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Southern Tomato Gravy

Southern Tomato Gravy is a ridiculously good sauce for all kinds of wonderful southern dishes. It’s so creamy, tasty, smooth and it smells heavenly! It’s basically impossible not to like it.

No, I did not grow up eating southern tomato gravy. I sure wish that I had though. It is an extremely addicting forever favorite. I dare you to tell me otherwise once you’ve tried it.

close up photo of Southern Tomato Gravy www.loavesanddishes.net

Southern Tomato Gravy

This  awesome deep south dish can be used on

  • biscuits,
  • steaks,
  • pork chops,
  • eggs,
  • asparagus….
  • a piece of rubber.

Seriously, Tomato Gravy is that good!

I showed you how to make my famous Sausage Gravy some time ago and it’s time for another gravy recipe. Now we also have Sawmill Gravy! Yum! 

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS

  • You can use canned tomatoes and therefore, it’s good all year long.
  • If you have fresh tomatoes, that works too. 
  • Its simple and comes together in minutes. 

WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF TOMATO GRAVY?

Since I first posted this recipe back in 2015, many readers have written in to tell me that their relatives made this recipe because of an overabundance of summer tomatoes that needed to be used. Makes sense to me! I’ve also read that tomato gravy dates back to the early 1800’s.

HOW DO YOU USE SOUTHERN TOMATO GRAVY?

Tomato gravy is good on EVERYTHING! I have tried Tomato Gravy as a sauce for a steak, to go with green beans, over creamy grits, accompanying asparagus, on top of eggs and simply slathered on a good old fashioned Buttermilk Biscuit!

FAQ: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

IS TOMATO GRAVY AND RED GRAVY THE SAME THING? 

Nope, tomato gravy is made from tomatoes and red gravy is also called red eye gravy and is made from coffee. They are completely different.

a white plate and a spoon with a biscuit covered in tomato gravy

Tomato Gravy

 

WHAT ARE SOME THINGS THAT I CAN ADD TO MY TOMATO GRAVY? 

  1. Tomato gravy works perfectly with…
  2. Bacon crumbled up in it.
  3. Served over rice.
  4. A little extra milk added for more creaminess
  5. Make it using Rotel tomatoes for extra spice
  6. Leave off the onions if you want
  7. Serve over pasta!
  8. Yummy over shrimp and grits! 
  9. Eat with chicken or sausage!
  10. How about a meatball? 

 

Tomato gravy covering a biscuit on a white plate

Tomato Gravy

CAN I FREEZE TOMATO GRAVY? 

Tomato gravy can be frozen, but the when you thaw it the consistency is quite different and is unappetizing so I don’t recommend it. Much better to take a few minutes and make some fresh. 

HOW LONG IS TOMATO GRAVY GOOD FOR? 

Tomato gravy can stay out on the counter for about 2 hours and then you need to wrap it up tightly and place it in the refrigerator. It will be good for reheating for about 5 days.

HOW CAN I REHEAT MY TOMATO GRAVY?

Just pour it into a saucepan or a frying pan, add a little milk, cream, stock or water and gently stir and heat until it is heated through. 

a fork digging into a biscuit covered with tomato gravy on a white plate with a brown linen napkin

Tomato Gravy

HOW CAN I THICKEN MY TOMATO GRAVY?

You thicken your tomato gravy just like you would thicken any gravy. 

In a separate cup whisk together 1 Tbs corn starch with 1 Tbs cold water. It will begin to look like milk. 

Add this to your hot gravy and stir and then wait for 2 minutes because it takes a minute for the thickener to develop. Repeat until your gravy is as thick as you like.

HOW DO I MAKE RESTAURANT QUALITY TOMATO GRAVY…

The secret to tomato gravy that is just like a fancy restaurant is during step three,  stop before adding the cheese and final butter and press through a small kitchen sieve to remove the bits of tomato, shallot and garlic that remain and THEN add the butter and parmesan.

However,  I LIKE little chunks of tomato, shallot and garlic.

I mean I REALLY LIKE those. Besides, it seems a waste to throw those out when they taste so good. So, I left them in. In your kitchen, you be the boss. Try it both ways and see what you think.

a meme photo of the plate of tomato gravy with a biscuit that says "hello Saturday morning".

Tomato Gravy

RECIPE TIPS FOR SOUTHERN TOMATO GRAVY

  • This recipe for Southern Tomato gravy is pretty loose, for example, you can sub out ½ an onion for the shallot. You could use another type of diced tomato from plain to another flavored one.
  • Be careful taste testing because it is EASY to burn your tongue. Ask me how I know. 🙂
  • When you add salt and taste, make sure to stir the gravy and cook for a little bit to allow the salt time to melt.

LET’S SEE HOW THIS IS DONE…

First, melt the butter and bacon grease. Then add the garlic and shallot (or onion if that is what you are using). As well as the flour. 

Garlic and onions browning in a cast iron skillet with red towel

Tomato Gravy

Then add the tomatoes (fresh or canned, depending on what you are using)

Adding a can of tomatoes to the pan that has garlic and shallot. Red towel and a spatula to the right

Tomato gravy

Then smash the tomatoes in the pan to release the juices…

Smashing the tomatoes in the cast iron skillet with a spatula. Red towel and wooden spoon to the right.

Tomato Gravy

Then add the other ingredients to the pan..

Adding the other ingredients to the cast iron skillet with red towel and wooden spoon to the right for southern tomato gravy

Tomato Gravy

Then heat until thickened to the thickness you prefer

Wooden spoon stirring the tomato gravy in a cast iron skillet with red towel beside the pan

Tomato Gravy

YA’LL, HELP ME OUT, OK?

Please leave me a 5 star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟  comment below in the comment section, all right? I would LOVE to know if you made this recipe or even if you are planning to! Of course, head on over to Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram and tag me with some photos of your creation!

