If you’re a little burnt out on cauliflower, or weren’t a fan in the first place, it’s time to the cruciferous vegetable another try. Swoon over cauliflower grits, the perfect vegetable-centric alternative to the iconic Southern breakfast dish. Besides the fact that this cauliflower grits recipe is a smart, twist on the original—it’s just darn good. John Chiakulas, executive chef and partner of Chicago’s Beatrix, shares his version with pride. “The roasted cauliflower adds great texture to the ‘grits,’ and a unique taste when combined with the crispy Brussels, eggs and Aleppo pepper,” Chiakulas says. He uses white cornmeal instead of the typical yellow, so the roasted cauliflower bits can stand out, but whichever you have on hand will work. Cook your eggs the way you like them most, and grab a bite with grits, cheese, and crispy Brussels sprout leaves all in one blissful mouthful.

Cauliflower Grits and Eggs

Yields: 1 serving


For the roasted cauliflower

  • Half a head of cauliflower
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

For the cauliflower and corn grits

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup white cornmeal
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 stick of butter, cubed
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese
  • Grated cauliflower crumbles, reserved from the roasted cauliflower (about 3 cups)

For the cauliflower grits and eggs

  • 1 cup roasted cauliflower (see above)
  • 1 cup cauliflower and corn grits (see above)
  • ¼ cup roasted Brussels sprout leaves
  • 2 poached or fried eggs
  • Pinch of Aleppo chili spice


  1. Make the roasted cauliflower. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Cut cauliflower into ½-inch-thick slices, saving all the crumbled and broken pieces for the cauliflower grits.
  3. Toss cauliflower in olive oil, salt, and pepper on a sheet tray. Roast for 18 to 20 minutes, or until golden.
  4. Make the cauliflower and corn grits. Steam the cauliflower over boiling water for 3 to 4 minutes until tender. Set aside at room temperature.
  5. In a separate pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add the salt and sprinkle in the white cornmeal, whisking while adding.
  6. After the grits have cooked, add butter, cheese, and black pepper. Mix the steamed cauliflower into the finished grits, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Reserve only 1 cup for the cauliflower grits and eggs and store the rest in the refrigerator for later.
  8. Make the cauliflower grits and eggs. Poach or fry two eggs.
  9. Place grits in a warm bowl, top with roasted cauliflower, and finish with eggs.
  10. Scatter the roasted Brussels sprout leaves around the eggs and sprinkle Aleppo chili spice on top. Serve hot.