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This make ahead gravy recipe is perfect for Christmas. Slow cooking this make-ahead gravy is a really convenient and time-saving method too, because it can be left alone to do its thing, and then stored for later for big results and little effort.

A slow cooker filled with make ahead gravy, which is perfect for Christmas or a big meal.

I love to make a batch of gravy when I have a big meal coming up like Christmas or if I’m cooking for more than just my family. It takes away so much stress in the kitchen on the day.

Once you make gravy like this, you won’t be going back. There are a few extra ingredients than my Simple Onion Gravy, but when you’re going all-out for an occasion, this is honestly worth it – especially when you can make it in advance in a quiet and calm kitchen.

Why you’ll love this recipe

⭐️ Depth of flavour

⭐️ Roasted then slow cooked

⭐️ Perfect make-ahead recipe for convenience

What you’ll need

Raw ingredients laid out for make ahead gravy, ready for the slow cooker.
  • Chicken wings
  • Onions
  • Carrots
  • Celery sticks
  • Garlic
  • Fresh thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sunflower oil
  • Bay leaves
  • Chicken stock – You can use broth instead
  • Dark soy sauce – Trust me! It gives colour and flavour
  • Vermouth – Or you can use white wine
  • Cornflour – Use this to make a ‘slurry’
  • Cranberry sauce – Adds sweetness

How to make it

How to make slow cooker make ahead gravy, step 1.

1. Roast the vegetables, chicken wings, thyme, bay leaves and garlic according to the recipe below then put in the slow cooker.

How to make slow cooker make ahead gravy, step 3.

3. Make a cornflour slurry and pour into the pan to thicken. Stir well.

How to make slow cooker make ahead gravy, step 2.

2. Add stock, soy sauce and vermouth. Slow cook according to the recipe below.

How to make slow cooker make ahead gravy, step 4.

4. Strain and press everything through a sieve. Add a little cranberry sauce to taste.

Storing and reheating

In the fridge You can keep the finished gravy in the fridge for 3 days.

In the freezer This recipe freezes well. Just wait until it’s totally cold and then put into a freezer proof container and freeze for up to 3 months. Freeze in one batch or several. Defrost thoroughly in the fridge overnight or in the slow cooker.

To reheat, put the gravy in a saucepan and gently simmer until piping hot.

Top tip

Use extra juices

You can add any extra flavours you like when it comes to serving. For example, from your roast joint once it’s cooked. For Christmas Lunch, you could take some juices from the turkey once it’s rested for a while and add to the gravy.


How do I prevent getting lumpy gravy?

When you’re making your cornflour paste, also known as a ‘slurry’, make sure you slowly stir the liquid into the cornflour (NOT cornflour into the liquid) to avoid lumps.

Add a little liquid at at time while constantly stirring thoroughly to get rid of any bits. If all else fails, you can blend the gravy instead!

Can I cook this without a slow cooker?

Yes. Roast the ingredients as normal and then add with everything else to a saucepan rather than the slow cooker.

Cook for 1 – 2 hours, with a lid on, on the lowest hob heat possible. You may need to add additional stock if it reduces too much. Add the cornflour in the same way as per the recipe.

Let me know how you got on and what you thought of these recipes. Please rate the recipe using the ⭐️ below.

Also I’d LOVE to see your cooking creations. If you’d like to share yours with me, you can tag me on Instagram (@tamingtwins).

5 from 37 votes

Slow Cooker Gravy {Make Ahead}

This is the ultimate gravy recipe for convenience and flavour. It's roasted then slow cooked for depth of flavour, making it perfect to make ahead for a special meal.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 35 minutes
Servings: 8


  • 1.5 kg Chicken wings
  • 2 Onions, Peeled and chopped
  • 3 Carrots, Peeled and chopped
  • 4 Celery sticks
  • 1 Head of garlic
  • 10 g Fresh thyme
  • A few bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp Sunflower oil
  • 1 ltr Chicken stock, Or broth
  • 2 tbsp Dark soy sauce
  • 125 ml Vermouth , Or white wine

To finish:

  • 50 g Cornflour
  • 150 g Cranberry sauce


To roast:

  • Add the carrots, onion, celery and chicken wings into an oven tray (I like to line it with baking paper to catch any bits and juices and make it easier to transfer to the slow cooker when cooked).
  • Sprinkle with oil and add sprigs of thyme, bay leaves and the garlic heads. Roast at 180C for 1.5 hours.

To slow cook:

  • Pour the roasted ingredients into the slow cooker and mash to release the flavours.
  • Add the stock, soy sauce and vermouth to the slow cooker.
  • Cook for at least 2 hours on HIGH or 4 hours on LOW (the longer the better!)
  • Strain and press through a sieve to get all of the good stuff out.

To finish:

  • In a small dish mix the cornflour paste into a 'slurry' – add a little gravy liquid at a time to the flour and mix well until smooth and no lumps.
  • Add the cornflour mix to the gravy and stir until it's combined. Cook on HIGH for about 15 minutes or until thickened.
  • Stir in cranberry sauce and check for seasoning.
  • Serve or allow to cool and store.


Nutritional Values: These values are very approximate as they don’t account for the discarded meat and vegetables after straining.
Stock: You can use whichever stock you have available here but I have to say, for once, if this is for a special occasion it is a good idea to buy fresh stock if you can. You can find this in the fridge of the supermarket.


Calories: 325kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 20gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 78mgSodium: 346mgPotassium: 301mgFiber: 2gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 4047IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 34mgIron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Family Food
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5 from 37 votes (36 ratings without comment)

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    1. It doesn’t have the same depth of flavour, richness or colour if you don’t. It’s more like just pale stock.