Simple No-Giblet Gravy Recipe

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Who needs giblets anyway? And is it pronounced ˈjibləts or ˈghibləts? Either way, this giblet gravy recipe without giblets is incredibly flavorful, easy, and inexpensive. This recipe will work wonders whether due to ethical/dietary reasons or simply not having giblet meat on hand.

How to Make Giblet Gravy WITHOUT Giblets

Creating a Giblet-Free Gravy: A Step-by-Step Guide


These ingredients can all be easily found at your local neighborhood grocery store:

Giblet Gravy Recipe Without Giblets Ingredients

Recommended Equipment:

Lodge Cast Iron Skillet
My trusty Lodge cast iron skillet

Step 1: Slice Your Onions

Start with four bright yellow onions. After peeling, slice or dice them. For a swift process, I recommend using a mandoline vegetable slicer.

Precision isn’t essential here, as these onions will stew for about 2 hours and eventually be blended with an immersion blender. However, if you were preparing a dish with a shorter cooking time for onions, aim for uniformly chopped pieces to ensure even cooking.

Closeup Of Sliced Onions For Giblet Gravy Recipe Without Giblets

Step 2: Melt Butter & Add Onion

Add 8 tablespoons of unsalted butter to a medium or large saucepan and melt over medium-low heat. Once melted, add the chopped onion. Mix the butter and onions until the onions are fully covered in butter. If you want to make this a fully vegan giblet gravy recipe, feel free to substitute the butter with margarine or any other vegan butter substitute.

Melting Butter For Giblet Gravy Without Giblets
Mixing Onions And Butter Together In Skillet

Step 3: Sauté For 2 Hours

Saute the onion for 1-2 hours. Set a timer on your phone for 20-minute intervals. At each of those intervals, stir your onions.

Remember to cook on medium-low heat so that the onion doesn’t burn. Cooking the onions low-and-slow for 1-2 hours will impart a ton of flavor into your gravy.

Closeup Of Onions After 1 Hour Of Cooking
Onions after 1 hour of slow cooking.

If you were to carmelize your onions quickly, your giblet gravy wouldn’t have nearly the amount of flavor as it will if you cook your onions for a longer period.

The caramelized onions are the showpiece here because they’re single-handedly responsible for creating the flavor.

This exercise in patience and delayed gratification will pay dividends by creating an amazingly good gravy.

Giblet Gravy Recipe Without Giblets 2
Onions after 2 hours of cooking.

Step 4: Create The Roux

What you’re doing in this step is creating a nice brown roux. This roux is going to be used to thicken our gravy.

First, increase heat from medium-low heat to medium heat. Next, add 3 tablespoons of flour to the caramelized onions, a little bit at a time.

Giblet Gravy Recipe Without Giblets 4

Using a wooden spoon or a wire whisky, fully dissolve the flour into the butter. Next, add a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and mix thoroughly. Stir occasionally for 5-10 minutes until the roux is deep golden brown in color.

Dsc 9571
Deep golden roux.

Step 5: Add Chicken Broth

Add the 2-1/2 cups of chicken stock to the roux. Feel free to use your own homemade broth if you have any on hand. (You would create your own chicken broth by mixing chicken bouillon with water).

Adding Chicken Broth To Roux For Giblet Gravy Without Giblets

Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Once the giblet broth starts to thicken, take it off the heat.

If you find your gravy isn’t thickening enough, add additional broth and flour, a little bit at a time.

Giblet Gravy Thickening

Step 6: Puree Using a Blender

Purée using an immersion blender or regular blender until consistency is silky smooth. If you use a regular blender, be mindful to not overfill since the hot gravy will expand in the blender. Keep one hand on the blender lid at all times.

Pureeing Gravy In Blender Side View
Pureeing Gravy In Blender Top-Down View

**Safety Note** If you use a regular blender, only fill the blender halfway and hold the lid on firmly.

Step 7: Season & Serve

Once you’ve reached your desired consistency, taste the gravy and adjust seasoning.

You can add a splash of sherry vinegar or lemon juice to cut the richness a bit (by increasing the acidity) or add a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper to make it pop. 

Remember you can always add more seasoning with any sauce, so start with a little, then add until you get your perfect flavor. 

Pour into your gravy boat or other dish and serve! It’s crucial that you lick any leftover gravy off the spoon.

Giblet Gravy Recipe Without Giblets Closeup

Recipe Card

Turkey Giblet Gravy Without Giblets Top Down View

Turkey Gravy Without Giblets

Skip the giblets and still enjoy a flavorful turkey gravy. Whether you're avoiding turkey for ethical/dietary reasons or just don't have giblets available, this recipe has you covered!
4.41 from 5 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 2 hours
Total: 2 hours 5 minutes
Yield: 4 people



  • Slice Your Onions
    To start, peel and then slice or chop four yellow onions.
  • Melt Butter & Add Onion
    In a saucepan, melt 8 tablespoons of unsalted butter on low heat. Add chopped onion and stir until coated in butter.
  • Sauté Onions For 2 Hours
    On medium-low heat, sauté the onions until they become soft and clear. Stir often, and reduce the heat if they begin to brown. Cook for about 2 hours, stirring every 20 minutes.
  • Create Roux
    For a thick gravy, turn the heat to medium and mix 3 tablespoons of flour with the caramelized onions. Stir until golden. Blend well with a whisk, add 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and cook for 5-10 minutes until deep golden brown.
  • Add Chicken Broth
    Add 2 cups of chicken stock to the roux, either homemade or store-bought. Stir occasionally and remove from heat once thickened. If needed, slowly add more broth and flour to reach desired thickness.
  • Puree
    To finish the gravy, use an immersion blender or a regular blender. When using a blender, fill it partially as the hot gravy can expand. Always keep a hand on the lid while blending.
  • Final Touches
    To thin the gravy and add acidity, use a splash of vinegar or lemon juice. For a slight kick, sprinkle in a pinch of cayenne pepper.

