There are very few things that everyone can agree upon. This holds true for practically everything, from favorite Thanksgiving pies to people’s vastly differing views on the Serial podcast. But, I think one thing that most all of us can agree upon: gravy is the most boring and least glamorous part of the Thanksgiving table. (Did I really just tie in my public radio obsession with gravy? Yes, yes I did.)

Even though gravy is decidedly unsexy, it is a staple that most people will be pouring all over their plate. It needs to be done right. I used to pass on gravy myself until I found this recipe. I love the combination of flavors here – the majority of it comes from turkey pan drippings, as it should be. Sautéed shallots, thyme and cider round things out for probably the most elegant and perfectly seasonal version of gravy I’ve ever had. Maybe gravy is upping the ante after all.

(Side note: Seriously though, back to Serial, this is a sadly accurate depiction of my reality right now.)


  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • ½ cup thinly sliced shallots
  • 2 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 6 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • Pan juices from roast turkey
  • About 4½-5 cups chicken or turkey stock
  • ½ cup apple cider
  • Salt and pepper


  • 01

    Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, thyme and garlic to the pan and sauté until the shallots are beginning to brown, about 6-8 minutes. Add the flour to the pan and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned, about 4-5 minutes.

  • 02

    Measure the pan juices from the turkey and add enough stock to total 5 cups. (I usually end up with around 2 cups of pan drippings.) Gradually add the stock mixture into the pan with the butter mixture, whisking in each small addition before adding more. Once all of the liquid is incorporated, bring the mixture to a boil. Add in the cider and continue to boil until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.


  • Kerry @ Kerry Cooks

    OOh this looks so yummy. I bet the thyme makes it just delicious

  • Emily (A Gilt Nutmeg)

    Oh my goodness, I think this is the first time I have ever disagreed with you, Annie! Gravy is my FAVORITE PART of Thanksgiving!! One year when I was teenager visiting my grandmother for the holiday, I was hunting for the gravy for my leftovers and I *cried* when she said she threw it out because she thought no one would want it. I make extra gravy every year for myself and stash it away, just to make sure I have enough!

  • Brandy Pestka

    so excited you gave us this recipie!

  • Natalie

    I love gravy and all (and think this one looks delicious), but let’s discuss the most important part of this post, which is how GREAT Serial is. It’s got me hooked as much as any show I’ve binged on Netflix…I’m so looking forward to listening to the newest episode this weekend, especially since it seems to be all about that pesky Jay. Always love the blog posts, Annie!

  • Lis

    What do you recommend? I want to buy a fried turkey; what do I use for ‘pan juices?’

  • Sarah Townsend

    Oh that looks like the perfect combo of flavors.

  • Ayn Carey

    I have to disagree with you about the gravy. I think of it as a luscious Thanksgiving luxury. Your recipe looks good though, and I will try it. Thanks!

  • Hmmm, all lovely!

  • Tracy

    Yes please. I love shallots. will be using this at christmas

  • Maralyn Woods

    Mine is a family of splendid gravy makers and for me Thanksgiving is always about the gravy. On the potatoes, the dressing and the dreaded turkey. But this recipe is one I will definitely be giving a try this Thanksgiving. It just sounds over-the-top delicious.

  • Liz N.

    I am hopelessly addicted to Serial. My alarm goes off on Thursday morning and I am listening to it in the shower. And then I’m listening to it again before I go to bed. This cider gravy sounds so amazing!

  • lemonsugar

    Definitely going to try this! Gravy is always such an afterthought for us, it’s always the last thing we make and by then we are just done and over it! This sounds perfect!

  • Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie

    Yum! I love cooking my turkey in champagne and therefore it gets into the gravy. Gotta try cider!

  • Allison Clark

    Also obsessed with Serial. I can’t take the suspense anymore!

  • annieseats

    Meee either!!!

  • annieseats

    I feel exactly the same way! Except with all the Netflix shows I have loved, I have been able to binge on them. Not so with Serial and it is agonizing! I spend a ridiculous amount of time on the Reddit, on FB, etc. I am nervous to see whether and how it may resolve.

  • annieseats

    Ha! Well, glad you are such an avid gravy lover! I once cried when Ben left out a pan of leftover mac and cheese overnight. Like, really cried. I was nine months pregnant and hormonal but man, it was sad. (Then I made more later that day to console myself.)

  • um yes to Serial, how have i not googled Adnan yet to find out if anything was resolved?? Actually i did, but i couldn’t bring myself to read the article.

  • annieseats

    It’s still ongoing right now. Nothing is resolved at this point. I believe he is due for an appeal soon. I also feel pretty certain that based on the statements Sarah obtained from the jurors, they could potentially get a mistrial or something (I don’t know all the ins, outs and terminology).

  • annieseats

    This is really meant to be made with drippings from a roast turkey so I’m not sure what to advise in the case of a fried turkey.

  • Jamie Noble

    This migh be a silly question, but do you skim the fat off the pan drippings or just through it all in there?

  • Liz @ FloatingKitchen

    Serial!!! Can’t stop, won’t stop. Amazing. I’ve always been kind of “meh” about gravy too (especially since it always seems to be cold by the time it gets passed to me), but your recipe sounds delicious. I think I’ll try it this year!

  • Chantel

    Long time reader, first time commenter! I just made this gravy as a trial run to see if I want to actually make it for Thanksgiving! It is absolutely AMAZING!!! I just used chicken drippings since I roasted a chicken instead of an entire turkey, but I know on the actual day it will be even more amazing with the turkey drippings! This will be a wonderful addition to our Thanksgiving feast. Thank you Annie for all of your fabulous blog posts. I have been cooking from this site for many years. Your recipes never let me down.

  • Two Sparkys

    We always grill our turkey and the pan drippings typically are charred and not worth using. So a few days or maybe even weeks before Thanksgiving I get some turkey necks or wings and roast them with herbs and vegetables. I use that to make the gravy and often I’ll make my stock from it too. If it’s really far in advance I freeze the gravy and warm it SLOWLY on Thanksgiving. It gives me more time with my guests rather than time at the stove.

  • annieseats

    Thanks Chantel! So glad to hear you enjoyed it. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  • annieseats

    You include the fat since, at least in my experience, that is mainly what the drippings consist of. Enjoy!

  • Shelly

    Best gravy I’ve ever made! Thanks Annie!

  • Melissa Brooker

    I made a turkey tonight for the first time to prepare for thanksgiving, I made this gravy and sweet potatoes with sage butter crumb topping and both were to die for! Best gravy ever!