Vegan Extra Cheesy Grits

Golden Butternut Squash Grits
Golden Butternut Squash Grits

Jen tells a classic story which I’ll call “Jen’s Mom and the ‘Cheese’ Grits.” Once, way down south, Jen’s mom volunteered to bring cheese grits to a school function. When she got home to make them, she realized she only had 2 slices of American cheese for the whole vat of grits. Not to be outdone by a lack of cheese, she set about making the dish. A few drops of red and yellow food coloring, a couple dashes of garlic powder, and a blanket of shredded cheese originating from those two small slices made a mound of grits with barely any cheese inside. Her “cheese” grits were the hit of the party, no one the wiser.

I was reminded of this story when we received a pouch of pureed Butternut Squash from a winter CSA we’re a part of. Every time I looked at it, I couldn’t help but think of how cheddary the squash looked. I found myself forgetting what butternut squash tasted like, and began imagining it must taste only like something cheesy and decadent. I decided to use this lapse of memory to my advantage by using the squash in a place I would expect to find cheese and see how my mouth reacted. What I ended up with was something even more decadent than actual cheese grits – grits with such a rich array of flavors I actually ate them for dinner, as a main course no less.

Recipe: Vegan Extra Cheesy Grits

Makes 4-6 servings

  • 2 cups cooked and pureed butternut squash
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup instant grits
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • tsp salt
  • hot sauce to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper as garnish
  1. Combine all ingredients except the hot sauce and black pepper into a large microwavable bowl (1.5 quart or larger, preferably non-plastic). Stir evenly.
  2. Microwave for 5 minutes at a time, stirring between each round. Cook until grits are fully puffed. The grits I used cooked in about 20 minutes total.
  3. Stir hot sauce and black pepper into the whole thing, or into each individual serving. Serve warm as a main dish or a side.

4 responses to “Vegan Extra Cheesy Grits”

  1. Those were the best! The teachers loved them, told me the best of the year. Color is so important in our lives. We like our cheese to be a comforting yellowy orange color……our eyes can trick our taste buds. Cheese Grits are a staple of the south and guess what….those Southerners can be fooled every now and then. I will never be without cheese of any kind in my icebox aka refrigerator. ps…..and never be without a little box of food colorings!!!

  2. i became a Vegan three years ago and i can say that my health have been very very good. meat and dairy substitutes like soy also works well for the body.

  3. How about “2 cups cooked and pureed butternut squash?”
    I can’t see puree-ing then cooking butternut squash, as you instruct, although I know you don’t mean that.

    I’m being nit-picky. I just want to tell you I thoroughly enjoy your just-discovered food blog. I, too, am a New Yorker, still considering myself such after having become a Cincinnatian in 1941, by virtue of marriage. If I weren’t 91, I’d move back this afternoon.

    I’m particularly attracted to your casual approach to cooking. Mine has become so casual, I’ve stopped cooking altogether. But I love reading interesting food posts.

    • Thanks for the suggestion Leah! You’re right, the wording didn’t make sense as I had it. I’ve made the change.

      I’m glad you like what I’ve posted so far. Sometimes I enjoy reading about food more than I do making it too. That’s most true of posts about baking beautiful desserts, which I’m not very interested in or good at doing, but I love to see the process unfold.

      Nice to meet you and I hope to see you around here again soon!

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