These creamy Cajun-spiced grits are full of flavor and nutrients from sweet potatoes and chickpeas.
Cajun Sweet Potato Grits with Crispy Chickpeas
It’s hard to believe how comforting, creamy and flavorful these Cajun Sweet Potato Grits are. Topped with roasted chickpeas and flavored with homemade cajun seasoning, you can’t go wrong with this warming vegan dinner.
I wanted to unite my Cajun and Southern roots with this grits recipe. Grits are a classic Southern food that shows up at breakfast, lunch and dinner. And Cajun seasoning is the familiar herby and spicy seasoning that always reminds me of my family.
It only made sense to combine the two into one super comforting dish. I decided to keep it vegan and gluten-free so it accommodates all dietary needs.
Together, these herbs and spices strike the perfect balance of savory and fresh with a bit of smoky heat.
Sweet Potato Grits
Next, make the creamy and comforting sweet potato grits.
Vegetable stock. Feel free to use water or animal stock if you’re not vegan.
Polenta grits. These are coarsely ground.
Vegan butter. I like Earth Balance.
Mashed cooked sweet potatoes. See the notes below the recipe for how I like to cook my sweet potato for these grits.
Vegan cheese. I use dairy-free mozzarella, but any shredded vegan cheese will work.
Crispy Roasted Chickpeas
The topping for crunch and added protein in this grits recipe is crispy roasted chickpeas. All you need is:
Canned chickpeas. Drain, rinse and dry the chickpeas well for the crispiest texture.
What to Serve with Sweet Potato Grits
This recipe is a complete meal on its own. And you can serve it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. If you’d like to add more protein, you can swap the crispy chickpeas for Jerk Chicken or Blackened Shrimp.
For added veggies, top your bowls with roasted broccoli, cauliflower or brussels sprouts.
Store leftover sweet potato grits in an airtight container for three to four days. You can reheat the grist in the microwave or on the stove to serve. If they thicken up a lot, add more water or vegetable stock.
Store crispy chickpeas in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.
Make-Ahead Sweet Potato Grits
You can make the seasoning blend, grits, and roasted chickpeas ahead of time. Store each item separately in airtight containers, then assemble the bowls just before serving.
3cupsorganic vegetable stock(You can also use water if preferred)
1cuporganic polenta corn grits
1cupmashed cooked sweet potatoes(See Notes!)
1cupDairy-free mozzarella style shreds
HOMEMADE CAJUN SEASONING:
Mix all cajun seasoning ingredients together in a bowl and set aside until ready to use.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium bowl, add chickpea, olive oil, and 2 Tbsps of cajun seasoning, stirring them together until well coated.
Add chickpeas to the prepared baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, tossing them mid-way until golden brown and crisp.
In the meantime, make the grits.
SWEET POTATO GRITS:
Bring 3 cups veggie stock and salt to a low boil in a large-size pot. Whisk in the grits and cook 15-20 minutes until thickened. Stir in the mashed sweet potatoes, butter, dairy-free mozzarella shreds, and cajun seasoning, until melted and the grits become creamy.
In serving bowls, spread the grits into the bottoms of the bowls and top with roasted cajun chickpeas. Sprinkle dried parsley (optional) atop and serve immediately.
Tips & Tricks
STORAGE: Leftovers can be kept in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Re-heat when ready to serve.
MAKE AHEAD: All ingredients can be made and individually stored as meal prep and assembled + heated when ready to serve.
SWEET POTATOES: Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Rinse sweet potatoes (about 2 medium-sized) and pat dry. Lightly coat potato with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and place in oven, baking for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until tender and juices begin to bubble outside of skin. Remove from oven, let cool for 10-15 minutes and slice in half. Remove sweet potato insides and place in a bowl, mashing it until “pureed”. Continue recipe.