Biscuits and Sausage Gravy

Comfort food is kind of a funny thing–I think the things we find the most comforting are usually the things we grew up eating that we don’t realize other people don’t always eat (like at our house, a busy night dinner was hamburger and onions. Like ground beef cooked with onions, usually with ketchup on the side. I didn’t know this was not a thing until I was older!) I think to the un-initiated, comfort foods are often considered weird or gross by other people, like that time I was at my friend’s house when I was a kid and her dad made us chipped beef gravy on toast (or SOS, as he called it…it’s kind of a PG-13 acronym) and I refused to eat it. I’m sorry, Brad Christensen, for being a brat. 

So as a little kid, I had no idea biscuits and gravy was a thing. I lived in Utah, which is not a place where one encounters these things on a regular basis, and my mom just didn’t make it. We had our own foods and traditions and things and biscuits and gravy was not one of them.

After my mom died and my dad remarried, I remember going to Salt Lake City with my step-mom and step-siblings. Instead of staying in a hotel like we always had with my mom, we stayed at my step-aunt’s condo. And for breakfast, we had biscuits and gravy. I could not even wrap my brain around such a thing. Why would someone, anyone do this? It sounded gross. It looked gross. I was so far out of my comfort zone and I just kind of felt like I had invaded someone else’s Thanksgiving dinner and I sat on my bed and sobbed. Heaven help all the step-parents out there. But all the step-kids, too, because man, it’s a hard place for everyone. 

It wasn’t until college when my roommate Sara (not OBB Sara, the Sara who also introduced me to this Spanish Rice recipe) showed me that biscuits and sausage gravy (and other kinds of meats in other kinds of gravy) are delicious and fit for consumption for all. This has become a staple at our house for busy nights, sad nights, happy nights, celebratory mornings. Basically, it’s like Joey from Friends and the Thanksgiving trifle–breakfast? Good. Dinner? Good. Late-night second dinner? Good. Fancy brunch? Good. Camping in the woods? Good. And it wasn’t until I had some really terrible biscuits and gravy on vacation in Texas last month (come on, Texas, represent!) that I realized this simple recipe is one everyone needs in their arsenal.

biscuits and gravy-2 copy

You’re going to need 12-16 ounces of breakfast sausage (stay away from the maple, unless you reallyreallyreally know you like maple-y meat in your creamy gravy), Tabasco sauce, salt, freshly ground black pepper, some flour, and milk (2% or whole, 1% if you’re really pushing it and like to break the rules…let’s just establish that while we can make this lighter, making it light will lead to some sorrow.) You’re also going to need some dehydrated onion. But, Kate, why? you ask. Why don’t you use the fresh onion? It’s a matter of personal preference–I’ve found that in order to get the level of onion flavor that I want, I have to use a lot of onion and I don’t like pieces of onion in my gravy. Plus, it’s easy. Just try it. You might like it.

You’re also going to need biscuits. These Southern-Style Buttermilk Biscuits are my biscuits of choice in this situation, but you can also use these Cat Head Biscuits or biscuits from a mix or a can if that works better for you. 

biscuits and gravy

In a cast iron skillet over medium heat, crumble the sausage and cook, stirring frequently. When the sausage is about halfway cooked, add the dehydrated onion and a few shakes of Tabasco sauce (few being, like, 10 for me…more if you like it really hot, less if you’re concerned about heat.)

When the sausage is cooked, add the flour and stir to coat completely. Reduce heat to medium-low and whisk in 1 cup of milk. When the mixture is thickened and bubbly, add another 2 cups of milk. Season to taste with salt, additional Tabasco sauce, and freshly ground black pepper (I like a lot of pepper…like I feel like this should have a distinct black pepper taste to it.) If necessary/desired, add up to 1 more cup of milk.

To serve, break the biscuits in half and spoon the gravy over the biscuits. Eat immediately.

biscuits and sausage gravy

Biscuits & Sausage Gravy

Ingredients

  • 12-16 ounces breakfast sausage (not maple flavored)
  • 1 tablespoon dehydrated onion
  • 1/4 heaping cup all-purpose flour
  • Tabasco sauce, salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3-4 cups milk (2% or whole)
  • Biscuits

Instructions

  1. In a cast iron skillet over medium heat, crumble the sausage and cook, stirring frequently. When the sausage is about halfway cooked, add the dehydrated onion and a few shakes of Tabasco sauce (few being, like, 10 for me...more if you like it really hot, less if you're concerned about heat.)
  2. When the sausage is cooked, add the flour and stir to coat completely. Reduce heat to medium-low and whisk in 1 cup of milk. When the mixture is thickened and bubbly, add another 2 cups of milk. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper (I like a lot of pepper...like I feel like this should have a distinct black pepper taste to it.) If necessary/desired, add up to 1 more cup of milk.
  3. To serve, break the biscuits in half and spoon the gravy over the biscuits. Eat immediately.

