Slow Cooker Spicy Southern Chickpeas and Grits

Slow Cooker Spicy Southern Chickpeas and Grits

For those of you not familiar with Southern food this is my (vegan) version of Shrimp and Grits. Traditionally it’s base is a spicy tomato based sauce with bell peppers. I’ve used chickpeas because they don’t break down as much as pinto beans or the like.

Of course there’s bacon in the original version, and doubly of course I have liquid smoke in my version. Big shock, right?

The spiciness often comes from Tabasco, but I like to add chipotle for its smoky notes as well as its heat. You can use either or both depending on your favorite taste.

I serve this over a big portion of grits. It’s a very filling dish and perfect for cold, winter nights. Feel free to add a heaping serving of veggies on the side to make it a well-rounded meal.

Originally I used Muir Glen diced tomatoes with chipotles already added in. Since then, it looks like they have been discontinued. But if you have a can or two of them in your pantry this is a great way to use them up.

Slow Cooker Spicy Southern Chickpeas and Grits

Serves: 3 servings

Please note that this recipes uses a 1½ to 2 quart slow cooker
  • Slow Cooker Spicy Southern Chickpeas and Grits
  • soy-free, gluten-free (make sure the grits are labeled gluten-free!)
  • Makes 3 to 4 servings (when served over a pile of grits)
  • **This recipe uses a smaller slow cooker 1½ to 2 quarts - you can double the recipe and use a 3½ to 4 quart slow cooker
  • ½ cup bell pepper, chopped small
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (can use ½ teaspoon garlic powder instead)
  • 1½ cup cooked chickpeas (or 1 can rinsed)
  • ½ cup water
  • 1½ cups diced tomatoes (or 1 can Muir Glen diced tomatoes)
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon chipolte powder, to taste
  • A few dashes liquid smoke or smoked salt, to taste (Start small if you're not a fan of smoky foods or leave it out altogether.)
  • Tabasco or other hot sauce, optional - use instead of chipolte powder or in addition to depending on your taste for heat
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. The night before: Chop bell pepper, minced garlic and store in fridge.
  2. In the morning: Add all ingredients, except for the salt and pepper, to the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 to 9 hours.
  3. Before serving: Taste, add salt and pepper, then re-season to your liking. You may need to add more liquid smoke or chipotle.
  4. Serve over slow cooker grits - recipe below:
  5. I make a double batch of grits in a larger slow cooker. The first time I made this I had more beans than grits and that didn't work as well. Also this way you can add in a few people if someone happens to drop by around dinner time.

Slow Cooker Spicy Southern Chickpeas and Grits

Serves: 6 servings

This recipe uses a 3½ to 4 quart slow cooker (for the grits only).
  • 1 cup grits, yellow or white (Bob's Red Mill grits are labeled gluten-free)
  • 2 cup unsweetened nondairy milk
  • 2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vegan chick'n bouillon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • In the morning: Add all the ingredients to an oiled slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
  1. cup grits, yellow or white (Bob's Red Mill grits are labeled gluten-free)
  2. cup unsweetened nondairy milk
  3. cup water
  4. teaspoon vegan chick'n bouillon
  5. salt and pepper to taste


Slow Cooker Spicy Southern Chickpeas and Grits


  1. says

    I am a new fan and follower of your blog. I was searching for slow cooker oatmeals and your breakfast section had me drooling all over the place. I love it! Wonderful combinations that you would never get board of it. Nice job.

  2. says

    Thank you! Eager to try a new chickpea recipe! We love grits but had never thought of making them with coconut milk. This is a must fix recipe for us, as it is allergen free for us!

    Also, I make oatmeal nearly every winter morning in my veggie steamer. Used to use the crock pot until I discovered this way and love it!

    • Kathy Hester says

      Just use a spray oil or a very small amount of olive oil and oil the inside of the crock so that the food doesn’t stick or is at least easier to clean off.

  3. Yumm! says

    I just made this. Holy awesome!! I used a whole pepper to get more veggies in there and half an onion as well. Oh man, was this good! I made mine on the stovetop because I didn’t want to wait for it to cook in the slow cooker and it turned out phenomenal! This will be a staple henceforth. Yum x a million!

  4. Kim says

    This was wonderful! I cooked everything on the stove top since my slow cooker was in use. Thank you for a healthy, savory, and filling breakfast!

  5. says

    Shame I can’t do this with grits (my southern husband can’t stand them, oddly enough), but polenta should do in a pinch. Trying it tomorrow!


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