Delicious Southern Tomato Gravy recipe for your taste buds

Hello darlings, let’s talk about southern-style cuisine – the delicious flavors, savory aromas and irresistible tastes that warm the heart and soul. From fried chicken to creamy macaroni and cheese, there’s nothing quite like the comfort of southern cooking. But today, we’re going to delve into a mouth-watering recipe that holds a special place in every southerner’s heart – tomato gravy!

Tomato gravy is a classic southern dish that has been enjoyed by generations. It’s a smooth, tangy sauce made with canned or fresh tomatoes, bacon fat, flour and chicken broth. The result is a rich and flavorful sauce that pairs perfectly with biscuits, grits, roasted chicken, or just about anything you can imagine.

But here’s where things get interesting. This recipe features a unique twist that elevates it from a simple southern tomato gravy to an old fashioned southern tomato gravy. This is accomplished by making a blonde roux with bacon fat, butter and all-purpose flour as the base for the gravy. The addition of garlic powder, salt, pepper and diced tomatoes to the roux creates an intense flavor that will leave your taste buds singing.

Now you may be wondering what makes this recipe so special? Well ladies and gents, let me tell you: it’s the perfect blend of simple southern cuisine with a touch of gourmet flair. It’s easy enough to make for weeknight dinners yet impressive enough for elegant gatherings. So grab your apron and spatula because it’s time to get cookin’!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe


My dear friends, let me tell you about a savory and delicious southern-style recipe that will make your taste buds dance with joy: Southern Tomato Gravy. This gravy recipe is old-fashioned soul food at its finest – simple, flavorful, and oh so satisfying.

There are countless reasons why you will love this recipe so much, but let me give you just a few. First of all, it is made from fresh, ripe tomatoes – not the canned stuff. There’s something about the flavor of fresh tomatoes that just can’t be beat. They create a truly authentic flavor and texture that makes this tomato gravy stand out from the crowd.

Secondly, this gravy recipe is versatile and can be used in so many different ways. Imagine drizzling it over a homemade biscuit or smothering your eggs with it for breakfast. You could even use it as a sauce for pasta or as a base for a red gravy. The possibilities are endless!

But perhaps the best reason to try this southern tomato gravy is how easy it is to make. With simple ingredients like bacon drippings, all-purpose flour, chicken broth, and of course, fresh tomatoes, you can whip up this gravy in no time. It’s perfect for busy weeknight meals or lazy Sunday brunches.

Trust me, once you try this southern tomato gravy recipe, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. It’s true comfort food that will warm your soul and fill your belly with goodness. Give it a try today and let me know what you think!

Ingredient List

 Spoonful of comfort
Spoonful of comfort

Before we dive into the Tomato Gravy Recipe, let’s have a look at what you’ll need for this delicious southern-style dish.

Tomato Gravy Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons of bacon drippings
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 5 cups of water
  • 1 cup of chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes (you can use canned or fresh)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Note that if you make a blonde roux, it is better to use old fashioned southern-style tomato gravy as it has a thicker texture. Moreover, I recommend using finely chopped fresh tomatoes to give your gravy a more authentic taste. With these ingredients, you will have all that is necessary for making the perfect tomato gravy.

The Recipe How-To

 A savory splash of summer
A savory splash of summer

Cooking a Southern Tomato Gravy is simple but requires close attention to detail. Without further ado, let’s get started.


  • 4 tablespoons of bacon drippings
  • 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup of finely chopped bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup of finely chopped onion
  • Finely diced fresh tomatoes (2 large or 3 medium)
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup of chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste


Step 1: Begin by heating a large skillet over medium heat with the bacon drippings. Once the skillet has heated, add in your flour gradually – stirring as you go. Mix them until it becomes a rich brown color.

Step 2: Add in your bell pepper and onion to this mixture, cook it for about two minutes, until they become soft.

Step 3: When these vegetables are soft, slowly pour in some chicken broth, gently stirring to mix in properly until you get the perfect consistency.

Step 4: Put your diced tomatoes now into the skillet and continue stirring for around two-three minutes. Reduce the heat to low and add in a teaspoonful of garlic powder.

Step 5: After garlic powder, add in the tomato paste and stir well.

Step 6: Season with salt and pepper to taste. This will give this Southern Tomato Gravy its authentic flavor.

Step 7: Simmer for a few minutes, mixing continuously until gravy thickens appropriately. If you still find the gravy too thin, mix one tablespoon flour incorporated into one tablespoon butter and pour it into the pan – whisk quickly while stirring until everything combines perfectly.

