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For the record, your Thanksgiving gravy doesn’t need to be made last minute. It’s an anxiety-inducing myth that has made many people scared of hosting Thanksgiving. Make it ahead! This is a relatively thin gravy that is easy to prepare and delivers an amazing apple flavor. If you like super thick gravy, simply double the flour.

Recipe and photos by Julia Turshen


  • ½ c unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh sage
  • 1½ tsp kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
  • ¼ c all-purpose flour
  • 2 c chicken stock (or turkey stock made from the neck and other parts)
  • 2 c Imperfect Foods Apple Cider


  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, sage, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring now and then, until the aromatics are just softened but not browned, about 8 minutes.
  3. Add the flour and stir well to combine. Let the mixture cook, stirring quite a bit, until it turns the color of a milky cup of coffee, a solid 5 minutes.
  4. While whisking constantly, slowly pour in the stock and the cider. It will seem very loose at first but trust in the power of flour.
  5. Bring the mixture just to a boil and then lower the heat and simmer, stirring now and then, until thickened and the flavor is nice and rich, about 10 minutes.
  6. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper before serving.

Recipe Notes and Variation

  • You can keep the gravy warm over the lowest heat for up to an hour. Or you can make it ahead, refrigerate it, and then just warm it over low heat.
  • You can also add drippings from your roasted turkey and/or roasted turkey breast and let the gravy reduce until it’s the consistency you like.
  • For a more refined, smooth gravy, strain it through a fine-mesh sieve before serving.
  • Check out our tips on how to waste less this Thanksgiving and just what to do with Thanksgiving leftovers.


  • Pamela S Ford
    October 4, 2020 at 1:54 am

    This sounds really god, can’t wait to try!!!!

  • Anne Gulick
    November 12, 2020 at 1:30 pm

    I like the sound of this lighter, brighter version of the traditional gravy — def plan to try it this year! Thanks 😊

    • Imperfect
      November 12, 2020 at 10:53 pm

      It’s the best! You’ll have to come back and tell us how you love it!

  • Mal
    December 23, 2020 at 12:45 am

    This has honestly become a staple recipe in my household. I make it almost once a week now. Absolute hit! So easy to make vegetarian or vegan (in fact, I’ve only ever made this using vegan ingredients). I use two bay leaves instead of sage and Imperfect’s “Seasoning for All of the Things” instead of salt and pepper.

    • Imperfect
      December 23, 2020 at 11:04 pm

      Love that this has become such a staple!


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