Easy Thanksgiving Gravy

Time 20 minutes
Yields Makes 3 1/2 cups
Shallots and herbs add flavor to a simple gravy for Thanksgiving dinner.
(Katrina Frederick / For The Times)
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This gravy is the ideal addition to your Thanksgiving plate and is a cinch to prepare, whether 20 minutes before you eat or a couple days before. The best gravy is made with great turkey drippings — pour your drippings into a 4-cup measuring cup and, if you don’t have enough, add water or chicken stock to reach 4 cups. If you plan to make the gravy before you roast the turkey, source rendered chicken or duck fat to lend that poultry fat flavor to the mix. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, butter or olive oil and vegetable stock also work well. A mix of shallots, garlic and herbs ensures that no matter what fat you start with, the resulting gravy will be delicious.

This recipe is part of our Guide to Classic Thanksgiving, a collection of simple recipes for timeless holiday dishes to make this year and for years to come.


Heat the drippings in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots, garlic and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are soft and the garlic turns a shade darker, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and stir with a whisk to combine. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, to cook off the flour’s raw taste, about 1 minute. While whisking, slowly pour in the stock, then bring to a boil over high heat, continuing to whisk occasionally; this helps ensure there are no lumps.


Once the gravy comes to a boil, reduce the heat to maintain a steady simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the brandy (if using), 1½ teaspoons salt and the pepper. Taste the gravy and adjust the seasonings to your liking. Keep the gravy warm until ready to serve.

Make Ahead:
Cool the gravy to room temperature, then pour into an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. Rewarm over medium-low heat until simmering before serving.