The Best Southern Biscuits and Gravy

southern biscuits and gravy, gravy in cast iron skillet

These are the Best Southern Biscuits and Gravy! With only 5 simple ingredients, they are creamy, silky, peppery and filled with tons of flavor. Pile them on top of flaky golden biscuits. They truly are the BEST!

Biscuits and gravy in the South is basically the equivalent of pasta in Italy. It’s one of the biggest breakfast staples we have here in the South. Similar to making your own homemade pasta, making homemade gravy is truly a form of art. It took me many tries to get it right – but now, I never even have to measure the ingredients. Whatever amount feels right, I put it in and it always turns out great!

I feel like this post has been about 15 years in the making. This recipe is so near and dear to my heart because it’s the very first recipe that my Mom ever taught me how to make. Sure, she probably taught me how to make a grilled cheese and how to boil water and what not – but this is first, passed down from generation and generation, recipe that my Mom taught me.

It was passed down from her Mom’s Mom and probably even further back than that. One thing that I know to be true is that it’s always been cooked in a cast iron skillet. In addition, you always have to mix the flour in something called a Blue Willow Bowl. It’s just tradition in our family. Isn’t it funny when you’re a kid how you roll your eyes at things like that? But now, that I’m older, I’m ALL in on learning about my family’s history, culture, traditions and alll of those good things.

Here’s a photo of my Blue Willow Bowl that my Mom gave to me. I use it exclusively for gravy-making.

southern biscuits and gravy blue willow bowl

Unfortunately, my Nana passed away when I was only 3 so I never got to hear her perspective on this delightful meal. However, my great Aunt Edith, who we dubbed as “Big Nanny” was around until I was 16. She was a down to earth, hard working Southern woman who tended to her farm until she was 90+ years old. She was an expert gravy maker.

It is my go-to recipe for holiday breakfasts, special occasions and anytime I want to treat my husband.

So, let’s get to the gravy then, shall we?

You’ll need the following ingredients:

  • whole milk
  • all purpose flour
  • one pound of either sausage or bacon
  • salt and pepper
  • biscuits (homemade or store-bought)

Simple enough, right?

Let me go ahead and forewarn you that not every batch of gravy will turn out the same. It depends on how what type of meat you use (sausage or bacon), how lean your meat is, and of course how much flour and milk you add. There have been times when mine has come out more of a white color – other times, like for these photographs, it turned out darker.

southern biscuits and gravy, gravy in cast iron skillet close up shot

However, I promise you the flavor will always be dynamite! It’s rich, you can taste the fat of the meat but never overwhelmingly so, and it’s always so creamy!

I will also go ahead and let you know that I did, in fact, use store-bought biscuits for this recipe. My mom has tried time and time again to teach me to make homemade biscuits on my own, but without her help, I can never get it right! I will continue my quest – but for now, Grands Flaky Layers it is. #pleasedontjudge

You will find exact measurements and instructions on the recipe card below, I’ll just give you a quick run down here.

Start off by mixing your flour in a small bowl with salt and pepper. Pour your milk in a measuring cup so it’s easily accessible. Cook your meat of choice, I chose sausage for this particular batch. Once it’s through cooking, move it to a plate but keep all of the grease in the skillet.

Add in your flour and begin stirring until the grease and flour have incorporated together. For more grease, you’ll need more flour and vice versa. You want all of the flour to soak up the grease. Once that’s done, add in your milk and begin stirring immediately! Stir, stir, stir! I know it may seem arduous, but it won’t last long. Soon, your gravy will begin to thicken!

My mom always taught me to immediately take the gravy OFF of the heat once you begin to see bubbles start popping up. It will continue to thicken as it cools a little bit.

In the meantime, your biscuits are probably golden, hot and ready to eat! Here’s a little Southern pro-tip for you: Instead of just dividing your biscuits in two and then dousing the gravy on them, I was always taught to tear my biscuit up into bite size pieces and then load your plate up with tons of gravy. Oh yes.

