Plate of biscuits with Southern tomato gravy on top.

Traditional Tomato Gravy Recipe

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 0 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


To use fresh tomatoes, you’ll want 2 cups of diced tomatoes and some added liquid. See more information on this in the article above.


Units Scale
  • 3 Tbsp. bacon fat*
  • 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream


  1. In a skillet, warm the bacon fat over medium-low heat. Whisk in the flour. Cook, whisking often, until it turns a dark beige, or light brown color, 3-4 minutes.
  2. Turn off the heat. Slowly drizzle in the broth, a little at a time, whisking to keep the mixture smooth.
  3. Stir in the diced tomatoes, salt, and pepper.
  4. Turn heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thick enough that you can see the bottom of the skillet for a moment when you swipe your wooden spoon through it, 2-3 minutes.
  5. Turn heat to low. Stir in the cream. Stir and cook for 30 seconds to heat through.
  6. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if desired.

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*If you don’t have bacon fat, or if you want to make this vegetarian, use 3 tablespoons of butter instead.