THANKSGIVING | Sweet-Potato Eggplant Gravy

*This recipe is adapted from The Prudhomme Family Cookbook: Old Louisiana Recipes. This gravy might seem like a strange way to use your sweet potatoes and eggplants, but it is absolutely delicious. As you are cooking it, it will taste and smell very hot spicy, but when it is poured on turkey, mashed potatoes and Andouille Smoked Sausage Stuffing, the taste is gorgeous and the spiciness is cut drastically. This is a family favorite.

Veggies: Again, replace the meat-based stock with your vegetarian, porcini stock. This is the best meat-based gravies I’ve ever eaten. The vegetarian version of this gravy makes one of the best veggie gravies I’ve ever tasted, too. Highly recommended.


Cooking Time

About 3 hours (You don’t want to rush this gravy. A big part of your success with this gravy is to prepare your ingredients prior to cooking and taking your time, really watching the saucepan. This will likely be the last Thanksgiving recipe you cook. You’ll want to have the green beans and mashed potatoes and everything else done before you start this, or have someone else man the rest of the kitchen. Gravies and sauces are one of the more diligent culinary art forms. Make sure you can focus on the gravy. Your family and friends will love you for it.)



About 6 cups




Dry Seasoning Mix

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon white pepper

1 tablespoon cayenne

2 teaspoons dry mustard

1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves


Wet ingredients

1 cup vegetable oil (You can substitute all or part of this with turkey drippings as the turkey cooks, highly suggested.)

8 cups peeled and chopped eggplant

3 cups chopped red onions

2 cups peeled and finely chopped sweet potatoes

2 cups peeled and chopped sweet potatoes

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 bay leaves

4 quarts stock

1 cup packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons Grand Marnier

1 cup finely chopped green onions (the dark green tops, and you can chop more to set on the table for guests to add to their plates as they wish)



  • Combine all dry seasonings in a bowl and set to the side. Break up any lumps. Make sure all your ingredients above have been prepped, chopped and organized.
  • Add vegetable oil/drippings to in a 5 1/2 quart saucepan and bring to high heat.
  • Add 6 cups of the eggplant and saute until eggplant starts to get soft, translucent and brown, about 5 minutes, stirring and scraping the pan bottom.
  • Add onions and remaining 2 cups eggplant. Cook until the mixture starts to turn brown, 10 to 12 minutes, stirring and scraping frequently. 
  • Add two cups finely chopped sweet potatoes, cook about 4 minutes.
  • Stir in garlic, bay leaves and 3 tablespoons of dry seasoning mix.
  • Stir in 2 cups of the stock and cook about 2 minutes. Stir and scrape.
  • Add 2 cups more stock, cook about 5 minutes, stir and scrape.
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar, cook about 2 minutes, stir and scrape.
  • Another 2 cups stock, cook 10  minutes.
  • Add remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar.
  • Add 2 cups more stock, cook 10 minutes, stirring and scraping.
  • Add another 2 cups stock, cook 15 minutes, stirring and scraping.
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer 15 minutes.
  • Stir in another 2 cups stock and simmer 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and strain, forcing as much liquid though as you can. Place strained gravy in a 4 quart saucepan.
  • Add 2 cups chopped sweet potatoes and 2 cups of the stock. 
  • Bring to boil over high heat.
  • Reduce heat and simmer about 1 hour.
  • Skim off froth and fat as it emerges to the top.
  • Stir in Grand Marnier.
  • Simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the green onions.
  • Add 1 teaspoon more dry seasoning mix. (Keep the remaining dry seasoning mix for the table or other recipes.)
  • Add remaining stock.
  • Bring gravy to a boil over high heat then reduce heat and simmer until gravy reduces to about 6 cups, about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

*The gradual and continuous adding of ingredients and stock yields a much richer and thicker gravy than if you add all the ingredients at once. The smaller amounts evaporate more efficiently and the reduction is better. This gravy is a crowd pleaser. Prepare and chop well ahead of time and the making of the gravy is fun. If you don’t do the prep work, making this gravy will be stressful.