A Thanksgiving Dilemma for Celiacs: How Do You Make Gluten-Free Gravy?

From now until Thanksgiving, we’ll be bringing you tons of gluten-free holiday goodness. You’ve already gotten ideas for gluten-free finger foods and advice on being a gluten-free Turkey Day guest, but that’s just the beginning. Check back daily for tips on serving a mixed crowd, gluten-free stuffing, and other gluten-free recipes to impress even the gluten-eating parts of the fam come next Thursday. Here’s wishing you the happiest gluten-free Thanksgiving preparation you’ve ever had!

As for gluten-free gravy, the old saying goes, “Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke.” And well, our Triumph Family Gluten-Free Gravy Recipe certainly ain’t broke. It’s been working for years, and we feel fairly certain that it will work again this year.

MochikoFlourIf you remember our advice from last year, it’s to use sweet rice flour as a thickening agent. Be aware that sweet rice flour is NOT the same as rice flour, and it’s also not sweet. It’s just got a neutral flavor and a texture that works perfectly as a thickener for your gluten-free Thanksgiving gravy.

And now, without further ado, I present to you The Triumph Family’s 10-Step Gluten-Free Gravy Recipe:


Pan Drippings from Turkey

Chicken Stock, amount varies but a 32 oz. carton should do

Butter, 2T

Mochiko Sweet Rice Flour, 2.5-4T

Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste

10 Steps

  1. Pour pan drippings into a gravy separator. Or, if you don’t have one, pour drippings into a large measuring cup and let it sit for 2 minutes, or until the fat rises to the top. Use a baster or spoon to separate the juices from the fat.
  2. Reserve just 2 tbsp. of fat in a separate container and discard the rest of the fat. Now you should be left with just the juices that separated from the fat.
  3. Pour juices into a measuring cup and add enough chicken stock so that the total amount of liquids (juices + stock) equals 4 cups. I prefer Kitchen Basics gluten-free chicken stock, but any gluten-free stock or broth will do.
  4. Over medium-low, melt 2 tbsp. butter in a heavy-bottomed pan large enough to hold 4 cups of liquid.
  5. Add 2 tbsp. of the turkey fat you reserved and slowly sprinkle in 2.5 tbsp. of the Mochiko rice flour. (You’ll probably need to add more later, but it’s always to start with less and add more later.) Stir the “roux” until it starts to clump together. Do NOT brown the flour like you would a wheat flour roux.
  6. While whisking vigorously, slowly add in the 4 cups of liquid.
  7. Bring to a slow boil over medium heat, all the while whisking to dissolve any lumps.
  8. Allow it to boil for 1 minute, then reduce heat slightly until it’s simmering at a brisk pace.
  9. Cook about 15 minutes until it’s reduced to the texture you want, whisking frequently to keep the gravy smooth. You may need to add up more Mochiko during the reducing process. In general, I find that 4 tbsp. is about right for my family (they like gravy on the thinner side), but you may find you need up to 6 tbsp., and not just because it’s a matter of taste. Thickening sauces is not an exact science – some crops of flour have more moisture, and some less. So sometimes you’ll need to use lots of flour, and sometimes less. You’ll have to eyeball the amount of flour that’s right for you. Just remember, the gravy will continue to thicken a little after you take it off the heat, so it’s perfect when it’s just a shade thinner than what you’d normally serve. And don’t worry, if you add too much flour, just add a little more chicken stock.

10.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 10 family members with a more than healthy appetite for gravy.


Depending on your family’s taste, you may want to add some dry rosemary, thyme or a bay leaf while the gravy is reducing. Or, cook some shallots or garlic in the fat, before you add the flour, until fragrant, for an even more savory gravy.

If you have any questions about the sweet rice flour, check out last year’s gluten-free gravy post.

So, there you have it. I hope it helps you in your quest not to get glutened this Thanksgiving. Let us know if you have your own great gluten-free gravy recipe, too! We want to hear what works for you!

4 thoughts on “A Thanksgiving Dilemma for Celiacs: How Do You Make Gluten-Free Gravy?”

  1. We prefer to do all of this in the roasting pan so we don’t lose any of the flavor or drippings. Remove the turkey, skim off any visible fat and rock and roll. In this scenario you either have to mix your thickening agent (we use cornstarch) with water or make your roux in a separate small pan.

  2. Thanks for the tip on using sweet rice flour. I have tried several different starches, and recently an all-purpose GF flour. My question is why Mochiko Sweet Rice Flour? Do you like this brand for a particular reason? Thanks!

  3. Gluten free gravy is easy to make using corn starch as your thickener. Mix it with cold water until smooth. Have your gravy base boiling before stirring in the corn starch mix. If your base is not boiling you will have lumpy gravy. If you want cream gravy add some milk. This has worked for me with all kinds of gravy, not just turkey or chicken. Enjoy!

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