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 from our best bites

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 ingredients

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

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Biscuits in a pan and gravy in a skillet

Biscuits & Sausage Gravy


Ingredients

  • 1216 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
  • 34 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.

Notes

  • To serve a crowd, the gravy can be kept warm in a crock pot and set out the biscuits so people can serve themselves.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 6

49 comments

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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. 🙂

  4. 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 🙂

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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!

  8. This looks so delicious! I used to make biscuits and gravy for my family a lot when we first moved to the south three years ago, but now I hardly make it ever! We’re going to have to make your recipe soon! It looks delicious!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.com

  9. 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.

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