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30 Minute Gluten-Free & Vegan "Shrimp" and Grits Recipe with Greens

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This gluten-free and vegan "shrimp" and grits recipe is Cajun comfort food at its finest! And it's both vegan and gluten free.

It's also one of my (non-vegan) husband's favorite things I make for him! He studied for college in New Orleans and loves the Southern, Cajun-style of the dish, especially on chilly, rainy nights. We love to pair it with the best fiction books about New Orleans.

I firmly believe you do not need butter or cheese to make delicious, savory and comforting grits!

Note: this gluten-free and vegan "shrimp" and grits recipe was adapted from a cookbook of one of my favorite vegan chefs, Chloe’s Kitchen: 125 Easy, Delicious Recipes for Making the Food You Love the Vegan Way. Chef Chloe Coscarelli is a nationally-renowned and award-winning vegan chef (she won Cupcake Wars!) with a beautiful spirit, and I couldn’t recommend Chloe’s Kitchen more highly. My version of grits has no sugar and less oil, and it also adds liquid smoke. The tofu "shrimp" is totally my own creation.

About Nutritional Yeast

And for anyone new to vegan cooking, I wanted to quickly explain that nutritional yeast is how many vegan dishes get a non-dairy “cheesy” flavor. It has an odd name, but I assure you that it looks just like grated cheese and is packed with a good source of protein and B Vitamins. It’s also gluten-free. Even my non-vegan husband sprinkles it on his food all the time! 

My pick: This specific Bragg Nutritional Yeast is a popular and trustworthy brand that I most often use.

How to Make Gluten-Free, Vegan "Shrimp" and Grits with Greens

Vegan Shrimp and Grits in Dish

30 Minute Gluten-Free & Vegan "Shrimp" and Grits Recipe with Greens

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This gluten-free and vegan "shrimp" and grits recipe is Cajun comfort food at its finest! And it's both vegan and gluten-free.


  • 4 cups gluten free vegetable broth
  • 1 cup gluten free grits
  • 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 5 drops liquid smoke
  • 1 bag or bunch of spinach (or kale, chard, etc.)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 package of firm tofu, drained and cut into small cubes
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • To cook the (drained and cubed tofu), place it in an air fryer at 385 degrees for 15 minutes, or bake it in a pre-heated oven at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
  • While the tofu is cooking, pour the broth in a medium saucepan, cover, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Uncover and slowly add the grits, stirring frequently.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until the grits have thickened and cooked through (about 5-6 minutes).
  • While the tofu and grits are cooking, stir fry the greens in olive oil and garlic for 3-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add the smoked paprika, nutritional yeast and liquid smoke to the grits and stir until incorporated. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • When the tofu is done cooking, wet it slightly with one tablespoon water, vegetable broth or oil, and toss it with the Cajun seasoning.
  • Serve with a scoop of grits on the bottom, greens in the middle and tofu "shrimp" on top.


  • We recommend this specific Tony Chachere's Original Creole Seasoning, which was my husband's favorite brand since he lived in New Orleans.
  • Make sure to use gluten-free grits options if you are gluten-free.
  • I prefer air frying the tofu because it gets more crispy. But, when I bake it, I try to toss the tofu halfway through so the bottoms don't burn.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 146Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1603mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 4gSugar: 2gProtein: 9g

This gluten-free and vegan "shrimp" and grits recipe is my go-to recipe for a comforting dinner. I hope you enjoy the added smoky and Cajun flavors as much as I do!

Shop the Recipe

You can quickly and easily shop our best recommendations for ingredients for this recipe on Amazon:

Best Southern Cuisine Vegan Cookbooks

Also, since this is a blog “where books meet lifestyle,” I am pairing this recipe with the following related cookbooks for more like this recipe:

And if you enjoy vegan food, check out more of my simple vegan (and mostly gluten-free) dinner recipes:

Pin this gluten-free and vegan "shrimp" and grits recipe to Pinterest because you can refer back to it when you are in the mood for a comforting dinner.

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