Sausage and Cheese Grits Casserole

Give grits a chance!  Loaded with all sorts of yummy ingredients, this Sausage and Cheese Grits Casserole is a great way to enjoy a lazy brunch or perhaps breakfast for dinner!

Give grits a chance!  Loaded with all sorts of yummy ingredients, this Sausage and Cheese Grits Casserole is a great way to enjoy a lazy brunch or perhaps breakfast for dinner!

Grits are one of those foods that get a bad rap.  Just go ahead and put ’em into the same category as Brussels sprouts and turnip greens.  Hold up.  No!  Grits are amazing…you just have to prepare them correctly!  I suspect grits (and Brussels and turnip greens) are often met with condescension because they were cooked in a very basic and bland way.  There’s nothing bland about crumbled sausage, cheese, butter and green onions all mixed into creamy grits!

Give grits a chance!  Loaded with all sorts of yummy ingredients, this Sausage and Cheese Grits Casserole is a great way to enjoy a lazy brunch or perhaps breakfast for dinner!

I’ll admit that I didn’t like Brussels sprouts for a long time.  However, then I discovered that slicing them in half and cooking those Brussels in a cast iron skillet with bacon yields an amazing side dish!  (Bacon improves everything, right?)

Grits go into the same category.  Grits are an easy way to feed a lot of people, so they often show up in cafeterias.  In fact, one of the first neighbors we met when we moved to New York 10 years ago said that he ate grits everyday in jail.  (That’s a story for another time…)  The point remains that grits can indeed be terrible if they are cooked poorly.

We love cheesy grits here in our house, and I took that concept and put a spin on it with this Sausage and Cheese Grits Casserole.  We could barely stop ourselves from digging into this casserole straight from the dish!

Give grits a chance!  Loaded with all sorts of yummy ingredients, this Sausage and Cheese Grits Casserole is a great way to enjoy a lazy brunch or perhaps breakfast for dinner!Sausage and Cheese Grits Casserole

One bite.  That’s all it took of this casserole before Laura exclaimed, “Mmmm…I love grits!  They’re basically the Southern version of polenta.”  That caught me off guard – but she was totally right!  Both polenta and grits are made from stone-ground corn.  Sometimes grits are made from white corn, although personally I prefer yellow corn grits anyways.

Thanks to an NPR story on this very topic, it turns out that the differences are indeed slight.  Polenta and grits come from two different types of corn, and grits are also ground a bit finer.  But they are both in the same family for sure – we’ll call them close cousins!

Give grits a chance!  Loaded with all sorts of yummy ingredients, this Sausage and Cheese Grits Casserole is a great way to enjoy a lazy brunch or perhaps breakfast for dinner!

When we make cheesy grits, we often serve them as is.  However, for this recipe I took the extra step of transferring the grits into a shallow dish and baking them for about 30-45 minutes.  The result was a casserole with crispy bits on top and creamy grits in the middle.  This casserole made for a fantastic meal!  It could be served for brunch, but it does take a bit of time as I used stone ground grits instead of quick grits.  Instead, we served this for dinner along with a side salad.  Delicious!

Give grits a chance!  Loaded with all sorts of yummy ingredients, this Sausage and Cheese Grits Casserole is a great way to enjoy a lazy brunch or perhaps breakfast for dinner!

If you’ve never cooked grits at home, then I challenge you to give them a try.  Even though they are a bit harder to find, I recommend using stone ground grits.  (If you live in the South, stone ground grits will be readily available.  Fortunately, as a displaced Southerner living in upstate New York, I was able to turn to Amazon for my stone ground grits – aff. link.)  This grits casserole will certainly make you rethink any previous notions that you had about grits!  Enjoy!

Did you make this Sausage and Cheese Grits Casserole at home?  Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog) – I’ve love to see your version!

Give grits a chance!  Loaded with all sorts of yummy ingredients, this Sausage and Cheese Grits Casserole is a great way to enjoy a lazy brunch or perhaps breakfast for dinner!

