Creamy Sawmill Gravy With Sausage. Alton brown sawmill gravy

Creamy Sawmill Gravy With Sausage

This Creamy Sawmill Gravy with Sausage is so flavorful and loaded with sausage and who doesn’t want to wake up to the smell of this delicious gravy for breakfast? Don’t be afraid to make gravy. It’s easy!

I was asked to post a recipe on how to make Creamy Sawmill Gravy with Sausage, so today is the day! Besides, I seem to get way off the beaten path quite often, when it comes to posting savory recipes. I can’t help it. I have a major sweet tooth. Sausage gravy is one of the easiest comfort foods to make. But just in case you’ve never made it and are a little bit nervous about attempting it for the first time, I’m going to walk you through it. You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to make. After today, you’ll be making gravy time after time and your family will love you for it.

Sawmill gravy, also known as white gravy, is a creamy skillet gravy made with milk and fat drippings from either bacon or sausage. It’s a gravy that us country folk make all the time. Now one more thing. When you make this super easy gravy, you’re gonna want some homemade biscuits to pour it over. If you want a quick and super easy biscuit recipe that’s big and soft and delicious, try my easy Soft Tender Drop Biscuit recipe. They take 5 minutes to mix and all you do it drop spoonfuls of dough on a cookie sheet. Is that easy or what?

Are you ready for me to walk you through the simple steps of making gravy? Here we go…

Top Left – Brown one pound of sausage in a skillet. Using a metal spatula, chop through the sausage while frequently turning it until the sausage resembles small crumbles. Once the sausage is browned, remove the skillet from the heat. Drain the sausage in a drainer over a plate or shallow bowl. Pour any drained drippings back into the skillet.

Top Right – Return the skillet to medium heat and allow the fat drippings to become hot again. If you don’t have enough fat drippings, you can add a little butter to the skillet.

Bottom Left – Slowly add flour to the hot fat drippings as you constantly whisk. Keep whisking for three to four minutes, until the flour has had time to cook out. This is called making a roux.

Bottom Right – Slowly add one cup of the milk while whisking constantly. As gravy begins to thicken, slowly add the other two cups of milk. Keep whisking until gravy thickens to a perfect consistency, not too thin and not too thick, but a perfect medium consistency. Don’t forget you’ll be adding the sausage back in which will make the gravy seem even thicker. If gravy is a little thicker than you prefer, just whisk in a little more milk before adding the sausage.

I can’t think of a better hot comforting breakfast than homemade gravy and sausage. Well, nothing except some homemade biscuits to soak up that delicious hot gravy,

Creamy Sawmill Gravy With Sausage


This Creamy Sawmill Gravy with Sausage is so flavorful and loaded with sausage and who doesn’t want to wake up to the smell of this delicious gravy for breakfast? Don’t be afraid to make gravy. It’s easy!


  • 1 pound sausage
  • 3 tablespoons sausage drippings
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarse black pepper (or adjust to your liking)


  • Fry the sausage over medium heat in an iron skillet or any medium skillet. Using a metal spatula, chop the sausage into small pieces and turn it frequently as it’s frying. Remove from heat and transfer the sausage to a strainer placed over a bowl, allowing the sausage to drain. Transfer any drippings from the drained sausage back to the skillet if necessary to make 3 tablespoons of drippings. If you don’t have enough drippings, add a little bit of butter to the skillet.
  • Return the skillet with the drippings back to medium heat. Allow the drippings to become hot again, and whisk in the flour. Continue whisking for about 4 to 5 minutes until the flour taste has had time to cook out of the mixture. It should become a golden brown roux.
  • Continue whisking constantly while slowly adding the first cup of milk. Add the salt and pepper and continue whisking. As mixture begins to bubble, slowly add the second cup of milk. As mixture begins to thicken, slowly add the third cup of milk. Continue whisking until the mixture has thickened to a gravy consistency and remove from heat.
  • Add the crumbled sausage and mix in. Allow gravy to rest for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Serve hot over homemade biscuits. I served this over my quick and easy drop biscuits.


