Sausage gravy is one of the dishes that every Southern home cook knows how to make without a recipe. Serve this classic thick Southern-style sausage gravy over hot, split, buttermilk biscuits. Biscuits and gravy make a fantastic breakfast with fresh or spiced fruit, or serve the smothered biscuits along with eggs or a breakfast casserole.
The dish also makes an excellent special brunch dish. Serve the Southern sausage gravy from a slow cooker or chafing dish and cover the split, buttered biscuits warm so that people can serve themselves. Biscuits aren't required to enjoy this gravy! It's great spooned over grits, rice, potatoes, toast points, or buttered bread.
This version uses shortening and flour to make the roux, but feel free to use another fat such as bacon drippings or butter. The recipe is easy to double or triple for a larger family or group. Use your favorite variety of breakfast sausage in this recipe or try homemade pork sausage or turkey sausage.
- 8 ounces breakfast sausage (hot, sage, or country)
- 2 tablespoons shortening (or lard)
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups milk (or to thicken as desired)
- Salt (to taste)
- Pepper (to taste)
- Optional: dash of cayenne pepper
- Optional: 4–6 biscuits (hot, split, and buttered; for serving)
Gather the ingredients.
Cook the breakfast sausage in a medium skillet over medium-low heat, stirring and breaking up with a spatula.
With a slotted spoon, removed the browned crumbled sausage to a paper towel-lined plate.
Add the shortening or lard to the drippings in the skillet. Add the flour, stirring until blended and bubbling. Continue to cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
Gradually add 1 1/2 cups milk; continue stirring and cooking until thickened and bubbly.
Add the crumbled sausage. If too thick, add a little more milk.
Taste and add salt and pepper.
Stir in a dash of cayenne pepper, if desired.
Serve over the hot split and buttered biscuits or as part of another dish.
How to Store and Freeze
- Store leftover sausage gravy in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- To freeze, transfer the cooled gravy to freezer bags or airtight containers. Label with the name and date and freeze for up to 2 months.
- Reheat leftover sausage gravy on the stovetop or in the microwave. The minimum safe temperature for leftovers is 165 F (USDA).
- If your sausage is not flavorful, add dried sage and salt and pepper as needed.
- A lot of the flavor comes from the fat in the sausage, so avoid draining the fat after cooking the sausage. If there are several tablespoons of sausage fat left in the pan, you may add less shortening or omit it altogether.
- Add a burst of flavor and color with a tablespoon or two of fresh chopped parsley, chives, or thyme, or sprinkle servings with some ground sweet paprika.