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44 comments

  1. When my mother in law was dying of cancer, her son she had not seen came back after a lifetime of years to see her before she died. This is what she had me make for him as this was what she remembered in her 82nd year was something he loved to eat as a little boy. Just had to share that memory today. My mother in law was an amazing woman and even as she was dying she thought of others and not herself.

  2. Pretty much every single time I ask my husband if he has any ideas for dinner, he says biscuits and gravy. I’m like, give me a little variety! But yes, they are delish!

  3. At least once a week, DH gets a ‘hankering’ for biscuits and gravy. When he has breakfast at home, he eats his gravy from a bowl and has the biscuits on the side.

    I had never heard of such a thing until we moved from Salt Lake City to Texas

  4. My grandma always made her gravy with bacon. I love it that way so much that sausage gravy is a poor substitute. Though better then no gravy at all.

    1. I add bacon to my sausage to give it a little more “grease” for browning the flour. I also use heavy whipping cream with my milk to make it extra creamy.

  5. I grew up in Utah too and never heard of it but moved to Missouri and boy did I learn. I love it.

  6. One of the first things this southern woman ever learned to cook! But we wouldn’t dare put onions of any sort in it LOL And my husband loves it with Hot Jimmy Dean Sausage, nothing else is the same 🙂 I love mine on butter toast cut in half (into triangles) Thanks for the recipe though and the memories of my mom teaching me 🙂

  7. Hamburger, Onions, and Ketchup dinner IS (or, thankfully, WAS) totally a thing at my house, too! I refused the onion part as a child, but my mom absolutely made that. A LOT. Also, I never ate biscuits and gravy until after I was married. I always found the idea of it revolting and the image of it even worse. And then I tried it. Any way, just wanted you to know there’s another Utah girl out there who totally gets you. 🙂

  8. biscuits and gravy was my dad’s breakfast he would make for me on the weekends. Deer steak was the meat usually about once a month, but sausage or bacon the rest of the time. He grew up in Utah…and he said it was something his mom would make all the time. After my dad died last year, when I’m sad and missing him, this is what I have. My brother said this was what he made in remembrance of my dad on the anniversary of his death.

  9. As a lifelong Texan, I am sad to hear that your experience here with biscuits and sausage gravy was a bad one, but I am not surprised. Before ordering BSG anywhere, I ask whether the gravy is homemade or from a mix. If it’s from a mix (which seems to be more and more common), I order something else. When I make gravy, I add a little butter at the beginning and at the end, and I also use some cream (maybe 25% cream to 75% milk). Lots of fresh cracked black pepper, too. I’m so glad that I took the time to learn how to make it from my mom – she’d be happy to know that everyone still loves it!

  10. I love biscuits and gravy!! Have you tried biscuits and chocolate gravy now that you have lived in the south a while? I am not sure if it is a thing in Louisiana but it is in Arkansas.

  11. Biscuits and gravy is a staple at our house. I always started my gravy with a roux (adding butter to the sausage drippings), like my mother taught me. I felt a little betrayed when she recently did it your way and sprinkled the flour right on the sausage. Maybe I’ll have to try it. Oh, and it’s not biscuits and gravy at our house unless it’s topped with strawberry jam.

  12. Yes Heaven help the Stepparents and the Stepkids! My Dad remarried at the age of 78 after my mom passed away. I found myself that first weekend crying in the bathroom, because it was all so incredibly overwhelming… I was 34! Families are complicated, thankfully this recipe looks easy!

  13. Another Utah girl here, and the first time I tried biscuits and gravy was in the MTC. It was my favorite breakfast there, and I looked forward to it every week. They served it with scrambled eggs and hash browns, and somehow that combo still always hits the spot for me. Looking forward to trying your recipe!

