Growing up in North Carolina, I frequently had cheesy grits for breakfast. In fact, some of my earliest memories involve cheesy grits of all things! Today I’m recreating one of my favorite Southern breakfasts- Vegan Baked Cheese Grits. This vegan cheese grits casserole is super creamy with a thick cheese sauce on top that gets bubbly and brown when baked. This casserole is nostalgic, filling, and a great way to start your day.
what you’ll need
These vegan baked cheese grits are incredibly easy and you only need 9 ingredients including salt & pepper! You’ll need:
- Unsweetened Plain Dairy-Free Milk– I’m using Good Karma Flax Milk
- White Stoneground Grits
- Vegan Butter– I’m using Country Crock Plant Butter
- Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer
- Nutritional Yeast
- Sharp Vegan Cheddar Cheese– I’m using Violife Cheddar Cheese
- Salt & Pepper
how to make vegan grits
cooking on the stovetop
The first step in making these grits is to simmer them on the stovetop. To start, bring the dairy-free milk, salt, and vegan butter to a simmer over medium heat. Then, slowly add the grits, while continuously stirring. As you add the grits, be sure to lower the heat as much as possible to avoid splattering. You’ll want to keep stirring frequently for the next 15 minutes while the grits cook. The mixture should start to thicken into an “oatmeal” consistency.
making the vegan cheese sauce
While the grits simmer on the stove, you can multitask and make the cheese sauce! It’s super easy to make and is similar to a roux if you’re familiar with that. You’ll melt the vegan butter on medium-low heat, and then sprinkle in the flour and cook for 1 minute to get the raw flour taste out. Then, you’ll stir in the ¼ cup of unsweetened dairy-free milk. After simmering and stirring for 2 minutes, sprinkle in the vegan cheese. You’ll want to stir for 2-3 more minutes until the vegan cheese melts completely. Once the mixture is smooth, you can set it aside until the grits are done.
baking the casserole
After the grits have cooked for 15 minutes, remove them from the heat and stir in the nutritional yeast and pepper. Next, stir in the egg replacer. The mixture should immediately begin to thicken up. The egg replacer is important to help the grits set up while baking. It allows you to cut nice slices from the casserole!
To bake the casserole, spoon the grits into a square, greased 8”x8” pan. With a spoon, spread the dairy-free cheese sauce on top in an even layer. You’ll want to bake the grits at 350 F for 50 minutes until the top has browned a bit and it’s bubbling!
some tips to make the best grits
These creamy southern grits are completely vegan, dairy-free, and egg-free. Below are some tips and faqs to help you make the best vegan cheese grits!
I’m using white stoneground grits in this recipe. It’s important to use this kind because different types of grits have different cook times.
I’m using Violife Mature Cheddar Shreds in this recipe but you can use your favorite vegan cheddar cheese. I also really like Daiya cheddar shreds, which also melt really nicely. Note– Violife Cheddar is on the saltier side, so if you’re using a different vegan cheese you may need to add more salt to taste to this recipe.
No, you don’t! If you’re not baking these grits, cook them on the stovetop for an additional 10 or so minutes until tender. You’ll also want to omit the egg replacer.
I love eating these vegan grits for brunch or breakfast but they’d also make a fantastic side dish! You can serve them with bbq “chicken”, tofu or tempeh for a main course!
Looking for more yummy vegan breakfast ideas? Check out these recipes!Apple Pecan Bagels
Fluffy Maple Pecan Pancakes
Vegan Pumpkin Cream Cheese Danish
Vegan Poblano Cheddar Biscuits
French Toast Casserole
Vegan Monkey Bread
Did you make this recipe? I’d love to know! Leave a rating and comment below!
Vegan Baked Cheese Grits
This vegan baked cheese grits casserole is super creamy with a thick cheese sauce on top that gets bubbly and brown when baked. This casserole is nostalgic, filling, and a great way to start your day.
- 2 3/4 cup unsweetened dairy-free milk
- 1 cup, (160g) white stone-ground grits
- 1/2 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp vegan butter
- 2 tbsp Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer, mixed with 4 tbsp water (see notes)
- 1 1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- ¼ cup unsweetened dairy-free milk
- 1 tbsp vegan butter
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1 ½ cup sharp vegan cheddar cheese, Violife Cheddar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a medium-sized pot, bring the 2 ¾ cups dairy-free milk, salt, and 2 tbsp vegan butter to a simmer. Slowly add the grits, while stirring. Lower the heat as much as possible.
- Stir frequently for 15 minutes. The mixture should thicken into an “oatmeal” consistency.
The Cheese Sauce
- While the grits simmer, make the cheese sauce. Melt the vegan butter on medium-low heat. Sprinkle in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the ¼ cup of dairy-free milk.
- After simmering and stirring for 2 minutes, sprinkle in the vegan cheese. Stir for 2-3 more minutes until the vegan cheese melts completely. Set aside until the grits are done.
Baking the Grits
- After the grits have cooked for 15 minutes, remove from the heat and stir in the nutritional yeast and pepper. Add more salt to taste if you'd like.
- Then stir in the egg replacer. The mixture should immediately begin to thicken up.
- Spoon the grits into a square, greased 8”x8” pan.
- Spread the cheese sauce on top.
- Bake at 350 F for 50 minutes until browned and bubbly.
For the vegan egg replacer:
Be sure to only mix the egg replacer with the water when ready to add it to the grits. Do not allow the egg replacer to thicken for more than 1-2 minutes.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 210Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gSodium: 392mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 10g
Nutritional info is an estimate.
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Rachel D says
Thank you for not using instant grits!!! Drives me mad sometimes lol. I’m excited to give this a try. I love cheese grits. My SIL used to make them for us all the time. Thanks for sharing.