Tomato gravy is a Southern comfort food classic of tomato sauce thickened with a light roux, great with buttermilk biscuits, a delicious down home breakfast, or over meatloaf.
Tomato Gravy Recipe
We're cooking up a delicious batch of Southern Tomato Gravy in the Chili Pepper Madness kitchen today, my friends! Would you care to try some?
Tomato gravy is a classic Southern American tomato-based sauce or condiment that's loaded with savory flavor.
It's an incredibly versatile sauce, used in many different ways, and it's very easy to make. You can also spice it up as much as you'd like to.
It cooks up quickly, making this one of your potential go-to recipes for quick and easy meals.
Let's talk about how to make tomato gravy, shall we?
Tomato Gravy Ingredients
The full ingredients list with measurements is listed in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Butter. You can also use bacon grease or lard, which are common in Southern recipes.
- All-Purpose Flour. For making a roux.
- Tomatoes. I prefer fire-roasted tomatoes, though canned diced tomatoes ro tomato sauce are great here. You can use fresh tomatoes, though you will need more simmering time to break them down into a sauce.
- Stock. Chicken stock or chicken broth is great, or use vegetable stock for a vegetarian version.
- Salt and Pepper. To taste.
- OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS
- Heavy Cream. For a creamier, richer gravy. You can also use milk.
- Hot Sauce. I love a splash of Tabasco or Crystal hot sauce, though you can use others if you prefer a spicy kick.
- See the recipe notes section for other possible variations.
How to Make Tomato Gravy - the Recipe Method
Cook the Onion. Cook the onion in a large pan with the butter a few minutes to soften them up.
Make a Light Roux. Add the flour and stir continuously to form a slurry. You only need a few minutes of cooking to make a very light roux.
See my post on How to Make a Roux for further information and a video demonstration.
Tomatoes and Stock. Stir in the tomatoes, stock, salt and pepper, along with optional cream or milk if you want a richer version.
Reduce the heat and simmer the tomato gravy a few minutes to thicken it up, then stir in your hot sauce when you're ready to go.
Boom! Done! Your tomato gravy is ready to serve. Easy enough to make, isn't it? This is an incredibly versatile sauce, ready to enjoy in so many ways.
Recipe Tips & Notes
- Consider this a base recipe. You can easily add in other spices and fresh herbs, like rosemary or oregano, paprika or cayenne.
- For a spicier version, add fresh chopped jalapeno or serrano peppers (or hotter) when cooking the onion.
Serving Tomato Gravy
Tomato gravy is popularly served with fresh buttermilk biscuits alongside breakfast or brunch, and often served over eggs.
It is wonderful as a topping for homemade meatloaf.
Try it with crispy fried chicken, spooned over creamy mashed potatoes or country ham. Swirl it into rice, or serve it with your favorite pasta noodles as a twist on traditional pasta.
Tomato gravy is incredibly versatile, enjoyed for it's rich and savory flavor, a Southern classic ready to add depth to a wide range of meals.
Storage & Leftovers
Leftover tomato gravy will last up to 5 days in the refrigerator in a sealed container. You can easily make it ahead of time, then heat it up in a pan on the stovetop to enjoy as desired.
You can also freeze it for 2-3 months.
That's it, my friends. I hope you enjoy this tomato gravy recipe. Let me know if you make it. I'd love to hear how it turned out for you, and if you decided to spice it up!
Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.
Tomato Gravy Recipe
- 3 tablespoons butter or use bacon grease or lard
- 3 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 small yellow onion chopped
- 15- ounce can diced tomatoes or use fire roasted tomatoes, or tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup heavy cream optional, for creamier – you can also use milk
- 1/4 cup chicken stock use vegetable stock for vegetarian
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Hot sauce to taste optional – Tabasco or Crystal are great here
- Melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes to soften.
- Add the flour and stir to form a paste. Cook, stirring the roux continuously for 3-5 minutes.
- Stir in the tomatoes, optional cream, stock, and salt and pepper. Simmer, stirring, for 5 minutes until thickened. Stir in optional hot sauce for a touch of heat.