White gravy is a classic, creamy recipe that can be served over biscuits, chicken potatoes and more. Make this gravy from scratch in minutes to add flavor and texture to many dishes.
We love serving biscuits and gravy with air fryer bacon and farmers casserole for a full breakfast or brunch.
Creamy White Gravy from Scratch is Easy!
Craving some southern-inspired comfort that doesn’t take forever to make? This classic, creamy white gravy can be made from scratch in 15 minutes flat! Perfect over biscuits, chicken, potatoes, and so much more.
When you want to add a dash of comfort to your meal, white gravy always does the trick. Growing up in Virginia, we put my mom’s version on just about everything, from chicken to pork chops to mashed potatoes. And, of course, biscuits.
These days, I love treating my family to a taste of my childhood! My version of white gravy is rich, creamy, and oh-so-easy to make I can whip up a batch in minutes to add cozy comfort to any meal!
Over the years, I’ve seen plenty of gravy recipes that call for complicated ingredients or take forever to make. Not this one! Flour, butter, milk, salt, and pepper are all it takes to add a little bit of heaven to your next meal.
What is white gravy?
White gravy is one of those recipes that every family makes a little differently. It’s passed down through generations with small tweaks and updates along the way.
If you’ve never heard of white gravy before, keep in mind that this is different from the gravy you have at Thanksgiving. Brown gravy uses broth and sometimes incorporates drippings from a roast for a meatier taste. White gravy uses milk for a creamier texture.
This smooth, silky sauce can also be called country gravy, white sauce, homestyle gravy, or sawmill gravy. And though often thought of as a southern dish, it actually has French roots!
Bechamel sauce is considered one of the “mother sauces” of French cuisine. Also popular in Italian and Greek cooking, bechamel sauce often includes nutmeg in the base of the sauce. Besides that, it’s pretty interchangeable with white gravy.
How long does white gravy take to make?
When I first started making my version of white gravy, I wanted to use my mom’s recipe as the base, but make some tweaks for the best texture and flavor with minimal work. Basically, it needed to taste good and be ready fast!
I’m proud to say that this version might be even faster to make than a batch of canned biscuits! And thanks to the basic ingredients, you can throw the whole recipe together at a moment’s notice.
Gravy is my go-to when I want to make a nice, hearty meal. Especially when it’s bitter-cold outside, it’s the best way to warm yourself up!
What is white gravy made of?
Just a few simple, kitchen staple ingredients are needed for this white gravy recipe.
- Flour – All-purpose flour is best.
- Butter – Sweet cream, unsalted butter. You can use salted butter and just adjust the amount of salt you add to the recipe.
- Milk – I think whole milk works best but feel free to use 2% or heavy cream or half and half.
- Seasoning – Salt and pepper.
How to make white gravy from scratch
Scroll to the bottom for full, printable recipe, ingredients and video.
- Cook: Add butter to large saucepan or skillet and melt over medium heat. Whisk in flour and then slowly pour in milk. Keep whisking to make sure to get out lumps.
- Stir in salt and pepper and cook until desired thickness, about 3 minutes.
- Serve: Serve warm.
How to store Cream Gravy
Let the gravy completely cool. Store in an airtight container for 4-5 days. To reheat, pour back in a saucepan and add a little extra milk to help thin it out. Heat over medium heat until warmed.
How to serve this White Gravy Recipe
Gravy can be poured on just about anything in my humble opinion but here are some of our favorites:
- Instant pot pulled chicken
- Over mashed potatoes
- Fried chicken or chicken tenders
- Texas toast
White Gravy Recipe Substitutions
There are few ingredient substitutions you can use for this gravy recipe.
Fat: My mom would often replace butter with sausage or bacon grease. You can use 4-5 tablespoons of grease.
Liquid: You can use your favorite milk, half and half or whipping cream. If you want to avoid dairy, you can make gravy with water or chicken/vegetable broth. Substitute equal amounts.
