Homemade Country White Gravy Recipe (2024)

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In this post I’ll be sharing an easy Homemade Country White Gravy Recipe.

In the South, we love our homemade gravies. Folks even jokingly refer to it as a beverage in my neck of the woods. I would imagine though that people love gravy no matter where they call home. I mean, what’s not to love, right?

What is country white gravy?Country gravy is the delicious white gravy that is usually well seasoned with black pepper.

If you’ve ever visited a Cracker Barrel then you’ve seen this gravy on their menu referred to as sawmill gravy. We won’t get into all of the debates on what sawmill gravy is in this post because there are plenty of opinions on the matter.

What to serve with white gravy? Country gravy is delicious served over hot biscuits, served over mashed potatoes, with pork chops, traditional Southern fried chicken or country fried steak. You can even use gravy as a dipping sauce for chicken tenders.

I don’t know about you, but I’ll take gravy over honey mustard any day! My husband, Sparky, even smothers french fries or hash browns with this delicious gravy.

Southern White Gravy Recipe

Homemade Country White Gravy Recipe (1)

Doesn’t that look amazing, my Friend? Oh. My. Word. I sure do love a good Southern style breakfast. It is pure comfort food in my book. Fluffy scrambled eggs (or sometimes over medium cooked in bacon fat), crispy bacon, breakfast sausage links and a fresh biscuit covered in country gravy.

I cook breakfast at our house every morning but we usually have a bigger breakfast as a treat on Sunday mornings.

Now, when most folks say country gravy, THAT is the gravy (see photo above) that they are referring to. It is white and has lots of pepper. Is it always white? Well, no.

Country gravy, sometimes referred to as milk gravy where I come from, can also be a brown color. It all depends on how it is prepared.

An easy white gravy recipe starts with a simple roux. If you’re making the gravy just by itself, then it is easier to keep that white color.

If you’re making gravy in a hot pan after cooking meat then it is likely that your flour is going to brown a bit more and you’ll end up with a creamy country brown gravy. No matter what, it will be a delicious gravy.

The flavor can vary depending on what fat or type of meat drippings that you choose for your gravy.

Julia’s Easy Homemade Sausage Gravy Recipe

Here are two examples of how a classic country gravy recipe can vary depending on type of fat/meat dripping, temperature of the pan and how quickly the flour in the roux browns.

Homemade Country White Gravy Recipe (2)
Homemade Country White Gravy Recipe (3)

The chicken fried steak photo is from back in my second year after starting my website. Please forgive my photography skills back then. I’ve tried hard to improve in the years since, but you get the idea I’m getting at with the variation in color of the gravy.

Country Gravy Ingredients

Homemade Country White Gravy Recipe (4)

Here’s what you’ll need to make this easy white gravy recipe:

  • Fat – I used butter. Other fat options that you can use are bacon grease, vegetable oil, pan drippings or sausage grease. I find that sausage sometimes doesn’t give off enough grease and you may have to add a little cooking oil to it for making gravy. The butter helps keep this Southern white gravy, white, like most people expect.

Technically, you could use olive oil if you really wanted to but I don’t like gravy made with olive oil. The flavor of the olive oil is too pungent for my tastes in a gravy.

  • Flour – I use all purpose flour for making gravy, but in this instance, it doesn’t matter if you use all purpose or self-rising. Just use whichever you have on hand.

Since I am often asked what brand of flour I prefer, I will share that I keep White Lily all purpose flour and White Lily unbleached self-rising flour on hand at all times.

  • Whole Milk – I like using the whole milk for this creamy gravy.
  • Salt and Ground Black Pepper – a bit of salt and go a little bit heavy on the pepper. That is all that I use to season my homemade white country gravy but you feel free to add other seasonings if you feel inclined to do so. You’re the one eating it after all so you want to make your taste buds happy.

So that’s it, three main simple ingredients with a bit of salt and pepper to make this Homemade Country White Gravy Recipe. An easy recipe, but a rich gravy that is so delicious.

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How to make Country Gravy

To make your homemade country white gravy, begin by warming a large skillet or sauce pan over medium heat. Next, place the butter in the hot pan and melt butter completely.

You’ll want to keep an eye on the pan because butter can burn or turn brown and that is not what you want for a white pepper gravy.

Easy Skillet Breakfast Potatoes Recipe

Southern Country Gravy

Homemade Country White Gravy Recipe (6)

The next step is to add the flour to the melted butter. I like to use a spatula or wooden spoon at this point to combine the flour into the butter and press out any clumps of flour that you notice. This will help ensure a delicious white gravy that is free of lumps.