See example below.

southern biscuits and gravy, biscuits torn into bite size pieces

It makes it SO good plus you get a bite size piece of delightful biscuit loaded up with gravy every single dang time.

full plate of gravy with biscuits

Add salt and pepper to taste along with that delightful spicy sausage and you’re ready to eat! Get ready for a mouthful of delightful sausage gravy with the best flavors. So creamy and rich! Load up your biscuits with gravy and chow down! PS: to make this a full breakfast, add some scrambled eggs on the side and meat of your choice!

close up of biscuits and gravy mixed together

I just wanted to end this post by saying THANK YOU to the most wonderful mother in the world for teaching me how to make this delicious meal. I’m not sure if you’ll ever know how special it is to me. Here’s a picture of us, making the biscuits and gravy.

me and mama making biscuits and gravy

And a photo of us not in our pajamas, with our hair actually brushed.

me and mama on my wedding day

You’re the most selfless amazing woman I’ve ever known. You’ve sacrificed so much in your life to always make sure Brother and I had the best life possible. You always support my dreams, and no one understands my weird self just like you do. I can’t wait until one day several years down the road when we can teach my children this recipe together. You’re the absolute best person. I love you! Happy Mother’s Day.

5 from 2 votes
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The Best Southern Biscuits and Gravy!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 can biscuits (about 8 - can be homemade or store-bought)
  • 1 and 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 lb sausage or bacon (I used sausage)
  • salt and pepper to taste (divided)

Instructions

  1. Prepare biscuits according to the package directions. 

  2. Begin cooking your sausage in a cast iron skillet on medium heat. Mix your flour and 1/2 tsp of salt and pepper in a small bowl with a fork. Try and smooth out all of the lumps in the flour. Set aside. Measure out the whole milk and set aside. 

  3. Once your sausage is done cooking, remove it from the skillet to a plate and set aside. Keep all of the grease inside the pan. Keep the skillet on medium heat. Slowly add in your flour to the greased pan, begin stirring immediately, incorporating the flour into the grease completely. Once fully incorporated, begin slowly adding your milk and stirring. 

  4. Continue to stir the milk and flour mixture until fully combined, making sure there are NO lumps in the mixture. Keep stirring until it begins to thicken and you see bubbles popping up, indicating it's done. Take immediately off of the heat once you see the bubbles begin to pop. This should take anywhere from 3-5 minutes. 

  5. The gravy mixture will continue to thicken as it cools. Add in some of the sausage back into the gravy, as well as salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately over the biscuits. Enjoy! 

Recipe Notes

NOTE: Depending on how much grease your meat of choice yields, you may be required to add more flour to soak it all up. Start with 1/4 cup and go up if need be. 

3 comments / Add your comment below

  1. My dear precious daughter. You have brought me more joy than you can ever realize. My heart is overflowing with love for you and brother. I am beyond grateful to have such wonderful amazing humans call me mama. Thank you for being my baby bird. I love you with all my heart.

  2. Haylie-
    I was looking on your site for a side dish for Memorial Day but had to comment here.
    This is such a sweet testament to your mother! I can’t wait to try your gravy even tho’ my feller makes his a little differently and it’s very yummy also!
    My mother died when I was 11 so my father taught me to cook, or maybe I should say he encouraged me to cook! He cut this biscuit recipe out of a NC Farm Bureau magazine one day and now it’s my go-to method if I’m feeding others (now I make mine GF with a more complicated recipe).
    Try them and let me know what you think!

    Mom’s Quick and Easy Biscuits
    2 cups self-rising flour (or plain flour with 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder & 1
    tsp. salt per cup of flour)
    1/2 pint whipping cream
    That’s all the ingredients needed. Preheat oven to 400-425 degrees. Add whipping cream a little at a time to the flour. Add just enough water to rinse out the carton. Mix ingredients but don’t overmix. Pat out dough into a circle on a floured surface. Don’t overhandle dough! Cut out biscuits. Bake until lightly brown.

    1. This is awesome, Ms. Moss! Thanks for letting me know this recipe. I am definitely going to try it out and let you know how it goes! Hope you had a happy Memorial day!

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