8 Quick Ways To Enhance A Bland Turkey Gravy

bland turkey gravy

If you’ve ever made gravy, you know it’s no easy feat.

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There are a lot of ingredients and steps involved in the process, and one mistake can make your gravy taste like nothing.

The good news is that there are plenty of ways to fix bland turkey gravy so that it becomes flavorful again.

That’s why today we’ll be delving into how you can modify your turkey gravy to taste delicious again!

What is turkey gravy?

Gravy is a sauce made from the juices of roasted meat.

It’s served with roast meats, especially turkey, and other meats like pork, beef, and chicken.

Turkey gravy is made from turkey drippings, thickened by flour, and flavored with spices and herbs such as sage or thyme.

This makes it a great addition to your Thanksgiving spread, as it can be served with fresh biscuits or mashed potatoes.

Making turkey gravy at home is an excellent way to save the delicious juice from the roasted bird and create a sauce that is not only flavorful but also healthy because you can control what goes into it.

Common mistakes when making turkey gravy

There are a few common mistakes people make when making gravy.

Here are some of them and tips to avoid them:

  • Wrong consistency: The best gravy should be slightly creamy, with the texture between a creamy soup and broth.

Don’t forget about the flour in there; if you don’t have enough flour to thicken up your gravy, it will get too thin as it heats up.

Meanwhile, using too much of the thickening agent will make your dressing too heavy and hard to pour over the meat.

  • Too salty or bland: When making gravy, remember that it’s a savory dish and should have a good amount of salt.

If there is not enough, the gravy turns out to be flat and boring, while too much of it results in something similar to saltwater.

  • Lumpy gravy: The reason for a lumpy gravy is that you pour flour directly into the hot pot without whisking it well.

The best solution for this issue is to dilute flour or other thickening agents in cool water and then gradually pour it into your gravy while stirring it frequently.

Why is my turkey gravy bland?

If your gravy is bland, here are some things you should check again:

  • Have you used water instead of broth or stock? Broth or stock is always a more flavorful option to add flavor to a liquid dish.

If you use water, chances are your turkey gravy will be tasteless.

Moreover, if you’re using homemade stock or broth, then add some extra salt and pepper to get it where you want it because store-bought versions tend to be saltier.

  • You didn’t use enough seasonings in general: When your gravy is bland, it is obviously missing some flavors from the seasonings.

So if the number of spices is not enough for that of water, then you end up with a tasteless dish.

8 ways to fix bland turkey gravy

Don’t worry when your roasted turkey is ready on the table, but the gravy is bland.

Here are some quick ways to add extra flavor to your turkey gravy:

Add salt

To fix bland turkey gravy, the first step is to add salt.

Salt is a flavor enhancer that helps bring out the flavors of other ingredients in your dish.

To avoid making an overly salty gravy, start with just a pinch and taste as you go.

Salt is inexpensive and available anywhere worldwide, so even if your house runs out of salt, it is easy to ask for some from the neighbor or buy it from a local grocery store.

Add spices and herbs

If your gravy is bland, try adding spices and herbs.

Spices and herbs are natural flavor enhancers that can make a dish like a turkey gravy taste better.

You should use fresh herbs whenever possible because they tend to have the best flavor, but dried versions work well, although they are likely to be more robust.

Here are some suggestions for herbs and spices that go well with turkey gravy:

  • Basil (fresh or dried) – basil goes great with this dish because it has a strong aroma and flavors like tomato sauce.

It also gives off an earthy smell that complements the smoky taste of cooked meat.

  • Sage (fresh or dried) – sage also works in any meat dish because its flavor is earthy but not overpowering on its own; however, it pairs exceptionally well when paired with other ingredients such as garlic powder or cayenne pepper!

Add wine

When you’re making gravy for a holiday meal, it’s easy to get carried away with the turkey (or other meats) and forget about the gravy.

When that happens, your gravy may be bland and flavorless.

Don’t despair! Adding a splash of wine can be helpful.

Red wine is the best choice for adding to turkey gravy, but any wine will help add some much-needed flavor to your gravy.

Use a reasonably good quality red wine—don’t go too cheap because this step is critical in getting results that taste good enough to eat on their own!

Once you add the wine, let it sit for five minutes as it simmers in its own juices before serving so that all those yummy flavors can meld together into a fantastic sauce!

Add soy sauce

The umami flavor of the soy sauce will perk up your gravy in no time.

Add one tablespoon of soy sauce per cup of water used to make the gravy, and then add more if you prefer it saltier.

Simmer on low heat for about five minutes before serving over mashed potatoes or stuffing!

Add turkey drippings

Let’s say you’ve already added some salt and pepper to your drippings, but the gravy still isn’t quite where you want it.

Don’t panic! If there are still turkey drippings in the roasting pan, it’s time to make use of it.

Those little bits are where most of those tasty drippings come from! They’re what we call “flavor treasures.”

Add poultry broth

You can add a bit of poultry broth to your turkey gravy to give it more flavor.

Chicken and turkey broths are great for this, while red meat broth, like pork or beef, might be slightly different in taste.

These should be treated as the last resort.

If you don’t have any on hand, it’s easy enough to buy some from the store.

Just ensure you get one that’s low in sodium (you’ll know this because it says so on the label).

Add browned butter

Next, you can add some browned butter to your sauce.

This is a delicious way to add a little something extra to your gravy and make it taste more like a Thanksgiving feast.

To make browned butter, you’ll need some unsalted butter.

Place the butter in an even layer in a pan over medium heat.

Let it cook until it foams and then turns golden brown, about 5 minutes.

Once the butter has finished cooking, add it directly into your gravy pot or saucepan and whisk until combined with the rest of the ingredients.

Be careful not to let any water drop into your pan; if this happens, pour it out immediately!

Reduce it

Reducing the gravy until it’s just right can be a way to develop the flavor.

The key to this step is not to boil it, or you will get a burned taste.

After reducing, you should be able to pour the gravy over your turkey and potatoes with no consistency issues.


Now that you have some ideas for what to do with your bland turkey gravy go ahead and add them.

Make sure to taste test as you go along, so you know when it’s done.

We hope these tips will help make your Thanksgiving meal a delicious one!