Cheesy Grits & Smoky Tempeh Bowl [vegan]

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This Cheesy Grits and Tempeh Bowl is the perfect dish for this cooler weather. This recipe is 100% plant based so don’t let the “cheesy” part fool you! The cheesy flavor comes from nooch, nutritional yeast. When I was introduced to grits in high school, I had them savory and loaded with, actual, cheese. Later in life, I discovered you can make grits sweet as well. Although sweet grits are good, I still prefer them savory. However I may be bias because I don’t have a big sweet tooth!

Yes, Tempeh is soy. But it is fermented and gluten-free, therefore, it is easy to digest! When I was first introduced to tempeh, almost 5 years ago, I wasn’t sure how to feel about it. It looked strange and I wasn’t sure what it was going to taste like. As I started experimenting more with tempeh, I grew to love it and have it at least once a week. Please note that if you do not like tempeh, that’s okay! You can easily replace the tempeh for sliced mushrooms! Stay warm and enjoy!

1 serving (see note below on how to get 4 servings)

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  • ¼ block of tempeh, sliced thin (widthwise)
  • 1 tbsp tamari
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 handful spinach, roughly chopped
  • 2-4 tbsp water
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 2 tbsp diced onion
  • ½ cup veggie broth
  • ½ cup mylk
  • 1-2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • ¼ cup grits
  • 2 tbsp chives (or chopped scallions), optional for garnish
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Note: 1 block of tempeh will give 4 servings. Just read the grits packaging and make 4 servings and 4 times the amount of the other ingredients!


  1. In a small pan over medium heat, add the tempeh, tamari and smoked paprika, if using.
  2. Cook tempeh on both sides for 5 minutes each. Set aside.
  3. In the same small pan used for the tempeh (do not rinse), add water and spinach. Saute until the spinach is wilted. Set side.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small pot, saute the onion and garlic (in a bit of butter, olive oil or veggie broth) until soft then add the veggie broth, mylk and nutritional yeast.
  5. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and add the grits. Cook for 15-20 minutes (or per package instructions).


  1. Add the cooked grits to a bowl then top with the spinach then the tempeh then chives, if using. Serve warm.

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