More Gravy Recipes or meals with Gravy at Julia’s Simply Southern

White Gravy

Homemade Country White Gravy Recipe (7)

Once the flour mixture is smooth, I change over to a small whisk for the rest of the process in making this homemade gravy.

Allow the flour mixture, also known as a roux, to cook for three to four minutes. That is an important step in preparing a pan gravy to get rid of the raw flour taste.

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Homemade White Gravy Recipe

Homemade Country White Gravy Recipe (8)

Now that we’ve cooked that raw flour taste our of our roux to ensure the best flavor for the gravy, slow whisk in some of the milk…just a bit of it, maybe half a cup.

Keep whisking until it is smooth and well combined with the flour mixture. Slowly add the remaining milk into the pan, while whisking, to keep it smooth until well combined.

If this is your first time making homemade gravy, you’ll notice that it is very runny and not thick at all. That is how it is supposed to be at this point. The gravy thickens as it cooks.

Tip for making white gravy: if the gravy gets too thick, add a little more liquid. If the gravy needs to thicken more, just allow it to keep cooking.

More Homemade Biscuits Recipes at Julia’s Simply Southern

White Pepper Gravy

Homemade Country White Gravy Recipe (9)

Season your gravy mixture with salt and plenty of black pepper, whisk to combine, and allow it to simmer. As the gravy simmers continue to whisk until thickened. This takes a few minutes so just be patient.

Use a tasting spoon to sample the gravy and adjust the seasonings if needed.

Once the country white gravy has thickened, remove the pan from the heat and carefully transfer the gravy to a gravy boat, serving bowl or a measuring cup for serving.

How thick should the gravy be? Well, that is a matter of personal preference. I remember, Nanny, liked her gravy pretty thick. Mama preferred making gravy not so thick.

I’ll take it either way but you do want it thick enough to be called a gravy so it should coat a spoon well.

Biscuits and Gravy without Sausage

Homemade Country White Gravy Recipe (10)

Enjoy your perfect country gravy for any meal of the day. Who’s hungry for some fresh baked biscuits and gravy right about now?

Can gravy be made ahead? Yes,white gravy can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for three to four days in an airtight container.

Can gravy be frozen? Yes, gravy can be frozen up to four months. and re-heated slowly when needed.

Country White Gravy Recipe

Homemade Country White Gravy Recipe (11)

Printable Recipe Card

Below you will find the printable recipe card with ingredients and details for making this Homemade Country White Gravy Recipe to add to your collection of great Southern recipes.

Yield: 2 cups

Homemade Country White Gravy Recipe (12)

An easy country white gravy recipe with plenty of ground black pepper to enjoy for any meal of the day. It is delicious with homemade biscuits, fried chicken, pork chops and more.

Prep Time2 minutes

Cook Time15 minutes

Total Time17 minutes


  • 4 tablespoons Butter
  • ¼ cup All Purpose Flour
  • 2 cups Whole Milk
  • Salt and Ground Black Pepper, to taste (I used ½ of salt and about a teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper)


  1. Melt the butter in a skillet or sauce pan over medium heat.
  2. Next, add the flour to the melted butter. Using a spatula; combine the flour and butter together and use the back of the spatula to press out any clumps of flour.
  3. Next, use a small whisk to whisk the flour mixture (roux) so that it is smooth and cook for 3 to 4 minutes to get rid of the raw flour taste.
  4. Slowly add about a half cup of the milk to the flour mixture while whisking to keep the gravy mixture smooth. Continue to whisk in the remaining milk.
  5. Season the gravy, bring to a simmer and cook for 8 to 10 more minutes until thickened; whisking as it cooks.
  6. Once the gravy has thickened to your liking; remove the pan from the heat and carefully transfer the gravy to a serving dish or gravy boat.
  7. Serve hot.


Please see full post for other options for making white country gravy.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1/4 cup

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 103Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 145mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 0gSugar: 3gProtein: 2g

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Homemade Country White Gravy Recipe

Thank you so much for stopping by! I am so happy that you did. I know that you will enjoy this classic American gravy with many meals just as we do. Classic Southern food makes my heart and my belly happy.

Be sure to subscribe to my email list while you are here. Subscribers receive a weekly newsletter from me with the latest recipes and news here on the blog so that you never miss a thing.

Until next time, Friend, love and happy cooking!

