This vegan grits recipe is creamy and full of flavor, grits are cooked with non-dairy milk until smooth and creamy. Vegan shredded cheese and vegan butter are added for an amazing side dish.

If you love Southern cuisine then this vegan grits is a must-try, other vegan Southern recipes favorite are Vegan Gumbo, Vegan Dirty Rice, and Vegan Chicken And Dumplings.

Vegan grits recipe in black bowl close up with spoon

Vegan Grits

I first was introduced to grits back in the 90s when I visit Nassau, Bahamas, eating grits and eggs for breakfast was a staple. For years I didn’t eat grits until we moved to Florida. I have done many catered events and grits were always a popular menu item. I have since grown to love grits even though I grew up with cornmeal-based recipes like Turned Cornmeal, Jamaican Blue Draws, Cornmeal Pudding, and Cornmeal Porridge

Grits in a gold measuring cup with a bag of grits in the background

What Are Grits?

Grits originated from the Native American Muskogee tribe, who resided in the Southeastern USA, they grounded whole dried corn using stone into coarse gritty cornmeal similar to hominy or maize. They served their corn grits to the colonists where it became popular. Today, it is the official state food of South Carolina. 

Grits can be made creamy or cheesy, although I love both ways of preparing grits, I’m sharing with you the cheesy method with the addition of vegan shredded cheese. My husband and children don’t like grits unless I make them because most people only make theirs plain with water and salt. Grits made plain is bland and definitely a turn-off for someone eating grits for the first time.

There are also four varieties of grits on the market, quick cook, instant, stone-ground, and hominy. Grits are made from a variety of corn called dent corn which has a higher starch content and is less sweet than regular corn, which results in more creamy grits. I used the traditional stone-ground variety. 

  • Stone-ground grits are less processed than quick-cooking and instant variety of grits, stone ground grits are made using stone rollers or steel roller mills, they are coarser in texture than the quick-cooking and Instant variety of grits.
  • Stone-ground grits are whole grain grits with the germ intact, unlike quick-cooking grits and Instant grits which are highly processed with the germ removed. 
  • Stoned ground grits take longer to cook, about 30-60 minutes than finer quick-cooking grits, which only take 5-10 minutes. 

Hominy grits are made by treating the corn with chemical lime or alkali to remove the hull, the corn is then dried then ground coarsely into hominy grits.

Vegan Grits Ingredients

  • Grits – I used traditional stone-ground grits, I prefer it because it is a whole grain with all the germ intact, it is more nutritious, has more fiber, less processed than quick-cooking grits. Find unprocessed stone-ground grits in most major supermarkets, health food stores, or online on Amazon.
  • Non-Dairy Milk – use your favorite unsweetened non-dairy milk, almond, oat milk, rice milk, and cashew milk. I used almond milk
  • Nutritional Yeast Flakes – are added to give a cheesy flavor boost and also it is used by vegans as a B12 supplement.
  • Vegan Butter – added to give a buttery flavor, I used Earth Balance vegan buttery spread.
  • Vegan Shredded Cheese – Give extra cheesy flavor, use your favorite vegan shredded cheese or make your own
Grits being poured from a measuring cup into the saucepan on the stovetop

How To Make Vegan Grits Recipe?

  1. Bring non-dairy milk, water, yeast flakes, and salt to boil in a medium saucepan on medium-high heat. 
  2. Slowly add grits and stir with a whisk while cooking, especially as it thickens. Cover the saucepan, reduce to simmer, and cook for about 30 minutes, stir grits with a whisk occasionally. 
  3. Stir in vegan butter and vegan cheese shreds, serve immediately, and garnish with vegan shreds. 

Tips For Making Vegan Grits

  1. Make sure to whisk your grits often to make sure no lumps are formed. This will ensure smooth and creamy grit.
  2. Cook grits in non-dairy milk or vegetable broth for a flavorful result, grits cooked in water are bland. Add vegan butter and seasonings for taste.
  3. The recipe has a lot of liquid because grits will further thicken as it cools, so I recommend you start with the amount written in the recipe. 

Can You Substitute Cornmeal As Grits In A Recipe?

Absolutely you can substitute cornmeal for grits in a recipe except the texture will be finer than grits. 

What To Serve With Your Grits?

Straight on view of grits in black bowl

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag #healthiersteps  — we love to see your recipes on InstagramFacebook & Twitter!

Also please leave a star rating ;-)

Need some encouragement on your Healthier Steps journey?

Join our Facebook groups, sharing lots of delicious vegan and gluten-free recipes, health tips, etc., from our members. Please join us and invite your friends to Gluten-Free and Vegan For Beginners and Vegan Recipes With Love.



(Per serving)
  • Energy: 120 kcal / 502 kJ
  • Fat: 5 g
  • Protein: 3 g
  • Carbs: 15 g

Cook Time

  • Preparation: 5 min
  • Cooking: 30 min
  • Ready in: 35 min
  • For: 4 servings



  1. Bring non-dairy milk, water, yeast flakes, and salt to boil in a medium saucepan on medium-high heat. 
  2. Slowly add grits and stirring with a whisk while cooking, especially as it thickens. cover the saucepan, reduce to simmer and cook for about 30 minutes, stir grits with a whisk occasionally. 
  3. Stir in vegan butter and vegan cheese shreds, serve immediately, garnish with vegan shreds. 
Recipe author's Gravatar image

Michelle Blackwood, RN

Hi, I’m Michelle, I’m the voice, content creator and photographer behind Healthier Steps. I share vegan and gluten-free recipes because of past health issues. My goal is to help you make healthier choices and show you how healthy eating is easy and delicious.