January 24, 2023| By

White Pepper Gravy

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
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Perfectly creamy and savory, this easy white gravy recipe is a country gravy recipe that's been in my family for generations! This delicious white gravy recipe is made with bacon, fresh herbs, and freshly cracked black pepper for tons of flavor. Enjoy this recipe with country-fried steak, chicken tenders, over some garlic mashed potatoes, or poured over hot biscuits fresh out of the oven.

For more family recipes, try my grandma's buttermilk cornbread and Mom's slow cooker collard greens!

White gravy in a gravy boat being poured on top of a plate of of biscuits.
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If you've ever bought gravy packets or enjoyed Cracker Barrel's sawmill gravy, I'm here to show you how to recreate an even more delicious creamy country gravy in the comforts of your own home.

White gravy is one my favorite comfort foods to enjoy alongside classic southern dishes. I'm talking chicken-fried steak, buttermilk fried chicken, and my all time favorite - buttermilk biscuits! Smother fresh hot biscuits in this southern white gravy and it's literally the perfect accompaniment.

up close photo of white gravy in a gravy boat garnished with rosemary.

What makes this homemade gravy recipe so special is that it uses bacon fat to add a little extra flavor. More importantly, since this recipe doesn't call for meat drippings - we're using the rendered bacon fat (basically bacon grease) as pan drippings instead.

Easy solution that takes a fraction of the time (and packs ALL of the flava!)

I'll show you step by step how to make this easy white pepper gravy in a matter of minutes so that you'll have the perfect gravy on your table in no time. Happy cooking!

What is White Gravy?

White Gravy, also known as white sauce, is essentially a béchamel sauce but with a little more pizzazz. Classic white gravy is made with butter, flour, and milk and usually seasonings like salt, pepper, and sometimes garlic powder.

This recipe is a little bit different in that I added fresh herbs, bacon, and chicken broth to really up there flavor and give the gravy some character. It's amazing how a few simple ingredients turn can take an already delicious gravy and make it unforgettable!

Ingredients

ingredients to make white pepper gravy - bacon, flour, chicken broth, milk, fresh herbs, and butter.

Bacon - I like using center cut bacon, it tends to have really good marbling and therefore renders fat well.

Garlic - opt for fresh garlic cloves over garlic powder for better flavor.

Fresh Herbs: fresh thyme, fresh sage, fresh rosemary - these really add so much depth to this white gravy recipe.

Butter - what's a homemade white country gravy without butter?! Unsalted butter works best to control the salty flavor, but you can use what you have. Just taste as you go.

All Purpose Flour - this is to thicken the gravy.

Whole Milk - the milk really adds a nice creamy texture and smoothness to this gravy.

Chicken Broth - any broth or stock works here and if you don't have either, you can use water.

Black Pepper - you'll need plenty of black pepper. I used 1 tbsp of fresh ground black pepper, use more if you'd like!

Substitutions

  • Dairy free - opt for vegan butter and your favorite dairy free milk of choice to make this dairy free. Of note, milks with lower fat content won't yield a super creamy gravy but it will still be delicious!
  • Vegetarian - you do not have to use bacon, it just adds extra flavor. However, it's still delicious without it. Simply skip the first step and saute the garlic and herbs in the butter and proceed with making the gravy. Also, use veggie broth or water instead of chicken broth.
  • Vegan - similarly to the dairy free option, use vegan butter and any vegan milk, omit the bacon, and use veggie broth or water instead of chicken broth.

How to make White Gravy from Scratch

white pepper gravy in a gravy boat next to a serving spoon.
  • Chop bacon into chunks and add to a large skillet over medium-low heat. Allow the fat to render and for the bacon to crisp up, about 10 minutes. (Image #1)
diced bacon in a large skillet.
  • Add butter and let it melt in the pan. Add diced garlic, thyme, sage, and rosemary to the melted butter and allow everything to cook until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Whisk flour into the butter to make a simple roux and allow it to thicken in the pan, stirring constantly. This gets rid of the raw flour taste.
bacon in a skillet with fresh herbs, butter, flour, and milk.
  • Slowly pour milk and chicken broth, whisking constantly, and let the gravy thicken. Cook on medium heat for about 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until desired thickness is reached. Add black pepper and season generously with kosher salt.
finished white gravy in a pan.

What to eat with White Gravy

This easy homemade white gravy recipe goes with everything from pork chops to fried chicken. It's even great on breakfast pizzas or a good base recipe for sausage gravy. Try these recipes also:

white gravy and biscuits on a plate.

Storage, Make Ahead, Reheating

Make Ahead - you can make this gravy and store it in an airtight container up to 4 days prior to serving. When reheating, I recommend adding a little milk to the pan to loosen it a bit as the cold gravy tends to thicken up in the fridge.

Storing: store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Reheating: reheat the gravy in a pan on low OR microwave in 45-second increments until warm throughout. Add a splash of milk to loosen up the gravy if it becomes too thick.

Recipe FAQs

Can white gravy be frozen?

Yes! Add to a freezer safe airtight container or a freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you're ready to reheat, place the gravy in a baking dish and heat in the oven on 350 degrees F for about 10 minutes, until fully defrosted and warmed all the way through.

How do you make white gravy thick?

Thicken your white gravy by adding flour OR cooking the gravy for an additional 5 minutes. By making a roux, the gravy will thicken on its own throughout the cooking process.

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Let's stay connected on social media and continue to cook together! Also, if you decide to make this recipe, please leave a star rating on the recipe card and leave a comment below! Tag @BritneyBreaksBread on Instagram and hashtag #britneybreaksbread so I can see your creations! I hope that you love this recipe as much as we do!

White gravy in a gravy boat being poured on top of a plate of of biscuits.

White Gravy Recipe

Perfectly creamy and savory white gravy is a country gravy recipe that's been in my family for generations! This delicious white gravy recipe is perfect made with bacon, fresh herbs, and freshly cracked black pepper for tons of flavor. Enjoy this recipe with country-fried steak, chicken tenders, over some garlic mashed potatoes, or poured over hot biscuits fresh out of the oven.
Serving: 6
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Calories: 275kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 pieces Bacon
  • 1 clove Garlic (diced)
  • 4 sprigs Thyme
  • 4 Sage leaves (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Rosemary (chopped)
  • ½ cup Butter
  • ½ cup AP Flour
  • 2 cups Milk
  • 1 cup Chicken Broth
  • 1 tbsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt

Directions

  • Dice bacon and add to a pan over medium low heat. Let the bacon fat render for 8-10.
  • Add garlic, thyme, sage leaves, and rosemary and continue to cook until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Melt butter in the pan and then add flour. Gently whisk together constantly until a paste begins to form. Slowly pour in milk and chicken broth and continue to whisk together.
  • Simmer on low for 5-10 minutes, until desired temperature is reached. Add black pepper and salt.

Nutrition

Calories: 275kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 58mg | Sodium: 759mg | Potassium: 188mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 656IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 118mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Anytime, Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch

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