How Much Gravy Per Person For Thanksgiving

How Much Gravy Per Person for Thanksgiving? Serving Guide

Last Updated on March 26, 2024 by Kimberlee Johnson

Have you ever experienced a satisfying Thanksgiving feast complete with delicious turkey, creamy mashed potatoes, and flavorful stuffing, only to discover that your plate is missing gravy?

Gravy is like the secret hero of Thanksgiving because it makes your food taste better and not dry. But how much gravy per person for Thanksgiving? 

Based on my experience when I prepared food for Thanksgiving last year, you want to avoid too little gravy but don’t want your plate swimming in it. 

You have to find the perfect amount for a delicious meal. So, let’s talk about how much gravy you should use. Keep reading. 

How Much Gravy Should Each Guest Have On Thanksgiving?

Gravy on a Sauce Boat

Getting the gravy portion right for a well-balanced Thanksgiving feast is crucial. To ensure each guest enjoys their meal to the fullest, plan for approximately ⅓ cup of gravy per person. 

“Every single diet I ever fell off of was because of potatoes and gravy of some sort.” 

– Dolly Parton, American Singer-Songwriter and Musician

This way, everyone can have enough gravy to pour over their turkey and side dishes without making everything too soggy. 

But how much stuffing should each guest have on Thanksgiving?

How To Make Sure Gravy Stays Warm For Thanksgiving?

1. Use An Insulated Carafe Or Thermos

An insulated carafe or thermos is one of the simplest and most effective ways to keep your gravy warm during Thanksgiving dinner. 

“Pouring gravy at Thanksgiving is an art, not a science. It’s about making sure each bite is a masterpiece of flavor.”

Howkapow Gift Site

These containers keep liquids at the same temperature so your gravy will stay hot throughout the meal.

Transfer your prepared gravy into the carafe or thermos before serving, and it will stay warm for hours. 

2. French Top

A French top, also known as a French hot plate, is a clever kitchen appliance. It has a flat, heated surface that maintains a low, consistent temperature. 

Place your gravy pot or saucepan on the French top at a low setting, and it will keep your gravy warm without scorching or overheating it. 

This method is great for buffet-style gatherings, ensuring everyone can enjoy their meal with warm and delicious gravy.

3. Try Put It In Slow-Cooker

If you have a slow cooker, you can create a hot-water bath to warm your gravy. Put hot water in the slow cooker and turn it low or warm.

Then, place your gravy container in the slow cooker, ensuring it’s partially submerged in the hot water. 

4. Immersion Circulator

Keeping gravy warm is simple for those with an immersion circulator or “sous-vide” machine. 

Fill a large container with hot water and set your immersion circulator to a temperature below the boiling point. 

Place your sealed bag or container of gravy in the water bath, and the circulator will maintain a consistent, warm temperature without any risk of burning or overcooking.

Find out how you can keep food warm for Thanksgiving here.

What Is The Trick to Making Good Gravy?

  1. Eliminate Excess Fat: Remove your turkey’s pan of excess fats post-roasting. Keep three tablespoons for flavor; discard the rest to avoid a greasy texture.
  2. Try to Deglaze the Roasting Pan: Elevate the flavor by deglazing the pan. Place it on medium-high heat, add ¼ cup water and the reserved fat [1]. Stir diligently to release those golden brown bits that infuse your gravy with richness.
  3. To Strain or Not: It’s your call whether to strain the liquid and fat from the pan. Straining yields a smoother texture, but some savor the rustic charm of brown bits.
  4. Heat the Liquid Mix: In a 3-quart saucepan, heat 3 cups of pan juice and the fat mix over medium heat. Bring it to a full boil; the liquid must be hot before thickening.
  5. The Thickening Process: Combine ½ cup cold water and ½ cup flour in a container with a snug-fitting lid. Shake vigorously to prevent lumps.
  6. Use a Whisk: Pour the flour mixture into the hot liquid while whisking continuously. This prevents lumps and ensures even blending.
  7. Strain if Lumpy: If lumps persist, strain the gravy to remove them, then boil for 1-2 minutes to fully cook the flour. Your result? Delicious, lump-free gravy.

How Is Turkey Gravy Different From Regular Gravy?

Pouring Gravy on a Turkey

Turkey gravy starts with the tasty juices that come from roasting a turkey. Some people also add turkey giblets to make it richer and meatier.

Regular gravy comes in two main types: white and brown. White gravy is creamy and uses milk as its main ingredient. 

The brown gravy gets its flavor from meat drippings, often from beef, which makes it taste hearty and savory.

But how much does a typical turkey for Thanksgiving weigh?

How Long Does Gravy Last After Thanksgiving?

After Thanksgiving, knowing how long your leftover gravy stays good is crucial. If you keep it in the fridge, eating for about three to four days is safe. 

But if you want it to last longer, put it in the freezer, which can stay good for about four to six months.

Related Post: Best Foods That Are Prepared For Thanksgiving


Why is gravy eaten on Thanksgiving?

Gravy is a Thanksgiving tradition because it traces back to the first Thanksgiving, which lasted three days. 

They took the leftovers from roasted birds, put them in a pot, and made a tasty broth for the next day. 

What can you put in the gravy to make it more flavorful?

To make your gravy taste even better, try adding some extra ingredients. Think about soy sauce, miso paste, Worcestershire sauce [2], sherry, or cider vinegar.

But what do you eat the night before Thanksgiving?

Can gravy be left out all night?

Leaving gravy out all night is not safe. According to the USDA, food left at room temperature for over two hours can promote bacterial growth, leading to foodborne illnesses.

In A Nutshell

Ultimately, having the right amount of gravy is super important. You should plan to have about ⅓ cups of gravy for each person. 

This way, you can put enough gravy on your turkey and side dishes but not so much that it covers everything and makes it all soggy.

And when it comes to keeping the gravy warm, there are a few cool tricks. You can use special containers that keep the gravy hot, like insulated carafes or thermos bottles. 

Or you can use a fancy stove called a French top, a slow cooker with hot water, or a special machine called an immersion circulator. 


Kimberlee Johnson
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