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SOUTHERN TOMATO GRAVY

Tomato GravyThis is such a Southern dish served over biscuits for breakfast, rice for supper or mashed potatoes.  I like it with pasta and I use leftover gravy in hamburger dishes. A great way to use up all those tomatoes from the garden.

2 cups fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped (can use a 14.5 ounce can of tomatoes)
5 tablespoons bacon drippings
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups water (some prefer to use milk instead of water)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
 
Cut up tomatoes in bowl. Add the salt, pepper, sugar and garlic powder and mix with a spoon.  Put bacon drippings in a hot skillet on stovetop.  Add flour and make a roux or cook until thick.  Pour in tomatoes and water and cook until the consistency of gravy.  Serve over biscuits.  ENJOY!
 
If you like this recipe, you might also like my recipe for Chocolate Gravy and Biscuits.
 
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47 Responses

  1. I’m from PA and my mom was from WVA. She used to make tomato gravy every summer with tomatoes from our garden. We always served it over mashed potatoes. I will have to make this recipe. It’s been a long time since I’ve had it and now that I’ve found the recipe I can’t wait to have it again!

  2. MY MOTHER USED TO MAKE US TOMATO GRAVY AND BISQUITS , OH HOW I DO MISS HER

  3. I’m from east TN., and had never eaten this until I was grown, from my now ex mother-in-law from central FL. The recipe is pretty much the same, but they always served it over rice. They eat a lot of rice in central FL. It’s really good, much better than you would think. I haven’t made it in a long time, but seeing this makes me want to!

  4. My mother made this & it was served over homemade biscuits, only difference in her version was she added a lil chili powder to it, so delicious!

  5. I almost made tomato gravy this morning. Only difference in yours and mine is that I don’t use garlic powder and do use Worcestershire and tobacco ~ A Mississippi girl.

  6. We grew up on this. We called it creamed tomatoes and I liked it best on cornbread. Sometimes I even add a little extra sugar.

  7. I’m from PA & my PA Dutch mother made this frequently. Besides having it on biscuits, we put it on mashed potatoes. Yummy!

  8. I cut up okra and put in my tomato gravy it is good.

  9. Ohh, I’m so glad I found this! I haven’t had it in so long and this sounds exactly like what I grew up eating. I do remember that my mom and mawmaw used canned tomatoes in theirs. I have to make this soon, for old times sake…. Thanks for sharing.

    • Well, I got around to making this tonight, and it was just like I remembered many years ago. Brings back so many memories….. I used canned tomatoes and butter since I didn’t have bacon fat. My husband ate 2 biscuits covered with it after telling me beforehand that he didn’t like tomato gravy!!! LOL Thanks for sharing a recipe that I had totally forgotten about.

  10. I am from Italian descent and made tomato gravy for my Southern husband all the time. I added a little grape jelly to it instead of sugar to take a little of the acid out and used butter instead of bacon. We liked it over toast. Good way to use up stale bread.

  11. Do you have a recipe for tomato jam or preserves? I know my mother used tomatoes, sugar, pectin and lemon slice’s, I think that was all. We ate it on biscuit’s or toast. I would appreciate a reply if you have time.

    • Hi Marsha, I have my mother’s handwritten recipe. You know how the older cooks used a little of this and that. I am giving you her instructions. I have made it by this recipe before but just had to guess at most of what I was doing. This is for Ripe Tomato Preserves or yellow tomato preserves. 5 lbs. firm red or yellow tomatoes. 5 lbs. sugar. 1 lemon sliced, 1 teaspoon ginger. Skin and cut up tomatoes and add other ingredients. Cook till thick, stirring. 40 to 45 minutes.Pour into jars and seal.

      • Thank you so very much. I am so happy you took the time to answer. I am 70 yrs. old and still remember those preserves. Thanks again. Marsha

      • They were wonderful Marsha. I used to make them, too, when my children were small and we lived on the farm and had a big garden.

      • Thank you,My mother made tomato preserves and Ihave looked every where for a recipe like hers you nailed it

      • So happy I could be of help to you Frances! My mother made them every year and we enjoyed them so much. She would be happy to know her recipe is still being used today! Have a great weekend.

  12. My Mom would start out with stewed tomatoes, S & P, little sugar thicken it and serve it over mashed potatoes we had this with fried fish. So good.

  13. I am 59 and have always enjoyed tomato gravy…As a child, Mom served it with salmon patties and grits…I still do, as well as adding fried chicken to the gravy…Momma used to smother her fried chicken with gravy…I like the tomato gravy better with the chicken…

  14. I fry bacon then I use the fat to make my gravy, then when all else has been added, I crumble the bacon and add back to the gravy. trust me you won’t go wrong trying this….My husband loves it

  15. My grandmother is 90 years old, she made this for us growing up, we would spoon it over our fried taters! YUMMY…think I will make some tonight :)

  16. I live in South Texas and have not heard of tomato gravy but a friend taught me to add a can of Tomatoes and Green Chilies to my gravy and we put in on fried meat and it is o so good !

