As I titled this post Sausage and Grits Breakfast Casserole, I wondered if I was limiting it. I mean. I suppose you could have this for lunch or dinner, but I really feel like it’s a great breakfast dish. It would also be great for brunch. Sausage and Grits Breakfast Casserole is very versatile, and it’s approved by my family. Just so you know, getting their approval isn’t always easy.
Before I share the recipe, I need to confess that I have never done anything with grits except boil them in salted water and serve them for breakfast. My culinary experiences don’t include shrimp and grits or anything else. I enjoy plain grits as a breakfast side dish, so I saw no reason to do anything else, but the food blogger in me felt compelled to try something new. That’s how this breakfast casserole came to be.
What will you need to prepare this recipe?
From the Pantry
- Quick Grits
- Canned Evaporated Milk
- Garlic Powder
- Black Pepper
From the Refrigerator
- Turkey Breakfast Sausage
- Louisiana Hot Sauce
- Medium or Sharp Cheddar Cheese
I have some photos and instructions that I would like to go over with you, but if you don’t want to read them, just click here to be taken to the recipe.Jump to Recipe
To begin this recipe, you need to do two things simultaneously–bring water to a boil for the grits. and cook the sausage. For the sausage, you can use either hot or mild, and you can also choose pork or turkey. I chose turkey because it was less expensive.
Once the sausage is cooked, drain off any excess grease, and set it aside.
When the water comes to a boil, sprinkle the grits over the water, stirring continuously to prevent clumps from forming. Bring to a boil and simmer the recommended time on the package. The brand of grits I bought recommended cooking for 6 – 8 minutes.
After the grits are cooked, remove them from the heat and stir in the milk, 1 1/2 cups of the cheese, the spices, and the hot sauce. Keep stirring until the cheese is melted into the grits. Now it’s time for the tricky part. If you add the eggs to the pot with the grits, they will turn into chunks of scrambled eggs rather than be incorporated into the casserole batter. To prevent this, you will need to “temper” the eggs, or warm them up slightly. Here’s how you do that.
Lightly beat your eggs in a small bowl, then add a dollop of the grits mixture to the eggs and stir vigorously to incorporate the grits into the eggs. You need to stir quickly so you can do this without the eggs cooking. I actually added two scoops of grits to the eggs, stirring after each addition. The purpose of “tempering” is to heat up the egg, so you can avoid chunks of scrambled eggs in your casserole when you add it to the main pot.
Stir your bowl of egg and grits into the larger pot then add the sausage and mix well. Your batter is ready for the baking dish. I used a glass casserole dish that was about 9 inches in diameter. Be careful when pouring the batter into the baking pan as hot grits stick to your skin and can cause nasty burns.
At this point, you can cover the dish and stick it into the refrigerator until the next day. This is my favorite way to prepare breakfasts for holidays. Make a breakfast casserole the night before and stick it in the fridge. The next day, stick it in the oven to bake while you’re doing something else. Because this is in a glass casserole dish, I would let it sit out at room temperature for about 30 minutes before I put it in the oven. I have had glass dishes shatter when going from fridge to oven, and I don’t want to have that happen again. Once, it was a pan of cinnamon rolls, another time, it was a salmon that I was roasting. When the pans shattered, the food had to be thrown away.
The casserole is baked for an hour at 350 degrees. At that point, the top will be golden brown with a light crust on it. I thought it looked good, and was ready to dig in, but Food Critic pointed out that it needed more cheese on top.
I sprinkled more cheese on top, and put it back into the oven. It took about 10 minutes for the cheese to melt and begin to brown.
I removed the casserole from the oven, allowed it to rest for 10 minutes, and served it to the family. I waited with bated breath for their reactions. They liked it. Even Bus Boy who can be very picky ate his serving without complaint though he did look at it suspiciously when I put his plate in front of him. This was a definite win, and we will be making it again.
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Sausage and Grits Breakfast Casserole
- 1 pound hot turkey breakfast sausage cooked and drained ($2.67) You can use pork sausage if you prefer.
- 3 cups water
- ¾ cup quick grits ($0.12)
- 5 oz can evaporated milk (2/3 cup) ($0.59)
- ½ tsp garlic powder ($0.12)
- 2 cups shredded medium or sharp cheddar cheese divided ($1.98)
- ½ tsp black pepper ($0.02)
- 3 – 4 dashes Louisiana Hot Sauce ($0.01)
- 2 large eggs ($0.16)
- Turn oven on to preheat to 350 degrees.
- Put water on stove and bring to a boil
- Add grits slowly to boiling water, and cook, stirring frequently, until done (according to package directions as different brands have different cooking times.)
- While the water is coming to a boil, cook sausage over medium heat. Drain excess grease and set aside.
- When the grits are cooked, add evaporated milk, garlic powder, 1 ½ cups of the shredded cheddar cheese, black pepper, and hot sauce. Mix well until cheese is melted and all ingredients are completely incorporated.
- Lightly beat the eggs in a small bowl. Add 1 -2 tablespoons of the hot grits mixture to the eggs and mix quickly to incorporate the eggs into the hot mixture and increase the temperature of the eggs. (This is called "tempering," and helps to prevent the eggs from cooking into scrambled eggs instead of being incorporated into the casserole.)
- Stir cooked sausage into the grits mixture.
- Pour all of the grits mixture into a well greased 8 or 9 inch baking pan.
- Place in oven and bake for 1 hour.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle the top with the remaining ½ cup of shredded cheddar cheese.
- Return casserole to oven and allow it to bake for 10 more minutes or until cheese is melted and beginning to brown.
- Remove casserole from oven and allow it to sit for 10 minutes before serving.
The nutrition information in this recipe is for a single serving (one-sixth) of the Sausage and Grits Breakfast casserole prepared according to the recipe above using sharp cheddar cheese.
Disclaimer: Nutritional information is calculated using online tools such as those available at cronometer.com or verywellfit.com. We make every attempt to ensure that the information is calculated correctly, but this information should be considered estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. In addition, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition-fact sources, databases, and the algorithms used. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful. Under no circumstances will PattyCakesPantry.com be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information provided.