Vegan Italian Inspired Cheese Grits with a Mushroom Ragu

Vegan Italian Inspired Cheese Grits with a Mushroom Ragu

I personally have a hard time eating vegan, but for country artist Jessica Lynn it is a lifestyle. So I went to work to create something a meat-eater and a vegan alike would find tasty. I think I hit the nail on the head. This recipe for Vegan Italian Inspired Cheese Grits with a Mushroom Ragu completely made me forget it was meatless. I didn’t just like it,  I loved it. You can easily adapt it with non-vegan ingredients and add some bacon to the mushrooms for some meatiness. With or without meat this recipe is one for the record books.

While those grits are cooking, learn more about who inspired this recipe. Read our full interview with country music artist Jessica Lynn by clicking here.

Vegan Mushroom Ragu with Italian Inspired Cheese Grits

This recipe is inspired by country music artist Jessica Lynn.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: Cheese Grits, Jessica Lynn, Mushroom Ragu, Southern Fellow, Vegan
Servings: 6
Author: Patrick L.
Cost: 30


  • heavy bottom saucepan
  • High Speed Blender
  • 12 inch frypan


Italian Inspired Cheese Grits

  • 1 cup yellow stone-ground grits
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups dairy-free milk
  • 1 cup vegan parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup vegan sour cream recipe in notes
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tsp thyme stem removed
  • 2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp salt

Mushroom Ragu

  • 4 portabella mushrooms sliced
  • 8 oz button mushrooms sliced
  • ¼ cup shallots finely diced
  • ½ cup celery finely diced
  • ½ cup carrots finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic finely diced
  • 2 tsp rosemary stem removed and chopped
  • ½ tsp chili flakes
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter
  • salt
  • pepper


Italian Inspired Cheese Grits

  • In a medium heavy-bottom pot, add the olive oil and chopped garlic. Cook the garlic for about a minute or so. The garlic should start turning a light golden brown and be very fragrant.
  • Add the milk and stock and bring to a simmer.
  • Add the grits and use a whisk to separate the small grounds. Let simmer for about 20 minutes covered on low. Stir 3 or 4 times while cooking.
  • Once cooked, whisk in the remainder of the ingredients. The grits should be creamy and stick to the whisk.

Mushroom Ragu

  • Put the olive oil, shallots, celery, carrots, and a pinch of salt in a large skillet and place over medium heat.
  • Cook, often stirring, until the vegetables are softened but not browned.
  • Add the mushrooms to the pan, Cook for about 5 minutes, or until they take on some color, then stir and add 1/2 teaspoon salt to release their natural water.
  • Continue cooking until the mushrooms become tender and the liquid evaporates.
  • Stir in the garlic, rosemary, chili flakes, tomato paste, and vinegar. Add 1/2 cup of the white wine and reduce until the mixture becomes saucy. Finish with the butter.
  • Serve the mushroom ragu over the cheese grits.


This is the recipe I used for the vegan sour cream!

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