This gravy is a medium thick gravy. If you prefer a thin gravy, just add a little more milk. I wouldn’t suggest adding less milk. Gravy will thicken after it’s made.

Keywords: food,recipes,breakfast,gravy,sawmill gravy,sausage gravy,breakfast gravy,sausage,

How to Make Homemade Shredded Hash Browns

Do you ever discover yourself cooking a bag of frozen hash browns and find yourself thinking, “You know, these are good and super easy to make… hmmm, almost too easy!” Would your life be better if making your favorite breakfast was a little more time-consuming, required more energy, and ran a much higher risk of utter failure? If so, keep reading! If not, check out my easy hash brown casserole instead!

I went slightly overboard perfecting how to make homemade shredded hash browns. Eating frozen hash browns wasn’t good enough for me; I needed to know how to make them from scratch and how to do so perfectly. So for about a year, I stocked up on the required simple ingredients and made them multiple times a week until I could fully understand each facet of the process.

Why did some recipes call for soaking the potatoes and others rinsing them? Is changing the water or using ice cubes really necessary? I don’t like blindly following recipes. I want to know why I am doing something so I can figure out for myself if there is a better way.

(Making hash browns from scratch wasn’t good enough for me, I eventually went on to also create Cheddar-Crusted Homemade Hash Browns! You need to check them out.)

How to Make Homemade Shredded Hash Browns

First thing I learned: Peel the potato only if desired. This will not affect the final dish. Some like the rustic look of potato skins in their food, others do not. Pick a side. Then shred the raw potatoes with a box grater and quickly move onto the next step to prevent oxidation.

Second thing I learned: Some recipes call for soaking the potato in ice water, while others just say to rinse the shreds. What you are actually doing here is removing the excess starch from the shreds so you get a crisper final product. Cold water prevents oxidation and if you decide to soak the potatoes changing the water will remove more starch and speed the process. Personally, I prefer to rinse the shreds in a strainer under the faucet until the water runs clear because it is easier to tell when the objective has been accomplished. When the water runs clear I know the starch has been removed.

Third thing I learned: For the crispiest hash browns the stored water must be removed from the grated potatoes because you can’t have the potatoes holding too much moisture. There are multiple ways to accomplish this. Personally, I like to just grab a fist full and squeeze it over the sink. However, if you are cooking for others you may want to ring it tightly in cheese cloth, paper towels, or just squeeze out the liquid in a ricer. Whatever method you choose, be sure to work in batches so the water can easily disperse. The more water that is removed, the crisper the hash brown will be. Once the water has been drained, mix in salt and pepper.

Tip: I don’t recommend using a salad spinner to remove the water, you will be left with too much water in the potatoes to make crispy homemade hash browns.

Fourth thing I learned: Heat a nonstick pan over medium high heat (This pan has been my main workhorse for years and I would buy it again in a second) with a mixture of enough oil and butter to coat the bottom of the skillet in a thin layer. Butter gives hash browns better flavor, but adding oil prevents the butter from burning by raising its smoke point. The fat mixture lies more thinly in the pan and also coats it more evenly which allows for more even contact with the hash.

Fifth thing I learned: Place the hash in the hot pan and press with a spatula to evenly flatten the shreds and brown the potatoes. Thinner is better as this will ensure everything cooks. If you desire healthier hash browns you can use a minimal amount of oil/butter, but using more fat will result in deliciously crispy hash browns.

Sixth thing I learned: Once the bottom is crispy you can use a spatula to divide the hash brown into four sections and then proceed to gingerly flip them. OR you can flip the whole thing in the pan with a quick upward flick of your wrist… don’t worry your dog will love you as you practice. Once flipped proceed to cook until the bottom is crisp.

Once you have finished cooking your homemade shredded hash browns you can serve them immediately or place them on a baking sheet in a warm oven to keep them warm while you work on additional batches of deliciously crispy potatoes.

How to Prepare Hash Browns in Advance

You can shred the potatoes and leave them soaking in water for a few hours until you are ready to cook. This will remove the excess starch and prevent oxidation until you are ready to cook.


