Biscuits and Gravy

Here’s a classic Southern biscuits and gravy recipe you won’t forget. Make biscuits are with real butter and creamy buttermilk, then simmer gravy with pork sausage and drippings. This is comfort food at its best.

Side view of biscuits and gravy and glasses of orange juice behind it.

Simply Recipes / Cambrea Bakes

If there is one true expression of Southern love on a plate, it’s homemade buttermilk biscuits and gravy! There are so many ways to make biscuits and gravy, but this one’s my favorite.

The biscuits are easy to make, and the gravy is loaded with sausage.

Biscuits and gravy on a plate.

Simply Recipes / Cambrea Bakes

How to Make Sausage Gravy

This version of sausage gravy is a beloved Southern recipe – there are many variations to be found. Sage and nutmeg are two of the more pronounced flavors in the gravy, giving it a slightly more elevated taste than you would find in simple milk gravy.

One of the differences you’ll find when you talk to people about how to make gravy for biscuits is whether or not they make a traditional roux (just drippings and flour), or they add the flour directly to the sausage after it’s browned.

I’ve made it both ways; the gravy thickens up just fine when you add the flour to the browned sausage mixture.

Tips on Making Biscuits and Gravy

  • I recommend preparing the biscuits first (but not baking them yet), getting the gravy started, and then baking the biscuits while the gravy is thickening up. That way you can stir the gravy frequently which is hard to do when your hands are covered with flour and dough.
  • Test that the pan is hot by adding a few drops of water. When they evaporate on contact, the pan is ready.
  • If you dislike the sage and nutmeg flavors in this gravy, omit the nutmeg and use a regular pork breakfast sausage instead of the sage-flavored variety.
Overhead view of two plates of sausage gravy and biscuits served with orange juice.

Simply Recipes / Cambrea Bakes

Best Homemade Biscuits

As for the biscuits, there are countless recipes that have been handed down over the years in Southern families. Many swear that White Lily Self-Rising Flour is essential to making light fluffy biscuits.

However, in my experience, you can make perfectly respectable biscuits even if you can’t get your hands on that Southern staple. You can also mix up the ratio of butter and shortening, or just use one or the other, or use lard if you prefer.

In the spirit of the gracious South, please share with us your favorite way to make biscuits and gravy.

Another Way to Make Biscuits and Gravy

After you try this recipe, you're going to want more biscuits and gravy. We suggest you try this combination in a different form — biscuits and gravy casserole. This casserole has all the savory goodness of regular biscuits and gravy, but it can feed a crowd.

How to Make Your Own Buttermilk

If you don't have buttermilk in the house, you can add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar into a measuring cup and then add milk until the two combined measure 1 cup.

How to Store Leftovers for This Dish

Refrigerator: Store leftover biscuits and separately. Refrigerate the sausage gravy in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days. Refrigerate the biscuits in an airtight container for 4 to 5 days. Reheat the gravy on the stovetop slowly until it's simmering. Reheat the biscuits in a preheated 350°F oven on a baking sheet covered with foil or parchment paper, about 5 to 7 minutes or until heated through.

Freezer: Freeze sausage gravy for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe zipper bag or container. Defrost in the refrigerator and reheat on the stovetop slowly until it's simmering. Freeze biscuits in a freezer-safe zipper bag or container. Defrost in the refrigerator and reheat in a preheated 350°F oven on a baking sheet covered with foil or parchment paper, about 5 to 7 minutes or until heated through.

More Classic Southern Recipes

From the Editors Of Simply Recipes

Biscuits and Gravy

Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Servings 10 to 12 servings

I recommend preparing the biscuits first (not baking them), getting the gravy started, and then baking the biscuits while the gravy is thickening up. That way you can stir the gravy frequently which is hard to do when your hands are covered with flour and dough.

If you don't have self-rising flour, you can substitute using a ratio of 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, plus 1/8 teaspoon of salt, for every cup of self-rising flour.

Instead of 4 tablespoons each of butter and shortening, feel free to use 8 tablespoons of shortening or butter, or any combination up to 8 tablespoons.

Ingredients

For the Buttermilk Biscuits:

  • 2 1/2 cups self-rising flour (plus extra for flouring your surface)

  • 2 teaspoons sugar, optional

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 4 tablespoons vegetable shortening (see recipe note)

  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into cubes, chilled

  • 1 cup chilled buttermilk, plus 1 to 2 tablespoons more, if needed

  • 1 tablespoon melted butter, optional, to brush on top of biscuits after baking

For the Sausage Gravy:

  • 1 pound sage-flavored pork sausage

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped white or yellow onion

  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 4 cups whole milk

  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 to 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 to 2 dashes Tabasco sauce, cayenne pepper, or other hot sauce

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons butter or bacon grease (if needed)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven:

    Preheat the oven to 450°F.

    Prepare a floured surface for shaping the dough and have an un-greased baking sheet ready (lined with Silpat sheets if you have them).

  2. Whisk the flour, sugar and salt:

    In a medium-sized bowl which together the flour, sugar and salt.

    To measure the flour, spoon it into the measuring cup, and level it off with the back side of a knife. If you scoop the flour, it will pack into the measuring cup, yielding too much flour.

