The Saturday after Thanksgiving my brother and his wife and family come to celebrate the holiday with us and we have a themed dinner that has nothing to do with the traditional turkey and fixings. We’ve done Finnish, Polish, Mexican, and Soups and Breads. This year our theme was Southern fare. We had barbecued beef brisket, mac and cheese with pimentos, green beans with bacon and onions, coleslaw, bread pudding with bourbon sauce for dessert, and, for breakfast Sunday morning, cheesy grits with sausage. Sometimes I think the internets know what we are thinking before we know what we are thinking because Allrecipes emailed me this recipe well ahead of our Southern menu being finalized. When you travel through the south you know that a side of grits comes with breakfast, lunch and dinner so grits fit our theme perfectly. This casserole is easy to put together, very favorable and very filling. If you do have any leftovers they reheat well. Grits originated with Native Americans who would grind corn in a stone mill giving it the “gritty” taste. It was first served as a porridge. Grits are rich in iron and B vitamins and add fiber to your diet.
Even if you’re thinking…”ewwwww, grits”…keep an open mind and try this dish. We had good friends visiting this weekend and it was our breakfast this morning. This recipe fed four people with some leftovers.
3 cups water
1 cup 5 minute grits
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
1 pound of breakfast sausage
1/2 cup of milk
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350. Cook the sausage in a heavy skillet until it is no longer pink Drain off any grease and set aside.
Shred the cheese.
Whisk together the eggs and milk. Put a tablespoon of butter in a skillet and scramble the eggs. Set aside.
Measure out 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Slowly whisk in one cup of grits, reduce the heat and cook for five minutes stirring occasionally.
Once your grits have finished cooking, stir in the cheese a handful at a time until it is incorporated.
Now you’re ready to put the casserole together. In a 3 quart casserole dish combine the sausage, scrambled eggs, and the cheesy grits. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Top with some additional cheese and pats of butter. Bake for 30 minutes.
Great served with a little salsa.
NOTE: When I made this for our family at Thanksgiving I doubled the ingredients and baked it in a 9×13 casserole dish. As with any recipe, feel free to modify based on personal taste. The grits are just a little bit creamier if you substitute a cup of milk or half n half for one of the cups of water. I used a sharp cheddar cheese but feel free to use pepper jack or gruyere or another cheese that melts well and is flavorful since grits are fairly bland on their own. Also the type of sausage will change the taste. A spicy sausage like andouille or a sweet sausage like maple links will change up the overall flavor.
I hope this becomes a go-to breakfast casserole for you.