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Sausage Gravy is a Southern US breakfast staple with chunks of sausage meat turned into a meaty white milk sauce. Think of it as a tasty sausage bechamel! Traditionally served with buttermilk biscuits or even battered and fried steak, it is much more delicious than it looks!
What the heck is Sausage Gravy?! I’ve had quite a lot of fun whilst developing this recipe watching my British friends and family react with a little bit of horror about the concept. In the UK gravy is brown, made with meat juices and doesn’t use milk or come with lumps. Ideally anyway.
Sausage gravy is none of these things although it does utilise the fat and juices which are released from the sausage when it cooks down.
But when I re-framed Sausage Gravy as a creamy pasta sauce like a bechamel, everyone was right back on board! And so whilst Sausage Gravy isn’t served like that in the US, I couldn’t help myself from trying my theory out. So I added peas, pasta and parmesan and by jove it was delicious!
How to Serve Sausage Gravy
If it isn’t a pasta sauce then what is Sausage Gravy? Turns out its a breakfast food! Traditionally served with Buttermilk Breakfast Biscuits to be precise. Luckily I also have a recipe for Biscuits so you can try it out yourself.
I can’t lie. Biscuits and Gravy is not the most attractive looking breakfast. There is an awful lot of beige involved. So. Much. Beige. That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t taste great however! I do like to serve it with a poached or fried egg however. Not only does the egg provide a bit of a colour hit, but its actually a great addition taste wise too!
There are plenty of other uses. Just like with my pasta experiment, you could add gnocchi, top with cheese and bake it. Use it as a quick sauce for filled pasta or throw in some mushrooms and serve it over rice like a strognoff.
In the Southern states of the US where sausage gravy hails from, it is also served with Chicken Fried Steak. Yup you read that right; chicken-fried-steak. You know how you season chicken in a spicy coating and fry it? You can do that with steak too. Its a little bit like a steak schnitzel. Well you can serve sausage gravy with that too. Or a version without the sausage in it which is called called country gravy.
Or serve it simply with a bread like my Chilli and Oregano Soda Bread.
Make Sausage Gravy into a Feast
I truly believe that you can make any dish into a proper feast! Whether thats a feast for one after work on a Tuesday, a casual feast for four on a Friday evening or a feast for 12 for a special occasion!
Sausage Gravy is ideal as part of a Brunch Feast. Combine with the traditional Breakfast Biscuits and a poached or fried egg for maximum taste. You could also add a side of bacon or even leftover ham to make a bigger Brunch Feast.
Don’t forget to head over to my Feast Collection pages to find all of my tips and tricks to help you host a fun and stress-free feast. Plus remember to check out my recipe index to create your own awesome Feast!
Ingredients for Sausage Gravy
You can use whatever sausages or sausagemeat that you prefer. I chose to use Lincolnshire sausages because they are my favourite and I knew that the sage heavy seasoning would really help the Sausage Gravy’s flavour. I wasn’t wrong.
There are lots of other options available however, simply use your favourite. If they are bought in sausage form, make sure to remove the sausagemeat from the casing before you start frying.
I use skimmed milk as standard but you could use whatever milk you prefer. If you choose to use something full fat, remember it is thicker and you might need to use a little more of it for the same consistency.
I’ve added this as an optional ingredient. I generally have a few whole nutmegs knocking around which I now grate directly into whatever I’m cooking using my fine microplane grater. You can alternatively buy it pre-ground. Just use it sparingly. Add a little, taste it and add a little more if you need. You can always add more but you can’t take it away. You don’t want the flavour to overwhelm everything else.
There are lots of ways to be flexible with this recipe. My favourite which I can’t wait to try is to switch the sausage for fresh chorizo. Just like with my Chorizo and Butternut Risotto, the garlic and paprika flavour will totally transform the sauce. I’ll still use it in exactly the same way but it’ll have a little something extra.
If I’m intending specifically to make a pasta dish using Sausage Gravy as a base, I sometimes fry the sausage with some finely sliced shallot. I also sometimes add finely chopped bacon or pancetta and then add some mushrooms too. Just to get a little more veg in there.
Some of the milk can be substituted for cream to make an extra luxurious version and the sausage can even be substituted entirely for bacon. I’d stick with streaky as you need enough fat to cook out to absorb the flour and thicken the sauce.
