Biscuits and Gravy Casserole Recipe and Its Southern Roots

Biscuits and Gravy Casserole Recipe and Its Southern Roots

Biscuits and gravy casserole evolved from the traditional Southern breakfast with roots in the United States’ early colonial period. Settlers created simple yet hearty meals using readily available ingredients. Biscuits, made from flour, lard, and buttermilk, paired perfectly with gravy, often made from pork sausage drippings and milk. This combination became a staple for its affordability and sustenance during hard times.

Regional Popularity

Biscuits and gravy gained widespread acclaim, particularly in the Southern United States. States like Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia often served the dish in diners and homes. The casserole variant emerged as a convenient adaptation, merging the flavors of the classic dish into a single, easy-to-prepare meal. Today, it remains a favorite at community gatherings and family breakfasts, cherished for its comforting taste and nostalgic value.

Key Ingredients in Biscuits and Gravy Casserole

Biscuits Selection and Tips

For the perfect Biscuits and Gravy Casserole, choose high-quality frozen or canned biscuits. Buttermilk biscuits, with their tangy flavor and tender texture, work well. If you prefer a homemade touch, use a simple recipe combining flour, baking powder, salt, butter, and buttermilk.

  • Frozen Biscuits: Opt for brands like Pillsbury or Mary B’s, as they offer consistent results.
  • Canned Biscuits: Brands such as Pillsbury Grands can deliver a light, flaky texture.
  • Homemade Biscuits: Mix 2 cups flour, 1 tbsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt, 6 tbsp cold butter, and ¾ cup buttermilk.

Incorporate these tips to enhance your casserole: Pre-bake the biscuits slightly if using canned or homemade varieties to prevent sogginess, and cut them into quarters for even distribution.

Gravy Varieties and Preparation

The gravy forms the heart of the casserole, adding rich flavor. Traditional Southern sausage gravy, made from pork sausage, flour, and milk, serves as the classic choice. Brown the sausage thoroughly to release its flavor before integrating it into the gravy.

  • Sausage Gravy: Cook 1 lb pork sausage until browned, stir in ¼ cup flour, then slowly add 2 cups milk while stirring continually.
  • Alternative Meats: For variations, consider using turkey sausage or even bacon, adjusting cooking times accordingly.
  • Vegetarian Options: Substitute sausage with mushrooms or plant-based sausage alternatives, following the same preparation method.

Enhance the gravy’s taste by seasoning with salt, pepper, and a pinch of cayenne. Allow the gravy to thicken as it simmers, ensuring it’s neither too runny nor overly thick.

Step-by-Step Recipe for Biscuits and Gravy Casserole

Preparing the Biscuits

Begin with high-quality frozen or canned biscuits. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Arrange the biscuits on a baking sheet, and bake for about 10-12 minutes until they turn golden brown. This pre-baking ensures they remain fluffy and tender when combined with the gravy. Let them cool slightly before cutting each biscuit into quarters for easier layering in the casserole.

Making the Gravy

Choose premium pork sausage to make your gravy rich and flavorful. Brown one pound of sausage in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently to crumble the meat. Once browned, sprinkle in 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour, and stir continuously for 2 minutes. Gradually add 3 cups of whole milk while whisking to avoid lumps. Cook until the gravy thickens, which takes about 5-7 minutes. Season with 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, and a pinch of cayenne pepper for added depth.

Assembling the Casserole

Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish. Spread the biscuit quarters evenly across the bottom of the dish. Pour the sausage gravy over the biscuits, ensuring they are fully covered. For an extra layer of flavor, sprinkle 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese over the top. Bake the casserole for 25-30 minutes until bubbly and golden. Let it rest for 5 minutes before serving to make slicing easier.

Dietary Modifications of the Classic Dish

Gluten-Free Alternatives

Making Biscuits and Gravy Casserole gluten-free is manageable. Use gluten-free biscuits, which you can find in many grocery stores. Bob’s Red Mill and King Arthur Flour offer reliable mixes. For the gravy, substitute regular flour with a gluten-free flour blend to achieve the same thickening effect. Double-check that the sausage is gluten-free, as some contain wheat-based fillers.

Vegetarian and Vegan Options

Creating a vegetarian version involves simple swaps. Use vegetable-based sausage; brands like Beyond Meat and MorningStar provide tasty options. For the gravy, opt for plant-based milk, such as almond or oat milk. If you’re going vegan, replace the biscuits with dairy-free options. Wholly Wholesome and Immaculate Baking offer vegan biscuit options. For thickening the gravy, use vegan butter and a touch of cornstarch or flour (confirm it’s gluten-free if necessary). Use nutritional yeast to add a cheesy flavor without dairy.

Pairing Suggestions for Biscuits and Gravy Casserole

Coffee and orange juice are classic choices. The robustness of coffee balances the creamy gravy. For a non-caffeinated option, try warm apple cider.

Side Dishes:
Fresh fruit complements the casserole’s richness. Consider a bowl of mixed berries, a fruit salad with melon and kiwi, or sliced oranges. For something savory, prepare hash browns or a simple green salad.

Add a dollop of sour cream or a sprinkle of cheddar cheese on top. Fresh herbs like parsley or chives bring a burst of color and fresh flavor. Crispy bacon or sausage links can be served on the side for extra protein.

Bread Options:
Warm, buttered toast or cornbread muffins are great for mopping up extra gravy. Serve with an assortment of jams and honey for variety.

Hot sauce or pepper jelly caters to those who like a bit of spice. Offer a selection of mustard or even a mild salsa for varied tastes.

For a brunch gathering, offer mimosas or a light sparkling wine. They pair well with the dish’s savory notes, making the meal feel special. For non-alcoholic alternatives, try a mocktail made with sparkling water and fruit juice.


Biscuits and Gravy Casserole is more than just a meal; it’s a comforting tradition that brings people together. Whether you’re sticking to the classic recipe or trying out gluten-free or vegan modifications, this dish offers versatility and warmth. Pair it with your favorite sides and beverages to create a memorable brunch experience. Embrace the rich history and regional charm of this Southern staple, and enjoy the hearty flavors that have stood the test of time.

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