This simple Southern breakfast staple is made vegan in this recipe- without sacrificing the creaminess or cheesiness! The savory flavors in these cheesy, creamy vegan grits are accentuated when topped with broiled cherry tomatoes and smoky, sweet tempeh bacon.
When I moved to the South, I was confused by this common Southern breakfast staple. A savory dish that had a soft porridge-like texture? But the more I tried them at soul food restaurants, the more I grew to love them, and when I went vegan, I missed the cheesy creamy goodness! Luckily, I found a way to replicate the richness in these creamy vegan grits and pack them with savory, cheesy flavors.
Silken tofu is the perfect replacement for heavy cream traditionally used in this recipe- it makes these vegan grits ultra creamy and rich. We then season the grits to give them a cheesy flavor, and meanwhile prepare the toppings. The great thing about these savory grits is that they are so versatile and can be topped with virtually anything. I love adding avocado, and I’m sure caramelized onions or your favorite herbs would make another great addition.
- 1 cup grits (not quick-cooking!)
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 cup silken tofu
- 2 tbsp vegan butter
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder (optional)
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
Tempeh Bacon and Tomatoes
- 8 oz package tempeh
- 2 tbsp soy sauce (or tamari for GF)
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp liquid smoke (optional)
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- Preheat oven to 375F to prepare the tempeh bacon and tomato toppings. Slice tempeh into thin strips and combine with soy sauce or tamari, maple syrup, liquid smoke if using, and smoked paprika. Let marinate for at least a minute. Prepare a parchment lined baking sheet. Top with halved tomatoes on one side and tempeh bacon strips on the other. Drizzle any excess marinade over the tempeh strips. Drizzle the tomatoes and tempeh with olive oil as needed.
- Bake the tempeh bacon and cherry tomatoes for 15 mins, flipping halfway through.
- Meanwhile, prepare grits. Measure and blend 1 cup of silken tofu to act as the cream. Drain off the excess water before blending, but no need to use a sieve, it's ok if some remains.
- Bring 3 cups of water and 1 tsp salt to a boil. Stir in the grits and simmer on medium heat for 5-7 mins. For thicker grits, add in the tofu cream and almond milk at this time. For creamier grits, add in the tofu cream and almond milk in the last 2 minutes of cooking.
- In the last 2 minutes of cooking, stir in the nutritional yeast, smoked paprika, pepper, and garlic powder (if using) to add the cheesy flavor.
- If you find the grits to be getting too thick for your liking, simply add water 1/4 cup at a time and whisk until smooth. If you want the grits to be thicker, keep cooking for 2-3 more mins over medium-high heat. They will also thicken as they stand.
- When the grits are the texture of your liking, remove from heat, add in the vegan butter and cover until it melts, then stir it in to combine.
- Serve creamy vegan grits topped with broiled tomatoes and tempeh bacon. Enjoy!
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 378Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 1101mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 3gSugar: 9gProtein: 22g
Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although zenandzaatar.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.