Vegetarian Southern Sweet Potato Gravy is a coconut milk based curry that’s lightly sweet, rounded out with a touch of curry, and wholly satisfying. And it’s ready in 20 minutes!
This week’s recipe is one I am so excited to deliver, because this one came from a reader request! If you’re not already on my mailing list, do sign up! I send sneak previews of upcoming recipes, and often ask readers to vote for what they’d like to see on the blog. Signing up is easy – you can do it right here!
This request came after I posted a photo on Instagram of a Vegetarian Sweet Potato Gravy from Biscuit Head in Asheville.
I ADORE Biscuit Head by the way. They have a jam bar y’all! What’s not to love?
And since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I was happy to try my hand at a vegetarian southern sweet potato gravy. This one even gets bonus points for being vegan.
Unabashed Love of Comfort Food
I recently had the opportunity to attend BlogHer 17. BlogHer is a conference for bloggers of all kinds, and while it is very women centric, 20% of attendees are male. It was an absolute smashing good time and very educational too.
One of the highlights for me was getting to see Carla Hall and hear her speak. You know Carla Hall yes? From The Chew and Top Chef? I am SUCH a Top Chef fan, and Carla Hall is one of my favorite contestants ever. That pot pie dance!
Seeing her in person at BlogHer in Orlando was powerful for me though. Because it was like she was speaking my language:
“I unapologetically love comfort food and soul food and I won’t be shamed because I love that. It’s how I give back.” Carla Hall
I feel like this could be my mantra as well, and I want to take a minute to thank BlogHer for helping me do what so many bloggers say you have to do – define yourself.
I mean, geez, I thought I’d know who the hell I am by this age.
But blogging is a whole other thing.
Blogging, and find your blogging style, takes time. I’m still early in this game, but one thing I realized at BlogHer is that the recipes I enjoy creating and sharing most are the comfort food ones.
I began this blog thinking that I would blog about both vegetarian and pescetarian recipes. Because that’s who I am. But after talking with other bloggers and listening to the informative panels at BlogHer, I feel that perhaps I should narrow that focus. Perhaps I should just be sharing vegetarian comfort food with you.
Because those are the posts that YOU all seemed to like best too.
So maybe this is like one great big party where we’re beginning to get to know each other. And now we know. Veggie comfort food.
I have been everywhere with food.
I’ve been a fad dieter, I’ve been a Weight Watcher, I’ve been a long distance runner. But now, now I am simply a cook, an eater, a woman with a family. I believe in heating healthy, and I believe in eating well.
As a lifelong writer, and artistic, creative person food is a creative outlet for me as much as a nutritional base. I want to make it look good, and sound good, and taste good. Food is my art. And comfort food my is my favorite mode of expression.
Am I right? Let me know what you think in the comments, or hop on my email list and send me a private message!
It’s All Gravy, Except when It’s Not
In the south we have a lot of different gravies. You can have sawmill, sausage, red eye, or tomato gravy, and all that’s just for breakfast. If you want to get Creole there’s sauce piquante, and then of course there are the meat based brown gravies, turkey gravies, and so on for dinner. And then, of course, there’s sweet potato gravy.
Most southern breakfast gravies are actually variations on Sauce Bechamel, which is one of the Five Mother Sauces. A Bechamel is made with butter, flour, milk, salt, and nutmeg. A southern white gravy is made with all of those minus the nutmeg, and the fat usually comes from sausage or bacon drippings instead of butter.
You can see the legendary Emeril’s recipe for Sweet Potato Gravy here. You’ll note it’s starts with pork chops.
But here at Coquette Kitchen, we want all the yummy comfort of the gravy without the meat base.
This Vegetarian Southern Sweet Potato Gravy recipe even uses coconut milk as it’s base, which means even vegans can get in on the party. It’s awesome served over our Sea Salt and Black Pepper Buttermilk Biscuits, but I also love it as an accompaniment to eggs, or even over rice!
Vegetarian Southern Sweet Potato Gravy
- 1 Large Sweet Potato
- 1 Medium Yellow Onion
- 1 Can Coconut Milk
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon Muchi Curry
- 1/4 Teaspoon Fresh Ground Black Pepper
- a Pinch of Cardamom
- 2-3 Tablespoons All Purpose Flour
- 2 Tabslepoons Olive Oil
- Bake your potato in the microwave for 2-4 minutes. You don't want it to be mushy, just soft enough to easily dice. Peel and dice potato and set aside.
- Slice onions.
- Saute onions in olive oil over medium heat until soft and just starting to brown.
- Add sweet potatoes and spices (salt, curry, cardamom, black pepper)
- Add flour, one tablespoon at a time, until it is incorporated. For a thicker gravy you can use slightly more flour, for a thinner gravy, slightly less.
- Slowly add in the coconut milk, stirring continuously with each add. I like to add about 3 tablespoons worth of coconut milk at a time, stir several times, then add more coconut milk.
- Once all the coconut milk has been added, serve immediately over warm biscuits, eggs, or grits.
I met Carla at BlogHer too and she was just the sweetest person! Sorry I didn’t get a chance to connect with you – but I will have an opportunity to connect with this gravy. And are my eyes playing tricks or are those fried green tomatoes? Yum!
aaagggh! I so wish we HAD gotten to connect because while I had a good experience I was like – where are all the food bloggers? I want to talk to food bloggers? And I was at all the food blogging panels, but babywearing in the back, so I didn’t get to strike up convos like I normally would at a conference. Did you have a good conference?
And yes – those ARE fried green tomatoes. I have a Cornmeal, Buttermilk, and Szechuan Pepper Battered fried green tomato recipe coming up soon! 🙂
Oh yum that looks lush and I do love that it’s vegan. With those flavours I have to try this.