    Making biscuits in a glass bowl for a biscuits and gravy recipe.

    Simply Recipes / Cambrea Bakes

  3. Cut in the shortening and butter:

    Using a fork or a pastry blender, cut in the shortening and butter. Work quickly, you don’t want the fats to melt — the key to fluffy biscuits is minimal handling. The mixture should be crumbly.

    Making biscuits in a glass bowl for a biscuits and gravy recipe.

    Simply Recipes / Cambrea Bakes

  4. Add the buttermilk and stir:

    Make a well in the flour mixture, and pour in the buttermilk. Stir with a spoon and blend just until the liquid is absorbed and the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl — add 1 to 2 tablespoons more buttermilk if the dough is dry. Do not over mix; the dough will be tacky, neither wet nor dry.

    Making biscuits in a glass bowl for a biscuits and gravy recipe.

    Simply Recipes / Cambrea Bakes

    Making biscuits in a glass bowl for a biscuits and gravy recipe.

    Simply Recipes / Cambrea Bakes

  5. Fold and shape the dough:

    With lightly floured hands, turn out the dough onto a lightly-floured surface and gently fold it over on itself 2 or 3 times. Shape into a 3/4” thick round. If you use a rolling pin, be sure to flour it first to keep the dough from sticking to the pin.

    Biscuit dough on a counter to make homemade biscuits and gravy

    Simply Recipes / Cambrea Bakes

    Biscuit dough on a counter to make homemade biscuits and gravy

    Simply Recipes / Cambrea Bakes

  6. Cut out the biscuits:

    Using a 2-inch biscuit cutter, cut out the biscuits pressing straight down (avoid the temptation to twist the cutter as twisting keeps the biscuits from rising). Dip the cutter in flour between cuttings to keep the dough from sticking to the cutter.

    Place biscuits on the baking sheet so that they just touch (for crunchy sides, leave space in between). Reshape scrap dough and continue cutting. Remember to handle the dough as little as possible.

    (At this point you can start on making the sausage gravy below, and put the biscuits in the oven right before adding the milk in the last gravy step.)

    Biscuit dough on a counter to make homemade biscuits and gravy

    Simply Recipes / Cambrea Bakes

    Baking sheet with unbaked biscuits set on the baking sheet to make sausage gravy and biscuits.

    Simply Recipes / Cambrea Bakes

  7. Bake the biscuits:

    Bake at 450°F for 15-18 minutes or until lightly golden brown on top. Turn the baking sheet around halfway through baking.

    Overhead view of baked biscuits on a baking sheet to make biscuits and gravy.

    Simply Recipes / Cambrea Bakes

  8. Brush with butter:

    (Optional) Brush the tops of the biscuits with melted butter.

To Make the Sausage Gravy

  1. Brown the sausage, stir in onions:

    Preheat a 4-quart saucepan over medium high heat (put a few drops of water in the pan – when they evaporate, you know the pan is ready). Crumble the sausage into the pan and let it brown for a minute or two, then turn down to medium heat.

    Continue cooking, breaking up the sausage into smaller pieces, until no pink remains. Stir in the onions and cook until they are transparent.

    Browning sausage and onions to make a biscuits and gravy recipe

    Simply Recipes / Cambrea Bakes

    Sausage browned in a pot to show how to make biscuits and gravy

    Simply Recipes / Cambrea Bakes

  2. Adjust the fat and add the flour:

    Remove sausage with a slotted spatula or spoon, leaving the drippings in the pan. If less than 3 tablespoons of drippings remain, add enough butter (or bacon grease) to equal about 3 tablespoons of drippings.

    Add the cooked sausage back to the pan on medium heat, and sprinkle the flour over the sausage.

    Stir in the flour and cook for about 6 to 8 minutes, until the mixture starts bubbling and turns slightly golden brown.

    Adding flour to a pot with sausage to show how to make biscuits and gravy.

    Simply Recipes / Cambrea Bakes

    Making sausage gravy for a biscuits and gravy recipe.

    Simply Recipes / Cambrea Bakes

  3. Add the seasonings:

    Stir in poultry seasoning, nutmeg, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce and salt — cook for 1 minute to deepen the flavors.

  4. Add the milk and cook until thickened:

    Slowly add the milk and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened (about 15 minutes). Be patient, it will thicken!

    Adding milk to sausage mixture for homemade biscuits and gravy

    Simply Recipes / Cambrea Bakes

    Sausage gravy in a pot with a wooden spoon for biscuits and gravy.

    Simply Recipes / Cambrea Bakes

  5. Serve the biscuits and gravy:

    To serve, break a biscuit in half and put it in a bowl or on a plate. Spoon a generous portion of sausage gravy over the biscuit half and top with the other biscuit half.

    Biscuits and gravy on a plate with orange juice behind it.

    Simply Recipes / Cambrea Bakes

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
371 Calories
23g Fat
28g Carbs
13g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10 to 12
Amount per serving
Calories 371
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 23g 29%
Saturated Fat 10g 49%
Cholesterol 57mg 19%
Sodium 828mg 36%
Total Carbohydrate 28g 10%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 13g
Vitamin C 1mg 3%
Calcium 211mg 16%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 316mg 7%
*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. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.