People who have family roots in the South are commonly raised with the understanding that gravy pretty much goes with anything. This is especially true when it comes to the holidays. For many, turkey gravy is non-negotiable at Thanksgiving dinner, ham gravy is a must at any Christmas feast, and white gravy is a staple when fried chicken is on the menu. Plus, there is the traditional Southern holiday breakfast—biscuits and gravy.
I was shocked to find out that biscuits and gravy is a southern dish that’s not nearly as common in other parts of the country. How does anyone go through life without experiencing the creamy goodness of delicious white sausage gravy on homemade biscuits?
White gravy isn’t just for breakfast, though. White pepper gravy is an absolute home run when served with mashed potatoes and fried chicken. If you are looking for the perfect white gravy recipe, you’ve come to the right place. Not only do we have a delicious, easy recipe that anyone can make, we also have a sausage white gravy recipe with a spicy twist.
Grandma Genevieve’s White Breakfast Gravy
If you don’t prefer sausage in your gravy at breakfast, then my grandma Gen’s white gravy is the perfect choice. This recipe includes the one ingredient that is always on hand in a Southern kitchen – bacon grease.
- Cast Iron Skillet
- Whisk or Fork
- 1/2 cup bacon grease
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 cups of milk
- Heat the bacon grease in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat.
- Whisk in the flour, salt, and pepper until smooth.
- Cook and stir over medium heat for about 10 minutes.
- Gradually stir in milk so that no lumps form.
- Continue cooking and stirring until thickened.
Recipe notes: If the gravy becomes too thick, thin it out with more milk.
White Pepper Gravy
Serve this version with fried chicken and mashed potatoes or hot biscuits.
- Small saucepan
- Whisk or Fork
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 3 Tbsp flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon milk (optional)
- Black pepper, ground
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan.
- Add the flour and whisk, it will start to clump and look a bit like wet sand. It’s ok, that’s what it’s supposed to do. Let it cook for about 30 seconds to one minute.
- Slowly add the milk while whisking it into the mixture. Keep whisking until smooth and all of the clumps have disappeared.
- Let it cook another minute or so while the gravy thickens, and add pepper to taste.
- Add in the extra tablespoon of milk for a thinner gravy (optional).
Grandma Peggy’s White Sausage Gravy
This version is perfect for a hearty, satisfying breakfast when spooned over hot biscuits.
Cast Iron Skillet
Whisk or fork
- 1 package hot ground sausage
- 4 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- Ground black pepper to taste
- While your biscuits are baking in the oven, cook the hot sausage in an iron skillet over medium heat for 5-6 minutes. Crumble and stir frequently.
- When the sausage is fully cooked and crumbled, cover it with four heaping tablespoons of flour. Make sure all of the sausage crumbles are coated with flour. Your sausage will look very weird at this point. Don’t worry, that’s exactly what it’s supposed to look like. You are making a traditional thickening agent called a roux.
- Slowly pour in the milk. Use the whisk or fork to stir the mixture constantly as it thickens and comes to a boil.
- Reduce to medium-low heat and allow the gravy to simmer for two minutes. Stir constantly. Season with ground black pepper to taste.
For less of a kick, switch out the hot sausage for sage sausage. This recipe can be prepared in a traditional frying pan, however, grandma swore by the cast iron skillet and used a fork instead of a whisk. If you prefer a thinner gravy, add an extra quarter-cup of milk. If you want to go full-on Southern, cook your sausage in some bacon grease. If you don’t have bacon grease, add a tablespoon of butter to your sausage while it cooks.
Other White Gravy Dishes
White gravy is an automatic side dish in the South when it comes to chicken. It’s excellent for dipping fried chicken tenders from Once Upon A Chef. You can also pour it over chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes.
Sausage gravy can also work for a variety of breakfast dishes, not just biscuits. Use it for breakfast egg rolls, like the ones from Living Locurto. Or pour it over a bowl of eggs and hashbrowns.
Of course, white gravy isn’t the only gravy that shines during the holidays. With Thanksgiving on the horizon, we’d also like to share our favorite way to make turkey gravy. This recipe is for those who are roasting a turkey this year. The only ingredients needed are turkey drippings, flour, and a little salt and pepper.
- Turkey drippings from the bottom of the roasting pan
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- salt and pepper to taste
- Pour the drippings in a fat separator or glass measuring cup over a mesh sieve to remove any solids. Put it in the refrigerator for about five minutes so the drippings can cool and to allow the fat to separate and float to the top.
- Measure out 1/4 cup of the fat from the top.
- Measure out 2 cups of the liquid from the bottom of the drippings.
- Heat the fat in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.
- Sprinkle the flour on top and whisk the flour/fat mixture constantly to avoid burning. Cook for 2-4 minutes. The texture should resemble wet sand and the color should darken slightly.
- Slowly pour in the two cups of drippings, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Continue whisking while bringing it to a boil,
- Turn heat to low and simmer, whisking occasionally until thickened (about 5 minutes).
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
This recipe makes about two cups. You can easily scale up this recipe based on your needs. The magic gravy ratio is: for every one cup of drippings/stock, use two tablespoons of fat and two tablespoons of flour.