Cornbread Biscuits with Green Chili Sausage Gravy

Biscuits and Gravy – with a twist! Warm, fluffy cornbread biscuits smothered with creamy, country-style sausage gravy infused with roasted poblano peppers.

A blue and white enamel plate with yellow corn biscuits and gravy speckled with roasted poblano peppers on a wooden table top.

Somewhat of a cross between cornbread and a biscuit, these “drop-style” biscuits (meaning you scoop up the batter and gently plop it onto a baking tray – no rolling pins or biscuit cutters needed) are light and fluffy with a hint of sweetness. The dough can be mixed together and portioned the night before for an effortless weekend brunch.

Once your biscuits come out of the oven they’re ready to be smothered with velvety sausage gravy that’s been simmered with roasted poblano peppers. Poblano (pronounced po-BLAH-no) peppers are a mild pepper. If you like a bit more heat, add in a diced (fresh) jalapeno or Pickled Fresno Chilis.

When you’re serving Biscuits and Gravy you really don’t *need* anything else but if you’re looking to round out your brunch menu might I suggest… Soft Scrambled Eggs with Crème Fraîche and Chives and Dandelion Salad with Pecorino and Lemon.

Ingredients:

Here’s everything you’ll need to make this recipe: fine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar, butter, buttermilk, milk, pork sausage, chives or scallions (optional) and two large green chilis like Poblano, Anaheim or Hatch chilis.

Scroll to the bottom of the recipe card for ingredient notes and substitutions.

Recipe ingredients individually portioned in small bowls; cornmeal, flour, buttermilk, pork sausage... etc.

Recipe Step by Step:

Step 1. Make the Biscuits

The nice thing about drop biscuit is that the processes requires much less handling than the flakey, layered variety, so there’s less risk of over mixing the dough and creating a dense, overworked biscuit. First, cut the butter into small pieces (1-tbsp slices are fine) and pop it in the freezer for a few minutes while you get the rest of the ingredients together. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a bowl then use a pastry cutter or your fingers to work the butter into the dry ingredients. Switch to a fork or wooden spoon to stir in the buttermilk. As soon as the dough comes together use a cookie scoop or two spoons to portion out six mounds of dough. Brush each biscuit mound with buttermilk and top with salt and pepper then transfer to the oven to bake.

Four step by step photos demonstrating the biscuit making process.

Step 2. Roast the Green Chilis

The green chilis can be roasted well ahead of time if you’re looking for a headstart on your weekend brunch. Place each chili over the flame of a gas stove and char on all sides. If you don’t have a gas stovetop, or you prefer to use the oven see the notes section of the recipe card for oven-roasting instructions. Once the peppers are sufficiently blackened, cover them in plastic wrap to steam then discard the charred skin, stems and seeds and give the peppers a rough chop. Set aside.

Left: uncooked biscuits on a baking tray slathered in buttermilk. Right: freshly baked, golden corn biscuits.
Left: two roasted poblano peppers on a baking tray steaming under plastic wrap. Right: Two charred and steamed poblano peppers on a baking tray.

Step 3. Make the Sausage Gravy

Meanwhile, cook sausage in a large skillet over medium heat until thoroughly heated, stirring frequently, about 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in flour until well combined. Gradually add the milk, stirring continuously, until the gravy thickens and comes to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low; fold in the roasted peppers, simmer and stir for 2 more minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Four step by step photos showing the process of making poblano-sausage gravy in a cast iron pan.

Step 4. Serve

To serve – divide the biscuits between plates or shallow bowls. Top with sausage gravy, a few turns of freshly cracked black pepper and finely chopped chives or shallots (optional).

A blue and white enamel plate filled with biscuits and gravy topped with black pepper and minced chives.

Check Out More Delicious Breakfast Recipes:

Browse *all* Craving California breakfast and brunch recipes here.

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A blue and white enamel plate with yellow corn biscuits and gravy speckled with roasted poblano peppers on a wooden table top.

