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Kalyn’s Kitchen Picks: Penzey’s Turkey Soup Base (Plus Low-Carb Gravy and Other Recipes Using Turkey Base)

I think Penzeys Turkey Soup Base is a MUST-HAVE for Thanksgiving turkey and gravy, so this is a public service announcement to remind you it’s time to order some!

Kalyn's Kitchen Picks: Penzey's Turkey Soup Base (Plus Lower-Carb Gravy and Other Recipes to Use Turkey Base) found on KalynsKitchen.com

I’m interrupting the Thanksgiving Recipes with this important Turkey Gravy Public Service Announcement for anyone in the U.S. who’s cooking Thanksgiving dinner, or planning to make turkey stock or turkey soup after the holiday. I started sharing how much I love Penzeys Turkey Soup Base clear back in 2005, and today I’m giving you a reminder so you can order Turkey Soup Base from Penzeys in time for Thanksgiving.

And I think I can safely say that Penzeys Turkey Soup Base is now a Denny family tradition because one year when I was talking to my sister Pam about Thanksgiving dinner I told her I’d ordered 2 jars of it, and she told me she’d already ordered hers as well!  We both agreed that Penzeys Turkey Soup Base is a MUST-HAVE ingredient for Thanksgiving gravy. (And for anyone who might be wondering, Penzeys has never paid me to promote their Turkey Soup Base, and I seriously doubt they even know my little blog exists!)

Don’t confuse this soup base with those horrid packets of turkey gravy mix that come in the turkey! The first ingredient in this product is cooked turkey meat. For anyone who’s even the slightest bit gravy-challenged, this will help you make the best turkey gravy you’ve ever made. And Penzeys Turkey Soup Base is low enough in carbs that you can add a tablespoon or two to a batch of turkey gravy without adding too many carbs. Keep reading for more thoughts on turkey gravy and some recipes I’ve loved with turkey stock or turkey gravy.

Since gravy is usually thickened with white flour or cornstarch, it’s a very limited food for anyone who’s following a carb-conscious diet of any type. This Penzey’s Turkey Soup Base does contain very small amounts of cornstarch and sugar, but it has only 1 carb in 3/4 teaspoon and it doesn’t take much to make turkey gravy taste great. Personally I consider turkey gravy part of the once-a-year splurge for Thanksgiving and eat it in small amounts, but if you want to make lower-carb turkey gravy, here are a few options for that.

How to Make Low-Carb Turkey Gravy:

–If you don’t mind a thin gravy, you can make amazing-tasting gravy just by adding little bit of Penzeys Turkey Soup Base the pan juices from the roasted turkey and then simmering on low until it’s reduced and slightly thickened. This is probably my preferred method.

–I’ve had good luck with lower-carb gravy made with Arrowroot Starch (also called Arrowroot Flour and Arrowroot Powder) which thickens like cornstarch but with a much smaller amount.  The arrowroot starch gives the food a shiny look, which some people might not like for gravy, and there are also some tricks to using it successfully, so follow instructions.

–Ketologic makes low-carb turkey gravy with heavy cream and Xanthan gum, but I haven’t tried that method. I’d definitely add just a little Penzey’s Turkey Soup Base for a stronger turkey flavor.

–My PCOS Kitchen makes Paleo Turkey Giblet Gravy with Tapioca Starch and this gravy is low in carbs. Again, I’d add a little Penzey’s Turkey Soup Base.

–I saw a few gravy recipes using Thick-It-Up Low-Carb Thickener, which I haven’t tried but am intrigued by. If anyone has used this, let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Recipes Using Penzey’s Turkey Soup Base:

I’ve shared a lot of ideas for Leftover Turkey (or chicken), but these are my favorite ways to use Penzey’s Turkey Soup Base.

Kalyn's Kitchen Picks: Penzey's Turkey Soup Base (Plus Lower-Carb Gravy and Other Recipes to Use Turkey Base) found on KalynsKitchen.com

I love to make CrockPot or Instant Pot Turkey Breast, and I’d never make this without a little Penzeys Turkey Soup Base.

Kalyn's Kitchen Picks: Penzey's Turkey Soup Base (Plus Lower-Carb Gravy and Other Recipes to Use Turkey Base) found on KalynsKitchen.com

All good turkey soup starts with turkey stock; here’s How to Make Turkey Stock. Making stock from the turkey carcass is definitely one of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions!