  17. Standard meal when I was growing up – pork chops, rice and tomato gravy! Yummm-

  18. My mouth is drooling over this recipe and the suggestions of others. I grow up in East
    texas and never heard of this before.. Sounds so yummy. Thanks for this.!

  19. I have not had tomato gravy in such a long time THANK YOU for sharing!!!!! Hope you have a wonderful day…

  20. I have been eating this all my life, but didn’t call it gravy. The little bit of sugar helps cut the acid in the tomatoes. I’m from Savannah, from Savannah, GA. I’m 70 years old.

  21. Tomato gravy is also excellent over meatloaf–YUM YUM!

  22. My dad recently passed away. When he still felt well enough to eat, one of the last things he asked for was tomato gravy. We always put molasses over our biscuits; then, topped them with tomato gravy. If you don’t have homegrown tomatoes, canned aren’t too bad!!

  23. My folks always fried cube steak–then made tomatoe gravy–Lots of times we put the steak into the gravy to smoother-always served steamed rice with this.My crowd will often ask for it for supper. Can’t get any better than this

  24. I think this must be a deep South dish as one commenter mentioned we don’t eat it in east TN. I never had it till I moved to central FL. & a friend native to the area made it for me. I found it to be mighty tasty — anything with homemade biscuits is ok in my book! :-) We always had sliced homegrown ‘maters with our gravy & biscuits in the summertime so, this is just a spin on that I reckon.

    • McMinnville, TN is east and they eat it there. I have family and friends all over the state of TN. They are prepare it! Home canned tomatoes..yum, yum.

    • I live in East TN and was served tomato and chocolate gravy on a regular basis by my grandmother.

  25. My mother was from Mississippi and she just took homemade canned tomatoes and put them over her biscuit and then she would make what she called Streaky Gray which consisted of bacon drippings and black coffee, she would use the drippings from the bacon and when it was hot she would add the black coffee. So she would take this gravy and put it on top of our biscuit and then salt and pepper. NO one has ever heard of this unless u lived deep in the south of Mississippi. It was great, we also put the streaky gravy on our over easy eggs. I know people are thinking instant heart attack,LOL I eat it very rarely but she lives a good life of 87.

  26. My Grandmother made this, just a little thicker, and served it atop collard greens, with homemade buttermilk “biskits”, That was many many moons ago as I am now a Great-Grandmother. Such memories, not a care in the world, and collards with thick tomato gravy plus biskits, mmmm…<3<3<3…LYM

  27. I actually remember my mother serving us this over grits!

  28. Thanks so much for this recipe. I am excited to try this on my husband, he talks of tomato gravy all the time and I was never sure how to make it.

  29. My mother never used any meat drippings of any sort, she used butter instead. She made the roux with butter and flour. Then, added the tomatoes, salt and pepper. I loved her tomato gravy over buicuits. Miss

    • Hi Diana, Thanks for stopping by. Your mother’s tomato gravy sounds great as well. My mother was a wonderful cook. No matter where we go or what we do, we will never find anyone that cooks like our mother. So happy to have you here.

  30. Ain’t nothin no better than tomato gravy and homemade biscuits! And I know that yours are absolutely delicious!

  31. This looks like it tastes so good, another must try.

  32. I have lived in the South all my life and have never seen or heard of this but it looks amazing! I may have to try this! (and I am not a big tomato eater)

    • Yes, it’s definately southern. I’m from MS and have eaten it my whole life. Actually it is my very favorite thing to eat and after 18 yrs of marraige have convinced my husband the same. As a kid I didn’t realize that everyone didn’t eat it or even know what it was unti we went on vacation TN (which I consider the South). When I tried to order it in restaurants and they looked at me like I was crazy and offered me bisquits and white gravy instead. My recipe is very similar to y’alls execpt I add a little onion to mine when browning the roux. It adds a great layer of flavor to it and that’s the way my mom did it. I have recently found that it is also good on grits.

    • Amy, it’s never too late to introduce a “new” tradition to your family. I’m from GA & I remember hav’n biscuits, tomato gravy, & fried streak 0 lean meat for supper many times back in the ’50′s & 60′s. My children & grandkids love it…..we don’t put the garlic powder in it tho. It’s good stuff! Try it.

      • I live in Ga. grew up in south Ala. Ate tomato gravy a lot sometimes for breakfast and sometimes for supper. My children in their 4o’s that’s what they always want me to make unless it’s the holidays. Homemade biscuits and tomato gravy with bacon nothing no better. I do not add sugar or garlic just good old comfort food.

  33. Love tomato gravy. My recipe is similar with the exceptions of garlic and sugar. GOOD STUFF!

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