Make it Vegetarian
There are so many vegetarian sausages available now that I’m sure they would work just as well in the sauce. I would aim for the more “meat substitute” kind rather than the “stick of vegetables” kind.
You may also find that you need to add a little oil or butter when cooking the sausage as they do tend to be dryer and less fatty than the meaty kind. If there is no skin to speak of, just make sure to cut/crumble them into quite small pieces.
The alternative is to serve something that is already vegetarian friendly like my Creamed Mushrooms with Oregano. This recipe can also be served on toast, with biscuits and makes a fab pasta sauce too.
Make it Vegan
I don’t think there is any issue in making a Vegan Sausage Gravy. As with vegetarian sausages, there are a myriad of vegan options available. Use the advice given above but make sure to use oil and not butter as the extra fat.
The sauce can be made with your favourite plant based milk. Just keep an eye on the consistency and use a little more or less as you need.
Make it Allergy Friendly
This sausage gravy recipe is free from eggs and nuts.
Gluten Free: First check your sausage meat. There is no valid reason nowadays for sausages to contain gluten but many of them still do. At least most of the supermarkets are wising up and proper butchers have also started providing more, better options.
Also use a good gluten free flour instead of the plain flour. You could alternatively thicken with cornflour. Add the milk first then stir in a cornflour slurry (cornflour mixed with cold water).
Dairy Free: Follow my advice above for vegans. Use any milk substitute you like and keep an eye on the consistency.
Please note that this recipe may contain other allergens not referred to above. For more information regarding any dietary information provided on this website, please refer to my Nutritional Disclaimer.
Equipment Notes for Sausage Gravy
You don’t need much to make this recipe. A frying pan will obviously be needed as well some kind of spatula. A sharp knife is helpful to split the sausages and something like a jug to measure the milk would be good.
I actually mostly eyeball the recipe as I’m cooking it so I tend to make very little washing up!
A comprehensive list of the equipment used to make this recipe is included in the main recipe card below. Click on any item to see an example. There are no hard and fast rules so many items can be sensibly substituted to achieve the same results.
Sausage gravy is extremely easy to make ahead of time. It will happily sit covered in the fridge for a couple of days and it can also be frozen. I would recommend freezing it flat in bags so that it is quick to defrost.
The only caveat I would make is that as with most flour based sauces, it will be considerably thicker on reheating. So either add extra liquid and make it thinner before storing or be prepared to add more milk/some water when it is being reheated.
Leftover Sausage Gravy
Leftovers can be kept for a few days or frozen as described above. You can re-purpose the gravy into a pasta sauce or simply make and eat more Biscuits!
Sausage Gravy Tips
If you are using sausages which don’t give off much juice/fat as they’re cooking, add a little oil or butter as the sausage meat is frying. Without some fat in the pan, the flour will have nothing to absorb and the sauce won’t thicken.
Use your gut rather than the recipe for the amount of liquid you add. If you prefer a thicker sauce, go easy. If you prefer it thinner, add a little more. Make it how you want to eat it! Do make sure to give the sauce time to thicken properly before adding more.
Don’t forget to let me know in the comments if you try making this recipe – I want to know what you think and if you made any substitutions, how did it turn out?
Step-by-Step Sausage Gravy Video
Still Have Questions?
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More Pork Recipes
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- 225 g Lincolnshire Sausages
- 25 g Plain Flour
- 1 tsp Mustard Powder
- 500 ml Milk
- 1 tsp Sea Salt Flakes
- Ground Black Pepper
- Nutmeg – optional
- Skin 225g Lincolnshire Sausage and crumble the meat into small chunks.
- Add to a frying pan on a medium high heat.
- Keep stirring and further breaking up the meat into smaller pieces until it is golden brown all over and cooked through.
- Add 25g Plain Flour and 1 tsp Mustard Powder to the sausage meat and stir until as combined as possible.
- Leave to cook out for 30 seconds or so.
- Add half of the 500ml Milk and stir until all combined with no lumps of flour.
- Add the remaining milk and continue stirring until the sauce has thickened considerably.
- Add 1 tsp Sea Salt Flakes and Ground Black Pepper to taste. Grate in some Nutmeg to taste if you wish.
- Serve hot.