Turn your meal into ultimate Southern comfort food with this creamy bacon gravy recipe. Perfect paired with biscuits for breakfast or brunch.
This Homemade Bacon Gravy is simple to make and absolutely bursting with amazing bacon flavor. Try serving this creamy sauce over buttermilk biscuits, mashed potatoes, chicken fried steak, and more for the ultimate Southern comfort food.
Scroll down to read more about how it all comes together or click here to jump straight down to the recipe.
Video: Making Homemade Bacon Gravy
What Is Bacon Gravy?
Well, it’s a country gravy made with bacon in it! It has an intense and amazing bacon flavor in it, because there’s not only chopped bacon, but the fat used to make the roux base for the gravy is bacon fat. So don’t get rid of that bacon grease after cooking it up, we’re going to make good use of it.
This creamy bacon gravy is a Southern thing, similar to white gravy or creamy sausage gravy that you would serve over biscuits. In general, this gravy has less pepper or spice in it than sausage gravy, and I think it’s because you really want all that nice bacon flavor. But you can add more pepper if you’d like.
How Much Bacon Fat Do I Need?
You should get enough bacon fat from the 8 slices of bacon we’re going to cook. You need 2 tablespoons of it. But if for some reason you don’t get that amount, you can make up the difference with butter.
How To Make Creamy Bacon Gravy
Cooking The Bacon
I’ve read online that cast iron is best for this but I always cook bacon in my large non-stick skillet, so I just go with that. Whatever skillet you use for bacon is going to be great. You’re going to cook up 8 strips of bacon until crisp.
Remove the cooked bacon from the skillet and immediately scrape the bacon fat into a bowl. That stops the bacon fat from continuing to cook and therefore stops it from getting a burnt flavor. Set the bacon aside while you start the gravy. Once it’s cool enough to handle, and once you have a free moment, chop it up.
Making The Roux
Wipe out the skillet before you continue, or get a clean one. This is because the little tiny bits of bacon that remain in there, and the bit of fat there too, has already cooked quite a bit and most likely has a bit of a burnt bitter flavor. Getting rid of that is going to make your gravy tastier.
Then, to your skillet you’ll add two tablespoons of bacon fat back into the skillet. Scoop it out of the bowl of bacon fat, trying your best to avoid any little dark bits that are in there. If you get a little, that’s fine. You just don’t want much of it. Also add in two tablespoons of all-purpose flour. Whisk until smooth.
Next it’s time to make your roux. That’s a fancy word for a flour and fat mixture. Note that you’re keep the heat off when you’re adding the flour to the fat. Then stir and cook for a moment until it has just started to tint in color. Turn off the heat. I should note here that some people prefer their bacon gravy to be darker. To achieve this, you’ll stir and cook the flour and fat mixture until it’s a nutty brown then be ready to add the milk so that it will stop cooking and not burn.
Adding The Milk
Before you start cooking up your flour and fat, measure 2 cups of whole milk into a measuring cup. Then, when your roux is as dark as you’d like it, drizzle a little bit of milk into the roux (that’s the mixture of flour and fat). Keep whisking as you add the milk so that it stays smooth. Drizzle in a little bit at a time, continuing to whisk, until you’ve added about half of the milk. At that point, you can pour in the rest and whisk it all up.
Heating The Gravy To Thicken It
Now is when you turn on the heat. Set the gravy over medium heat and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to let it simmer and thicken. To know when the gravy is thick enough, watch till you can see the pan through the gravy. As it’s bubbling and you’re stirring, when you start to see the pan every now and then because the gravy is holding together, then it’s ready.
Adding The Bacon And Seasonings
When the gravy is your desired consistency, stir in the chopped bacon. I usually stir about three-quarters of the chopped bacon into the gravy, saving the rest to garnish on top later.
Finally, you’ll add the seasoning. I really like the bacon flavor to shine through so I only use salt and pepper. You could additionally add some dried thyme and/or sage though.
Tips For Bacon Gravy
No Bitter Flavor
To make sure that your bacon fat doesn’t have a burnt flavor, as soon as the bacon is cooked, remove it from the skillet and immediately scrape all of the grease out into a bowl. This will stop it from cooking more and therefore it won’t burn. Also though, there are little flakes of very dark bacon that are often a bit on the burnt side and they have a burnt flavor. Those will sink to the bottom so you can spoon the nicer fat from the top.
Also, after you remove the bacon and bacon grease from the skillet, wipe out or even wash out the skillet so that nothing is left in there that could darken and burn. Careful though, it’s hot!