I never had good results with par-cooking the hash. Blanching the potato shreds did prevent oxidation but the hash browns never stayed together when cooked and the flavor was off.

I doubt that I just spared any of you from a year-long sabbatical to fully understand the inner workings of the perfect shredded hash brown. However, if I have perhaps given one person a sense of personal satisfaction for not only following my recipe but actually understanding what they are doing and why… then I am just as happy.

If you need a breakfast suggestion to pair this with, I highly recommend my English Muffin breakfast pizzas. Check out the recipe, I think you will love it! Melted cheese, fluffy scrambled eggs, sawmill gravy, and sausage, all atop a crispy English muffin! What’s not to love?

Sawmill Gravy With Sausage

Southern-cuisine expert and cookbook author Diana Rattray has created more than 5,000 recipes and articles in her 20 years as a food writer.


Nutrition Facts Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 273
% Daily Value
Total Fat 21g 27%
Cholesterol 45mg 15%
Sodium 596mg 26%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 4%
Total Sugars 5G
Protein 10g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 120mg 9%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 417mg 9%
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.)

The term “sawmill gravy” comes from early logging camp food and old-time sawmills. It was originally made with cornmeal, bacon drippings, milk, and seasonings. This resulted in a somewhat gritty gravy; in fact, rumor has it that the loggers would accuse the cooks of putting sawdust in the recipe!

This gravy can be made with bacon and bacon drippings as well as sausage. This version is a sausage gravy, a breakfast tradition in the South. The base is a roux, making the gravy thick and creamy. It is up to you whether to add the chunks of breakfast sausage back into the gravy; it will bring interesting texture and wonderful flavor, but if you prefer a smooth gravy you can leave it out.

Sawmill gravy is the perfect addition to a Southern-style breakfast. Serve with split and buttered biscuits or creamy grits.

Steps to Make It

  • Gather the ingredients.

In a heavy skillet over medium heat, cook the sausage, breaking up and stirring until no longer pink. Remove the sausage to a bowl with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Leave 3 tablespoons of drippings in the skillet. If there aren’t 3 tablespoons left, add some butter, shortening, or bacon drippings to make 3 tablespoons.

Place the skillet back over medium heat and sprinkle the flour over the drippings. Cook, stirring constantly until the roux is lightly browned.

Gradually add 1 cup of the milk. Stir to loosen any bits of cooked sausage from the bottom of the pan.

Taste and season with salt and pepper; keep stirring until the gravy has thickened. Add more milk or cream as needed to reach the desired consistency.

Add the sausage to the gravy, if desired.

creamy, sawmill, gravy, sausage, brown


  • Although this is a relatively easy gravy to make, you will achieve better results if you follow a few tips. First, make sure to measure the amount of fat left in the pan after cooking the sausage; if it is more than 3 tablespoons, your gravy will end up being greasy. If it is less than 3 tablespoons, and you don’t add any other fat, then the roux will be too dry and the flour will probably burn.
  • After sprinkling over the flour, it is important that you cook it long enough to remove the raw flour taste; 1 to 2 minutes is usually long enough, but then continue stirring and cooking until the mixture begins to turn brown.

Recipe Variation

  • To make a sawmill gravy with bacon, fry 4 to 6 strips of bacon in the skillet and leave 3 tablespoons of drippings. Proceed with the recipe and serve the gravy with the chopped up cooked bacon, if desired.

I don’t like this at all. It’s not the worst. Sure, this will do. I’m a fan—would recommend. Amazing! I love it! Thanks for your rating!

creamy, sawmill, gravy, sausage, brown

Vegetarian Sausage Gravy

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Savory vegetarian sausage is cooked with onions, garlic, herbs and spices and enveloped in a creamy white sauce to produce a vegetarian version of one of the most beloved American comfort dishes. This Vegetarian Sausage Gravy recipe is so deliciously creamy and rich in flavor, even the most avid carnivores will love it!

Here is the dialogue that took place between me and my husband after I handed him a plate of this vegetarian sausage gravy and biscuits without saying a word about it being vegetarian:

Me: “How good?” Him: “Very, very good. Better than most sausage gravies you find in restaurants.” Me: “Really?

