Thanksgiving Gravy Fountain with Holiday Hors d'Oeuvres


This recipe takes our Best-Ever Turkey Gravy and adapts it specifically for a gravy fountain, creating cascading streams of savory gravy that pair perfectly with skewered roasted vegetables, stuffing bites, French-dip-style turkey sliders, and mashed potato croquettes.

Thanksgiving Gravy Fountain
Photo: Photo by Noah Fecks / Food Styling by Drew Aichele / Prop Styling by Ethan Lunkenheimer / Set Construction by Johnny Figueroa / Floral Design by Chelsea Olayos
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
16 to 32 servings

We've included mini-recipes for all of those hors d'oeuvres (made with Thanksgiving leftovers) in this recipe, plus three different flavor variations on the gravy itself. The gravy recipe yields enough to fill a chocolate fountain that calls for 4 pounds of melted chocolate. If you have a fountain that calls for 2 pounds or less, either divide this recipe in half or add half to the machine, and use the remaining gravy to refill as needed. While it's perfectly safe to run the gravy fountain for a few hours, the gravy temperature does hover around 105-110°F; a little cooler than what is considered to be food-safety temperature, so keep it flowing for under 2 hours. Add the fountain to your Thanksgiving menu for maximum joy.


  • ½ cup 1/2 cup [4 ounces] unsalted butter

  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons (about 3 7/8 ounces) all-purpose flour

  • 8 cups turkey broth or Rich Turkey Stock, divided

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme OR 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste

  • ½ cup (4 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

  • Hot water, as needed

Rich Turkey Stock

  • 5 pounds turkey parts, such as wings, necks, and drumsticks

  • 9 cups water

  • Reserved turkey neck and giblets (except the liver)

  • 1 large onion, thickly sliced

  • 1 large carrot, thickly sliced

  • 1 large celery rib, thickly sliced

  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Melt turkey fat in a medium skillet over medium. Add flour; cook, whisking constantly, until mixture turns golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Gradually whisk in 1 1/2 cups of the turkey broth and whisk constantly until smooth. Remove roux from heat; cover to keep warm.

  2. Bring remaining 6 1/2 cups turkey broth to a boil in a large stockpot over high. Gradually whisk roux into boiling broth, whisking until smooth. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, whisking often, until gravy thickens and no floury taste remains, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove stockpot from heat. Pour 2 cups gravy into a blender; add thyme, sage, salt, and pepper. Secure lid on blender, and remove center piece to allow steam to escape. Place a clean towel over opening. Process until completely smooth, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Pour gravy through a fine mesh strainer into remaining gravy in stockpot; whisk to combine. Discard strained solids. Whisk butter into gravy until smooth. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Set gravy aside, whisking occasionally, to cool slightly while preparing and preheating fountain.

  3. Prepare fountain according to manufacturer's instructions; allow fountain to preheat for 10 minutes. Add slightly cooled gravy to fountain, and turn fountain on to allow gravy to begin circulating. (Gravy will continue to cool down slightly as fountain runs, allowing for a smoother, more consistent flow). Add up to 1/4 cup hot water every 15 minutes, or as needed, to maintain the correct consistency for proper flow through the fountain. If any lumps form, they will thin out as the machine runs. After 4 hours, the machine should be turned off and cleaned, and any remaining gravy discarded.

Substitute turkey stock for broth

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Put the turkey parts in a flameproof roasting pan and roast for about 1 hour, turning occasionally, until well browned. Transfer the turkey parts to a large pot.

  2. Set the roasting pan over 2 burners. Add 1 cup of the water and boil over moderately high heat, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the liquid to the pot. 

  3. Add the turkey neck and giblets to the pot along with the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, salt, generous pinches of pepper, and the remaining 8 cups of water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer, partially covered, until the meat is falling off the bones and the gizzard is very tender, about 2 hours.

  4. Strain the stock. Finely dice the gizzard and heart and reserve for the gravy. Skim the fat from the stock before using.

Bite-sized Thanksgiving variations:

Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash, and Sweet Potato Skewers: Toss together halved brussels sprouts, peeled, seeded, and cubed butternut squash, cubed peeled sweet potato, and olive oil. Roast until tender; season with salt and pepper. Arrange a mixture of roasted vegetables on skewers. Dip vegetables under cascading gravy to coat.

Fried Mashed Potato Croquettes: Stir together 4 cups cold mashed potatoes, 1 large egg, and 1/4 cup flour. Shape into bite-sized balls, and fry at 350°F until crispy and golden brown. Thread croquettes onto skewers. Dip in cascading gravy to coat.

Turkey "French-Dip" Sliders: Cut buttered toasted dinner rolls in half crosswise; top with cranberry sauce and thinly sliced roasted turkey. Ladle 1/4 cup gravy into a small ramekin to use for dipping turkey sliders into.

Stuffing Bites: Cover cold stuffing with plastic wrap, and top with a baking sheet; place cans or weights on top of baking sheet to gently press and compact stuffing slightly. Cut pressed stuffing into cubes, and reheat in oven. Skewer warmed stuffing cubes. Dip into cascading gravy to coat.

Gravy variations:

Porcini Gravy: Simmer 1 ounce (1 cup) dried porcini mushrooms and 8 cups Rich Turkey Broth in a stockpot over low for 20 minutes. Process mushrooms and broth in a blender until smooth; strain. Use porcini-infused broth in place of Rich Turkey Broth in Best-Ever Turkey Gravy.

Chipotle Gravy: For a lightly spicy flavor, process 2 minced seeded chipotle chiles in adobo and 8 cups Rich Turkey Broth in a blender; strain. Use chipotle-infused broth in place of Rich Turkey Broth in Best-Ever Turkey Gravy.

Pimenton Gravy: For a smoky bite, stir 2 teaspoons smoked paprika into 8 cups Rich Turkey Broth. Use smoked paprika-infused broth in place of Rich Turkey Broth in Best-Ever Turkey Gravy.

Make ahead

The stock and giblets can be refrigerated separately for up to 2 days; any leftover stock can be frozen for up to 1 month.

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