Home » Homemade Country White Gravy Recipe

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Homemade Country White Gravy Recipe (20)

About Julia

Hey Y'all! I'm Julia, the cook and writer behind the recipes here at Julia's Simply Southern. I began my website so that I could share easy to follow recipes that anyone can use to put a home cooked meal on the dinner table. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Homemade Country White Gravy Recipe (2024)


What is white country gravy made of? ›

The basic recipe for white gravy consists of butter, flour, milk, salt, and pepper. Some people use bacon or sausage fat in place of butter, and others further season the gravy beyond salt and pepper.

What's the difference between country gravy and regular gravy? ›

Country gravy and sausage gravy are both creamy, milk-based gravies that are thickened with a flour-based roux and liberally seasoned with fresh black pepper. The main difference is that country gravy does not have sausage and therefore does not use rendered sausage fat to make its lightly golden roux.

What is the difference between white gravy and sausage gravy? ›

Sausage gravy is white gravy made with the grease from frying breakfast sausage, and with chopped breakfast sausage added to it. Same basis: grease, flour, milk but wholly different flavor profile.

What is Cracker Barrel white gravy made of? ›

It consists of milk or cream, meat grease, flour, salt, and plenty of pepper. It can be either a white or light brown gravy, depending on the fat (butter or meat drippings).

Why does my country gravy taste like flour? ›

Problem: Your Gravy Tastes Like Flour

Flour thickens your gravy, but if you don't allow enough time for the ingredients to come together, or if they're not combined properly, the end result can be disappointing—it can feel doughy, chalky, or taste like flour.

Why is country gravy white? ›

It turns out, the biggest difference between the two is brown gravy is broth-based, while white gravy typically has a milk or cream base.

Is white gravy the same as country gravy? ›

Country gravy, also called sawmill gravy or white gravy, is a staple of hearty Southern cooking. It can be used as a creamy blanket for chicken fried steak or to accompany a plate of freshly baked biscuits at breakfast time.

Is gravy made better with flour or cornstarch? ›

Browning adds more flavor to the gravy and gets rid of the raw flour taste. You're basically making a roux. We find that a flour-based gravy holds up better and reheats better later, which is why we tend to prefer using flour over cornstarch to make gravy unless we have a guest who is eating gluten-free.

What is a Southern gravy called? ›

Other common names include country gravy, sawmill gravy, milk gravy, and sausage gravy.

What is the secret to good gravy? ›

Here are my principles for making great gravy without fear:
  • Make it ahead. This is the most important one. ...
  • Make a really good homemade turkey stock first. Don't skimp on this crucial first step. ...
  • Reinforce the stock's flavor. ...
  • Simmer, simmer, simmer. ...
  • Strain and cool. ...
  • Reduce. ...
  • Hot liquids only.
Nov 5, 2021

What is another name for white gravy? ›

It's a white sauce (béchamel) but made with fat from meats cooked for the meal. It is normally made from breakfast sausage or bacon and served over buttermilk biscuits. For later in the day, white gravy is an option on chicken or country fried steak instead of brown gravy. You may hear it called cream gravy.

Why is my white gravy so thick? ›

If your gravy is too thick, that just means it contains a bit too much flour. Thin it with additional stock; you could use water instead, but then you'd be watering down the flavor.

What is Bob Evans country gravy made of? ›

Crumble and cook sausage in large skillet over medium heat until browned. Stir in flour until dissolved. Gradually stir in milk. Cook gravy until thick and bubbly.

Why is it called sawmill gravy? ›

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!

What is the white sauce Americans call gravy? ›

Smooth and creamy white gravy, one of the American South's most beloved and versatile sauces, is really just a variation of béchamel, which was brought to Louisiana by French explorers in the 17th century. Excellent draped over chicken fried steak, biscuits or.

What do Americans call white gravy? ›

Country gravy, also called sawmill gravy or white gravy, is a staple of hearty Southern cooking. It can be used as a creamy blanket for chicken fried steak or to accompany a plate of freshly baked biscuits at breakfast time. This recipe is a down-home classic that takes just 15 minutes to pull together.

Is country gravy mix the same as sausage gravy? ›

The main difference is that country gravy does not have sausage. Country gravy uses butter to make its roux, while sausage gravy uses the rendered fat from the meat, cooked with flour, to thicken the gravy. Check out Ree Drummond's recipe for country gravy which she serves alongside chicken fried steak.

What's the difference between sausage and country gravy? ›

Country gravy uses just about the same ingredients as sausage gravy except for the sausage. Yes, country gravy is made entirely without meat.


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