Easy Giblet Gravy Recipe Without Giblets

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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.

Giblet Gravy Recipe Without Giblets closeup

How to Make a Giblet Gravy Recipe Without Giblets:


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

Begin by peeling and then slicing or chopping four yellow onions. I find it makes life easier to use a mandoline vegetable slicer to make quick work of the onions.

You don’t need to be precise when cutting the onion since it’s going to cook for 2 hours and will eventually be obliterated by an immersion blender.

If you were cooking onions for a shorter time, you’d want evenly-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 without giblets in a white dish

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I Serve This Giblet-Free Gravy With Turkey?

Yes, of course! While this recipe aims to show you how to create a giblet gravy without giblets, it’s perfectly fine to serve with your Thanksgiving dinner.

First, start by following your favorite recipe for baking your Thanksgiving turkey. Remove the whole turkey from the roasting pan.

Use the drippings from the roasting pan and all the scraped meat off the bottom of the pan as your fat & liquid mixture (replacing steps 1-3 of this recipe).

onions sauteeing

Then, follow the same steps in this gravy recipe, starting at Step 4: Create Roux.

If you are cooking with a real turkey, feel free to add some small pieces of cooked turkey neck meat to the gravy as a final step.

How Do I Store the Gravy?

You can refrigerate this delicious gravy for a week or freeze it for eternity. Just make sure to use a freezer-safe bag or a freezer-safe Tupperware container.

Let’s be honest, though; you know you’re probably going to finish this off the next day. 😉

You can make this in advance of your dinner and easily reheat it on low heat on the stovetop or in the microwave. It also freezes well. 

Giblet Gravy Recipe Without Giblets 7

Can I Add Additional Ingredients to the Gravy?

Yes, of course. Remember that you may need to add a bit more flour to the recipe to compensate if you add additional liquid. These are other common ingredients people will add to their gravy recipes:

  • Soy sauce – Add a splash or two
  • Bay leaf – Adds another layer of flavor. Remove before using an immersion blender!

My Gravy Won’t Thicken. Help!

If your gravy doesn’t thicken, try using some cornstarch. If your gravy is being stubborn and won’t thicken to the desired consistency, mix cornstarch in 1/4 teaspoon at a time. This will thicken your gravy almost instantly.

onions after one hour of cooking

What Should I Serve This Gravy With?

The great thing about this old fashioned giblet gravy is that you can serve it with literally anything. We’ll serve this with a roast on mashed potatoes and even over rice in our family.

You’re probably going to be serving this with your Thanksgiving feast. In that case, I would serve this gravy with turkey, tofurkey, cranberry sauce, etc.

Is this a Vegetarian Gravy?

Yes, this gravy is vegetarian, since it doesn’t use any meat in the recipe. That said, you can serve this gravy with meat, no problem. That’s precisely what our family does.

We serve this onion gravy for thanksgiving and pour it over our mashed potatoes, stuffing, and turkey meat. We just love the flavor, so much!

Is This Gravy Vegan?

This particular recipe isn’t vegan because it calls for butter. That said, you can EASILY make it a vegan gravy recipe by simply substituting butter for your favorite vegan oil or butter substitute.

Suggested Vegan Alternatives to Butter:

  • Olive oil
  • Vegetable oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Vegan “butter” or spread

Recipe Card

turkey giblet gravy without giblets top down view

Turkey Giblet Gravy Recipe Without Giblets

Who needs giblets when you can make this delicious turkey giblet gravy recipe without them? Whether you're avoiding turkey due to ethical/dietary reasons or simply don't have turkey giblet meat on hand, this recipe will work wonders!
4.41 from 5 votes
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 2 hrs
Total: 2 hrs 5 mins
Yield: 4 people



  • Slice Your Onions
    To start, peel and then slice or chop four yellow onions.
  • Melt Butter & Add Onion
    In a medium or large saucepan, bring 8 tablespoons unsalted butter to a low simmer. Once melted, add chopped onion. Stir the onion until it is fully covered in butter.
  • Sauté Onions For 2 Hours
    Saute the onions over medium-low heat until they're soft and transparent. Repeatedly stir the onions, and remember to turn the heat down when they start to brown. Cook them for at least 2 hours, stirring every 20 minutes.
  • Create Roux
    To make a gravy that is thick and rich, we first need to create a roux. Increase the heat to medium and add 3 tablespoons of flour to the caramelized onions. Then, continue to stir the roux until it thickens and becomes golden in color.
    Thoroughly dissolve the flour into the butter using a wooden spoon or a wire whisk. Next, add a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and mix thoroughly.
    Repeat for 5-10 minutes until the roux is deep golden brown.
  • Add Chicken Broth
    Add the 2 cups of chicken stock to the roux. You can either use homemade broth if you have any on hand or use a store-bought option.
    Stir the giblet broth occasionally, and remove it from the heat when it begins to thicken. If your gravy isn’t thickening enough, you can gradually add additional broth and flour, a little bit at a time.
  • Puree
    You will need either an immersion blender or a regular blender to "finish" the gravy. Be careful not to fill the blender too much, as the hot gravy will expand. Keep one hand on the lid at all times while blending.
  • Final Touches
    Add a splash of vinegar or lemon juice to thin it out (increasing its acidity) or a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper to give it a little kick.

Your Own Notes


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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4 thoughts on “Easy Giblet Gravy Recipe Without Giblets”

  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

    • 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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