Kalyn's Kitchen Picks: Penzey's Turkey Soup Base (Plus Lower-Carb Gravy and Other Recipes to Use Turkey Base) found on KalynsKitchen.com

This Low-Carb Turkey Soup with Zucchini Noodles is definitely my favorite things to make with leftover turkey the last few years. If you really want a low-carb soup, leave out the carrots, but either way this soup is loaded with flavor.

Kalyn's Kitchen Picks: Penzey's Turkey Soup Base (Plus Lower-Carb Gravy and Other Recipes to Use Turkey Base) found on KalynsKitchen.com

Slow Cooker Lemony Turkey Soup with Spinach and Orzo is another delicious soup that gets added flavor from Penzey’s Turkey Soup Base. If you want to make this a low-carb soup, switch out the orzo for Cauliflower Rice and add it towards the end of the cooking time.

More About Kalyn’s Kitchen Picks:

I purchased the Penzeys Turkey Soup Base myself and this company has no idea that I’m writing about their product. All items featured as Kalyn’s Kitchen Picks are things I will happily buy over and over, and because I want readers to know that my opinions are completely unbiased, I don’t accept review products from the many companies who offer to send them to me.  You can see the complete list of products I’ve chosen at Kalyn’s Kitchen Picks.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

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33 comments on “Kalyn’s Kitchen Picks: Penzey’s Turkey Soup Base (Plus Low-Carb Gravy and Other Recipes Using Turkey Base)”

  1. My concern with soup bases is always the saltiness. How does this rate on the salt scale? I’d love to find soup bases that are not sodium-laden.

  2. Lydia, Penzeys soup bases taste much less salty to me than other brands. The label says 630 mg sodium in 3/4 tsp. Of course when you eat it, it’s highly diluted with water, and I’m only using about 1-2 T for a big pan of gravy, so I think it’s not too bad. To me, this is a product to enhance gravy flavor so I use it sparingly.

  3. Couple of things I’m looking for from Penzey’s but no ordering for me. Ahh, I can walk in!! I’ll check out the turkey base too.

  4. I am a huge fan of Penzeys! Oddly, I’ve never tried their soup bases. I should give it a try.

  5. Too bad they dont give out free stuff! 🙂

    Thanks so much for the heads up!

  6. Huh, I’ve never used this in my years, nor has my mom.

  7. I love Penzey’s. I am a turkey gravy addict, so now I will add the turkey base to my list.

  8. I love Penzeys. It was a very happy day when I discovered they have a store in my city. It wasn’t quite so happy for my bank account…
    One day I need to post about the year my mom made gravy on Thanksgiving for about 20 people and it turned the brightest Halloween orange I’ve ever seen…

  9. Tanna, I’m jealous that you can walk into Penzeys. That would be the good life!

    Meeso, I also love the ham flavor base for bean soup.

    Rachael, free Penzeys, now that would be great! I wish they would hire me to write a blog for them.

    Kelly, buy some for your mom. She will love it.

    DeborahD, I think you will like it.

    Deborah. you must tell more about the orange gravy.

  10. I just went hopefully to the Penzey’s website. Sadly, the turkey soup base contains chicken fat, as well as ingredients derived from corn. Otherwise I would be an instant fan, as I have been searching for years for a soup base like this. Looks great for those who can eat chicken and corn, but heads-up, those with allergies!

  11. Anonymous, thanks for the heads up, and sorry it didn’t work out for you.

  12. Love, love, love everything from Penzey's and I'm lucky enough to live close to one of their stores. And like you, they're not paying me a cent to extoll the virtues of their products. Penzey's spices are terrific. If you're not on their catalog mailing list, you need to be. Their catalog is full of great info on their spices and interesting recipes and there's often a card on the front of the catalog good for a free spice from their store, which can be redeemed in person or via mail order.

  13. Thanks for the recommendation.

  14. I didn't realize Penzey's made "turkey" base, too. I, too, am very concerned about sodium, since I have one kidney and take two high blood pressure medications. But the sparing use of this kind of base, as opposed to nasty bullion (can't spell it properly, sorry) cubes, isn't bad.

    I use the "ham" base, for boosting the flavor of bean soups. I love the "vegetable" base for boosting the flavor in brown rice, in parboiled rice, in sauces when I'm using Dreamfield's pasta.

    I keep 'em all in my fridge, and a tsp here and there doesn't knock me off low-sodium eats too much.

