Trader Joe’s Turkey Gravy Revisited

Trader Joes Turkey Gravy
Trader Joe’s Turkey Gravy

It’s Thanksgiving time and one of the most important things on the Thanksgiving table is gravy. I can’t imagine having a big gravy boat filled with steaming hot gravy on the table every year. It’s what brings everything together and adds that something extra special to all the savory foods on your plate.

I briefly talked about Trader Joe’s Turkey Gravy a while back here. I revisited it when I did the Cornbread Stuff Mix review and I thought I’d put it in its own post this year. I first tried Trader Joe’s Turkey Gravy many years ago when I really kicked this blog up a notch and at the time I thought it was one of the lowest scoring products I’ve ever had from Trader Joe’s. Another year rolled around and I had seen some people rating Trader Joe’s Turkey Gravy pretty highly so I decided to try it again this year.

I picked up another box of it to have with the Trader Joe’s Stuffing mix I just reviewed. Again, I was really disappointed in the turkey gravy from Trader Joe’s. I do think I was a little harsh on the 2 Bells I gave it last year and will revise that score upwards. But let’s get to the Turkey Gravy itself.

Trader Joe’s Turkey Gravy Nutrition

First, the Turkey Gravy comes in one of those thick paper square cans that many soups and other liquids come in these days. You have to lift the edges and then squeeze the top and rip off the top.

Occasionally, I screw it up and spill it all over the place. I miss my steel cans! Anyway, when I opened it up I saw that it was basically the same as before. The color is a light nut-brown color and the consistency is consistent with a good gravy. I didn’t want the whole box so I put about a cup in a glass bowl and heated it up in the microwave.

When I took it out of the microwave, it smelled faintly of gravy but not very strong. I expected a more robust smell. I got out a spoon and tasted the turkey gravy directly. Again, not impressed. It’s just missing so much flavor that you expect from a real gravy! I like gravy that is full-flavored and fairly salty. It’s a condiment so it should add flavor to the dish that you are putting it on. This was fairly bland and tasted faintly of cardboard.

Trader Joe’s Turkey Gravy Side

I would definitely kick this up a notch or two by putting it in a pot and adding some salt, pepper, and herbs like thyme, rosemary, and sage. Maybe a good pinch of those or fresh if you have it.

I would simmer it for a good 10-15 minutes. You might want to add a little chicken stock so it doesn’t boil down too much and that should enhance the flavor quite a bit.  This year we made Alton Brown’s Gravy (Here is his great cookbook that I use all the time Alton Brown’s I’m Just Here for the Food) and it was fabulous. Rich, dark, thick bursting with flavor. Alton Brown rocks!

Trader Joe’s Turkey Dinner

Final Thoughts and Upgrades

I would think of this gravy as a good start. It doesn’t taste like a finished product. My family, and I am sure yours, like to have a more flavorful gravy but it takes more time to do and the last thing you want to be doing on Thanksgiving day is making more gravy. To give the Trader Joe’s Gravy more flavor I would simply put the whole box (maybe two) in a saucepan. Bring it to a simmer. Sprinkle some Everything But the Stuffing Seasoning in the gravy, a pinch of dried sage or thyme, and maybe a small grind of black pepper. Simmer for a few minutes until the flavors come together and serve hot. That will boost your gravy game like nobody’s business.

I could see using this gravy if you were in a real pinch and then you enhanced the flavor, but I would never use this gravy on its own without enhancements.

Having said that, it wasn’t as terrible as I remembered so I am going to revise my score to 4 Bells!


Filtered water. natural turkey flavor (natural turkey flavor, salt, turkey fat, maltodextrin, natural flavor, sugar, onion and garlic powder, caramel color, spices, turmeric extract), modified tapioca starch, potato flour, nonfat dry milk.


  1. My mother in law is a big Trader Joe’s fan. Honestly, I think most of their stuff is lacking in flavor…including the Turkey gravy. I did the turkey this Thanksgiving and brought it over to the in laws, as we usually do. She dropped off this Trader Joe’s gravy a few days before the feast. I made my own but did hold onto it. Well, fast forward a few months to me roasting a hotel style turkey breast. I figured what the heck, my as well try it. All I can say is I can do much better with some bullion and corn starch.

  2. Let me first say that TJ’s makes SOOOO many of their products well above their competitors. HOWEVER! They will fall short, like the test of us, as the tasters are human. This product, ranging on a gravy scale of 1-10 is a 2.5. It is heavy in an herb not listed on the I grduants list, “sage” with a over pronounced “time” finish. I 100% recommend getting “Campbell’s Turkey Gravy” in a can over and above this garbage. I added a 1/4 cup of butter, to try and help the flavor, but it did NOTHING! It didn’t even change it 1 bit.

    Trader Joes I LOVE YOU! BUUUTTT! You really miss the boat on some products! Like the fresh salsa! This crap you are selling now, cannot compare to the freah salsa you has been selling for close to 10 years!!! WTF?! cannot get party sizes and it tastes so bland! Not fresh! You really hit the nail 97% of the time but then, crash miserably.

  3. I added salt, pepper, soy sauce, thyme and sage and then all turkey drippings from a breast. It wasn’t bad but I won’t buy it again. Just as easy to make from scratch. Definitely a weird off taste before adding all the above.

    • I agree. This review is old, but I have tried it again several times over the years and it’s always the same. Just a weird flavor. Make your own or buy something else.

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