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Grits Casserole Recipe

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Grits Casserole

Grits casserole is a warm, hearty, and flavorful Southern dish perfect for breakfast, brunch, or even dinner. This recipe combines creamy grits, savory cheese, and often tasty additions like sausage or bacon to create a comforting meal.

The main draw of grits casserole is its versatility. You can add your favorite ingredients, from spicy sausage to crispy bacon, to make it your own. It’s easy to prepare and lets you enjoy the rich, comforting flavors of Southern cooking in a single dish.

If you’re looking for an easy and delicious dish to impress your family or friends, this is the recipe to try. The combination of creamy, cheesy, and savory flavors will leave everyone asking for seconds.

Exact Ingredients (+ Possible Substitutes)

For a tasty grits casserole, you’ll need some key ingredients. Here they are:

Main Ingredients

  • Grits: 1 cup. You can use quick-cooking grits if you want to save time.
  • Water: 4 cups for cooking the grits.
  • Cheese: 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar. Monterey Jack or Gouda can be good substitutes.
  • Butter: ¼ cup.
  • Eggs: 2 large. These help bind the casserole.
  • Milk or Cream: 1 cup. Either works, but cream makes it richer.
  • Salt and Black Pepper: To taste.

Optional Add-ins

  • Bacon: Cooked and crumbled. For a healthier option, use turkey bacon.
  • Green Onions: Chopped for some extra flavor.
  • Spices: Feel free to add garlic powder, paprika, or cayenne for a kick.

Gluten-Free Option

If you need a gluten-free version, just make sure your grits and any add-ins are labeled gluten-free.

Dairy-Free Option

For those avoiding dairy, use dairy-free cheese and plant-based milk.

By using these ingredients, your grits casserole will be delicious and comforting.

Instructions


  1. Preheat the oven
    Set your oven to 350°F (175°C).



  2. Prepare the Baking Dish
    Lightly grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.



  3. Cook the Bacon
    In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy, about 14 to 16 minutes. Remove 1/4 cup of bacon pieces and set aside on a paper towel-lined plate.



  4. Boil Water and Add Grits
    Bring water and salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Slowly stir in the grits. Cook according to the package directions until thickened.



  5. Mix in Cheese and Butter
    Remove the pan from heat. Stir in shredded cheese and butter until melted.



  6. Add Heavy Cream, Salt, and Pepper
    Stir in heavy cream, salt, and pepper to taste.



  7. Cook Sausage
    In a skillet, cook sausage over medium-high heat until browned and crumbly, about 5 to 7 minutes. Drain and add it to the grits mixture.



  8. Whisk Eggs and Milk
    In a bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Pour this mixture into the skillet used to cook the sausage. Lightly scramble the eggs over medium-low heat, then mix into the grits mixture.



  9. Combine and Pour
    Pour the grits mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with reserved bacon pieces and a little more cheese if desired.



  10. Bake
    Cover and bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until the mixture is set and bubbly.



  11. Serve
    Let it cool for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy your delicious grits casserole!


Tips, Tricks & Storing

Tips & Tricks


  1. Use Quality Ingredients: Fresh cheese and high-quality bacon can make a big difference in flavor.



  2. Slowly Add Grits: Stir constantly as you add grits to boiling water to avoid lumps.



  3. Season Well: Don’t forget the salt and pepper. Some like to add a touch of garlic powder or cayenne for extra flavor.



  4. Cook on Low Heat: Simmer the grits on low heat to ensure they cook evenly and don’t burn.



  5. Cover while Cooking: Covering the pan helps the grits cook more evenly.



  6. Add Dairy Last: Stir in cheese, milk, or cream after removing from heat to keep it creamy and smooth.


Storing


  • Refrigerate: Let the casserole cool to room temperature, then cover tightly with foil or plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.



  • Freeze: For longer storage, wrap the casserole in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 2 months.



  • Reheat: Reheat in the microwave or oven. If reheating a frozen casserole, let it thaw in the refrigerator first.



  • Portion Sizes: Consider slicing the casserole into individual portions before storing. This makes reheating quicker and easier.


Recipe Variations & Serving Suggestions

There are many ways to change up your grits casserole. Here are some ideas:

Add Veggies:
Include chopped spinach, bell peppers, or onions for extra flavor and nutrition.

Protein Boost:
Mix in cooked bacon, sausage, or shrimp to make it heartier.

Cheese Choices:
Try different cheeses like Gouda, Pepper Jack, or Swiss for new tastes.

Spice It Up:
Add a pinch of cayenne pepper, paprika, or hot sauce to give it a kick.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Serve your grits casserole with a fresh garden salad.
  • Pair it with fried or baked chicken for a complete meal.
  • Enjoy it as a side dish at your next brunch.

Using these ideas, you can make your grits casserole just the way you like it!