Deep, rich and earthy, my best ever baked red gravy is a gluten free dinner lifesaver, y'all!! The browned Cajun trinity veggies and garlic, mixed into seasoned gluten free tomato sauce. Baked at a low temp for just one hour. Then removed and left covered for another hour to let the residual heat keep injecting that 'cooked-all-day' flavor into every restaurant-quality delicious bite. Yep and yay....
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Oh Baked Red Gravy, You've Gotten Me Out of a More Than a Few Dinner Dilemmas
We call Creole tomato sauce 'red gravy' down here in south Louisiana and parts of the Gulf Coast. I don't know when or where the term originated. Or how old the term red gravy really is...But, what I do know is that we use it for a whole, whole lot of local dishes. And growing up just outside New Orleans meant that everyone I knew had a different red gravy recipe.
I cooked mine on the stove for years and years. Til the one day during an all-day cooking marathon I ran out of stove top burners. So, I borrowed a burner from another dish for a second. Just to brown the Cajun trinity and garlic. Then, I poured the tomato sauce and seasonings into the skillet, and baked it while hoping for the best.
Well, even I could have not imagined how surprised I would be at the taste of baked red gravy. It's sooo much deeper than stove top sauce. It's also richer, and the flavor dimensions that the baking produces makes it look and taste like you spent 8 hours cooking it on the stove. But once you taste it, you notice a unique flavor profile that just can't be produced on the stove.
And this flavor profile is the kind you only usually find at the fanciest of restaurants. Or the rare Mom and Pop restaurant run by people who live, breathe and work red gravy from the very first time they were literally carried into the family business.
Even though I've hinted at my habit of baking red gravy before, I decided that this method really deserved its very own blog post. I wanted to share it with y'all because this is just one more must-have recipe that can keep us gluten intolerants and celiacs eating safe, incredibly delicious food at home.
Oh, and did I mention that this baked red gravy is keto, low carb, vegan, grain free and Paleo, too??? 🙂
How to Make the Best Ever Baked Red Gravy (Creole Tomato Sauce)
To start the baked red gravy Creole tomato sauce, brown the Cajun trinity of onion, bell pepper and celery in a deep 12-inch cast iron skillet.
When the trinity is browned, add garlic:
Cook for 1 additional minute til fragrant:
Stir in the remaining ingredients, then bake:
And after the baking time, you leave the covered skillet rest on your stove or counter top for one hour. This final step lets the residual heat inject the sauce with even more concentrated flavor.
Tasting this best recipe for the first time is pretty unforgettable, y'all. The short baking time at low temp lets the true essence of the tomato sauce unfold. And the Cajun trinity, garlic and seasonings enhance the stacked flavor of the red gravy without overpowering it.
The result is the red gravy of your dreams, able to stand alone on pasta or spiralized veggie pasta like a champ. But, also able to energize any other meat or veggie you stir into it, making this easy Creole tomato sauce the only red gravy sauce you will honestly ever really need.
Share this best ever baked red gravy with those whose presence always saturate your spirit with deep-seated contentment. And see y'all on the yum side...
Best Ever Baked Red Gravy Recipe (Creole Tomato Sauce)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons butter or oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 cups gluten free tomato sauce
- 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 tablespoon fresh celery leaves, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley leaves, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- salt, black pepper and cayene pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
- Brown the Cajun trinity of onion, bell pepper and celery in a deep 12-inch cast iron skillet.
- When the trinity is browned, add the minced garlic and cook for 1 additional minute, stirring constantly.
- Stir the remaining ingredients into the skillet, ensuring that all of the spices and browned veggies are fully incorporated into the tomato sauce.
- Cover, and bake for 1 hour.
- Remove from oven. Leave covered and unattended for 1 hour.
- Uncover and stir. Taste, and add additional salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper, if desired.
- Serve immediately.