And I have to agree: when it comes to flavor this vegetarian sausage gravy doesn’t miss a beat. And the silky creamy texture of this sauce drizzled over your favorite flaky biscuits makes for an utterly irresistible meal.

We’ve always been a very health-conscious family, emphasizing eating whole foods and lots of homegrown veggies, cooking from scratch, limiting junk food, and avoiding certain things altogether. And that desire to eat healthy also includes not eating a ton of meat and regularly incorporating meatless dishes into our meal plan. I developed this recipe in an effort to “clone” one our favorite dishes into a meatless alternative and I’m happy to say it was a success.

When I was developing this recipe I tried several options and my favorite for flavor and texture was the sausage patties from MorningStar Farms. That was several years ago and no doubt there are additional options on the market now. Use your favorite vegetarian sausage.

Sausage gravy is a quintessential American comfort dish that is enjoyed for any mealtime, whether it’s breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. Serve the gravy over freshly made biscuits with a piece of fruit for breakfast or with a veggie or salad for lunch or dinner. For the best flaky biscuits, be sure to try our BEST EVER Buttermilk Biscuits!

Vegetarian Sausage Gravy Recipe

Finely chop up the veggie sausages, onion, garlic, parsley, sage and thyme.

Heat the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat and cook the onions 8-10 minutes until golden and beginning to brown.

Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

Add the veggie sausage and cook for 4-5 minutes until lightly browned.

Sprinkle the flour over the mixture, stir to incorporate, and cook for a minute.

Pour in the milk (and heavy cream, if using), stirring constantly to prevent lumps.

Stir until smooth and add the vegetable bouillon, salt, pepper and cayenne. Bring to a simmer, stirring regularly, and cook until the sauce is thickened.

Add the parsley, sage and thyme and simmer for another minute. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve immediately over freshly baked biscuits and garnish with chopped fresh parsley.

Vegetarian Sausage Gravy

This vegetarian sausage gravy is so deliciously creamy and rich in flavor, even carnivores won’t miss the meat!


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion. finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic. minced
  • 8 ounces vegetarian sausage (I’m using Morningstar Farms Original Veggie Sausage Patties, thawed and finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk or combination of milk and cream. vegans use cashew milk or non-dairy milk of choice
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable bouillon base or 1 cube vegetable bouillon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage or 1/4 teaspoon dried ground sage
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 8 buttermilk biscuits. cut in half (click link for our biscuit recipe)


Heat the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat and cook the onions 8-10 minutes until golden and beginning to brown. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the veggie sausage and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir to incorporate, cooking for another minute.

While stirring constantly to prevent lumps, pour in the milk and heavy cream. Stir until smooth. Add the vegetable bouillon, salt, pepper and cayenne. Bring to a simmer and stir until thickened. Add the parsley, sage and thyme and simmer for another 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.


Calories: 515 kcal | Carbohydrates: 47 g | Protein: 21 g | Fat: 27 g | Saturated Fat: 10 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8 g | Cholesterol: 41 mg | Sodium: 1724 mg | Potassium: 485 mg | Fiber: 4 g | Sugar: 11 g | Vitamin A: 758 IU | Vitamin C: 6 mg | Calcium: 231 mg | Iron: 15 mg

Tried this recipe? Mention @daringgourmet or hashtag #daringgourmet

Originally published on The Daring Gourmet July 8, 2014

140 Responses

I’ve been making this recipe for years and my friends and family beg me to make it. I never had the fresh herbs on hand, but today we got them special and it made a huge difference. I make it with oat milk now, which works nicely, and today found it a little too salty – so we added a splash of balsamic vinegar and it brought a whole new world of flavor in! I’ll be doing that every time going forward. Thanks for this wonderful recipe and many happy tummies over the years

What would you think of adding a little nutritional yeast and/or a splash of soy sauce to further up the umami factor? I have a good friend who makes amazing biscuits, and I’m looking forward to whipping up a batch of this and having him over!