Sausage and Cheese Grits Casserole

Give grits a chance!  Loaded with all sorts of yummy ingredients, this Sausage and Cheese Grits Casserole is a great way to enjoy a lazy brunch or perhaps breakfast for dinner!
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 605kcal

Ingredients

  • 16 oz. ground breakfast sausage
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups milk
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup stone-ground corn grits
  • ¼ cup half-and-half
  • ¼ cup butter melted
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • cups shredded cheddar cheese divided
  • ½ cup chopped green onions
  • 2 Tbsp chopped Italian parsley

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Using a large skillet, add sausage and bell peppers; place over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring often, for 7-8 minutes, or until sausage is cooked through. Set skillet aside.
  • Meanwhile, using a large saucepan, add chicken broth, milk, salt and garlic powder; stir until well combined. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil.
  • Add grits to saucepan, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed and grits are creamy. Remove saucepan from heat and add cooked sausage/peppers, half-and-half, butter, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, 1 cup of cheese and green onions; stir until well combined. (Note: The dish could be served at this point. It’s delicious!)
  • Spray a 2-quart shallow baking dish with nonstick baking spray. Transfer mixture into dish. Sprinkle remaining ½ cup of cheese on top.
  • Bake uncovered for 30 minutes, or until top is golden brown.
  • Let grits rest for 10 minutes before serving.
  • Garnish with chopped parsley before serving.
Give grits a chance!  Loaded with all sorts of yummy ingredients, this Sausage and Cheese Grits Casserole is a great way to enjoy a lazy brunch or perhaps breakfast for dinner!

Looking for more grits recipes?  Check out these other favorites, too!

These Charleston Shrimp and Grits feature a bed of creamy grits topped with flavorful shrimp and Andouille sausage!

Charleston Shrimp and Grits

These aren't your momma's grits! These Jalapeno Cheddar Grits are easy to make and loaded with flavor! They're the perfect addition to any meal!

Jalapeno Cheddar Grits

These New Orleans-style BBQ Shrimp and Grits don't involve barbecue sauce...but this recipe is a New Orleans classic for a reason!  Talk about delicious comfort food!

New Orleans’ BBQ Shrimp and Grits

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28 Comments

  1. Will be making this soon with few subs perfect for my after office meals will dm you if i make this and let you know how it goes Thanks Ramya

    1. Awesome! I hope you enjoy this one, Ramya. You might have a hard time finding grits over there in Singapore…but I don’t know. If you can find them, I highly recommend this casserole! 🙂

  2. Fabulous. Great recipe. It would be perfect for overnight company! I actually don’t think there’s one size for grits. You can buy cornmeal in various grind sizes. I always buy coarsely-ground grits, even though they take longer to cook. There’s also corn flour, which comes in handy if you don’t want any texture at all.

    1. You make a good point about overnight company, Mimi! This would be a fantastic recipe for that. Thank goodness for Amazon, though. All I can find up here in the north are the quick-cooking 1-minute grits. No thanks!

  3. WOA – dude – you put grits in the same category as Brussels sprouts and turnip greens? I love ’em veggies and am reeling!!! Seriously though, am one of those people that has only tried instant grits and am totally put off by them – but – combining any grits with sausage sounds pretty darn delicious! Though am betting YOUR plain grits would be delicious too!

    1. Ah, grits, Brussels and turnip greens USED to all go into the same category. Then I learned how to make them properly. Now each one is delicious in its own right. If you’ve been put off by grits in the past, then try them again – slow cooking, yellow grits…with cream and cheese. There’s nothing healthy about ’em, but man are they good! 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    I have never tried corn grits before, but I need to change that ASAP! This looks like such a comforting dish, David.

    1. Ah, put grits on the list, Michelle! And not the quick-cooking microwavable kind. Those don’t cut it. Order grits on Amazon from South Carolina. 🙂 There’s nothing healthy about ’em once you add the cheese and cream, but holy cow are they tasty!

