Turkey gravy made with fresh sage and white wine is a classic recipe with an upgrade. The result is smooth, rich, and has a subtle herb flavor.
For years Clara, my six-year-old, has voiced strong opinions about gravy. Mashed potatoes and gravy were a staple at her preschool and she has that version of gravy locked in her mind as the gravy to end all gravies. (Don’t even get me started on the revolt that occurs if I dare to serve mashed potatoes without gravy.)
After many attempts, the recipe you see before you became the winner in our household. Not only did it pass the six-year-old test, but it passed the nearly-forty-year-old test. The whole family loved it. It tastes very classic, but the subtle flavor of fresh sage and richness of white wine give it something extra.
The great news is, this hardly takes any extra time beyond your standard turkey gravy. Just a few minutes to brown sage leaves in pan drippings and an extra minute to simmer the wine.
- Pan Drippings - This gravy starts with pan drippings from a roasted turkey (or roasted chicken). The exact measurement is not super important, but more drippings will create a more rich gravy.
- Unsalted Butter - It’s a good idea to use unsalted butter so that you have control over the salt in the finished gravy.
- Fresh Sage - This is key to the flavor of the gravy. Use fresh sage leaves that are about as long as your index finger. If they are much smaller or larger, adjust the amount you use.
- All-Purpose Flour - This thickens the gravy. See below for tips on making this gluten-free.
- Dry White Wine - Don’t use a wine with fruity or floral notes as those will overpower the subtle flavor of the sage. I typically use a dry chardonnay.
- Make it vegetarian - Just skip the pan drippings and start with sage leaves in butter for a vegetarian version. Use vegetable stock instead of chicken or turkey. To add some savory / umami flavor (that comes from the pan drippings), stir 2 Tablespoons of soy sauce into the gravy along with the stock.
- Make it gluten-free - Use your favorite gluten-free flour blend in place of the all-purpose flour or use 2 tablespoon of cornstarch as a sub for the ⅓ cup all-purpose flour.
- Skip the wine - Don’t have wine or just don’t want to add it? Just us stock in place of the wine.
How to Make Gravy Ahead
To prepare: Prepare the gravy as directed and allow it to cool. Transfer to a container and cover with plastic wrap, pressing down gently so the plastic is completely touching the surface of the gravy. (This tight covering will prevent a skin from forming on the gravy.) Refrigerate for for up to 3 days.
To reheat: To reheat the gravy, remove the plastic covering and transfer gravy to a saucepan. Warm over medium heat, whisking frequently. If the gravy is too thick after reheating, add some water or stock about 1 Tablespoon at a time to thin. \
My Complete Thanksgiving Menu
- Simple Roasted Turkey
- Bacon Wrapped Dates with Brie and Balsamic Honey (to serve as an appetizer)
- 1-Hour Light and Buttery Dinner Rolls
- Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes
- Turkey Gravy with White Wine and Sage
- Homemade Green Bean Casserole
- Focaccia and Bacon Stuffing
- Creamy Butternut Squash and Spinach Casserole
- Cranberry Sauce (from Simply Recipes)
- Slow Cooker Pumpkin Cheesecake
Get more details and a complete Thanksgiving timeline here.
Turkey Gravy with White Wine and Sage
- Skillet or Saute Pan
- 3-4 tablespoon Pan Drippings from Roasted Turkey
- 6 tablespoon Unsalted Butter
- 8 leaves Fresh Sage
- ⅓ cup All-Purpose Flour
- 1 cup Dry White Wine (I often use a dry Chardonnay here)
- 3 cups Low-Sodium Chicken or Turkey Stock
- Heat pan drippings over medium heat in a skillet or saute pan.
- When drippings are sizzling and very hot, add butter and sage leaves. Cook until sage leaves are wilted and start to brown, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove the crispy sage leaves (you can discard them or use in something else).
- Sprinkle flour over top of melted butter and stir until no dry spots remain and flour is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Slowly pour white wine over flour while whisking. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute.
- Pour in stock and bring to a simmer. Simmer gravy until thickened, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Taste and season with some salt and black pepper. Serve warm.
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