How many calories is in a one biscuit with gravy on top?

Biscuits and gravy are a popular breakfast food, especially in the Southern United States. A biscuit is a savory quick bread that is soft and fluffy on the inside with a golden brown, crispy exterior. Gravy is a sauce typically made from meat drippings, milk, and flour. Biscuits are often split open and smothered with a creamy, peppery sausage or white gravy. This comfort food combination is warm, filling, and utterly delicious.

Many people enjoy indulging in biscuits and gravy but also want to keep an eye on their calorie intake. So how many calories are actually in a biscuit with gravy on top? The total calorie count depends on a few factors, including the size of the biscuit, thickness of the gravy, and types of ingredients used. Keep reading to learn more about estimating calorie counts for biscuits with gravy.

Calories in a Biscuit

To determine the total calories in a biscuit with gravy, you first need to know the calorie count for the biscuit alone. The number of calories in a biscuit depends largely on the recipe, ingredients, and size. Here are some general estimates:

  • A small 2-inch biscuit contains around 100 calories
  • A medium 3-inch biscuit contains 150 to 200 calories
  • A large 4-inch biscuit contains 250 to 300 calories

Standard biscuit dough ingredients like all-purpose flour, butter, milk, and baking powder are relatively high in calories. Making large, fluffy biscuits requires more dough, leading to increased calorie counts.

Using heart-healthy ingredients can reduce the number of calories in a biscuit. Substituting Greek yogurt for milk and using a vegetable oil spread instead of butter can slightly decrease the calorie total.

Common Biscuit Recipes and Calories

Here are the approximate calories counts for some classic biscuit recipes:

Biscuit Type Calories (1 biscuit)
Basic Buttermilk Biscuit 170
Flaky Butter Biscuit 180
Old-Fashioned Southern Buttermilk Biscuit 205
Big and Fluffy Homemade Biscuit 250
Jumbo Buttermilk Biscuit 300

As you can see, calorie counts range from 170 to 300 calories per individual biscuit depending on factors like size and richness of the dough. So a small 2-inch biscuit may clock in at 100 calories, while a large 4-inch biscuit can contain 300 calories or more.

Calories in Biscuit Gravy

In addition to the biscuit itself, you also need to account for the calories in the gravy when estimating the total biscuits and gravy calories. The calorie count of gravy varies based on the:

  • Type of gravy – Sausage gravy or white/sawmill gravy
  • Meat and fat content
  • Amount of milk and flour
  • Serving size – 1/4 cup, 1/2 cup, etc

On average, a 1/4 cup serving of a typical sausage or white gravy contains about 200 calories. Here are some estimates for different types of gravy:

Gravy Type Calories (1/4 cup)
Sawmill Gravy 180
Sausage Gravy (Pork) 220
Turkey Sausage Gravy 200
Bacon Gravy 210
Chorizo Gravy 240
Mushroom Gravy 170

Rich sausage gravies made with pork or chorizo contain more fat and calories than plain white sawmill gravy or mushroom gravy made without meat.

For biscuits and gravy, restaurants and diners often smother a biscuit with 1/2 cup gravy or more. So you can estimate at least 200 calories for a biscuit with a typical 1/2 cup ladle of gravy on top.

Total Calories in a Biscuit with Gravy

Now that you know approximate calorie counts for both biscuits and gravy separately, you can estimate the total calories in a biscuit with gravy.

Here are some examples of total calorie counts using different size biscuits and portion sizes of gravy:

Biscuit Size Gravy (1/2 cup) Total Calories
Small (100 cals) 200 cals 300 calories
Medium (175 cals) 200 cals 375 calories
Large (250 cals) 200 cals 450 calories
Jumbo (300 cals) 200 cals 500 calories

* A small biscuit with 1/2 cup gravy is about 300 calories
* A medium biscuit with 1/2 cup gravy is 375 calories
* A large biscuit with 1/2 cup gravy is around 450 calories
* A jumbo biscuit drowned in 1/2 cup gravy adds up to 500 calories

As you can see, the total number of calories in a biscuit with gravy can range anywhere from 300 to 500+ calories depending on the size of the biscuit and amount of gravy.

Tips for Lightening Up Biscuits and Gravy

Biscuits and gravy are a nutritious but high-calorie food due to being carbohydrate and fat-rich. Here are some tips for enjoying this classic dish while reducing the calorie count:

* Use a smaller biscuit – Choose a 2-3 inch biscuit instead of a large 4-inch option
* Go light on the gravy – Limit to 1/4 cup instead of 1/2 cup or more of gravy
* Make from-scratch – Make biscuits and gravy at home so you control the ingredients
* Use healthier fats – Try olive oil instead of butter in the biscuits
* Substitute meats – Use turkey sausage or mushrooms instead of pork sausage
* Use plain gravy – Sawmill gravy has fewer calories than sausage gravy
* Boost protein – Add a fried egg on top for staying power
* Avoid sugary jellies or jams – They pile on more calories

With some simple substitutions and smaller portions, you can still enjoy biscuits and gravy without going overboard on calories. Aim for a smaller 2-3 inch biscuit with 1/4 cup gravy for a 300-400 calorie breakfast.

Nutrition Information

In addition to being high in calories, biscuits and gravy deliver a decent hit of macros, especially carbohydrates and fat.

Here is the nutrition breakdown for a typical medium 3-inch biscuit covered in 1/2 cup of sausage gravy:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 375
Carbohydrates 31g
Protein 12g
Total Fat 24g
Saturated Fat 9g
Cholesterol 35mg
Sodium 818mg

A single biscuit and gravy averages about 375 calories, 31g carbs, 12g protein, and 24g fat. It also contains a substantial amount of sodium at 818mg per serving.

While biscuits and gravy make a tasty treat, portion control is important due to the high calorie density. Enjoy this regional favorite in moderation as part of an overall balanced diet.

Healthy Biscuit and Gravy Alternatives

If you love biscuits and gravy but want a lighter option, there are several ways to modify the dish:

  • Use a whole wheat biscuit for more fiber
  • Make an egg white biscuit by separating eggs, using just the whites
  • Substitute Greek yogurt for butter in the biscuits
  • Top with veggie gravy instead of sausage gravy
  • Load up with veggies – mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes
  • Bake instead of frying for less fat
  • Split a biscuit and make a breakfast sandwich

With some simple substitutes and smart customizations, you can cut the calories while still enjoying the essence of this stick-to-your-ribs regional favorite.

The Bottom Line

A typical medium 3-inch biscuit with 1/2 cup sausage gravy provides approximately 375 calories. Size matters when estimating calories for biscuits – a small 2-inch biscuit with gravy is around 300 calories, while a large 4-inch biscuit with gravy can be 450+ calories. To lighten up this dish, opt for smaller biscuits, go easy on the gravy, and incorporate healthier ingredients when possible. An occasional indulgent breakfast of biscuits and gravy is fine, but balance it out with lighter meals the rest of the day.

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