Old Fashioned Southern Tomato Gravy

A very simple and Southern Tomato Gravy that can be served over hot biscuits or grits. An excellent way to use all of those fresh summertime garden tomatoes. Great for breakfast but also “breakfast for dinner” nights.

Tomato gravy has always been served in my home, especially during the summer months. It’s easy to make, and with fresh tomatoes coming off the vine, it seems to be on our menu every other week.

During the summer, you can’t seem to pass a corner without seeing a produce stand. Here in the south, there are so many great veggies to choose from that are farm-grown and so fresh. Some of my favorites are zucchini, green tomatoes, okra, and squash.

Southern Tomato Gravy
Old Fashioned Southern Tomato Gravy

Red Ripe Tomatoes

We seem to have an endless supply of red, ripe tomatoes at our house, and I am always looking for ways to prepare them. However, I love a good bacon and tomato sandwich and could eat one several times a week; tomato gravy rates at the top of my list as well. It tastes great over grits, and hot biscuits, mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, rice, or toast. This is my favorite all-time breakfast gravy and probably my favorite go-to recipe.

No Fresh Tomatoes–No Worries

If you don’t have fresh tomatoes or homemade canned tomatoes, a can or two of diced tomatoes will work for this recipe. I have used store-bought tomatoes for this gravy (in a pinch), and it was still so delicious.
You will ask yourself after the first bite–“Where has this been all of my life?”

What is Tomato Gravy?

Tomato gravy is a delicious southern gravy that is fantastic. It’s started as a roux, and fresh tomatoes are added. This gravy can be made as thick or as thin as you like.
Bacon drippings are used to kick up the flavor. My favorite liquid for this gravy is milk. It seems to make it creamier than chicken stock or water.

Old Fashioned Southern Tomato Gravy
Old Fashioned Southern Tomato Gravy

A Cast Iron Skillet is Great for Making Gravy

As many of you know, I love my cast iron skillets. They are perfect for sauteing, baking, broiling, frying and can go from stovetop to oven. The more seasoned your cast iron is, the more flavor you will get in your food.
Cast iron skillets will hold the heat longer and will keep your food warmer for longer periods of time. This makes it great for cooking gravy.

Ingredients Needed for Good Southern Tomato Gravy

 bacon grease or vegetable oil
 ripe tomatoes (diced) OR 1 can (15oz.) diced tomatoes
 all-purpose flour
 water
whole milk
 salt and pepper
garlic powder

How to Make Easy Tomato Gravy

Simply dice tomatoes and gently mash to release some juice. **If you are using fresh tomatoes and they do not have a lot of juice, you may need to add 1/4 cup of water with the tomatoes. This will keep the tomatoes from sticking and make stirring everything easier. Set aside.
Add oil to a skillet over medium-low heat. Stir in flour and whisk until smooth for about 2-3 minutes or until the flour turns a light brown. Add 1/2 cup of water to the flour mixture and stir until smooth. It will thicken immediately, so be prepared to add tomatoes (and juice) quickly. Break up the tomatoes with the spoon while stirring. Add the seasonings. Stir well. Slowly add the milk while stirring continuously. Reduce heat and simmer for about 5-10 minutes or until desired consistency. Add more milk or water if the gravy is too thick to your liking.
Enjoy over hot biscuits.

Old Fashioned Southern Tomato Gravy
Old Fashioned Southern Tomato Gravy

 

Tips for Making the Best Tomato Gravy

*Use a cast-iron skillet if you have one. If not, a non-stick skillet works great.
*Use bacon grease if possible. Here in the south, we don’t throw out our bacon grease. We save it for more delicious dishes.

*Crush tomatoes before adding them to the skillet to release some juice. If they are not juicy, add a little water to keep them from sticking.
*You can certainly use a can of diced tomatoes if fresh tomatoes are not in season. Sometimes I even add an extra can for more chunks of tomatoes.
*Add a small onion. Saute onion in bacon grease before you add the flour. This will definitely give it more flavor.
*Use chicken broth or stock instead of milk. It will give it a different taste but is still awesome.
*Cook flour with the grease before adding the tomatoes. This allows the flour to cook and develop flavor.
*The tomato gravy will thicken quickly. Add more water or milk if the gravy is too thick.
*Serve over hot biscuits.

For more tomato recipes, be sure to check out 50 fresh tomato recipes.

Old Fashioned Southern Tomato Gravy

Southern Tomato Gravy

Gina Abernathy
A very simple and Southern Tomato Gravy that can be served over hot biscuits or grits. An excellent way to use all of those fresh summertime garden tomatoes. Great for breakfast but also "breakfast for dinner" nights.
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Breakfast, Sauce
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

  • 4 tablespoons bacon grease or vegetable oil
  • 4 Medium ripe tomatoes diced or 1 can (15oz) diced tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt & pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions
 

  • Dice tomatoes and gently mash to release some juice. If you are using fresh tomatoes and they do not have a lot of juice, you may need to add 1/4 cup of water with the tomatoes. This will keep the tomatoes from sticking and make stirring everything easier. Set aside.
  • Add oil to a skillet over medium-low heat. Stir in flour and whisk until smooth for about 2-3 minutes or until the flour turns a light brown. Add 1/2 cup of water to the flour mixture and stir until smooth. It will thicken immediately, so be prepared to add tomatoes (and juice) quickly.
  • Break up the tomatoes with the spoon while stirring. Add the seasonings. Stir well.
  • Slowly add milk while stirring continuously. Reduce heat and simmer for about 5-10 minutes or until desired consistency. Add more milk or water if the gravy is too thick to your liking.
  • Enjoy over hot biscuits.
Keyword Southern Tomato Gravy

8 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This sounds really interesting and a good way to use up all the summer tomatoes. Fresh tomatoes always make a delicious sauce so I’m pleased that I found this recipe to try.

  2. 5 stars
    First time making a tomato gravy and I am hooked! This was flavorful, delicious, and so easy to make. I’ll definitely be using it as a topper to other recipes!

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