Your Own Notes


How to Make Giblet Gravy WITHOUT Giblets


  1. Flavor Base: Since we’re skipping giblets, the depth of flavor in your gravy comes mainly from the caramelized onions and the chicken stock. Ensure you deeply caramelize the onions and use a good-quality stock.
  2. Thickening: Without the giblets, the gravy may feel less hearty. If you prefer a thicker consistency, consider using cornstarch as a thickening agent in addition to flour.
  3. Seasoning: Taste as you go! The seasoning can make or break a gravy. While you’ll start with a basic salt addition, you might need a touch more, depending on your broth’s sodium level.
  4. Safety: When using a blender, always be cautious with hot liquids. Allow the gravy to cool slightly before blending to reduce the risk of splatters and burns.
  5. Storage: This gravy will store well in the fridge for up to a week and can be frozen for longer. If freezing, leave some space in the container for expansion.
  6. Reheating: When reheating, do so slowly on low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent the bottom from burning.
  7. Variations: Feel free to introduce herbs like sage, thyme, or rosemary for added flavor.
  8. Alternative Liquids: If you want a richer flavor, consider using a combination of chicken stock and turkey drippings (if you have any from roasting a turkey).
  9. Vegetarian/Vegan Version: If aiming for a vegetarian or vegan version, ensure you use vegetable stock and vegan butter substitutes. Adjust seasonings as needed.
  10. Texture: For those who prefer a chunkier texture, consider leaving a portion of the caramelized onions unblended.
Adjust according to your preference and always taste as you go for the best results!

Nutritional Information

Serving: 0.25cup, Calories: 153kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 81g, Saturated Fat: 10.5g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 46.5mg, Sodium: 3mg, Potassium: 6mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 1mg, Iron: 1mg

The Golden Lamb provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietician.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I pair this gravy with turkey?

Absolutely! This giblet-free gravy complements turkey wonderfully. Once you’ve roasted your turkey, utilize the pan drippings and bits from the bottom to form the base of your gravy. Proceed from Step 4 in the gravy recipe. For an added touch, consider incorporating pieces of cooked turkey neck.

How should I store the gravy?

Store the gravy in the refrigerator for up to a week. For longer storage, freeze it in a freezer-friendly container or bag. If preparing ahead of your feast, you can reheat it gently on the stovetop or microwave. Chances are, it’ll be gone by the next day!

Can I modify the gravy with extra ingredients?

Certainly! Depending on the additional liquids, you might need a touch more flour. Here are some popular add-ins:
A dash of soy sauce for depth
A bay leaf for extra flavor (remember to remove it before blending!)

My gravy isn’t thickening. What should I do?

For a quick fix, introduce cornstarch incrementally, about 1/4 teaspoon at a time. This will get your gravy to the desired consistency swiftly.

What’s the best pairing for this gravy?

This versatile gravy suits many dishes. While it’s a hit with the Thanksgiving spread, including turkey and tofurkey, it’s equally delightful over mashed potatoes, roast dishes, or even rice.

Is this gravy suitable for vegetarians?

Yes, this gravy is vegetarian-friendly. It’s crafted without meat, but feel free to serve it alongside meat dishes. It’s a favorite with our turkey during Thanksgiving!

7. Is it vegan?

While this gravy isn’t inherently vegan due to the butter, a vegan version is just a swap away. Use any of these alternatives for butter:
Olive oil
Vegetable oil
Sunflower oil
Coconut oil
Vegan butter or spread

Check out my other popular recipes!

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Avatar Of Kelsey Todd
Kelsey brings over 20 years of hands-on experience in the coffee industry, having honed his craft as a professional barista in both Seattle and Santa Barbara. He is an accredited member of The Coffee Association of America and holds an active membership in The Baristas Guild. Beyond his practical experience, Kelsey is deeply committed to the academic study of coffee history and its cultural impact. Outside of his professional pursuits, he enjoys quality time with his family and shares his extensive knowledge of coffee through insightful articles on this blog.

4 thoughts on “Simple No-Giblet Gravy Recipe”

  1. Kelsey:
    Thanks for this giblet gravy (sans giblet)!
    One question: can you put the onions in a crockpot on LOW for 2 hours? If so, how to proceed?
    this will be my first attempt at gravy so appreciate your advice.
    Thanks so much!

    Lynn Wright

  2. Hi Lynn! Great question. Yes, you can use a crockpot. A few things. It might take longer than 2 hours. You’re looking for the deep caramel color so you can play with timing. I’d start at 2 hours, on low, and then increase time until you’ve got the desired color. Once they’re done, transfer them to a skillet and add flour to make your roux, and proceed per the recipe. I hope this helps 🙂

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