Thanks Jacqueline! If you try it let me know what you think! 🙂
Wow I’ve heard heard of a sweet potato gravy but I love coconut and it sounds delicious.
I had no idea sweet potato gravy was a thing but I am SO STOKED to try this! Lovely recipe 🙂
Hi Jenn! Yes, if you eat meat check out Emeril’s Sweet Potato Gravy. Very different from mine, because PORK, but, um, SO GOOD.
And if you try mine, let me know what you think! 🙂
Carla Hall is so fun. and this gravy! I am as intrigued about the gravy as I am about the JAM BAR. ha! looks good.
Ermegerd, the jam bar. SO good! And yes, Carla Hall. She was just so sparkly! I love that she’s letting her hair go naturally gray. It’s so pretty!
Thanks for commenting!
What a delicious recipe, I love sweet potato. I like how you can make it in just 20 minutes and even better that it’s vegetarian too, bookmarked for later 🙂
Thanks Sarah! If you make it, let me know what you think!
Sweet potato gravy, say what!?!?! Love that I know now what this is and how to make it. Would be perfect for meatless Mondays.
Thanks Erin! I think it is a tasty treat for Meatless Mondays! And easy to make for a weeknight 🙂
This looks creamy and absolutely delicious!
Thanks Sarah! 🙂
I have never had sweet potato gravy. Sounds like a plan…since all the ingredients sound totally delicious. Perfect with biscuits for sure.
Thanks Gloria! It is pretty perfect with biscuits. But then, biscuits are pretty perfect with a lot of things! 🙂 Thanks for commenting!
I’m all about eating healthy, real food also! Your art is certainly looking delicious! I would like the bechamel based “gravy”, I mean everything is smoother and more enjoyable with a little Bechamel, isn’t it?;) I’ve heard in the South of the US, some guys make even a white BBQ sauce, so interesting to learn about others culture!
It’s true! And white BBQ sauce is delicious, but very different from this. It’s become super trendy lately though!
Thanks for commenting 🙂
Carla is such a fun free spirit. She was one of my favorites on Top Chef and her caring and magnetic personality really shines through.
As for this gravy. . .well I love sweet potatoes. . .so I’m sure that this gravy would be right up my alley.
Thanks Lynn! And yes, – Carla was SO cool in person. Exactly like she seemed on TV, which is rare. I love her. And I love sweet potatoes too! 🙂
This looks like the best recipe ever. Your spices are right on to go with sweet potato and I really appreciate the recipe. Thanks!
I’m another who never heard of sweet potato gravy – and I’ve obviously been missing something! That sounds delicious, I”m going to have to try it!
Thanks Anne! It’s scrumptious. The meat version wouldn’t have curry in it like I’ve done here, and is usally made from/with pork. Emeril has a great recipe for it if you’re interested 🙂 But if you make my version, do let me know how you like it!
We love sweet potatoes and I make many type of curries with it, your sounds great too, surely will try. In the recipe you have used Muchi Curry what is it ? Is it paste?
Hi Jagruti – it is actually a curry powder, and I chose it because it is one that’s easy enough to find at grocery stores around here. It’s a delicate enough curry powder. I wanted to have the curry flavors in there but not overwhelming. I love, LOVE curry, but I was trying to strike a balance between what Sweet Potato Gravy is and what a delicious vegetarian version could be. But if you have other suggestions I am all ears!
And thank you for commenting! 🙂
We love anything sweet potato in my house, and this looks super delicious! Will definitely keep in mind for future meatless meals!
Thanks Monica! I feel like sweet potatoes are a safe bet, it’s true 🙂 If you try it, let me know how it goes!
This gravy sounds fantastic! I’ve never had anything like it – I’d love to try it!
Thank you! It was a hit at my last brunch 🙂 If you try it, let me know how it goes!
So fun that you got to see Carla Hall speak!! And this gravy looks delicious. LOVE that it’s vegan. I think focusing on Vegetarian Comfort Food would be a great idea! Good luck!
Oh my gosh, yes! Carla Hall is so much fun. She is such a dynamic presence. She ruled the stage and the Best Boy booth where she did her signing. I think she’d be super fun to have cocktails with 😉
And thank you! I started out thinking I would do pescetarian and vegetarian. But seeing Carla almost gave me permission to do what I love, which is updating southern staples and other dishes to be veg friendly and pretty. Or at least, as pretty as I can make it with just my little iPhone 7. 🙂
This sounds so interesting! I have a few people I think would love this!
Thank you! If you try it, let me know what you think 🙂 It made a great impromptu friends-coming-over-brunch paired with good black coffee, some eggs and a big bowl of fresh berries. Also, booze. 😉
Oh wow! Now sweet potato gravy is assuredly something I have never had. I do love making new things with sweet potatoes though, so this is definitely something to try!
Thank you! Also – I ADORE your blog name! 🙂
Thank you 🙂
This looks delicious! I’ve never tried a potato gravy, but using sweet potatoes sounds like quite the treat!
Thanks Derek! I think it is 🙂
I can’t believe I have never heard of sweet potato gravy! It sounds amazing! I love sweet potatoes.
I never combinened sweet potatoes with coconut milk before and wonder how it tastes together!
Hi Tatiana! It’s pretty good! There are some curries that use sweet potatoes that are really not far from this version. The sweetness of both works well, but does need something else to offset it I think. You could also use milk if you prefer though. I strongly advise whole milk, and nothing richer, and nothing elss rich, because I believe it makes the best gravy!
[…] And I was more than happy to make some lovely treats for a friend I too rarely get to see now. We had vegan Phad Thai, vegan baked gnocchi, and vegan biscuits with my vegan sweet potato gravy. […]