Seasoning: I love just the classic salt and pepper but feel free to try other seasoning like seasoned salt, a pinch of cayenne or even a pinch of ground dried sage.
Homemade White Gravy FAQ
How do you thicken white gravy?
If your gravy isn’t thick enough, whisk together 2 teaspoons of cold water and 2 teaspoons of cornstarch. Slowly drizzle into the gravy and stir until thickened.
What is the secret to good gravy?
The key to a smooth, delicious gravy is to make sure that you whisk the butter and flour together and then slowly whisk in the cold milk until the flour dissolves.
What is the difference between country gravy and white gravy?
The big difference between country gravy and white gravy is the liquid used to make the recipe. Country gravy uses leftover meat grease or even broth. White gravy uses milk.
More easy breakfast recipes
- Yogurt parfait – Layers of yogurt, fresh fruit and granola.
- Cinnamon toast – How to make cinnamon toast, 3 ways.
- Pancake mix muffins – Easy muffins made with pancake mix.
- Cake mix waffles – Easy waffles made with cake mix.
- Air fryer hash browns – Make crispy hash browns in the air fryer.
- Cinnamon butter – Whipped cinnamon butter.
*** If you made this recipe, please feel free to leave a comment and star rating below.
*** You will notice in the pictures and video that the gravy is a little thick. That is how my family likes gravy. To get thinner gravy, add more milk, up to 1 cup more.
White Cream Gravy
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Once melted whisk in the flour. Whisk until combined.
- Slowly pour in the milk and keep whisking until it thickens. Let simmer for about 3 minutes. Stir in salt and pepper.
Brown gravy uses broth instead of milk.
White gravy is sometimes referred to as sawmill gravy. It’s called that because it was a popular dish at old time sawmill camps. It was originally made using cornmeal which gave it a gritty consistency similar to sawdust.
this looks really good. i’ll have to save this recipe for next weekend.
Margarita Ibbott ~ DownshiftingPRO
As appealing as white gravy is, I think I need to avoid it as I am lactose intolerant… however, I did see you could substituted in water or chicken broth, so I might have to try that. Thanks for the recipe.
This white gravy looks yummy! I’ve never tasted this before so I’m excited!
This is a wonderful white gravy recipe! It’s one of my favorite sauces to put on biscuits!
My kid loves everything with gravy! I am sure he will love this one!
Even the sauce screams that this recipe is good. With recipes that is convenient and easy to find, I will try it soonest
This white sauce looks delicious perfect treat anyday. I will try this. over chcken.
That is better than I thought, could not imagine white gravy until I saw the recipe. It’s great.
Ooh, white gravy, I recently had a fried chicken meal with white gravy and it was pretty tasty. Was curious how they made it so excited to have found your blog post. Looking forward to trying this.
White gravy is the king of gravies. I would love to have some of this on biscuits.
This is one of my favorite gravys. It’s so delicious. I’m going to have to give this recipe a try too.
Biscuits and gravy…one of my husband’s favorites. We didn’t have this in my home country, though so I didn’t know it’s a thing until I got here in the U.S. 🙂
Well that’s a new one to me. I have never made white gravy but it looks delicious. I love light gravy and brown gravy so stands to reason I’d enjoy this too.
Jennifer Van Haitsma
Biscuits and gravy sounds amazing right now! I’ve really been in the mood for hearty comfort foods. Thanks for the inspiration!
Hmm yum! This White Gravy is perfect! It will be perfect for literally everything! I can’t wait to make this at home.
I’ve never tried making white gravy before. Looking forward to giving this recipe a try
I love white gravy! We don’t get to have it often but it’s always a treat. I’m trying your recipe tonight!
I don’t think I’ve ever had white gravy before. Would love to try this! Looks perfect with fried chicken.
I haven’t had white gravy in forever. This looks so incredible! I would put it over some biscuits.
That gravy seems like it goes well with everything. It is a great way to make basic foods less bland and really pop
We call that supreme sauce here and we always eat it over chicken (on chicken supreme). it is one of my favorites.