Biscuits and gravy make for classic Southern comfort food that always hits the bullseye. Buttery biscuits, creamy gravy loaded with sausage, and your taste buds.

But, why stop there when you can take it a step further? Vegan biscuits, chocolate gravy, and even a Chinese version show that this recipe might be a classic but it’s anything but stagnant.

It’s the gold standard for a reason. Fluffy buttermilk biscuits are split and then bathed in creamy sausage gravy. A hint of cayenne pepper kicks up the heat without letting it overtake the flavor.

Here’s our recipe for classic biscuits and gravy.

What you’ll need

Ingredients

For the biscuits:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1 stick, cut into 1/2-inch pieces)
  • 1 cup cold buttermilk

For the gravy:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 12 ounces breakfast sausage, uncooked (casings removed)
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt (plus more as needed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground (plus more as needed)
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 1/2 cups whole milk

Equipment

  • baking sheet
  • whisk
  • large bowl
  • pastry blender
  • 2 1/2-inch round cutter
  • wire rack
  • large frying pan
  • wooden spoon

To bake the biscuits

  1. Heat the oven to 425°F (218°C) and prepare a rack in the middle. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Put it to one side.
  2. Whisk together the measured flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl to aerate and combine. Add the butter pieces and toss to just coat them in the flour mixture. Place the bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes.
  3. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it’s in pea-size pieces. Make sure you work quickly to avoid the butter softening. Drizzle in the buttermilk and stir just until you’ve made a moist, shaggy dough.
  4. Generously sprinkle flour over your work surface. Scrape the dough onto the surface and dust the top with more flour. Gently pat the dough with floured hands into a 1-inch-thick circle.
  5. Dip a 2 1/2-inch round cutter in flour. Then, cut out as many biscuits as you can by pressing straight down through the dough (don’t twist the cutter, or the biscuits won’t rise properly). Transfer the biscuits to the prepared baking sheet, leaving at least 1 inch between each one. Gather the scraps into a ball, pat the ball into a 1-inch-thick circle, and cut out more biscuits until you have 8 total. Discard any remaining dough.
  6. Bake until they’ve risen and turned golden brown on top. It should take about 15 to 16 minutes.
  7. Transfer them to a wire rack.

Meanwhile, make the gravy…

  1. Heat the butter in the frying pan over medium-high heat until the butter starts to foam. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon as you go. Stop when the meat’s no longer pink, and it’s starting to brown after about 5 minutes.
  2. Bring the heat down to medium. Sprinkle in the flour, measured salt, measured pepper, and cayenne. Stir frequently, and cook off the raw taste of the flour for about 1 minute.
  3. Gradually stir in the milk (and be sure to scrape in any browned bits from the bottom of the pan). Simmer and stir the mixture until it’s thickened slightly — this should take about a minute more.
  4. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper as you like it. Keep the gravy warm — it’ll continue to thicken as it sits.

Serve up!

Split the biscuits in half horizontally and top with the sausage gravy.

Few things beat classic biscuits and gravy — but these twists come mighty close.

1. Biscuits and gravy breakfast casserole

For those of us who love the taste of sausage and biscuit but hate doing dishes. This recipe layers biscuit made from refrigerated dough with an easy sausage gravy then bakes it all until the gravy is piping hot and the biscuits are golden brown.

You’ll need:

  • 16 ounces large, flaky biscuits
  • 1 pound ground breakfast sausage
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

Make a double batch of that gravy — it’ll go quick.

Get the biscuits and gravy breakfast casserole recipe.

2. Chinese biscuits and gravy

With some sweet Chinese sausage (lap cheong) and biscuits infused with scallions and sesame oil, this breakfast takes a trip to the Far East via the Deep South.

For the biscuits, you’ll need:

  • 1 cup cake flour and 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup finely diced scallions, patted dry (plus extra if desired)
  • 1/2 stick butter, frozen or nearly frozen
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil (optional for brushing)

For the gravy:

  • 6 ounces lap cheong sausage (diced)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • Salt and ground black pepper

Get the Chinese biscuits and gravy recipe.

