy is very forgiving. The rule of thumb is to use equal parts of fat and flour. However, by using seasonings, flavorful broth and a little bit of fat, I still believe skinny turkey gravy can have rich flavor.

Here are a few more tips for different taste buds.

  • Make it creamy: For each 1 cup of gravy, add 1/4 cup whole milk. I am sure other dairy-free milk alternatives will work if you are used to their taste.
  • Add mushrooms: Saute sliced brown mushrooms and add them to the gravy. Also a bit of fresh parsley would be a nice flavor addition here.
  • Lighter in color: Keep in mind if you are not using turkey pan drippings or turkey breast juices, your healthy gravy will have lighter color.
  • Thickened gravy with flour: You can thicken gravy with all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour or most of any gluten-free flours. Just use double the amount of cornstarch listed in the recipe (ans skip the cornstarch).
  • Strain it: If you do not like small pieces of herbs in your homemade gravy and prefer it silky smooth, strain through a fine mesh strainer.
Healthy gravy served with mashed potatoes and turkey on a plate.

Making Turkey Gravy Ahead

Make ahead: If you would like to make turkey gravy ahead on a busy cook day, more likely you will use the version of the recipe with broth.

If you can find turkey stock in a carton in your local grocery store, the gravy will taste the most authentic. No worries if you can’t though, it will be delicious no matter what.

Cook gravy as per recipe, cool and refrigerate in a container for up to 2-3 days.

Reheat: To reheat the healthy gravy on stove top when ready to serve, simmer the mixture on low heat in a medium to large saucepan, stirring frequently.

You might have to add a splash of water or broth to thin the gravy out to desired consistency. Add small amount before heating, let gravy heat up for about 10 minutes, depending on the amount, and see how you like it.

Store: Refrigerate leftover gravy in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

I hope you enjoy this healthy turkey gravy this Holiday season as much as we do!

Common FAQs

Why is gravy not healthy?

Traditional gravy recipes are high in fat. If you ever let the drippings from Thanksgiving turkey cool down overnight and see how much solid fat forms the next day, you will understand why gravy is not healthy. And traditional gravy is made with equal parts of fat and flour.

However, as long as you are eating it in moderation, it is OK. Or just make this low calorie gravy recipe.

Can I freeze gravy?

Yes. Freeze in smaller airtight containers for easy use, leaving some room for expansion. Gravy will keep fresh for about 3 months.

How do you reheat frozen gravy?

Let defrost overnight in the refrigerator. Then remove your gravy out of the fridge and stir it with a spoon. Transfer into a pot and simmer on low heat, stirring often and until warmed through.

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Closeup of turkey gravy over mashed potatoes and turkey with few cranberries on top.
gluten free healthy turkey gravy recipe

Healthy Turkey Gravy

Healthy Turkey Gravy is rich, smooth, gluten free and low sodium gravy made completely from stock or with turkey pan drippings. This is the best healthy gravy for your Thanksgiving!
5 from 3 votes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 42
Diet Gluten Free
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Ingredients 
 

Instructions 

How to Make Gravy from Roasted Turkey Drippings

  • Pour desired amount of turkey drippings in a large cup or saucepan and let them cool off (faster in the refrigerator) enough so the fat will solidify on top. Then remove it with a fork and discard.
  • In a small bowl, whisk 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 2 tablespoon cold water for each cup of drippings in a separate small bowl.
  • Bring drippings to a boil, then whisk in slurry (quickly stir before adding as it settles fast) and cook on medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes or until gravy has thickened.
  • Because everyone’s drippings will have different seasonings, taste the gravy and adjust, if necessary.

How to Make Turkey Gravy Without Drippings (with Broth)

  • Pour desired amount of broth to the bottom of the pan to combine with boneless turkey breast roast juices and scrape off the browned bits with a spoon to combine. Or use only stock of choice and omit any juices/drippings altogether.
  • For each cup of “drippings” or broth, add 1 tbsp butter and bring to a boil.
  • In a small bowl, make slurry by whisking 1 tbsp of cornstarch plus 2 tbsp cold water for each cup of drippings.
  • Pour into pot with boiling broth, whisk to combine and simmer on medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes or until gravy has thickened.
  • Taste and adjust salt and pepper, if necessary.

Notes

  • Store: Refrigerate leftover gravy in an airtight glass container for up to 5 days. Reheat by simmering the mixture on low heat, stirring frequently. You might have to add a splash of water or broth to thin the gravy out.
  • Use herbs stuck onto the mesh: If you roasted a turkey breast in a mesh pouch, roasted browned bits of herbs have stuck to it. Shake them off into a pan after removing mesh from the roast.
  • Adjust to taste: Because everyone’s drippings will have different seasonings, taste the gravy and adjust, if necessary. Do a taste test for the salt if you used regular broth. You may not need to add salt at all if you used low sodium stock.
  • Lighter in color: If you are not using turkey pan drippings or juices, your healthy gravy will have lighter color.
  • Thickened gravy with flour: You can thicken gravy with all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour or most of any gluten-free flours. Just use double the amount of cornstarch listed in the recipe (ans skip the cornstarch).
  • Strain it: If you do not like small pieces of herbs in your homemade gravy and prefer it silky smooth, strain through a fine mesh strainer.
Nutritional info is very approximate as it will vary on drippings. Just enjoy the gravy!

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25cup | Calories: 42kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 43mg | Sugar: 1g
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: North American
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

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About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

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Comments

    1. Made your boneless leg of lamb. Excellent! Making gravy for leftovers. It’s blah! What to season
      with for low sodium diet?
      Thanks so much! 😘

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