  5. 5 stars
    I dibs the crusty edge part, I’ll even clean the kitchen if I can have the crusty edge. I guess you can tell we ate a lot of grits growing up as kids. We always called them hominy grits. Is that the same as what you get today?
    David, I have to confess, I still eat grits. They are only found at one online store (Tasty America) here in Sweden. I don’t eat them every day as they’re bloody expensive here, about 12 US bucks for an 80 oz bag of the Quaker grits. But, I gotta have my grits. Not to worry though, the cost of grits is no problem for this recipe, cause I’ve got to make this one…

    1. Oooo…that’s a promise I might have to make you keep, Ron! Cleaning the kitchen? Haha. I do a lot of cleaning here, so I welcome the help!

      That’s an excellent question about grits vs. hominy grits. I don’t call them hominy grits, so I did a quick google and Amazon search. They appear to be very, very similar. Of course, we’re talking about real grits here – not the instant kind.

      Either way, I do highly recommend this recipe, Ron! It’ll take you back to living in Kentucky! 🙂

  6. My in-laws grew up in Tennessee and introduced me (California girl) to grits – I love them! So I know that I’d love this comforting, cheesy casserole!

    1. Grits get a bad rap, but they are amazing when they are prepared correctly! (And by correctly, I mean with cream and cheese…you can’t go wrong with that! Haha!)

  7. I did know that grits and polenta are similar, if due to nothing more than the fact that I’ve never been good at cooking either one. But that was back in my early days of cooking. I have a feeling I might do a better job were I to try it now.

    1. Ah, well it sounds like you’ve got a challenge in front of you, Jeff! When prepared correctly (i.e. with lots of cream and cheese), grits are absolutely amazing. I highly recommend ’em. You might be able to find real grits (not the 1-minute microwavable kind) in your area just because you’re in a larger city. If not, Amazon is the way to go for real grits!

  8. 5 stars
    Does this ever look good!! So hearty too. I can’t wait to give this a go. I could pretty much devour this for any meal of the day, but bet it would be lovely for weekend brunch with lots and lots of coffee. Hope you have a great week, my friend. 🙂

    1. This would indeed be a great weekend brunch meal, Dawn! We enjoyed it for weeknight dinners, but it really could work for any time of the day. Thanks so much, and I hope you have a great week ahead, too!

    1. You make an interesting point here, Raymund! There are certainly some ingredients out there that are not up my alley, but I’m sure they are delicious if prepared correctly. Grits are a favorite here – as long as they are made properly!!

  9. Grits have a good rap in my book 😉 — and this recipe looks fantastic! Love all of the flavors and it’s perfect for a fabulous brunch! ~Valentina

    1. Ah, good! I’m glad you know how wonderful grits can be! 🙂 They are truly a favorite, but I have to be careful when I make ’em as I can eat the whole batch before I realize it! Haha. Thanks, Valentina!

    1. That doesn’t surprise me that grits aren’t common down there…but I bet you could get them on Amazon! Although, to be fair, polenta is certainly in the same family, so I’d probably go that route. Thanks, Sherry!

    1. That’s true! I do use milk with a bit of half-and-half in this recipe. I was afraid of using that same amount of cream given the size of the casserole – haha! When I’m making a side dish of grits (for say grilled salmon or grilled chicken), I typically use cream!

  10. 5 stars
    I wasn’t sure what grits are David, but after a quick Google, I understand them to be a variation of semolina. Which is something that I love and often cook with. So I’m definitely up for giving this delicious sausage and cheese grits casserole a whirl. Thanks David!

    1. Grits are indeed in the same family as polenta. In fact, I’ve heard grits called ‘Southern polenta.” They are a staple in the southern US, but they often get a bad rap because – like most foods – grits are only good when prepared properly. Bad grits are just bad! But good grits? Oh man, they are amazing! Give ’em a try if you ever get the chance, Neil!

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