Toad in the hole with onion gravy recipe

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Our toad in the hole with onion gravy is a hearty family meal cooked in 45 minutes.

Toad in the hole with onion gravy
(Image credit: Future)
Preparation Time20 mins plus resting
Cooking Time45 mins
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories616 Kcal31%
Saturated Fat13 g65%
Fat31 g44%
Carbohydrates40 g15%

This toad in the hole with onion gravy serves four and has a delicious blue cheese twist. 

For an extra boost of flavour, this toad in the hole is scattered with crumbly blue cheese once baked and has leeks and mushrooms baked into the batter too. It’s cooked in 40-45 minutes and is delicious on its own but also great served with buttery mashed potatoes. 


  • 6 pork sausages
  • 1 large leek, sliced
  • 300g mushrooms
  • 4 garlic cloves, bashed and peeled
  • 2tbsp vegetable oil
  • 50g Stilton
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 3 sprigs thyme

For the batter:

  • 200ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 1tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 115g plain flour

For the onion gravy:

  • 1tbsp oil
  • 2 onions, finely sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1tbsp plain flour
  • 170ml red wine
  • 1 chicken stock pot, dissolved in 350ml boiling water
  • 1tbsp balsamic vinegar




  1. For the batter, whisk together the milk, eggs, mustard, 80ml water and seasoning. Sift the flour into a bowl, make a well in the centre and pour in the egg mixture. Whisk until smooth. Set aside to rest for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat the oven to 200C Fan/Gas 7. Put the sausages, leek, mushrooms and garlic in the ovenproof dish and drizzle over the oil. Roast for 15 minutes until the sausages are golden and the mushrooms and garlic softened.
  3. Remove the dish from the oven and pour the batter around the sausages and veg, then quickly return to the oven and cook for another 35-40 minutes until crisp and risen.
  4. For the gravy, heat the oil in a pan. Fry the onions until softened and beginning to caramelise, then add the garlic and thyme. Cook for 5 minutes longer. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes, then add the wine and bubble until reduced by half. Whisk in the stock and simmer until slightly thickened. Check the seasoning and add the balsamic vinegar. Crumble the cheese and scatter the herbs over the hot toad-in-the-hole, and serve with the gravy.

Top tips for making our toad in the hole with onion gravy

The batter should be the consistency of single cream. If too thick, add a dash more water.

What accompanies toad in the hole?

In our opinion, gravy is an essential accompaniment to a great toad in the hole. It’s substantial enough to enjoy on its own but you could serve with some extra steamed veggies and a helping of mashed potatoes or chips on the side. 

Why does my toad in the hole never rise?

It’s important to allow the batter to rest so the gluten can develop and relax. If you put too much flour in the batter it will be thick, heavy, and unable to rise. The tin you use is also very important. If using a stoneware ovenproof dish, it must be very hot before pouring in the batter. For the best results, we recommend a deep baking tray instead as the heat can more easily penetrate it. 

Why is it called toad in the hole?

The exact origin of this classic British recipe’s name is unknown. Some people say it’s because the sausages look like toads peeping out of a burrow and others say it’s a metaphor for a satisfying meal filling an empty stomach. 

Profile picture of Jessica Ransom
Jessica Ransom

"Instead of making a large toad in the hole that you cut into portions, you can make individual Yorkshire pudding size ones with mini chipolatas. Divide the sausages between the Yorkshire tin and drizzle with a little oil. Cook until evenly browned before pouring in the batter and cooking as per the original recipe." 

When making the batter for this recipe, it is essential you accurately weigh the ingredients. We like these digital scales as the screen is easy to read. 

Heston Blumenthal Precision scales by Salter - View at Amazon

Heston Blumenthal Precision scales by Salter - View at Amazon

If you like to make bread or dough, having a set of scales with a 5kg capacity is very handy. These scales measure in 0.5g increments so you can be confident your readings are very precise. 

You might prefer our classic toad in the Hole or for an extra meaty hit, our toad in the hole with bacon is delicious. For the veggies, we’ve got a brilliant squash and onion toad in the hole.

Jess Meyer
Food Editor

Jess is the Group Food Editor at Future PLC, working across brands in the woman’s lifestyle group, including Woman and Home, Woman’s Weekly, Woman, Woman’s Own, Chat, and Hailing from the Antibodies, Jess has a background in media and video production, with many years of experience working on tv and commercial video projects. After relocating to the UK, Jess studied at Leiths School of Food and Wine in London, graduating with a diploma in culinary arts before gaining a scholarship to study at the Ecole Nationale Superieure de Patisserie (ENSP) in France, where she learned the fine art of French patisserie.

With contributions from