overhead image of cajun chickpeas and sweet potato with creamy grits
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5 from 4 votes

Creamy Grits with Cajun Sweet Potato, Kale, and Chickpeas

A vegetarian take on the classic Grits and Cajun Shrimp recipe - this dish features super creamy grits, spicy roasted sweet potatoes and chickpeas, and tender, sauteed kale. So tasty and satisfying!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cajun Sweet Potato, vegetarian grits
Servings: 4
Calories: 280kcal
Author: Kate
Cost: $7



Sweet Potato and Chickpeas

  • 2 small sweet potatoes (about 1-1.5 lb total)
  • 1 14-oz can chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt optional, if the Cajun seasoning doesn't contain salt

Sauteed Kale

Creamy Grits

  • 3/4 cup quick cooking grits
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt or more to taste
  • 1/4 cup half and half or use milk for a lower-calorie option
  • 1/4 cup sour cream full fat, low fat, or fat-free


Roast the Sweet Potatoes and Chickpeas

  • Preheat oven to 400F. Spray a large baking sheet with non-stick spray or brush with olive oil.
  • Clean the sweet potatoes and dice them into 1/2 inch pieces. Drain the canned chickpeas. Combine the diced sweet potato, chickpeas, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning, and 1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste). Mix well.
  • Spread on the baking sheet and roast at 400F for 15 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are fully cooked and easy to pierce with a fork.

Saute the Kale

  • Thoroughly wash the kale and tear it into pieces (it's a personal preference if you remove the stalks or not).
  • In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the torn kale, 1/4 teaspoon each garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, Cajun seasoning, and salt. Stir, and cover with a lid for about 3 minutes, or until the kale is reduced by half in size.
  • Uncover, add 1/4 cup water, and saute for about 5 minutes, or until the water has evaporated and the kale is soft and tender.

Cook the Grits

  • Combine 2 cups water and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a 2-quart sauce pan. Bring to a boil, and slowly add 3/4 cups quick cooking grits while stirring constantly with a whisk.
  • Continue to cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the grits mixture thickens. Add 1/4 cup half and half (or milk) and 1/4 cup sour cream. Stir until no sour cream lumps remain.
  • Continue to cook for another 1-2 minutes, until grits reach the desired consistency. Season with additional salt, if needed. Be careful not to get splashed by the hot grits as it cooks! It sometimes splashed out of the pot!

Assemble the Bowls

  • Divide the cooked grits between four bowls or plates. Top each with 1/4 of the sweet potato, chickpeas, and kale. Garnish with chopped scallions or fresh herbs, such as parsley or cilantro.


  • Use collard greens instead of kale, if preferred. Baby spinach works too, just reduce the cooking time


Calories: 280kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 475mg | Potassium: 240mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 3575IU | Vitamin C: 39mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 2mg