In the South, a generous helping of hearty, rich sausage gravy is a must-have at any southern breakfast table—it adds heft to a simple meal of buttermilk biscuits, or rounds out a full southern breakfast spread. Whether you like your gravy smothering homemade flaky buttermilk biscuits or served over creamy grits, no dish has ever been ruined with the addition of savory gravy (we’ll take it any way we can get it, even in delicious variations like redeye gravy and chocolate gravy!). In a Southern home, it’s not to be left off the table.

Here, the SL Test Kitchen shows you how to make this staple with five basic pantry ingredients found in most Southern kitchens—ground pork sausage, all-purpose flour, and milk, as well as a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper—with minimal effort and in just a few minutes. Remember: Sausage gravy is best if served hot, right after it cooks; thus, as you plan your breakfast game plan, be sure to whip up this menu item last (it’s the perfect recipe to make while your stovetop grits are finishing up, or while your biscuits are cooling). First, you’ll want to brown the sausage until crumbly in a large skillet over medium heat; then, drain the sausage on paper towels, leaving about a tablespoon of the drippings in the pan. Then, quickly whisk flour into the pan’s drippings until smooth, cooking about 1 minute. Finally, stir in the milk and whisk constantly over medium heat for about 5 to 7 minutes. Add your sausage, salt, and pepper, and voilà!—the perfect Southern gravy, ready for your breakfast table.

Grandmamas all around the South have perfected the art of making creamy, rich gravy—and you can too, with this easy, 5-ingredient gravy recipe. Upgrade every scrumptious side to hearty main dish with this classic comfort food recipe.

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