Jalapeño Cheese Grits (Vegan)

4 People
15 min

These stone-ground Jalapeño Cheese Grits will make you feel like you're eating in the low country! Whip this flavorful, dairy-free recipe up in no time using the Instant Pot, or cook them on your stovetop.

If you're from the south, you've definitely at least heard of grits before. Grits are ground up corn, which is then boiled into a sort of porridge consistency. Many know of grits by the popular southern brunch dish, Shrimp & Grits.


Personally, I've always loved grits as a savory breakfast item. Some say that grits are just a vessel to get butter, cheese, and salty carbs into your mouth...and I can't say that I disagree. It is delicious!


This recipe uses dairy-free creamer and cheese to make a creamy, savory dish totally vegan!


Why You'll Love This Recipe

  • Transports you to the South! One bite and you'll feel like you're indulging on the coast of South Carolina or Georgia!
  • Creamy Breakfast or Side Dish - This works so well as a breakfast item, a side dish to proteins, and–of course– a base for some shrimp!
  • Quick & Dairy-Free - This recipe is quick when made in the Instant Pot, and


What You Need For This Recipe

Ingredients and Substitutions:

  • Stone Ground Grits - Be sure to use stone-ground yellow or white corn grits. Instant grits will not yield the same result!
  • Water - Or vegetable broth for boiling
  • Salt
  • Vegan Cheddar - Shredded vegan cheddar is the best option for this recipe. I love using VioLife cheddar shreds, but any brand will work!
  • Jalapeno - I used 1 jalapeño without the seeds or stem. One jalapeño will not make these grits spicy. If you like spicy, consider adding more.
  • Non-dairy Milk or Creamer - If you can find non-dairy creamer, that is best. If not, any plant-based milk will work! I found this one by Lavva at Whole Foods and it worked very well.
  • Vegan Butter


Equipment:

  • Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker or Regular Pot
  • Whisk
  • Knife
  • Large spoon or spatula


How to make this recipe

Step 1: Prepare and Cook the Grits

First, finely dice or mince 1 jalapeño without the seeds or stem.


Turn the Instant Pot to sauté and spray a small amount of oil. Saute the jalapeño until slightly soft.

Measure out the grits and water and add them both to the Instant Pot or stovetop along with salt. Lightly whisk to ensure no clumps.

Close the lid on the instant pot with the valve set to sealing and pressure cook on high for 10 minutes, then natural release for 15 minutes.


For the stovetop: Add all of the grits and water and salt to a large pot and bring to a boil. Cover with a lid and cook, stirring occasionally, until the water has all been absorbed. This may take 30-45 minutes.


Step 2: Add the Flavor

Once the grits are cooked and the pin has dropped in the Instant Pot, remove the lid and stir the grits.


Immediately add the butter so that it melts while still hot.

Add the vegan cheddar as well as the dairy-free creamer.


Continue stirring until the cheese begins to get melty.

Step 3: Finishing Touches

Season with salt and pepper to your liking.


Serve in a bowl and garnish with chives (optional).


Expert Tips

  • If you choose to cook this on the stovetop, I suggest using a whisk and stirring every few minutes. It will take much longer to cook on the stove
  • Feel free to adjust the level of spice by increasing or decreasing the amount of jalapeño used. I used 1 jalapeño here and it was not spicy at all, but it did impart the jalapeño flavor.
  • Be sure to use stone-ground grits to ensure proper cooking. Instant grits are processed differently and you will not get the same result.


Recipe FAQs

What can I add to grits to make it taste better?On their own, grits have a very mild flavor. Adding things like cheese, butter, salt, and jalapeños, all increase the flavor. Think of grits like a canvas to make whatever flavors you want!

Are grits the same as polenta?At their origin, grits are the same as polenta since they are both ground corn. Polenta is usually made from yellow corn where grits are often made from white corn (but can be made from either). Polenta is also usually a finer ground, thus being less "gritty."

Are grits better with milk or water?Grits can be cooked in milk, water, or broth. In this recipe, I use water, but you can substitute broth. I would only use milk if cooking grits on the stovetop to prevent burning. Grits will absorb any flavor, so a flavorful broth would make this delicious.


If you enjoyed this recipe, you may also like:

Creamy Vegan Spinach Polenta


Vegan Cowboy Caviar Dip


Instant Pot Vegan Mac & Cheese

Jalapeño Cheese Grits (Vegan)

Recipe details

  • 4  People
  • Prep time: 5 Minutes Cook time: 10 Minutes Total time: 15 min
Show Nutrition Info
Hide Nutrition Info

Ingredients


  • 2 cups Stone-ground grits
  • 4 cups Water
  • 1 cup Vegan cheddar
  • 1 Jalapeno diced
  • 1 ½ - 2 cups Dairy-free creamer or milk
  • 4 ounces Vegan butter
  • Spray oil
  • Salt
  • Chives optional, for garnish

Instructions


First, finely dice or mince 1 jalapeño without the seeds or stem.
Turn the Instant Pot to sauté and spray a small amount of oil. Saute the jalapeño until slightly soft.
Measure out the grits and water and add them both to the Instant Pot or stovetop along with salt. Lightly whisk to ensure no clumps.
Close the lid on the instant pot with the valve set to sealing and pressure cook on high for 10 minutes, then natural release for 15 minutes.
For the stovetop: Add all of the grits and water and salt to a large pot and bring to a boil. Cover with a lid and cook, stirring occasionally, until the water has all been absorbed. This may take 30-45 minutes.
Once the grits are cooked and the pin has dropped in the Instant Pot, remove the lid and stir the grits.
Immediately add the butter so that it melts while still hot.
Add the vegan cheddar as well as the dairy-free creamer.
Continue stirring until the cheese begins to get melty.
Season with salt and pepper to your liking.
Serve in a bowl and garnish with chives (optional).

Tips

  • Recipe copyright Legally Healthy Blonde. For educational or personal use only.
  • If you choose to cook this on the stovetop, I suggest using a whisk and stirring every few minutes. It will take much longer to cook on the stove
  • Feel free to adjust the level of spice by increasing or decreasing the amount of jalapeño used. I used 1 jalapeño here and it was not spicy at all, but it did impart the jalapeño flavor.
  • Be sure to use stone-ground grits to ensure proper cooking. Instant grits are processed differently and you will not get the same result.
  • Nutrition Information is for 1 serving, which is ¼th of this recipe. Calories: 548 cal Total Fat: 34.5 grams Total Carb: 56.1 grams Protein: 4.5 grams
  • Calories: 548 cal
  • Total Fat: 34.5 grams
  • Total Carb: 56.1 grams
  • Protein: 4.5 grams

Legally Healthy Blonde
Want more details about this and other recipes? Check out more here!
Go

Comments

Next