  14. I’m from Utah and grew up eating biscuits and gravy. We made it with canned biscuits and a packet of country gravy mix- definitely not the greatest haha. Next time I make it I will do it this way! Is dehydrated onion the same dried minced onion?

  15. We love B & G !!!!
    You must try the frozen pilsbury biscuits they are soooo good. They are in the frozen section by the bread, rolls etc. You can make the amount you need and put them back in the freezer. They also work well for strawberry shortcake–just roll them in sugar.Yum!!!

  16. It’s so funny that you posted this recipe this week! I grew up in Texas and had B & G a lot, but have lived in Utah for some time now. My kids never knew much about it and they were such picky eaters that I just kind of gave up on some things. Well, my son got home about 3 months ago from his LDS mission, to the south, and now LOVES B & G! (He also uses a lot of southern slang, which also makes me happy!) He has asked me to make it several times and even happily chose that to eat when we recently went to Golden Corral to eat. YAY!!
    Love you girls!

  17. this looks good. i know what you mean about comfort foods nobody has heard of. the comfort foods i had as a kid growing up were Fried Cheerios and Fried Noodles with cooked hamburger mixed in. and fried noodles as a side dish as well. and homemade macaroni and cheese. and homemade pizza especially on Christmas Eve. ok two of these comfort foods you probably have not heard of. when i say fried cheerios or fried noodles to somebody i just get the weird look of i have never heard of that from them. then i have to explain to them how to make those comfort foods i and my two brothers had when we were growing up i still make fried cheerios sometimes. i heard of Biscuits and gravy after i married my husband Joseph he is originally from Arizona & I am originally from New York State. so you see never heard of biscuits and gravy , chipped beef yes i have heard of. so i will try this recipe for Biscuits and gravy sometime.
    thank you for the recipe.

  18. Biscuits and gravy are a staple here in Wisconsin. I make my gravy with half and half regular and hot sausage. I add milk and thicken with a cornstarch slurry. More sausage than gravy though! We also put an over easy egg on top to bump up the protein and make it an evening meal. It’s a frequently requested meal and I always have some already fried sausage in the freezer for a quick supper! Delicious! I learned the recipe from a friend in Illinois.

  19. I grew up in Utah and this has always been a standard breakfast for my family, my parents and grandparents. You make it just like I do. Make your own biscuits though, the canned variety are just not right. We ate SOS too, sometimes on rice and sometimes on noodles so that would be SOR and SON.

  20. I love biscuits and gravy. My mom would also make biscuits with creamed eggs which sounds gross but my kids love it too. You just make gravy with the milk and butter and lots of salt and pepper but add sliced hard boiled eggs at the end. It is really good! Great way to use up left over Easter eggs.

  21. So… if I don’t have Tabasco sauce, what can I substitute? I have sriracha… but that is vastly different.

  22. You need to come to San Antonio, TX and get the biscuits and gravy at The Guenther House. Best you’ll ever eat!!

  23. Oddly enough Sausage Gravy is a holiday deal for my family. We always had it on Christmas morning. With sliced oranges on the side… Sometimes on biscuits, sometimes on french bread. Really good though. Thanks for the memories…

  24. OMGsh!! SOS brought me back to my dad making that when I was little and we all were grossed out about it. Evidently he learned it in the army and thought it was hilarious. I was never a fan but it’s good to know that someone else has had that experience…basically wondering how a food described like that could EVER be good….Lol! BTW, the biscuits and gravy look awesome!

  25. Also, you must try Chocolate gravy and biscuits. Definitely a southern thing…have you heard of it? I’ll send a recipe if you haven’t 🙂

  26. BRAVO!! I made this over the weekend and it was a huge hit. HUGE. Delish. Fairly easy too! I’ve tried to make it before and royally failed every time. This is a winner and now I’m planning to make it Christmas morning for my family. Thanks!

  27. this is a lot like my hamburger gravy, seasoned a bit differently but both start with browned meat, flour and lots of onion and pepper. I like garlic, basil, tarragon and nutmeg in hamburger gravy.

  28. It’s our traditional Christmas breakfast over here! One I loved eating as a child and one my kids love now. It’s gotta be homemade, with sausage, and my baking powder biscuits make it amazing. 😉 Funny, though, because I only make it on special occasions, except for some reason I put it on the menu to make tonight. So it’s just a funny coincidence that I would see this recipe today!

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