How to Make Sausage Gravy

One Methods:Variations

Sausage gravy is a southern breakfast staple that's filling, easy to make, and addictive. It's traditionally served with eggs, bacon, or grits, but sausage gravy requires either homemade or freshly baked store-bought buttermilk biscuits. Are you ready to wow your family with a creamy, delicious breakfast?


  • 1/3 cups of flour, all-purpose or self-rising
  • 2-3 cups whole milk
  • 1 lb ground pork sausage (though any flavor will do)
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1-2 tablespoons butter (optional)


  1. Image titled Make Sausage Gravy Step 1
    Heat your skillet, preferably cast iron or heavy-bottomed to medium heat. Let it get nice and hot before adding the sausage, as this will quickly brown the sides. A thick or heavy-bottomed pan will hold its heat even as you add cold ingredients, leading to a better final consistency. Arrange your ingredients near you and cut open the package of sausage, waiting to add until the pan gets hot.
    • Let the milk get to room temperature as well -- it's best if it warms up on the counter a bit before adding it, so don't leave it in the fridge because you're worried it might spoil. It won't.
  2. Image titled Make Sausage Gravy Step 2
    Cook the sausage until brown, and there is no more pink in the centers. Using a spatula, pull the pork apart into nickel-sized chunks, breaking it up so that it cooks faster and is easier to eat later. Keep separating it while it cooks, moving it around so that no one side gets too brown.[1]
  3. Image titled Make Sausage Gravy Step 3
    Leave the grease in the pan as it cooks, adding 1-2 tablespoons of butter for a richer gravy. Gravy is just cooked flour in a fat, and that fat can be animal fat, butter, or both. But you can't have a completely dry pan or there will be nothing to absorb the flour and make a gravy.
    • Butter isn't strictly necessary, but it helps if you're using a lower-fat sausage, like turkey or chicken sausage.
  4. Image titled Make Sausage Gravy Step 4
    Using a wire whisk, slowly add and stir in the flour. You need to do this slowly, as the flour wants to be incorporated evenly into the liquid. The best way to do this is to break the 1/3 cup of flour into three parts, adding and stirring each one in individually. Keep the whisk moving, breaking up and clumps and stirring until none of the flour is at all visible.
  5. Image titled Make Sausage Gravy Step 5
    Slowly stir in the whole milk. In a pinch, 2% will also work, but don't use skim -- you need the fat to help bind the gravy. If you can, measure out the milk ahead of time and let it warm slightly towards room temperature. You need to add the milk slowly because you don't want to rapidly change the temperature of your gravy. Pour a bit in, stir and let it simmer, then add some more.
    • While you need to add the milk slowly, you don't want to dilly-dally. Add about a 1/2 cup, stir until simmering, then add more.
    • Add more milk for a thinner gravy, but know that you can always thicken it if you add too much.[2]
  6. Image titled Make Sausage Gravy Step 6
    Season with ground black pepper to taste. A classic sausage gravy is spiced only with ground black pepper and the seasoning already on the sausage. You can use as much as you desire to get your perfect sausage gravy. Recipes range from 2 teaspoons to 2 whole tablespoons, so add it bit by bit and taste to get your desired amount.
    • A pinch (1/4 teaspoon or so) of nutmeg is also added frequently.[3]
  7. Image titled Make Sausage Gravy Step 7
    Simmer everything, stirring frequently until the gravy reaches your desired consistency. As it cooks, the liquid will evaporate off and leave a thick, delicious gravy. You can stop the process at any point, knowing that it will thicken a bit as it cools, but most chefs like to cook for at least 5-7 minutes.[4]
  8. Image titled Make Sausage Gravy Step 8
    Eat while still hot, adding a bit more milk and simmering if it gets too thick. This gravy is best right off the stove, and it tends to thicken too much and congeal after the first day. Enjoy it hot and fresh, preferably slathered over fresh biscuits.[5]


  1. 1
    Add some finely minced garlic and or shallots with the sausage for a decadent, nuanced gravy. Adding some aromatics to your gravy ahead of time isn't typical, but it will add a new depth of flavor. The garlic, finely minced, will get a rich, toasted color and taste with a pinch of sharp garlicky spice, and the shallots will bring out a mouthwatering sweetness when browned.
    • The garlic and onion will absorb some of the grease, so add 1 tablespoon of butter as well to ensure you have enough liquid for the gravy.
  2. Image titled Make Sausage Gravy Step 10
    Spice the gravy up with more than just pepper. Most people love a simple, but delicious gravy made of only pepper, milk, and sausage, but you can really mix things up if you're feeling adventurous. In essence, this sauce is simply a white cream sauce with sausage, and can be spiced as if it were an Alfredo or savory cream sauce. Some ideas include:
    • Cracked red pepper
    • Cumin
    • Fresh Thyme and/or Rosemary
    • Fresh, finely chopped Sage[6]
    • Garlic and/or Onion Powder[7]
  3. Image titled Make Sausage Gravy Step 11
    Use leaner ground meats, like turkey or chicken, but add butter to account for the lost fat. Remember that the base of all gravies is flour cooked in liquid fat. While you can use chicken or turkey sausage, you need to account for this lost fat when making gravy. Add 2-3 tablespoons of butter and melt it when the meat is almost finished cooking, then add the flour like normal.
    • Want a new flavor without going lean? Try some crumbled bacon along with the sausage!
  4. 4
    Substitute a cup of diced brown mushrooms for the sausage (or with it) and cook in 2 tablespoons butter and oil for a vegetarian variation. Remember that you'll need to keep some liquid fat in the pan, and that mushrooms tend to soak up liquid. Heat up 1 tablespoon butter and 1 of olive oil, cooking in that, and then add 2 tablespoons more butter once the mushrooms are soft and brown on the edges. Use this butter with 2-3 tablespoons flour to make your gravy.[8]
  5. 5
    Throw caution into the wind with a southwest chipotle sausage gravy, complete with chorizo. Looking for something completely new in your sausage gravy? Swap the breakfast sausage out for some Mexican chorizo and toss in a can of chipotle in adobo sauce or drained green chiles and cook like normal, until the sausage is browned. Then add 2 tablespoons of butter and whisk it in with the flour until you have a nice gravy base, proceeding like normal.[9]


  • Experiment with different sausage flavors, seasonings and ingredients.
  • To make a larger batch, simply increase the butter and flour measurements together, adding 1 tablespoon flour for each tablespoon of butter.


  • Be careful adding cold milk to the pan, as it can cause splatters of hot oil.
  • This is not a gluten- or lactose-free recipe.

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Categories: Breakfast