Canned Turkey and Gravy
November 28, 2021

Most people love turkey and gravy, but don’t get it but a couple times a year. However, with the nifty science of canning and also leftover turkey, you can enjoy it all year right from your shelf.

We have turkey and stuffing for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. I’m willing to have a different meal for Christmas, but my family just really wants turkey for both occasions, although I do change up the side dishes. So at the year’s end, we have a lot of turkey to eat. It’s always been my feeling that roasted turkey can get gamey if it isn’t dealt with within a few days. I’ve always used it in soup, casseroles, and the dishes everyone else makes for Thanksgiving leftovers. Our favorite way to eat turkey is with gravy and mashed potatoes, so I decided to can the turkey in gravy for quick dinners.

This isn’t just delicious, but it’s very thrifty. I make turkey stock from the carcass in my pressure canner, then use that stock to make gravy for canning. I use Clear-Jel for my canned gravy, a thickener which performs well in canning. I know Clear-Jel is approved for canning pie filling, but the USDA has not tested it with other recipes, so consider this a rebel canning method. My reasoning was Clear-Jel is safe with thick pie filling and only water bathing, so I feel good about a thinner gravy being pressure canned for 90 minutes. I’ve been doing this for a few years, and it works great, but you have to make your own decision.

Some might ask why not can the turkey in stock and thicken it upon opening. You can certainly do that, but the gravy seems to protect the quality of the turkey as opposed to just broth. I just like it better, and I don’t have to thicken when opening.

Use your frozen vacuum sealed mashed potatoes, pop open a jar of homemade cranberry sauce, turkey and gravy for a Thanksgiving-like dinner any night of the year with no mess.

Home Canned Turkey and Gravy
Yield 6 Quarts

12 cups turkey stock, seasoned to your liking (gravy needs plenty of black pepper)
Enough turkey to fill 6 quart jars, three quarters of the way
1/2 cup plus 2 TBSP of Clear-Jel

Warm turkey stock and add 6 cups to a pot. Do not boil.

Wisk Clear-Jel into warm broth and stir to combine.

Add remaining 6 cups of warm stock. Bring to a boil, and let cook for 3 1/2 minutes or until thick. Adding too much Clear-Jel can change the flavor, so I leave this a thinner gravy. However, if you do want a little more thickener make a thin slurry (Clear-Jel mixed with water) and add to mixture. If you add just the Clear-Jel, it will make balls of the thickener and will not incorporate.

Fill quart jars 3/4 of the way with turkey. Add gravy to jars, leaving one inch head space.

Pressure can quarts for 90 minutes, and pints for 75 minutes according to your canner’s instructions and elevation.








  1. Erin

    Thank you for this. You broke it down and made it simple. I had two of the after Christmas sale turkeys. Thawed one, cut it up, cooked it, and took meat off. Just for the reference of others, one 15 lb turkey gave me about 5 quarts, heavy on the meat. Got one in the canner now, and will thaw the other one for next weekend! =)

  2. Ken Gundaker

    Everything Ive read on canning gravy says it is not safe to do. I really want to do this but Im kinda scared to do it.

  3. Loir

    Hi… I’m from Canada and our terminology might be somewhat different. Can you please tell me what clear gel would be? In canning jams that would be pectin, but I am not sure of what clear gel.

    • Laura

      Clear-Jel is a canning approved thickener Pectin sets up jams and jellies, and is different.

  4. Karen

    Can I just pressure can the pan drippings? I have strained out the little bits of bone and stuff, and have 64 ounces of turkey “juice”. Help!

  5. Denise

    Ooooo I need to get another turkey quick and try this. Having this and a jar of potatoes and carrots would be delightful. It will be interesting to see the difference in texture of the turkey meat.

    • Laura

      If you get another turkey, you might also try cutting it apart raw for other uses too. Did you see my article on that?

    • Karen

      Can I just pressure can the pan drippings? I have strained out the little bits of bone and stuff, and have 64 ounces of turkey “juice”. Help!

      • Laura

        Sorry I’m just now getting to this! I can turkey stock, doing quarts at 25 minutes in the pressure canner.


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