Tomato Gravy Recipe

girl.jpgHeather says:

Digging through old cookbooks you may come across some strange ideas, especially concerning gelatin. However, there are many classic recipes being forgotten or replaced by new convenience items. A perfect example is tomato gravy. Sure, the name doesn’t invoke images of glamour or haute couture, but not everything in life has to. Tomato gravy is nice as a sauce over: rice, pasta, or pan fried meats such as chicken, fish, or pork.  This is a nice practice gravy as it isn’t meant to be perfectly smooth, don’t stress over any small lumps.

Tomato Gravy Final


Tomato Gravy


  • 2 tablespoons butter*
  •  2 tablespoons flour
  •  1 tsp sugar or honey
  •  1/2 teaspoon salt
  •  15-ounce can whole or stewed tomatoes
  •  1/2 cup milk**
  •  fresh ground pepper to taste

*vegans can use olive or coconut oil carnivores can use bacon drippings.
**for creamier flavor use evaporated milk

In a skillet over medium low melt the butter or oil.  Stir in the flour; keep stirring until smooth.

Allow to come to a boil and then stir in the half cup milk, a little at a time.  The flour will thicken considerably.   You’ll be left with a very thick roux.  Add the teaspoon of sugar or honey, as well as the salt and pepper.  (Stir continuously).

While still stirring, slowly add the juice from the tomatoes.   Once it has all  been incorporated add the tomatoes and squash ’em.  (Yes, that’s my technical term).  Allow to return to a boil, then simmer until the gravy is at the desired thickness.


Southern Style Tomato Gravy


  1. Amanda M. on October 6, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    I learned to make tomato gravy from watching my mom. She would never teach you….you had to sneak a peak and glean what you could from afar.
    I didn’t realize so many people ate this, either. My family loves it and my son asks for it from time to time. Great with meatloaf and mashed potatoes!

  2. Bonny on January 2, 2014 at 4:10 am

    I’m really shocked to see other people making tomato gravy and rice! I always thought it was just a family thing as nobody I ever asked had a clue what I was talking about! So cool! Our version is a bit different, however. We cook our bacon and sausage patties or smoked sausage and set aside the meat. Then scoop flour into the grease and stir it until it has a nice thick consistency. Then we pour in 2-3 cans of whole peeled tomatoes and stir (family prefers gay-red) and chop them into bits but I personally find diced to work just as well. Once everything is mixed, then we add in the milk. Milk goes last because the flour will clump up if it’s not added first. Once it’s seasoned with salt and pepper to the right taste, it’s ready to pour over white rice! So yummm!

    Now I live in Australia and have introduced hubby to it. Apparently he loves it too… and so do my kids. Hopefully I’ll be the one to spread this recipe overseas. 😛

    • Heather Solos on January 2, 2014 at 11:48 am

      Your version sounds great, too. Thank you for sharing it.

    • Donna on February 28, 2018 at 11:09 am

      Your version is very close to mine! Years ago I married someone from Florida, and his Mom made tomato gravy over rice. I’m from Tennessee and had never had it before, but I loved it and started making it too! But our version did not include sugar–don’t think of like it at all if it were sweet!!

      • Donna on February 28, 2018 at 11:10 am

        Bonnies version!!

  3. Barbarainnc on January 14, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    We like to cook some fresh link sausage, save some of the sausage grease in the skillet. Open a can of diced tomatoes and put in the skillet. Let it heat up. Serve over rice, with the sausage and a fried egg. This is one of my favorite meals.

  4. Sandy Schoenherr on August 29, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    Tomato gravy is was a part of life having been born and raised int he south. Still cook it and still love it, even my northern born and breed husband too. My grandmother was a drepression cook so we ate lots of stuff that most folks never heard of, but was sure good.

  5. malina on August 17, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    I make a delicious tomato gravy from the remains after frying chicken. My children and husband love this gravey over rice served wth biscuits. This one however, reminds me of the one my mother use to make when we were children for breakfast. It was mildly sweet and she served it over hot biscuits! Thanks

  6. Calculated Crunch News Rls » Blog Archive » Choosing Sides, Meal Plan Primer Part IV on April 5, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    […] rice, gravy, and corn rut. Even a simple swap for steamed broccoli makes a big impact, rice and tomato gravy? Even better. Reach for purple cabbage instead of green, if the other items aren’t visually […]

  7. HeatherSolos on March 31, 2010 at 11:41 am

    The kids aren't HUGE fans, but they will eat it and it's just another way to add some flavor my husband and I like and add a little more fruit/vegetables (yeah yeah yeah tomatoes are a fruit) to our diets.

  8. Stacy on March 31, 2010 at 4:34 am

    I've never heard of tomato gravy, but I really like the idea of having a multi-purpose sauce I can make pretty easily with ingredients I have on hand. Thanks.

  9. Julie@Life Domestic on October 19, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    I have tried making this before as hubby says it's great and something he was raised on here in the South. Mine did not come out all that great but I am going to give your recipe a try and see if I get some ooo's and ahhh's from it.

  10. Pamela on December 30, 2007 at 7:48 pm

    Oh wow, I am now having an unbelievable craving for my mom’s biscuits with tomato gravy. Bet it’s been at least 25 yrs. since I’ve had it. I will be making this in the next few days- thanks for posting the recipe! Love your blog!

  11. CanadianCarrie on December 30, 2007 at 2:35 am

    Hmm, never heard of tomato gravy before, But I just searched on allrecipes,and it turns out that tomato gravy is in one if my fave dishes, Chicken Marsala! One to try! Thanks!

  12. Margolis on December 29, 2007 at 9:53 pm

    But this stuff is legendary, right up there with fruitcake!! Do some people differ on what the real thing is? I’ve heard versions with milk and some without. I live near Amish too – as Pam referenced – and I got a recipe out of a Mennonite cookbook that we love. You dredge tomatoes in flour, fry them in lots of butter, sprinkle with brown sugar and salt, then add a little cream and “squash ’em.” We adore it over grits, biscuits or potatoes. oh yum.
    I’m definitely going to try this recipe! On another note, I made the no-bake peanut butter oatmeal cookies that you posted a few weeks back. Delicious! However, I also made the vegan lentil casserole (loaf!) which we did not care for and I repurposed as enchiladas filling. Nothing is bad if it’s baked with cheese and tortillas!

  13. Linda on December 29, 2007 at 6:17 pm

    I have not had this in a very long time!

  14. Pam on December 29, 2007 at 5:00 pm

    My dad was raised Old Order Amish and tomato gravy was served almost every morning for breakfast and eaten over toast. It was always my favorite thing to eat when we visited. Pam, South Bend

  15. Hadias on December 29, 2007 at 1:27 pm

    Thanks for visiting my blog. I really love your tomato gravy recipe. This is one that I can try this week. It has simple ingredients and it seems to be quick and easy. Thanks again and hey don’t be a stranger.

  16. Mrs.W on December 29, 2007 at 12:53 pm

    Oh yeah! I love tomato gravy… make it every once in a while. Yum!

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