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Smoky Beans and Greens over Quick Grits

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Smoky Beans and Greens over Quick Grits

Smoky Beans and Greens over Quick Grits

Jessica Braider
This is a modern, healthy take on a Southern staple, inspired by a recipe from “More Quick-Fix Vegan” by Robin Robertson that was featured in The Washington Post. To make it more traditional, you can use collard greens and add some smoked ham (and of course stir more butter into the grits), but, no doubt, your family will love this healthier version.
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings


  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 1 tomato chopped
  • 1 cup quick-cooking (not instant) grits
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. butter optional
  • 8 oz. kale stemmed and chopped, or use collard greens
  • 1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth (or use any variety) or use water and add a little salt
  • 15 oz. canned black eyed peas or great Northern beans (or use 1 1/2 cups home-cooked beans for every 15 oz. can), drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup smoked ham or cooked sausage chopped (optional)


  • Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat and add the oil. When it is hot, add the onions and sauté them for about 3 minutes until they are translucent, then add the tomatoes and continue to sauté for 2 more minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to a boil, and stir in the grits, 1/2 - 1 tsp. paprika, to taste (use 1/2 tsp. if you have picky eaters), and the salt. Stir, reduce the heat, and simmer it, stirring occasionally until the grits are thick and creamy, 5 – 7 minutes (check the package directions). Remove it from the heat and stir in the butter (optional).
  • To the onions and tomatoes, add the kale, 1/2 tsp. paprika, and the broth, cover and cook it for about 3 minutes until the kale is wilted.
  • Add the beans and ham or sausage (optional) and continue to sauté it for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Serve the beans and greens over the grits.

Slow Cooker Directions:

  • Combine the onions, tomatoes, kale, broth, peas or beans, and ham or sausage (optional) in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 3 - 4 hours. Serve over prepared grits. (Slow cooker cooking times may vary—Get to know your slow cooker and, if necessary, adjust cooking times accordingly.)


Do Ahead or Delegate: Chop the onion and tomato, stem and chop the kale, chop the ham or sausage if using and refrigerate.
Scramble Flavor Booster: Serve it with hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco, or top it with a little grated Parmesan cheese. For a sweeter flavor, add 1 tsp. of apple cider vinegar to the beans and greens.
Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values): Calories 319, Total Fat: 5g, 8%; Saturated Fat: 1g, 3%; Cholesterol: 0mg, 0%; Sodium: 456mg, 19%; Total Carbohydrate: 60g, 19.5%; Dietary Fiber: 10g, 38%; Sugar: 5g; Protein: 11g
Like this recipe? Check out The Scramble's family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be!
Keyword 30 Minutes (or less) Meals, All, Dairy-Free, Dinner, Fall, Gluten-Free, High Fiber, Kosher, Low Fat, Low Sodium, Main Dish, Make-Ahead, No Added Sugar, Nut-Free, Slow Cooker, Spring, Summer, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winter
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