Sausage-Flavored Breakfast Beans and Grits
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5 from 6 votes

Sausage-Flavored Breakfast Beans and Grits

The longer these beans cook, the more flavorful they are, so if you’re looking for a quick breakfast, consider cooking them in a small slow cooker overnight. Right before bedtime, get them started on the stove and then transfer them to a crockpot set to its lowest temperature. Add a little extra broth to keep them from boiling dry. In the morning, add the spinach, make your grits, and enjoy your breakfast!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Oil-Free, Vegan
Keyword: breakfast beans, fat-free grits
Servings: 4
Calories: 338kcal
Author: Susan Voisin


  • 1 large onion chopped
  • pinch of baking soda see notes
  • water or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 cups cooked cannellini beans or other white beans or 2 cans, rinsed and drained, drained
  • 1 cup vegetable broth plus additional, as needed
  • 1 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed see note, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes depending on how spicy want it to be
  • 4 cups chopped fresh spinach
  • smoked salt to taste
  • 1 cup yellow corn grits prepared according to package instructions


  • Heat a large non-stick pot or skillet. Add the onion, sprinkle it with the baking soda, and immediately stir in one tablespoon of water or vegetable broth. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion changes color and begins to soften, adding more water if it starts to stick to the pan. Add the chopped pepper and garlic along with another tablespoon of water or broth. Cook for 2-3 minutes, adding another splash of water if necessary and making sure that the garlic does not burn.
  • Add the drained beans, vegetable broth, and all seasonings. Cover tightly, reduce heat to very low, and cook for at least 30 minutes, adding broth if it starts to dry out. The longer and slower you cook them, the more flavorful the beans will be.
  • While the beans are cooking, prepare the grits according to package instructions. (I used 1 cup of Bob’s Red Mill organic grits cooked in 3 cups of water.) Keep warm until beans are ready.
  • Check the beans, and if they seem dry, add a good splash of broth. (The beans should have a little liquid around them, but not as much as a soup or stew.) Increase the heat to medium, add the spinach, sprinkle with smoked salt if you want, stir well, cover tightly, and cook until the spinach wilts. Serve over the grits.


Baking soda speeds the cooking of the onion so that no oil and little liquid is needed.
Fennel helps give the beans the flavor of Italian sausage, but if you’re not a big fennel fan, start with 1/4 teaspoon and add more to taste.
For beans without grits: 193 calories, .9g total fat, 35.6g carbohydrates, 13g protein.
Without the grits or other grains, these beans are zero Weight Watchers Freestyle points.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 338kcal | Carbohydrates: 66.6g | Protein: 16.5g | Fat: 1.5g | Sodium: 438mg | Fiber: 12.2g | Sugar: 2.6g