Kari Steele

Kari Steele

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The Best Store-Bought Turkey Gravy Is Also the Cheapest

In a taste test, the best store-bought turkey gravy is . . . Great Value, which is Walmart's in-house brand.

there are many reasons a premade, store-bought gravy might be a logical addition to your Thanksgiving table this year.

Perhaps you’re cooking for one.  Perhaps you’re trying to de-stress the whole scene by building a heat-and-eat menu. Perhaps you just don’t like making gravy in particular.

Whatever the reason, there are plenty of jarred gravy options at the grocery store to choose from, and we’ve tasted five major brands to determine which ones are worth your money:

Each gravy was tested atop freshly made mashed potatoes because mashed potatoes are the vehicle for gravy, neutral yet excellent. I had some predictions heading into this taste test about which brands I’d love the most (and least), but you know what they say about assumptions...

Least favorite turkey gravy: Trader Joe’s - Just too bland

Saltiest turkey gravy: Heinz

I mean, they’re all salty—it’s store-bought premade turkey gravy. But salt was at the forefront of each bite here. Despite this downside, however, the Heinz product featured a more turkey-forward flavor than Trader Joe’s.

Middle-of-the-road gravy: Campbell’s and Bell’s (tie)

I found Campbell’s and Bell’s to be pretty similar bites, superior to both Heinz and Trader Joe’s, If there’s a difference between the two, I’d say Bell’s turns up the volume slightly on herbs.

Surprise favorite gravy: Great Value (Walmart)

It seemed important to include Great Value gravy in these rankings because it’s so widely accessible throughout the country. 

Shockingly, the Great Value gravy was the most layered flavor experience of any leading brand I tasted. Like the others (save for Trader Joe’s), it uses turkey stock as its base. There aren’t any specific ingredients listed that might indicate what contributes to its relative complexity, other than onion powder and “natural flavor.” But something about it tasted a step up from the others.

Price is also a factor to consider. Going from most to least expensive, Bell’s was $2.50; Heinz was $1.99; Campbell’s was $1.69; Trader Joe’s was $1.49; and Great Value was $0.98. In other words, there wasn’t a correlation between higher prices and better flavor.

Pouring Gravy

Photo: Getty Images

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