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Biscuits and Gravy without Sausage

These biscuits and gravy are made without sausage or any other meat making them vegetarian. They also have a dairy free option for those who are dairy free for those who are dairy free or vegan.

Biscuits and gravy without meat on a white plate on a white marble counter

The most popular version of biscuits and gravy is uses sausage gravy.

This lesser known version of biscuits and gravy is made without sausage or any other kind meat but is still a Southern classic.

Instead of sausage gravy, the biscuits and topped with country gravy.

Pepper gravy can also be used if you want your gravy a little more peppery.

HISTORY OF BISCUITS AND GRAVY

Early European settlers in the United States brought with them a simple, easy style of cooking.  It was usually based on ground wheat and warmed with gravy as a source of cheap nutrition.  This was the foundation for biscuits. 

The biscuit emerged as its own food in the early 1800s as a cheap addition to meals.  It had the benefit of not requiring yeast.

At this point in time, bread was made only once a week.  Also, yeast was a byproduct of making beer commonly known as emptins.

So, if you lived in a city and close to a brewery you had relatively easy access to it.  However, if you were not so lucky, it was difficult to attain or you had to try to make some version of it at home.

Even once panned yeast was created, by the turn of the century it was still not easy to acquire.  

With due to the lack of yeast, beaten biscuits, or sea biscuits as they are known in New England, were developed.  They were similar to hardtack.

These biscuits were beaten and folded to incorporate air into the dough which expanded when heated in the oven causing the biscuit to rise.

They were beaten for anywhere from 15 minutes to 45 minutes using a rolling pin, hammer, side of an ax, or handle of a musket. 

These biscuits were eaten with gravy and it wasn’t long before biscuits and gravy was created. The advantage of the biscuit over a slice of bread was that biscuits are firmer and there for better for wiping up gravy.

Then, after the Civil War, biscuits and gravy became an actual dish because food was short supply.

Also, a lack of money meant it had to be cheap and nutritious.

This was not unlike the early European settlers in the United States who ate ground wheat and warmed with gravy because it was a source of cheap nutrition.

Breakfast was literally the most important meal of the day in the South for anyone facing a day of work on the plantations.

Then, with commercial baking powder becoming available in the middle of the century, it made the fluffy biscuit we know today possible. This in turn, changed the face of biscuits and gravy to the delicious dish eaten all over the country.

WHAT IS BISCUITS AND GRAVY MADE OF?

Biscuits and gravy are made of biscuits or buttermilk biscuits covered in gravy.

Usually sausage gravy is used, though the sausage can be replaced with hamburger meat.

However, meatless versions are also common and use country gravy or pepper gravy instead.

DO BISCUITS AND GRAVY HAVE DAIRY?

Yes, biscuits and gravy contain dairy because the gravy is made using milk and the biscuits are made with milk and butter.

This recipe gives dairy free alternatives for anyone who is dairy free or vegan.

WHAT CAN I USE TO SUBSTITUTE MILK FOR BISCUITS AND GRAVY?

Unsweetened mild flavored dairy free milks are a very good substitute for milk in biscuits and gravy. You can also use water but the gravy won’t be as opaque or white if you do.

HOW DO YOU MAKE GRAVY FOR BISCUITS AND GRAVY WITHOUT MILK?

You begin with biscuits that are made without milk or buttermilk biscuits made without buttermilk.

Then you make a sausage gravy without milk like you are directed to do in this recipe.

CAN YOU MAKE BISCUITS AND GRAVY WITH ALMOND MILK?

Yes, you can make biscuits and gravy with unsweetened almond milk and/or almond cooking milk.

Simply replace the milk called for in biscuits and gravy for almond milk.

WHAT IS A ROUX

roux is flour and fat cooked together until it reaches a specific color.

It is used as a thickening agent for gravy, sauces, soups and stews and have been used in French cooking for hundreds of years to thicken sauce.

The flour is added to the melted fat or oil on the stove top, blended until smooth, and cooked to the desired color. 

A roux can be white is used for country gravy, blond for classic gravies, or brown is used in gumbo and jambalaya. 

The lighter the roux the more thickening power it has.

Once the roux is the desired color liquids like stock are added.

WHY USE FLOUR TO THICKEN GRAVY

I use flour to thicken gravy because it gives the gravy that classic opaque slightly pail look.

Many people don’t like using flour because if it isn’t cooked long enough, it can give a floury flavor to the gravy. Also, if not made properly it can become clumpy.

The Good news is, making a smooth creamy gravy is a snap if you turn it into a roux first.

Another benefit some people see with gravy made with flour is that it keeps better in the fridge. This means it can be made ahead of time or use up leftovers.

WHAT DAIRY FREE MILK TO USE

ALMOND MILK

This is a popular option.  However, I’d recommend using specifically almond cooking milk, though regular almond milk can be used too.

Almond cooking milk is thick like actual milk as opposed to regular almond milk which is similar to water.

A mild flavored barista version is a good option too.

OAT MILK

I can’t speak for all oat milks because I know creaminess can vary between them. 

I’ve used Oatly with very good results as a milk alternative. It is creamy like milk and has little to noticeable flavor alteration. 

COCONUT MILK

Coconut milk for its creamy texture which is similar to regular cream. 

However, depending on the brand, you are risking adding a coconut flavor.  

MIX MILKS

Another option is to combine one part coconut cream and one part almond or oat milk.

I should keep the same creamy texture but water down the mild coconut flavor.

Yield: 6 servings

Biscuits and Gravy without Sausage

Biscuits and gravy without meat on a white plate on a white marble counter

These vegetarian biscuits and gravy are made without sausage or any other form of meat. This recipe offers a dairy free option for those who are dairy free or vegan.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup of butter or 1/2 cup oil
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 cups milk or dairy free milk or water
  • Biscuits or dairy free biscuits

Instructions

  1. Heat the butter or oil in a large skillet or frying pan over medium heat.
  2. Whisk in flour, salt and pepper until smooth.
  3. Stir over medium heat until browned, about 10 minutes.
  4. Gradually stir in milk or dairy free milk or water so that no lumps form. Continue cooking and stirring until thick and smooth.
  5. Serve over warm biscuits.

Notes

If the gravy becomes too thick, you can thin it out with a little more liquid to smooth it out.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 223Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 359mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 2g

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