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Black Pepper Cream Gravy

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This Black Pepper Cream Gravy recipe, a treasured family dish passed down from my Nana, adds a flavorful touch to any meal. Whether you're serving it with homemade biscuits, pork chops, chicken fried steak, or mashed potatoes, this creamy gravy provides a rich, peppery kick that enhances the flavors of any dish.
Servings: 1 cup
Total Time: 15 minutes
3 biscuits covered in cream gravy on a black plate.

Jim loves biscuits and gravy, one of his go-to breakfast orders. This homemade black pepper cream gravy, a recipe cherished in my family, is a popular breakfast item in the South and one of my favorite comfort food recipes. It’s a dish that takes me back to my childhood when I would help my Nana cook. She would often make her gravy using the meat drippings after she had fried up bacon or cooked breakfast sausage. We know this southern staple will be one of your family favorites, too.

3 biscuits covered in cream gravy on a black plate.

Key Ingredients and Substitutions


This recipe is a breeze, using just three simple ingredients – five if you count salt and pepper! Don’t worry about complicated techniques or hard-to-find ingredients. With this recipe, you’ll be whipping up a delicious black pepper cream gravy in no time.

In the printable recipe below, you can find a complete list of ingredients and measurements.

  • Unsalted Butter: We prefer unsalted butter to provide a rich base for the roux. For extra flavor, you can substitute bacon grease.
  • All-Purpose Flour: We used all-purpose flour to thicken the gravy. For a gluten-free option, use a gluten-free flour blend.
  • Milk: We use traditional whole milk for a creamy texture, but you can use 2%, 1%, or fat-free milk. For an even richer consistency, try using heavy cream.
  • Black Pepper: This is what gives the gravy its signature peppery kick. Freshly cracked or ground black peppercorns provide the best flavor, so feel free to adjust the amount to your taste preference. You can substitute black pepper with white pepper to create a white pepper gravy.

How to Make Black Pepper Cream Gravy


Here are the quick step-by-step instructions with visuals; you can find the full instructions with the exact ingredients in the recipe card below.
This post may contain paid affiliate sales links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please see my full disclaimer policy for details.

Pro-tip: This is black pepper gravy, so use fresh cracked black pepper to get the best pepper flavor.

1. Make the Roux: Start by melting butter (or bacon grease, if you prefer) in a medium skillet over medium heat. As the butter melts, get your whisk ready to ensure the flour incorporates smoothly. Sprinkle the flour into the melted butter and whisk continuously. This helps to cook out the raw flour taste and develop a nice, golden roux. Whisk for about 1-2 minutes until you see it bubble and the flour is golden brown.

2. Add the Milk: Next, it’s time to add the milk. Slowly pour it in, a little at a time, while constantly whisking. This gradual addition helps prevent lumps from forming. Keep whisking as the mixture heats up; you’ll notice it starting to thicken and come to a boil. Be careful not to let it scald—keep the heat steady and continue whisking to keep the gravy smooth.

3. Add the Black Pepper: Remove the skillet from the heat once the gravy has reached a thick, creamy consistency. Season it to taste with salt and a generous amount of fresh black pepper, giving it that classic peppery kick. Stir well to combine the salt and pepper. As the gravy cools, it will thicken more.

4. Serve: The black pepper cream gravy is ready to serve! It’s not just for breakfast—it’s a versatile sauce that can elevate various dishes. Try it alongside your favorite breakfast dishes, like freshly baked buttermilk biscuits, ladle it on chicken fried steak, serve it as a dip for chicken tenders, or top mashed potatoes. The possibilities are endless! 

Make-Ahead and Storage


Make-Ahead: You can make the black pepper gravy ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator. Prepare the gravy per the recipe, then let it cool to room temperature before refrigerating.

How to Store: Transfer the cooled gravy to an airtight container. It can be refrigerated for 3-4 days.

How to Reheat: Reheat the gravy on the stovetop over low heat, stirring occasionally until warm. If the sauce is too thick, add a splash of milk or cream to achieve the right consistency. Alternatively, you can reheat the gravy in the microwave. Place it in a microwave-safe bowl, cover, and heat in short intervals, stirring in between until thoroughly heated.

Recipe Tips and Notes


  • Use fresh, cracked black pepper. Freshly ground black pepper enhances the flavor of the gravy, providing a more vibrant and aromatic kick than pre-ground pepper.
  • If the gravy is too thick, add more milk or cream to thin it out. If it’s too thin, let it simmer a bit longer to reduce or add a slurry of flour and milk to thicken it.
  • Serve immediately for the best texture and flavor. It pairs well with biscuits, chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, and pork chops.
  • For different flavor profiles, you can use bacon grease, sausage drippings, or butter as the base fat. 

Frequently Asked Questions


How do I prevent gravy from being lumpy?

Whisk, whisk, and then whisk some more. Lumpy gravy is typically the result of not whisking enough or consistently. The second reason gravy might be lumpy is adding the milk to the flour too quickly, so slowly add the milk to the roux as you whisk.

Is peppered gravy the same as country gravy (or sawmill gravy)?

Yes, peppered gravy and country gravy are essentially the same. Both gravies are made with milk or cream, a roux, and plenty of black pepper for seasoning.

What’s the difference between cream gravy and brown gravy?

Cream gravy is made with a milk or cream base and a white roux, while brown gravy uses a meat or vegetable stock base and a brown roux, giving it a darker color and richer flavor​.

Can I use heavy cream instead of milk in gravy?

Yes, you can use heavy cream instead of milk in gravy for a richer, creamier texture, but you may need to thin it with a bit of water or stock to achieve the desired consistency.

3 biscuits covered in cream gravy on a black plate.

More Breakfast Recipes to Try


Looking for more inspired, satisfying breakfast recipes? Try these other favorites:

Let’s Connect! If you make this recipe or any other recipe on Casual Epicure, please don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It helps others who are considering making our recipes and we love hearing about your cooking experiences. And if you snapped some shots, share them on Instagram, and be sure to tag @casual.epicure so we can feature them in our stories.

3 biscuits covered in cream gravy on a black plate.

Black Pepper Cream Gravy

Posted by Melissa
This Black Pepper Cream Gravy recipe, a treasured family dish passed down from my Nana, adds a flavorful touch to any meal. Whether you're serving it with homemade biscuits, pork chops, chicken fried steak, or mashed potatoes, this creamy gravy provides a rich, peppery kick that enhances the flavors of any dish.
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This recipe may contain paid affiliate sales links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please see my full disclaimer policy for details.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 1 cup
Calories 108 kcal

Ingredients  

  • cup unsalted butter
  • 2 ½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cups milk
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper

Instructions 

  • In a medium skillet, melt butter (or bacon grease) over medium heat.
  • Using a whisk, incorporate the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes until it begins bubble and the flour is slighlty dark in color.
  • Slowly drizzle in the milk continuously whisking until the mixture begins to boil and thicken being careful not to scald the bottom.
  • Once the gravy has thickened, remove it from the heat and add salt and pepper.
  • Serve alongside your favorite breakfast items like buttermilk biscuits.

Notes

1. Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed. The nutritional value will vary based on the brand and type of ingredients used. It does not include the nutrition for any substitutions.
2. Be sure to check out the Key Ingredients and the Recipe Tips and Notes sections in the post for more tips, options, substitutions, and variations for this recipe! You will also find step-by-step photos there.
Serving: 0.25cup | Calories: 108kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 315mg | Potassium: 118mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 284IU | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 0.4mg
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