Sawmill Gravy With Sausage or Bacon

Sawmill gravy

The Spruce 

  • Total: 25 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
528 Calories
45g Fat
19g Carbs
13g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 528
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 45g 58%
Saturated Fat 23g 116%
Cholesterol 125mg 42%
Sodium 923mg 40%
Total Carbohydrate 19g 7%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Protein 13g
Calcium 101mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The term "sawmill gravy" probably comes from early logging camp food. The gravy can be made with bacon and bacon drippings. This version is a sausage gravy, a breakfast tradition in the South. The gravy is thick and creamy with chunks of breakfast sausage.

Serve the gravy with split and buttered biscuits or creamy grits.


  • 1/2 pound sausage
  • 3 tablespoons fat (from cooking the sausage)
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups milk (light cream or half-and-half)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for sawmill gravy
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  2. In a heavy skillet over medium heat, cook the sausage, breaking up and stirring until no longer pink. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon and set aside.

    Sausage in skillet
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  3. Leave 3 tablespoons of drippings in the skillet. If there aren't 3 tablespoons left, add some butter, shortening, or bacon drippings to make 3 tablespoons.

    Add 3 tbsp of drippings
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  4. Place the skillet back over medium heat and sprinkle 3 tablespoons of flour over the drippings. Cook, stirring constantly until the roux is lightly browned.

    Place skillet back over medium heat
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  5. Gradually add 1 cup of milk or light cream.

    Gradually add milk
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  6. Taste and season with salt and pepper and keep stirring until the gravy has thickened. Add more milk or cream, as needed to reach the desired consistency.

    Taste and season
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  7. Add the sausage to the gravy, if desired.

    Add sausage to the gravy
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  8. Serve and enjoy on top of biscuits.

Recipe Variation

  • Sawmill Gravy With Bacon: Fry 4 to 6 strips of bacon in the skillet and leave 3 tablespoons of drippings. Proceed with the recipe and serve the gravy with the bacon, if desired.