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Make Ahead Onion And Sage Turkey Gravy

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  • Author: Cindy Gibbs
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1/2 cups 1x
  • Category: gravy, thanksgiving
  • Method: cook
  • Cuisine: American


The key to this delicious, flavorful gravy is the gravy base.  It can be made up to 3 months in advance and tucked away in the freezer.  Then bake the turkey the day before, and use the pan drippings and wine to finish the gravy.


Units Scale


  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 large red onion, halved and sliced in 1/4 inch slices
  • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups good chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 2 tablespoons brandy or cognac
  • 10 fresh sage leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper


  • 1 cup dry white wine such as Pinot Grigio
  • Turkey base, all of it


  1. Add the butter to a large skillet or a saucepan.  Add the onion and garlic and saute over medium heat until the onions are soft and start to look browned and caramelized, about 15 minutes.  Sprinkle the flour over the onion mixture and whisk constantly for about 1 1/2 minutes, long enough to cook out the flour taste.  Add the chicken stock, brandy or cognac, sage and bay leaves, salt, and pepper.  Bring to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer.  Simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, and remove from the heat.  Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer, pressing lightly on the solids.  Don’t skip this step.  This makes for a silky smooth gray.  Discard the solids and use the base to finish making the gravy, or freeze for up to 3 months for gravy later.


  1. Place the turkey roasting pan on a burner over medium heat.  Use a fork to loosen up any brown bits in the pan.  Add the wine and cook for about 2 minutes until the wine has reduced.  Add the gravy base and simmer for about 5 minutes, whisking frequently, until the gravy has thickened.  Remove from heat and serve or refrigerate.

This recipe was slightly adapted from Ina Garten’s recipe for Easy Make Ahead Onion & Sage Turkey Gravy.


  • If you’re making the Moist and Juicy Make-Ahead Turkey recipe, pour some of the gravy into the bottom of the serving platter before arranging the turkey pieces over it.