Your Southern Tomato Gravy is now ready to be served with your favorite dish – crispy fried chicken, homemade buttermilk biscuits, and even sausages.

Note: The cooking time for the gravy heavily depends on your preference with its thickness. If you want it nice and thick like traditional Southern Tomato Gravy, you need to cook it a bit longer.

Substitutions and Variations

 Home-cooked to perfection
Home-cooked to perfection

Y’all, let me tell you about some of the substitutions and variations you can make to this Southern Tomato Gravy recipe that will have your taste buds doing the happy dance!

First up, if you don’t have fresh tomatoes on hand, you can use canned tomatoes instead. Just make sure to drain them well before using. Additionally, if you prefer a smoother gravy, you can substitute tomato sauce or tomato paste for the diced tomatoes.

If you’re watching your sodium intake, feel free to reduce or omit the salt in this recipe altogether. You can also use low-sodium chicken broth instead of the regular one. For those who like it spicy, try adding a pinch of cayenne pepper or some diced jalapeños.

And for my vegetarian friends out there, you can easily make this recipe meat-free by using olive oil instead of bacon drippings and vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

Lastly, if you want to get creative with serving and pairing, try using this tomato gravy as a topping for biscuits, fried chicken, or even eggs! Or jazz it up by adding some fresh herbs like basil or thyme.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to Southern cooking, so don’t be afraid to mix things up and make it your own!

Serving and Pairing

 The taste of nostalgia
The taste of nostalgia

Oh, friend! Now that you’ve created this delectable southern tomato gravy, it’s time to think about how to serve and pair it for the ultimate enjoyment. This gravy is versatile and can be paired with numerous dishes for a comforting meal.

One of my favorite ways to serve this gravy is by pouring it over a piping hot, flaky buttermilk biscuit. The mixture of the smooth tomato gravy with the savory, buttery richness of the biscuit is a match made in heaven. Trust me; your taste buds will thank you.

You can also use this gravy as a topping for chicken fried steak or as a sauce for meatloaf to add an extra kick of flavor. It also pairs well with roasted vegetables such as green beans or even mashed potatoes.

For the perfect southern-style meal, try serving this tomato gravy alongside sausage gravy and biscuits, red-eye gravy, or homemade tomato sauce.

If you’re feeling adventurous, add diced tomatoes or tomato paste to the recipe for an extra tangy punch.

Whether it’s breakfast or dinner, serving up a generous helping of this southern-style tomato gravy is sure to please. So pour it on thick, and don’t hold back on those buttermilk biscuits!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A hearty hug in a bowl
A hearty hug in a bowl

When it comes to this tomato gravy recipe, I have good news for all you busy folks out there. You can make this gravy ahead of time, store it and reheat it. Now let me guide you through how to do it properly so that the taste and texture stay intact.

To make tomato gravy ahead of time, you want to allow it to cool down properly at room temperature before storing it in an airtight container. I prefer using a glass container or a mason jar for storing homemade gravies as it helps maintain freshness and flavor. Once the tomato gravy has cooled down, refrigerate it immediately to keep it safe from bacterial growth.

When reheating your refrigerated tomato gravy, transfer it to a pot and add in some water or chicken broth to help thin it out a bit. Gently stir the mixture over medium heat until the desired thickness is reached. Be sure not to overheat the gravy or leave it on the stove for too long as this can cause the flavors to evaporate.

If you have extra tomato gravy that won’t be consumed for a while or you want to prepare it in bigger batches, then freezing is recommended. Make sure the gravy is completely cooled before putting it in freezer-safe bags or containers. This way, you’ll keep it fresh for about 2-3 months without losing any of its quality.

In conclusion, having leftover tomato gravy can be both practical and delicious. By knowing how to properly store and reheat this southern-style delight, you can enjoy its fantastic flavor at any time without any fuss or bother!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Southern comfort in every bite
Southern comfort in every bite

When it comes to mastering the art of cooking, there are some tips and tricks that every chef should know. Here are my top tips for creating the perfect Southern Tomato Gravy:

1. Use fresh tomatoes: The key to making a flavorful tomato gravy is to use fresh, ripe tomatoes. If you can’t find fresh tomatoes, canned tomatoes can be used as a substitute.

2. Don’t overcook the gravy: Overcooking your tomato gravy can result in a runny and unappetizing texture. To avoid this, be sure to monitor your gravy as it cooks and remove it from heat once it has reached the desired thickness.

