This vegan shrimp and grits recipe has a bed of super creamy dairy-free grits that are topped with sauteed greens and crispy vegan shrimp. Sprinkle on a little lemon juice, some green onions, and red pepper flakes for a zesty or spicy kick!
why you’ll love this recipe
- hearty yet light for spring or summer: the grits are comforting yet the whole dish feels fresh
- bursting with flavor: from aromatic garlic to tangy vegan cheddar cheese
- quick and easy: this dish can be made in about 30 minutes
what are shrimp and grits?
Traditional shrimp and grits originate from the Southern US and are often eaten for breakfast or brunch. The dish is popular from North Carolina to Charleston to New Orleans.
There are different ways that the dish can be flavored. In some varieties, the shrimp are coated in cajun seasoning, but in almost all versions the savory grits are made with stock, heavy cream, or milk and butter. They’re sometimes topped with bell peppers, collards, or other veggies too.
Shrimp and grits are a Southern staple and growing up in North Carolina this savory dish was certainly prevalent throughout my childhood.
This recipe is a vegan and vegetarian take on traditional creamy shrimp and grits! If you’d like to learn more about where the dish comes from you can read this article.
- white stone-ground grits: you could also use yellow corn grits
- vegan butter: you can also sub olive oil- this helps create the best creamy texture
- dairy-free milk: unsweetened and unflavored, I used Almond Milk
- vegetable broth
- vegan cheddar cheese: to make the best vegan cheese grits
- sea salt and black pepper
- lemon juice
- collard greens, kale, or another leafy greens like spinach
- onion and garlic
- Vegan shrimp: storebought or you can use TYBM’s Recipe!
I have a whole post that goes into all the different store-bought brands of vegan shrimp that are available.
Storebought versions have a tendency to be more similar to your classic shrimp because you can buy versions that are unbreaded. However, they can be expensive and difficult to find.
Homemade vegan shrimp can be made from king oyster mushrooms, however, my recipe uses vital wheat gluten and seasonings to create a more realistic texture and taste. Because this recipe is made of seitan, it’s also a good source of protein, unlike versions that use king oyster mushroom!
Medium Saucepan: to cook the grits
Large Skillet: to saute the veggies
how to make creamy cheesy vegan grits
STEP 1: Pour the veggie stock and plant milk into a medium saucepan. Bring it to a boil on medium heat.
STEP 2: Reduce to low heat. Then, sprinkle in the white corn grits, stirring continuously, scraping the sides of the pan.
STEP 3: Once thickened, add in vegan butter and non-dairy cheese (if you want cheesy grits.
STEP 4: While the grits cook, saute the veggies. Set them aside until you’re ready to serve the dish.
STEP 5: Plate up the creamy vegan shrimp & grits. Top with another dab of vegan butter if you’d like.
Substitutions and Add-Ins
This vegan shrimp and grits recipe is totally customizable. Feel free to add your favorite seasonings or swap in any veggies you love. Here are some ideas:
- Old Bay Seasoning or Cajun Seasoning: to make cajun shrimp
- Nutritional yeast: for some extra ‘cheesy’ flavor
- Hot Sauce: if you like heat!
- Tomato Sauce
- Smoky Vegan Bacon
- Collards, Kale, or Spinach: use bell peppers instead of leafy greens
- Vegan butter: the vegan butter can be subbed for olive oil
Serving the vegan shrimp and grits
To serve the vegan shrimp and grits, I love to saute up onion and a few cloves of garlic along with greens in a large skillet.
You can top off the cheesy creamy grits with the sauteed veggies and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes or green onions.
The homemade vegan shrimp are best served the same day because they’re coated in a breadcrumb. The first day is when the breading is the crispiest. However, the grits and sauteed veggies can be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Use Veggie Stock in the Grits: this makes a BIG difference in flavor
Vegan Shrimp: I recommend using my homemade recipe for vegan shrimp for the best outcome.
Garnish for Extra Flavor: be sure to top this dish off with a spritz of lemon juice, a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, or green onion!
Technically yes, however, I recommend using dairy-free milk with a more neutral flavor like almond or soy milk.
Yes, you can use quick grits. I recommend following your package’s instructions.
You can sub in 2 cups of water in place of the veggie stock, but note that the grits won’t have as much flavor. You’ll need to add more salt and seasonings (like garlic powder or onion powder) to the grits.
Looking for more vegan recipes?
- Vegan Baked Cheese Grits Casserole
- Garlic Aioli Vegan Fish Tacos
- Vegan ‘Chicken’ Salad
- Southern Style Vegan Buttermilk Biscuits & Gravy
Did you make these creamy vegan shrimp and grits? I’d love to know! Leave a rating and comment below!
- 2 cups veggie stock
- 2 cups dairy-free milk, unsweetened and unflavored (I used Almond Milk)
- 1 cup stone-ground white grits
- 2 tbsp vegan salted butter, Country Crock Plant Butter
- 1 cup vegan cheddar cheese, optional
- Sea Salt, to taste
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
- 1 recipe TYBM vegan shrimp, or store bought
- Olive Oil or Vegan Butter, for cooking
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ a yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cups kale, collards, or spinach, chopped
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- Juice of ½ a lemon
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- Pinch of black pepper
- Parsley, green onion, and chives, for garnish
- For Homemade Vegan Shrimp: prepare the vegan shrimp according to this recipe.
- For Storebought Vegan Shrimp: prepare the plant-based shrimp according to the package instructions.
To Make the Grits:
- In a medium sized pot, bring the veggie stock and dairy free milk to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Reduce the heat to low and stir in the grits. Simmer the grits for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The grits should begin to thicken after 5 minutes.
- Once the grits have thickened, add the vegan butter, vegan cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.
To Make the Greens:
- While the grits cook, add 1 tbsp of olive oil or vegan butter to a skillet and melt over medium heat. Once hot and melted, add the minced garlic and chopped onion.
- Add the kale, collards, or spinach to the pan. Sprinkle on the red pepper flakes, lemon juice, sea salt, and black pepper.
- Saute until tender and wilted for about 3 minutes.
- Spoon the prepared grits into a shallow bowl. Top with the sauteed greens and the prepared vegan shrimp.
- Garnish with parsley, green onion, chives, and any additional salt or pepper to taste. Top with a squirt of lemon juice and any additional red pepper flakes to taste,
This post has 10 of the best storebought vegan shrimp brands and where you can buy them.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 371Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 9gUnsaturated Fat: 11gSodium: 281mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gProtein: 15g
Nutritional info is an estimate.
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