We love this recipe and I’m so happy that you created it! I’ve been using it for several years and I serve it to everyone, vegetarian or not, and they all love it!

This recipe is AMAZING. I’m just tasting it as I’m finishing it up and my mind is blown. I feel so accomplished because it’s just so delicious! Thank you for sharing!!

I very rarely take the time to review recipes, but this definitely deserves the effort! I made it for a party and everyone enjoyed it, including the vegetarian hostess who requested the recipe. For the liquid portion, I used the milk cream option, and the texture was lovely – even despite the fact I only had 2% milk. The only things I did off-book were to the veggie sausage: I massaged a little MCT oil into it to add back some of the fat that was lost from my milk being 2%. And because the flavor of these patties is good, but not quite ‘real sausage’ good, I rubbed it with a little extra sage, paprika, and black pepper (sprinkled it with probably no more than 1/8 tsp of each) before adding incorporating it into the gravy mixture. The texture of Morningstar worked really well here. I also purchased Beyond patties as an accompaniment; they worked well as biscuit toppers, and while I’ll have to try it to be sure, my expectation is that they won’t work as well in the gravy as Morningstar because Morningstar inherently has a softer texture that lends really well to this application. It plays its part in the gravy, but doesn’t overpower it or feel like a separate component. Lastly, the spice combo and measurements that the creator used here are just top notch. I had concerns about the chopped onion being too clumpy/noticeable in the mixture, but it blended very well with the sausage and the liquid to solid ratio was excellent. Apart from the spices I rubbed on the sausage itself (which wasn’t a necessary improvement so much as my approach to veggie sausage in general; I’ll have to make this again without them to know if they contributed any meaningful value, lol), I genuinely did have to add ANYthing else for flavor – not even salt! It was a weird moment when I tasted the finished product and just turned off the burner to prepare it for travel because I was completely satisfied with how it turned out. Bonus: This recipe was super simple to double since all the units were single part. I even found the Morningstar patties in a 16 oz. box! And the directions (both written and photo) were very clear clear easy to follow. 5/5 will definitely make again!

creamy, sawmill, gravy, sausage, brown

Hi Chelsea, I’m thrilled that you enjoyed this recipe and really appreciate you taking the time to leave this feedback – thank you!

creamy, sawmill, gravy, sausage, brown

If u have acid reflux like me use less cayenne. I learned the hard way. Also the sauce wasn’t thick so I had to add a mixture of water and cornstarch to thicken up. Aside from it being too spicy it was good

We had been looking for something to fill the biscuits and gravy void after going vegetarian and this recipe was PERFECT! We doubled the amount of cayenne and used vegan chickenless seasoning salt and breakfast sausages from Trader Joe’s. It was delicious! Would highly recommend it to anyone.

I’m not vegetarian but my wife is. I make these for her every now and then and it has become a tradition to “make those veggie biscuits and gravy” now! She loves them and I can’t even tell that they’re vegetarian! Awesome.

I had a taste for BG, but I am trying to get to a mostly plant-based diet for hubby and me. I usually use a recipe triangulation involving the most stars combined with the most reviews. Seldom do I trust so few reviews: there are so few good vegiterian/vegan recipes that ACTUALLY taste good. THIS RECIPE IS AWESOME!! Hubby agrees. I’ve already passed it to family who like to cook. I’ll have to inspect this site for more awesomeness. If this recipe was that good, I hope to find more! I’ll be testing with non-dairy milk-products to make it vegan. Some tummies don’t like the dairy in this house.

I made this the second time using almond milk, it was super-duper and NO GUT BUST! I kept the butter, but if made with a plant-based butter alternative can easily be made vegan. I encourage everyone to try it!

Amazing recipe, easy to make and tasty spices, yum! My meat eating husband was scraping his plate clean. Exactly the recipe I was looking for, Thanks 🙂

Sawmill Gravy

Delicious! This is going to be the go to gravy recipe in our house. So good! I used a beef bouillon cube since that’s what I had, and it ended up being a touch overwhelming. I’ll probably only use part of a cube next time.