3. Use a roux: A roux made from bacon drippings or butter and flour is essential to get the right consistency and texture of the Southern Tomato Gravy.

4. Add chicken broth: Chicken broth adds depth and richness to the gravy.

5. Adjust seasoning as needed: It’s important to taste the gravy as you cook and adjust seasoning as needed with garlic powder, salt, pepper or sugar depending on your preference.

6. Serve with homemade buttermilk biscuits: For an authentic Southern experience, serve your tomato gravy with homemade buttermilk biscuits.

7. Experiment with variations: While this recipe calls for traditional ingredients like bacon drippings and chicken broth, don’t be afraid to experiment with substitutions and variations.

By following these tips and tricks, you can create a delicious Southern Tomato Gravy that will have everyone at the table asking for seconds.


Before we wrap up this article, I would like to take a moment and answer some frequently asked questions about this old fashioned Southern tomato gravy recipe. Whether you are new to cooking or an experienced chef, it is always useful to have your questions answered to make sure you get the most out of your experience in the kitchen. So, without further ado, let’s dive in and address some common queries.

What is tomato gravy made of?

In this article, I’ll be sharing my recipe for a delicious thick sauce known as southern-style tomato gravy. This flavorful sauce is made using either canned or fresh tomatoes, combined with a blonde roux that is made using bacon fat or butter and flour. To add even more flavor, chick broth is added, followed by a splash of cream. This gravy is the perfect accompaniment to dishes such as buttery biscuits, eggs, grits, and meatloaf.

Where did Southern tomato gravy originate?

The origin of tomato gravy remains unknown and is a subject of debate among food experts. Some people attribute it to a family recipe passed down from a relative in Alabama, while others believe it originated elsewhere.

Where is tomato gravy from?

Tomato gravy is a dish that originated in the American South during a time when tomatoes were abundant but financial resources were scarce. This particular recipe stood out because it was utilized as a breakfast topping, unlike other sauces that were incorporated into various dishes as a base. It gained popularity due to its uniqueness and simplicity, and is still cherished today as a staple in Southern cuisine.

What can I substitute for tomato gravy?

Hey y’all! If you’re ever in a pinch and don’t have any tomato sauce for your dish, don’t sweat it! There’s a simple solution using just two pantry staples—tomato paste and water. Mix ’em together equally, and you’ve got yourself a homemade sauce. And the best part? You can customize the seasoning to your heart’s content. Let me walk you through the steps.

Bottom Line


As a chef specializing in southern-style cuisine, I am confident that this Southern Tomato Gravy recipe will surely be a hit at your dinner table. Its delicious taste and rich flavors are sure to satisfy your taste buds, leaving you craving for more.

With simple southern ingredients like fresh tomatoes, chicken broth, and bacon drippings, this gravy recipe is easy to prepare and will add an extra layer of taste to your biscuits, fried chicken, or pork chops. Moreover, this Southern Tomato Gravy recipe is versatile enough to allow for substitutions and variations in case you prefer other ingredients.

I highly recommend that you make this tomato gravy ahead and store it so that you can easily reheat it whenever you want. Also, do not forget to check out the substitution and variation suggestions provided in the recipe article.

In conclusion, I trust that this Southern Tomato Gravy recipe will become your new go-to sauce for any southern-style meal. Try it out and indulge in the deliciousness that only old fashioned southern style can offer. Happy cooking!



This is such a Southern dish served over biscuits for breakfast, rice for supper or mashed potatoes. I like it with pasta and I use leftover gravy in hamburger dishes. A great way to use up all those tomatoes from the garden.
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Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Southern American
Servings 1 bowl
Calories 160 kcal


  • 2 cups fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped (can use a 14.5 ounce can of tomatoes)
  • 5 tablespoons bacon drippings
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups water (some prefer to use milk instead of water)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder


  • Cut up tomatoes in bowl. Add the salt, pepper, sugar and garlic powder and mix with a spoon. Put bacon drippings in a hot skillet on stovetop. Add flour and make a roux or cook until thick. Pour in tomatoes and water and cook until the consistency of gravy. Serve over biscuits.
  • Enjoy!

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 153gCalories: 160kcalCarbohydrates: 9.6gProtein: 1.4gFat: 13.1gSaturated Fat: 5.1gCholesterol: 12.3mgSodium: 257.6mgFiber: 1.1gSugar: 2.8g
Keyword < 15 Mins, Breakfast, Brunch, Easy, Low Protein, Vegetable
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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