Smoky Grits & Greens (Vegan!)

Yep, that’s vegan sausage in that there photo. The world of vegan meat is really starting to produce some delicious things. This simple, 10-minute breakfast is creamy, cheesy, smoky, kicked with a little heat, and very filling and satisfying. Feel free to add other veggies too, such as mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, etc.

Smoky Grits & Greens

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Active Time: 2 minutes
Inactive Time: 10 minutes
Servings 1



  • 1/4 cup dry corn grits, a.k.a polenta
  • 1 cup plant-based milk of choice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1-2 drops liquid smoke, be careful, this stuff is strong!
  • pinch smoked paprika
  • sea salt & pepper, to taste


  • 2 handfuls kale, chard, collard greens, or spinach, chopped
  • 2 vegan sausage patties, I love beyond sausage
  • sprinkle of paprika
  • sprinkle of red pepper flakes
  • a few grinds of pepper


  • In a small saucepan, whisk together the grits, milk, and water, breaking up any lumps.
  • Cook over medium low heat, turning the heat down if it starts to spatter, for about 7-10 minutes. Add more water if needed to reach desired consistency.
  • Stir in the seasonings at the end of cooking.
  • Meanwhile, fry up the sausage patties (straight from frozen) according to package directions on a skillet, breaking it up with a spatula into smaller pieces as it defrosts and cooks.
  • Set the cooked sausage aside and cook the greens in the same pan and oil leftover from the sausage for 2-3 minutes, until softened.
  • Transfer the grits to a bowl and top with greens, sausage, and a flurry of paprika, pepper, and pepper flakes.


  • My favorite brand is Beyond Sausage. It’s ridiculous how much it tastes like real sausage.
  • You can also use a slicing veggie sausage such as field roast or tofurkey, and just slice it up and fry it in a splash of olive oil.
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What’s the difference between corn grits and polenta?

Nothing. You can buy either, they are the same thing, dried, ground corn. One is the southern name for it and one is the Italian for it, and they use it differently in their cuisine. The product is the same. Sometimes corn grits are white, which is a fun variation too.

My favorite veggie sausage brands:

I’m a HUGE fan of Beyond Sausage. I tastes remarkably like real sausage, and takes me back to my college days of eating frozen brown-n-serve sausages every day. For larger links, I love Field Roast’s sausages, especially the apple sage variety.

For Gluten-Free or Grain Free Eaters: Grits are naturally gluten and grain free but veggie sausage usually isn’t. Try swapping the sausage for black beans or pinto beans. (Or if you eat meat, obviously you can use real sausage)

More savory breakfast inspiration:


  1. Stephanie

    Looks awesome – can’t wait to make this!

  2. Shared! I’m pretty sure a few friends would like to read this.

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