Cornbread Biscuits with Green Chili Sausage Gravy

Biscuits and Gravy – with a twist! Warm, fluffy cornbread biscuits smothered with creamy, country-style sausage gravy infused with roasted poblano peppers.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 642kcal

Ingredients

Cornbread Biscuits

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup finely ground cornmeal 
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 tbsp cold unsalted butter diced
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk

Green Chili Sausage Gravy

  • 2 large poblano chilis or three anaheim/hatch chilis
  • 1 pound pork breakfast sausage
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 cup minced chives or scallions for serving

Instructions

Cornbread Biscuits

  • Preheat the oven 400F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper or a silpat. Set aside.
  • Whisk the flour, cornmeal, granulated sugar, salt and baking powder together in a large mixing bowl. Toss the pieces of butter into the flour mixture to coat. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, work the butter into the flour until the mixture is mealy and small pieces of pea-size butter remain.
  • Next, pour in the buttermilk. Using a wooden spoon or fork, fold the ingredients together until the the dough is just combined but still slightly shaggy. Being careful not to overmix the dough. If the dough feels too dry to work with, add 1-2 tablespoons buttermilk, as needed.
  • Use a cookie scoop or two large spoons to portion 6 mounds of dough onto the prepared baking tray, leaving at least 1½ inches of space between each mound. Lightly brush the tops with buttermilk and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Bake until golden brown and cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Green Chili Sausage Gravy

  • Place the poblano chiles directly on the grate of a gas burner and turn the heat to high. Cook, using heatproof tongs to turn the chiles so they blister and blacken on all sides, about 8 to 10 minutes. See notes section below for an alternative oven-roasting method. Transfer the charred peppers to bowl or tray and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Let the peppers to steam until they are cool enough to handle, about 10-15 minutes. Once they're cool the skin will slide right off easily. Remove the skin by wiping them with a clean towel. A little char left behind is perfectly fine and adds a bit of smokey flavor. Cut away and discard the stems, seeds and any of the white stringy insides. Finely dice the remaining pepper, set aside.
  • Set a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat and cook the sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until it is loose and no longer pink, approximately 10 minutes.
  • Sprinkle the flour and a few turn of black pepper over the sausage and cook, stirring frequently, until the flour has been absorbed by the fat, about 2-3 minutes. Slowly stir in the milk and roasted chilis, cook at a very low simmer until the gravy gets thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. If it is too thick for your liking add more milk and stir. Taste and add more salt/pepper as needed.
  • To serve, divide the biscuits between plates, top with generous spoonfuls of sausage gravy, garnish with chopped chives (optional) and black pepper.

Notes

 
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions:
    • All Purpose Flour: If you want to make these biscuits gluten-free and 1-1 gluten-free flour blend will work just fine for both the biscuits and the gravy. 
    • Buttermilk: Check out my buttermilk substitute suggestions here: Three Ways to Make Buttermilk
    • Breakfast Sausage: Pork breakfast sausage is what I recommend for sausage gravy. You can of course substitute chicken or turkey sausage. You could, in a pinch also use a mild Italian pork sausage, in that case I would add in a bit of fresh or dried sage and a tsp of brown sugar to give it more of a traditional breakfast sausage flavor. 
    • Green Chilis: Poblanos are my go-to for this recipe. They’re mild but flavorful. Hatch green chilis are great too, as well as Anaheim chilis. If you want more heat in the gravy add some fresh jalapeño or a few teaspoons of hot sauce.
 
How to Oven-Roast Peppers: Place the peppers on a baking tray then roast them in a preheated 475 F oven until the skins are soft and slightly charred, about 20-25 minutes for large bell peppers or 10-15 for the minis.

Nutrition

Calories: 642kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 1236mg | Potassium: 613mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 798IU | Vitamin C: 44mg | Calcium: 324mg | Iron: 4mg
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