Don’t add the salt and pepper until the very end of making this. As the gravy warms and simmers, water from it is evaporating, which will concentrate the salt and pepper flavor in the remainder. If you add the salt and pepper too soon and taste and then add more, they will be too potent at the end.
Gravy Too Thick
If you over-thicken the gravy, or if it continues to thicken in the skillet as you get the rest of your meal ready, that’s not a problem. Simply drizzle in a little milk or even water.
Gravy Too Thin
Your gravy shouldn’t be too thin if you follow the recipe below. It makes a nice thick gravy. But in case it somehow happens, there are three things you can do.
- Turn the heat off under the gravy. Mix together 1 tablespoon of flour with 1 tablespoon of softened butter. Then sprinkle bits of that mixture into the gravy and stir it in. Turn the heat back up and stir continuously until it comes up to a simmer and thickens.
- Turn the heat off under the gravy. Mix together 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of milk. Stir that into the gravy. Turn the heat back up and stir continuously until it comes up to a simmer and thickens.
- Simmer the gravy for awhile. This will evaporate off some of the liquid and thicken it. So just let it bubble a bit and stir it continuously until it gets as thick as you’d like.
Making Bacon Gravy Without Bacon
This bacon gravy is actually delicious even without adding the bacon to it. So, anytime you’re making bacon and you have bacon fat, save it and freeze it. You can then whip up some bacon-flavored gravy anytime. Which makes me think that keeping some bacon fat in the freezer is a great idea for those times when you need a gravy or sauce but don’t have drippings. Like, when you roast pork loin, you rarely get enough drippings to make gravy. You could totally follow my gravy without drippings recipe but use bacon fat instead. It will be so good!
Instead of Whole Milk
The recipe calls for whole milk but there are other things you can use. I’d avoid fat-free milk simply because the flavor will be a bit weak, but you can use it. Half fat-free milk and half heavy cream works well, or half fat-free milk and half half-and-half even. Evaporated milk, even the fat-free evaporated milk, works pretty well in this also. In fact, a Southern grannie that I know well insists that the best bacon gravy, and sausage gravy, is made with canned evaporated milk!
Gluten-Free Bacon Gravy
To make this gluten-free, you can use cornstarch instead of flour. However, you don’t add the cornstarch at the same time as you would have added the flour. Instead, mix 1 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1/4 cup of your milk until smooth. Add that mixture to the bacon fat off of the heat and mix it well. Then add the remaining milk and heat it to a simmer stirring the whole time. The rest of the recipe is the same.
Using Pre-Cooked Bacon
If using pre-cooked bacon for this, you won’t get the same luscious bacon flavor in your gravy, but you can still do it. Use 2 tablespoons of butter in place of the bacon fat. Add your chopped up bacon to the melting butter and let it sizzle a bit. This will flavor the butter a little bit. When you then add the flour, just do your best to mix it, and then add in the milk as instructed.
More Homemade Gravy Recipes
I love sauces and gravies like this so much that I have a whole collection of homemade gravies and sauces for you. You’ll definitely find the perfect sauce recipe for any meal. Here are some of my favorites:
Podcast Recipe About Making Bacon Gravy
Listen to me explain briefly about how to make this bacon gravy, along with some other great tips, by clicking the play button below:
Turn your meal into ultimate Southern comfort food with this creamy bacon gravy recipe. Perfect paired with biscuits for brunch.
- 8 strips of raw bacon
- 2 Tbsp. flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- Arrange the bacon strips in a single layer in a large skillet. Cook over medium heat, flipping occasionally, until crisp, about 5-6 minutes.
- Remove skillet from the heat. Remove bacon from the skillet and immediately scrape the bacon fat into a bowl. Chop up the bacon.
- Wipe out the skillet. Measure 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat into the skillet. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook stirring continuously until it is slightly tinted in color.
- Add 1/2 cup of milk and whisk until smooth. Add another 1/2 cup of milk and whisk until smooth. Add the remaining 1 cup of milk and stir.
- Increase the heat to medium heat and heat the milk mixture to a boil, stirring often. Reduce heat to low and simmer stirring continuously until sauce is thick enough that you see the skillet when you stir.
- Remove skillet from the heat. Stir in the chopped bacon, salt and pepper. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if desired.
Love this recipe? I’d appreciate it if you could scroll down and add a *5 star rating* to help others know they’ll love it as well!