Smothered Cheese Grits and Steamed Greens Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Smothered Cheese Grits and Steamed Greens

A bowl of grits and a mess of greens might not sound like dinner party fare, but served on a platter and smothered with caramelized onions, this tasty combination looks downright fancy.



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3 Tbs. olive oil, divided
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2 large sweet onions, such as Vidalia or Walla Walla, halved
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¾ cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned white hominy grits (not instant)
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1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
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¼ cup low-fat milk
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1 lb. curly kale, tough stems removed, torn into bite-size pieces (14 cups)
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1 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
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2 oz. (½ cup) grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, plus more for sprinkling, optional Toasted sesame seeds, optional


1. Heat 2 Tbs. oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, cover, and cook 20 to 25 minutes, or until onions are softened and caramelized, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper, if desired, and keep warm.

2. Meanwhile, cook grits according to package directions. Stir in corn and milk, and return to a simmer, stirring constantly to incorporate milk. Keep warm.

3. Steam kale in basket steamer 4 to 5 minutes, or until wilted but still bright green and crisp-tender. Transfer to bowl, and stir in vinegar and remaining 1 Tbs. oil. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

4. To serve: Stir cheese into grits, and transfer to serving platter. Top with kale, then onions. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and grated cheese (if using).

Nutrition Information: 

6 g
Total Fat: 
9 g
Saturated Fat: 
2 g
30 g
8 mg
84 mg
3 g
7 g
Serves 8

Comments on this Recipe

It sounded like an odd combination but I was hopeful it would be good. It was an odd combination - one I won't be cooking again.

I don't like the idea of onions...any substitution suggestions?


As two separate items it looks like it would be yummy! Keep the greens and onions separate from the cheesy grits and corn!

Combination is perfect. The trick is to use cooking (yellow) onions - not sweet onions. Also, cook them until they are crisp - not limp. Sweet onions, and it is only my opinion, are used in salads and are not cooked; the same as with red onions.

I made this and it was AMAZING! I am not a vegetarian, but I'm trying to incorporate more veggies in my family's meals in delicious, healthy dishes. This one is a hit!

Made this last night and veganized it. I doubled the recipe for a potluck and cooked the grits with one Knorr veggie bouillon cube. I stirred in a little plain soy milk at the end. I also omitted the olive oil both in cooking the onions and in tossing the kale. It came out great, but I think I'd skip the corn next time. I think without it the dish would feel more like something I could serve at a southern brunch.

Other than a few spritzes of olive oil to get the onions started, I left the oil out of this. I also used Bob's Red Mill polenta instead of the hominy grits to give it some whole grain goodness. Loved this recipe and will definitely be making it again!

This was pretty good, but I don't think I steamed the kale enough. I'd make it again. :)

Very good. I steamed kale for 15 min.

I can't wait to try this recipe, anything with grits is delightful.

I've made this recipe a few times as it is warm, satisfying and fairly inexpensive to make. I used two tablespoons of butter with the onions. To save stove space, I steamed my kale in the microwave 8 minutes and used red wine vinegar instead of apple cider. I also never make grits by package instructions. instead I brought 3/4 cup water, 1/4 tsp salt 1/4 cup milk and 1 tbs butter to a boil and added 3/4 cup of grits. This also makes thicker grits that will support the onions and kale better.

I've made a version of this for years, but using turnip or collard greens. I add garlic to both the greens and the grits, but I am a BIG fan of garlic. I make it big enough for a party-plus-leftovers, and make alternating layer of the g&g. Pretty; I topped it with cherry tomato poinsettias for Christmas. I've never added the onions on top, but I might try that. Crispy onions sound better than caramelized, but the latter might be great, if they are not sweet. A little smoky flavor is good in the greens, which aretradionally made made with smoked pork