This easy stove-top sausage gravy recipe is perfect for pairing with your favorite comfort foods like biscuits, fried chicken, or steak. It’s easy too, savory pork sausage simmers in a rich and creamy sauce, it’s magic!
Homemade sausage gravy is a versatile sauce to add a creamy flavorful boost to any dish. It requires only a few simple kitchen staples to turn the milk into a rich and velvety consistency that clings to food with ease. It’s essential Southern comfort food, that’s easy to conquer at home.
It starts with browning pork sausage in a skillet to add surface flavor. The pan drippings, butter, and flour then cook to create a roux that thickens the sauce with milk. In just minutes the béchamel sauce is ready to serve with classic meals like biscuits and gravy, buttermilk fried chicken, or crispy breaded steak.
How to make sausage gravy
The goal is to first lightly brown the sausage in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. This step adds flavor and texture to the meat while rendering some of the fat to add richness to the sauce. Once no pink remains in the pork, add butter to the pan and saute the thyme and onions to release wonderful aromatics.
Add flour and cook for a few minutes to minimize the flour taste. Slowly add milk and stir constantly until the sauce thickens and can coat the back of a spoon. Make sure to taste the sauce and season with more salt and pepper as you go.
Any type of raw pork sausage can be used to make a traditional gravy. I use a mild Italian sausage, however spicy, or even breakfast sausage patties or links are flavorful options. Chicken or turkey sausage can also be substituted.
Thickening the sauce
The sausage gravy base is a classic French béchamel or white sauce which is a combination of roux and milk. The flour coats and cooks in the hot melted butter for just a few minutes to remove the raw taste, but not browned. You want to keep the sauce ivory in color.
The milk is slowly added and brought to a boil then simmered to hydrate and activate the starches in the flour. As the sauce simmers, it thickens as the starches swell up to a luscious consistency. Cassava flour is a gluten-free alternative that can be used as a 1:1 replacement for wheat flour.
Storing and reheating
The gravy can be completely cooled and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat the sauce in a pan on the stovetop over medium heat. Whisk until smooth. More milk may be needed to slightly thin out the sauce.
What to serve with sausage gravy
- Homemade biscuits
- Skillet pork chops or steak
- Cornbread, English muffins, toast
- Skillet potatoes, hash browns, tater tots
How to prevent skin from forming on top of the sauce
It’s best to serve the sausage gravy immediately after preparing for the most smooth and pourable consistency. As dairy-based sauces thicken as they cool, a thick film can form on top. This is the starches linking together on the surface. To prevent this, place plastic wrap or foil on top of the sauce while in the pan leaving no space for air to make contact.
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- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoons black pepper
- 1 pound sweet Italian pork sausage, casings removed
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon chopped thyme, dried
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- ½ cup finely minced yellow onion
- 3 cups whole milk
- In a small bowl whisk together flour, salt, and black pepper.
- Heat a large nonstick pan or skillet over medium heat. Add the pork sausage to the pan and break into smaller pieces using a wooden spoon. Cook until no longer pink and lightly browned, about 5 to 6 minutes.
- Melt the butter in the pan. Add the thyme, garlic, and onion, cook until fragrant and onions are tender, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Sprinkle the flour mixture over the sausage, stir and cook until the flour is absorbed, 2 minutes.
- Slowly stir in the milk, then turn up the heat to medium-high to bring to a boil.
- Lower the heat to a simmer, cook and stir occasionally until the gravy is thick and can coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes.
- Taste the gravy and season with salt and pepper as desired.
- Serve with biscuits split in half with sausage gravy on top, or other desired foods.
- Recipe makes about 3 cups of sausage gravy.
- Serving Size: 1/4 cup of sausage gravy
- Make it Gluten-Free: Use cassave flour instead of all-purpose flour.
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