  15. Around here the turkey was consumed some weeks ago (Canadian Thanksgiving is the 2nd Monday in October). When I roast a turkey I remove the neck, heart and giblets – placing them in a saucepan, adding a celery stalk, half an onion, a bit of salt and 1/2 tsp of whole peppercorns. Cover with water and simmer for several hours to create stock for use in moistening the stuffing and to make gravy. To the gravy I always add the fat-skimmed drippings from the roasting pan and a hefty sprinkle of the following savoury seasoning mix: 1 tbsp Italian seasoning, 2 tsp seasoning salt, 1 tsp dry ground mustard, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp black pepper – use this mixture to sprinkle into the cavity of the turkey and over the body of the bird – don't forget to save 2 or 3 tsp for the gravy!

    Have you ever tried arrowroot as a thickener for sauces and gravies? That's a tip I learned from Graham Kerr years ago when he hosted "Galloping Gourmet" on TV. Using arrowroot powder creates a lighter sauce or gravy and a slightly glazed look instead of a creamy one. And it doesn't change the flavour at all.

    Thanks for your blog – I really enjoy your stories, photos and recipes.

  16. My tip for gravy is make sextra turkey tock ahead of time.

    I pick up a package of thighs and wings and make a big batch of rich stock. I refrigerate it overnight, then skim the fat, strain out the solids (carrot chunks, etc.) and freeze in quart containers.

    A day before the serious cooking begin, I thaw the stock that I will use. (In a hurry,- pop it out of container and melt in a suacpan on low.)

    I use the stock in my dressing. My family likes LOTS of gravy, I mean LOTS. So I use the stock, along with pan drippings and roasting pan fond to make enough to keep the cowboys happy.

    I do like to have base on hand and Penzey's in excellent. Perhaps, even the best.

  17. Kearby, me too on the Penzeys love. I also love The Spice House (sister of Bill Penzey.) I seem to like Penzeys for some things and Spice House for others, but both a great!

    Lee Ann, you're welcome.

    Roberta, that's my view of it too. It really doesn't take much of the Penzeys soup base to make a huge difference in a recipe.

    Ruth, thanks for sharing. Yes, I have used arrowroot. There's a link in the post to a gravy recipe using arrowroot.

    CJ, I always try to have turkey stock in the freezer for gravy too, but sometimes it just doesn't work out!

  18. Sorry about the typos.

  19. CJ, no worries! I think the internet has ruined spelling for everyone. Nearly every time I go back to one of my older posts I find a typo.

  20. We have a Penzey's store in town. I'll stop by and check them out!

  21. Daisy, now I'm jealous. I wish we had Penzeys here!

  22. Man, I love Penzeys, too! My mom really loved getting their catalog.

  23. Beej, the catalog is still a treat when it comes in the mail, even though I mostly order online now!

  24. hi Kalyn – just arrived via bing "turkey leftovers", by way of the turkey sweet potato soup. anyway…
    for thickening the gravy, you can puree some of the vegetables into the gravy and avoid the whole "which processed starch should I use?" issue. The texture is not cling-y like starch-thickened gravy (personally, I think that's a good thing) and the flavor is deeper and more vegetable-y.
    The efficiency of your blender or food processor will determine whether the final texture is creamy or "rustic". (My favorite cooking euphemism. XP)
    hope this helps. Enjoy the rest of the holidays and best wishes for the new year.

  25. Since you first posted about this product, I've become a real fan. I use it in very small amounts to boost the flavor of my turkey gravy, and my family remarks every year how great the gravy tastes.

  26. Have you used the Seafood Stock? How would you rate that?

  27. I am a penzeys addict I love to eat it every day thank’s for the great recipe I was making it with another way

    I will try your method today to have some change in taste 🙂

  28. This product contains food enhancers, in other words MSG. It might not say MSG but food enhancers have the same effect on people that are sensitive to MSG. Terrible headache, vomiting, blurred vision. I use many different Penzeys seasonings but I would never use this! I can’t believe the ingredients label on this product, in this day and age it is unconscionable to put these chemicals in foods that people consume.

    • Obviously it is your choice whether to use it for not. But everyone in my huge extended family has been using it for many, many years with no problems so personally I don’t believe it has anything that harmful, especially not in the very small amounts you use of it.

  29. Thanks so much for reviewing Penzey’s Turkey Soup Base. I love your recipes and I do take into consideration your product recommendations. I am so lucky that I live in Milwaukee, WI, the home base for Penzey’s. One of their stores is a mere 10 minutes away. I’ll be heading over there tomorrow. Thanks again, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    • Hi Toni. You are SO LUCKY to live by Penzeys. We finally got a store in Utah but it’s about 20 miles from my house, so obviously I don’t go there often. Hope you enjoy this; it’s a tradition in my family.

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