How to Make Gluten-Free Gravy

Ali Segersten Nov 24, 2010 16 comments

Making gluten-free gravy is so simple. No need to add butter and make a roux. I have a few tips for creating rich, flavorful pan juices from cooking a bird, whether it be a turkey or chicken. These photos use a local, pastured, organic chicken, but I cook a whole turkey the same way using a larger stainless steel roasting pan. And if you want nothing to do with cooking a turkey this year then check out my recipe for this vegetarian main dish: Butternut Squash Casserole with Sage and Shallots

Use whatever fresh savory herbs you have on hand, such as thyme, rosemary, sage, and marjoram. Dried herbs work as well. These are key to creating a rich, flavorful gluten-free gravy! 

gluten-free gravy prep

Create Rich Pan Juices:

  1. To create rich pan juices, place your rinsed bird in a glass baking pan (9x13-inch for chicken or 10x14-inch for turkey). Chop up a large onion and a few stalks of celery. Toss them with a few teaspoons of Herbamare. Fill the cavity of the chicken with the celery and onions. If you are cooking a turkey, you can use your favorite gluten-free stuffing recipe. I sometimes use my Wild Rice Stuffing recipe.
  2. Place the remainder of the celery and onions around the bird in the bottom of the pan. Add plenty of sprigs of fresh herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, sage, and marjoram. Add a few chopped carrots and a whole head of garlic, cut in half cross-wise. 
  3. If you are cooking a turkey, I also like to add chunks of tart apples, such as Granny smith, under the turkey on the bottom of the pan. You can also layer fresh herbs under the turkey as well. Then, drizzle olive oil on top of the bird and generously season with Herbamare and black pepper. Sprinkle a few herbs on top if you wish. Use my Slow-Roasted Whole Turkey recipe or Herb Roasted Turkey in Parchment recipe for correct temperature and timing. 
  4. Fill the bottom of the pan with about 2 cups of water for a chicken and around 3 to 4 cups for a turkey. This will keep the bird moist during the long cooking times.
  5. When you are ready to cook the chicken or turkey, turn the oven to 450 degrees. Place the bird in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes at this temperature to seal in the juices. Then reduce the heat to 325 degrees F and cook until done (or until meat thermometer reads about 165 degrees F); about 2 hours for a 4 to 5 pound chicken, or about 15 minutes per pound for a whole turkey. Baste the turkey or chicken a few times throughout the cooking process.

About the Author

Ali Segersten

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University and a Master’s of Science in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine from the University of Western States. She is a Functional Nutritionist, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Alissa is the founder and owner of Nourishing Meals®.

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I love this recipe! I've included a link to this page in my Thanksgiving recipe link up - thanks for sharing!

Thank you for the great gluten free gravy tips. I would like to add a comment from Mercola's site regarding cooking with olive oil. "Extra-virgin olive oil is a good monounsaturated fat that is also well-known for its health benefits. It's a staple in healthful diets such as Mediterranean-style diets.

However, it's important to realize it is NOT good for cooking. It should really only be used cold, typically drizzled on salads and other food.

Due to its chemical structure and a large amount of unsaturated fats, cooking makes extra-virgin olive oil very susceptible to oxidative damage..."

Hi! Just wanted to let you know I included this dish in my post, An Allergy Friendly Thanksgiving Menu -- linked back to you and everything :) Have a great holiday!

Anon - I usually just roast a chicken with chopped onions (with the skins) and celery plus whole herb sprigs - so we don't eat them once they have served their purpose. We do compost them along with chicken bones in our city compost. We have a Food Plus garbage can that is the same size as our garbage. They come every other week and take it. We can put in all yard waste, paper products, kitchen scraps, including meat. We have a backyard compost that takes veggie and fruit waste. I always forget that this system is not available to everyone! :)

Do NOT compost veggies that have meat juices on them !! :(
THREW away the veggies- why? that's the best part, lol

I love gravy, especially for the turkey. This is also my favorite way to make gravy. I use the arrowroot to thicken it. Great post!

Wow, there are some fantastic recipe ideas on here - i really like the recipe for the pumkin quinoa cornbread. Have a great thanksgiving!

Ali, I really appreciate your thorough, but still simple, directions. Thank you for that! You (and Tom) are on my list (literally) of the things I am grateful for this season. Have a wonderful, joyous holiday!

This post is a keeper. I am bookmarking it. I'm not hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year but I might just have to make a chicken for the family sometime this week so I can try this. Thanks so much, Ali. Have a wonderful holiday.

Great instructions, Ali! I'm no big on gravy, but I have made it when a recipe calls for it. I used sweet rice flour, too, because I'd read it worked so well ... and it does. I've also done the roux method with no problems, but keeping the gravy simpler and dairy free sounds good to me! :-)

Happy Thanksgiving Eve! I always like the Eves of holidays ... all the anticipation. ;-)


do you have any opinions about brining birds?

Thanks for the tips, Ali. I agree, the sweet rice flour is the best thickening agent. I just made the dressing for your Pear and Hazelnut Salad from your cookbook. Delicious! We'll enjoy it tomorrow. Happy Thanksgiving!

Ali, your cooking tips are always so precise and easy to follow. I love the pictures too! I opened the website to get the pumpkin cake recipe, apple pie, and quinoa crackers for my contribution to dinner tomorrow. I will try the gravy techniques this weekend!
Have a very Happy Thanksgiving ~ your menu looks fantastic!

I was just thinking about how I was going to make gravy, something i don't do that often. Thank you for the easy tips! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Ali, these are perfect tips. I always mix my starch and cool liquid separate and then add it into the juices, but only did it because that is what my mom always does. LOL I did not realize adding it directly to hot juices is what causes it to get lumpy!! This is such a helpful list of ideas. Thanks so much for sharing these today! ;)

If the gravy is a bit light in color - a small pinch of two of instant coffee deepens the color.

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