I can’t wait!

Ya’ll know I love your comments!! ❤

another fork in Southern Tomato Gravy www.loavesanddishes.net

Southern Tomato Gravy www.loavesanddishes.net

Try Some Of Loaves and Dishes OTHER Fantastic Gravies!

Sausage Gravy

Red Eye Gravy

Sawmill Gravy

Hamburger Gravy

How to Make Gravy without Drippings

How To Make Gravy with Cornstarch

YA’LL HELP ME OUT, OK?

I need your help! Please leave me a 5 STAR  🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 in the comments below! A 5 STAR 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 review lets the internet know that THIS IS THE PLACE for wonderful comfort food!

 

close up photo of Southern Tomato Gravy www.loavesanddishes.net

Southern Tomato Gravy

To read about this recipe such as recipe tips and information about recipe inspiration or for more great recipes, visit www.loavesanddishes.net
4.92 from 23 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Tomato gravy, southern tomato gravy
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 220kcal
Author: Loaves and Dishes

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbs sweet cream unsalted butter divided
  • 1 tbs bacon grease
  • 1 shallot minced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt divided
  • 1 Tbs all purpose flour
  • 1 14.5 oz can Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes with garlic
  • 1/4 Cup Heavy Cream
  • ½ tsp brown sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup grated fresh parmigiano reggiano cheese
  • Fresh cracked black pepper

Instructions

  • In a stainless steel frying pan melt 1 Tbs butter on the stove top over medium heat and add the 1 Tbs bacon grease. When melted add the shallot and garlic and cook until fragrant and starting to brown (about 3 minutes or so).
  • Add ½ tsp salt to the frying pan. Add 1 Tbs flour to the pan and cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes (this allows the raw flour taste to cook out of the flour).
  • Add the can of tomatoes all at once with the water from the can. Use a potato masher and smash and crush the tomatoes some until the sauce is the desired "lumpiness" that you will like. Stir and heat until thickened and bubbly. Add the cream. Add brown sugar and return to bubble. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste. Turn off the burner and add the other tbs of butter as well as the grated cheese. Stir to melt. As soon as melted, serve. Garnish with fresh cracked black pepper.

Notes

  • If using fresh tomato, smash the tomatoes and then strain off the seeds. 
  • Use the best canned tomatoes you can for this recipe, it really makes a difference. 
  • It is fine to substitute a 1/2 onion for the shallot. 
  • Use milk if you need to instead of cream. 
  • It is ok to use chicken stock instead of milk or cream if you do not want creamy tomato gravy
  • Always use real butter
  • For restaurant quality tomato gravy, strain the gravy through a fine sieve kitchen strainer before adding the final butter and cream.  This will remove any tiny bits of tomato and shallot, etc.  and leave a thin fine liquid for your gravy. 
  • If you want to thicken your gravy more,in a separate cup whisk together 1 Tbs corn starch with 1 Tbs cold water.  It will begin to look like milk.  Add this to your hot gravy and stir.  Repeat until your gravy is as thick as you like.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Southern Tomato Gravy
Amount Per Serving
Calories 220
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @loavesanddishes or tag #loavesanddishes!

***This post has been revamped to add more information from it’s original post on 12/29/15***   

A VERSE TO SHARE

These two verses from Proverbs say everything, and it doesn’t even require a commentary from me…

Proverbs 18: 12-13

Before a downfall the heart is haughty,
    but humility comes before honor.

To answer before listening—
    that is folly and shame.

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Recipe Rating




Michele Moore

Thursday 19th of November 2020

It's been 30 yrs since this sounded good as my "ex" mother-in-law used to pour a can of tom. soup over EVERYTHING! and called it tom, gravy! Also my mom used to make Red eye gravy from ham broth, w/brn sug,pineapple and cherries on ham and good bourbon(her secret ingredient), hence she called it Red Eye gravy! Lol nice to know real recipes, But moms is still to one for Easter ham! Try it!

Wendi Spraker

Thursday 19th of November 2020

Tomato soup? Oh! lol. Your mom's Red Eye gravy sounds good too. Thanks for visiting!

Linda W.

Friday 29th of May 2020

We love this recipe so much! I serve it over grits and tonight I am serving it with blackened shrimp as well. Everyone I have made this gravy for has raved about it and begged for the recipe. I use Swerve brown sugar for the diabetics and just a little bit of half and half. Use the best fire roasted tomatoes you can afford since they are the star of the show. Thank you so much for sharing this great, versatile recipe.

Wendi Spraker

Friday 29th of May 2020

Hi Linda, Thanks so much for coming back and leaving a comment. I love that you love this tomato gravy. I love it too! I also love that you have changed it up a little and made it all yours! How wonderful!

Carolyn Briggs

Wednesday 27th of May 2020

Reminds me of my Nana! Delicious!

Wendi Spraker

Thursday 28th of May 2020

Carolyn, that made my day. Thank you so much!

Pam Williams

Thursday 23rd of January 2020

I love all of your recipes. I never knew what cornstarch was until you told me. Love reading everything and the pictures help out so much. Love it all and give you a five star. Thank you, Pam Williams from Laurel, Mississippi

Wendi Spraker

Thursday 23rd of January 2020

Pam, that's so sweet. I'm glad you enjoy this website. I love having you as a reader! :)

Elayna Bird

Saturday 14th of September 2019

This southern tomato gravy is absolutely to die for! So yummy! I love the fire roasted tomatoes! It give such a flavor kick!

Wendi Spraker

Sunday 15th of September 2019

Hi Elayna!

I'm super glad that you enjoyed the tomato gravy! I agree, the fire roasted tomatoes DO give it a little extra flavor kick! Have a wonderful weekend!

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