Sunday, November 21, 2010

Baked Garlic Cheese Grits with Sausage

A souffle'd casserole of baked grits with cheese and sausage.

Baked Garlic Cheese Grits with Sausage

I love my stovetop version of garlic cheese grits. They are a creamy, cheesy, and perfect garlicky cradle for eggs in purgatory, shrimp and grits, or grillades and grits, or as a tasty side dish, great with scrambled or fried, dirty eggs.  Last week though, we were chatting over on the Facebook page about everybody's favorite way to make a baked, casserole-style cheese grits, like this one; souffle-like and fluffy.

Well, there's the whole garlic cheese roll debacle that has caused some to give up on their favorite garlic cheese grits casseroles all together, but it seems a lot of people simply favored the recipes found right off the backs of their favorite grits box! Who knew?

Beth shared her Mexican version of cheese grits, with jalapenos, hot sauce and pimentos, yum! Marcia offered suggestions such as substituting a bit of half and half for part of the water and using extra sharp cheddar for a flavor pop (thanks Marcia!), and several others even use sort of a queso combo - adding Velveeta cheese and Rotel tomatoes in the grits. For the record, while I kept this recipe here basic this time, y'all know, I am so going there with the queso cheese grits!

We Southerners love our grits, and we seem to be pretty fond of a grits casserole too, especially when you pair that up with some spicy breakfast sausage. Add in some fried or scrambled eggs and you've got a very nice eye-opener for those holiday guests.  I know the pictures don't do the dish justice - I don't care how hard you try, there is just no way to make a pretty picture of a serving of a grits casserole. But... if you're like me, you already know you can't always judge a book by it's cover, and that's certainly the case with this delicious breakfast casserole.

Here's how to make it.

Recipe: Baked Garlic Cheese Grits with Sausage

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min |Cook time: 1 hour | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings

  • 1 pound roll of hot breakfast sausage (like Jimmy Dean)
  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 2 teaspoons of finely minced garlic
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 cups of half and half
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup of quick cooking grits (not instant)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 3-quart baking dish; set aside.

Brown the sausage in a skillet until cooked; drain and set aside. In the same skillet, melt the butter and then saute the garlic a couple of minutes until softened.

Combine the water and half and half, and bring mixture to a boil. Stir in the salt and grits, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring a couple of times; remove from the heat. Beat the eggs in a small bowl and temper them by beating in a couple of tablespoons of the hot grits. Add the tempered eggs to the grits. Stir in the butter and garlic, scraping all of it from out of the skillet, and 1-1/2 cups of the cheese. Reserve the remaining cheese for later. Add the cooked sausage and hot sauce, and stir the grits until everything is blended in well.

Turn out into the prepared baking dish and bake at 350 degrees F, for about 50 minutes. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of cheese on top, and return to the oven for 10 minutes longer, or until cheese is lightly browned.

Cook's Notes: Also delicious with finely minced andouille or smoked sausage. Make a Mexican version of cheese grits, by adding jalapenos, hot sauce and pimentos, and go queso by using Velveeta cheese and adding Rotel tomatoes. Refrigerate leftovers, then slice or cut into wedges, dip in flour and fry. Serve as a side or use for shrimp and grits or grillades and grits.


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©Deep South Dish
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Posted by on November 21, 2010

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  1. Sausage, cheese, garlic, grits - what else needs to be said.

  2. I like this recipe!!!!! I like it!!!!....and I'm coming to have a dish...chez toi!!! :D ...have a nice Sunday, ciao Flavia

  3. I must say that I totally agree with Big Dude response on this "Sausage, cheese, garlic, grits - what else needs to be said"....This is some good eating right here. Excellent Mary.

  4. Living North-ish, grits just isn't on the radar. Really need to make it more often. I've made BBQ Shrimp and cheesy grits and am loving all the flavor combos you've listed.

  5. Oh my, that looks like a completely decadent breakfast, in a good way :)

  6. I Love Grits !

    And I live in is and has been on my radar for years....once I lived in the South and got a taste....I always have some in my them with a touch of garlic..I never turn grits way....

  7. Oh my goodness. Now *THIS* sounds like heaven. I can not wait to make this. I might just have to make breakfast for dinner tonight. YUM!

  8. oh wow, this looks so creamy and delicious! my family is here from the south, i should really make this while they're here!

  9. Now that really does sound like a special holiday breakfast. I can't wait to try this recipe on Thanksgiving. Has any of you ever heard of Grits with tomatoes, if so how are they prepared? My daughter's boyfriend mentioned that they are really good, but dinn't know how they were prepared.

    1. I have a recipe for cheese grits casserole, has rotel tomatoes and chilli peppers...if that is what he was taking about

  10. I bookmarked this one, I just wish it was Friday so I could make it for breakfast tomorrow.

    I also like Beth's ideas. Does she have a food blog? I'm thinking chipolte!

  11. Whoah...those grits look incredible!! Definitely looking forward to checking out some of your other grits recipes as well!

    We were both featured in the "Ten Tasty Food Blogs You Should Be Reading" at Jam Hands, so here I am reading and enjoying!

    I'm in recipe heaven!
    Jenn/Rook No. 17

  12. I've made this twice, every time I do it's a HUGE hit!!! Great recipe!

  13. Thank you so much for letting me know you're enjoying it. It's not one of the more pretty recipes on the site, but I think it's pretty tasty! Happy New Year!!

  14. Hello Mary! If I was to leave the sausage out would you recommend changing the recipe in any other way?

    1. I think you could just omit it Aryn and the rest of the recipe still hold true, though I'd be tempted to add just a little more cheese I think! :)

  15. I have a question, I keep reading it over and over I am not understanding the recipe where it says to replace half water with the half and half,do I use 1 cup water and 3 cups half and half.

    1. Oh gracious that doesn't make a bit of sense does it!! My apologies. This is one of my older recipes so I hope I've gotten a little better with writing them these days.

      For 1 cup of grits you typically need 4 cups of water. What I meant was to use 2 cups of water and 2 cups of half and half.


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