3. Biscuits and chocolate gravy

Because chocolate improves everything.

When you layer plain buttermilk biscuits with a thick, fudgy homemade chocolate sauce, they suddenly become dessert. This one has you using premade biscuits, but feel free to make your own if you’re out to make Meemaw proud. Top this off with pecans and whipped cream for breakfast.

You’ll need:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Biscuits

Get the Biscuits and chocolate gravy recipe.

4. Sweet potato biscuits with chorizo sausage gravy

Take biscuits for a south-of-the-border spin with this decadent recipe for sweet potato biscuits with chorizo sausage gravy.

For the biscuits, you’ll need:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 6 tablespoons butter, very chilled and cut into cubes
  • 2/3 cup sweet potato, mashed
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 3/4–1 cup milk

The make the chorizo gravy, grab:

  • 1 pound ground chorizo
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Try adding green chiles to the biscuit dough, and consider a cheesy chorizo “gravy” for another twist. However you prep it, all this really needs is a margarita and a lazy Sunday morning.

5. Biscuits with andouille sausage cream gravy

No chorizo? Use andouille instead for a Cajun spin on the classic. This decadent gravy is also full of onions, garlic, hot sauce, and cheese. It’s so good, in fact, you’ll want to smother everything in it.

For the biscuits themselves, you’ll need:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 8 tablespoons butter, unsalted
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Green onions and parsley (to garnish)

For the andouille sausage cream gravy, you’ll need:

  • 8 ounces andouille sausage, smoked and diced into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup white onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup green onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter, unsalted
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Tabasco hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon creole seasonings
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Get the biscuits with andouille sausage cream gravy recipe.

6. Vegan biscuits and gravy

No animal products need apply for this decadent recipe. The biscuits are made with dairy-free butter, and the secret to the rich mushroom gravy is unsweetened almond milk for a creamy texture. Don’t forget to add a few chopped walnuts for texture.

You’ll need to find vegan biscuits (or make your own), and the gravy needs:

  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter or olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup diced white or yellow onion
  • 1 cup thinly sliced cremini or white button mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1 pinch each salt and pepper (plus more to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage or thyme (optional)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 3/4–1 cup unsweetened plain almond milk

Get the vegan biscuits and gravy recipe.

7. Cheddar bay biscuits and shrimp gravy

Bacon and cheddar biscuits are topped with creamy shrimp gravy that’s loaded with corn, mushrooms, and Old Bay. The result is an exciting twist on an old favorite that pescatarians will love.

For the biscuits, you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (diced, cold)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded
  • 4 strips bacon (cooked, chilled, and crumbled)
  • Seafood seasoning for dusting

To make the shrimp gravy, you’ll need.

  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 2 cup half and half
  • 1/2 teaspoon seafood seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
  • Green onion, chopped
  • Additional crumbled bacon for garnish

Get the cheddar bay biscuits and shrimp gravy recipe.

8. Sausage breakfast pizza with country gravy

Who said you can’t have pizza for breakfast? Make a biscuit crust (refrigerated crescent rolls come close enough), or use regular pizza dough and top with the classic sausage and gravy combo. Scrambled eggs and shredded cheese join them for an eye-opening bite.

For the pizza crust, you’ll need:

  • 1 pound raw pizza crust dough
  • Scrambled eggs
  • 8 ounces breakfast sausage
  • 3/4 cup country gravy
  • 1 cup shredded cheese blend (like Colby/Jack or Mexican blend)

The gravy needs:

  • 3 tablespoons drippings (from cooking the breakfast sausage)
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • plenty of black pepper, freshly ground

Get the sausage breakfast pizza with country gravy recipe.

From pizza to dessert, biscuits and gravy needn’t take the form you think they do in your head. But you now know the way to make the classic recipe, too, for when your grandparents are in town.

If you’re looking for more Southern staples, learn how to nail grits.