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Cheesy Sausage & Grit Casserole

Sorry, friends. There’s no way to make this dish look pretty in pictures. But it IS super yummy!

I’m always on the lookout for new breakfast casserole recipes for our Friday morning work breakfasts, particularly ones that don’t take a million different ingredients and a lot of assembly time (because let’s face it, I get home late).  This one is is simple, affordable, and comes together super quickly.

Sausage & Grit Breakfast Casserole

Funny story about this recipe though…the original recipe instructions just say “boil salted water, then add grits”.  Because my background is pasta, where you heavily salt the water (then, obviously, pour a lot of it out), I boiled the water and tossed a handful of salt in, and of course salted my sausage and added (salty) cheese.  The result?  So salty, it was almost inedible.  It WAS kind of inedible, in my opinion.  Lesson learned—follow the instructions on the package!

sausage & grit breakfast casserole ground turkey spices

Preheat oven to 325 F.  Saute the sausage (or the meat and spices, if you’re making your own), breaking it into small pieces.

sausage & grit breakfast casserole onion

sausage & grit breakfast casserole turkey sausage

When the sausage is almost done, add the diced onion and continue to saute for a few more minutes until the onions are soft and the sausage is cooked through.  Drain to remove excess fat (if there is any—if you used turkey or chicken, there shouldn’t be).

Yes, ground chicken or turkey will look weird. So weird. Let’s move on now.

sausage & grit breakfast casserole grits cooked

How you cook your grits will depend on the kind you have, so follow the directions on your grits package carefully.  I used 5-minute quick grits, so it was super easy.  Bring water to a boil on medium-high, add the salt and grits, bring mixture back to a boil, then turn down to low, cover, and cook for 5 minutes.

sausage & grit breakfast casserole grits butter

sausage & grit breakfast casserole grits cheese

When the grits are done, add the butter and stir in until totally melted, then add the egg and 1 cup of the cheese to the grits.

Sausage & Grit Breakfast Casserole done

The easiest way to combine everything is just spread the sausage and onions in the bottom of the greased 9×13 pan, then pour the grit mixture over the top and gently stir everything together.  Garnish with the remaining cheese, paprika, and parsley.  Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the casserole is bubbly and lightly brown on top.  Let sit for at least 10 minutes before serving.

The casserole can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for up to 2 days before baking (it also freezes well).

Cheesy Sausage & Grit Casserole

  • 1 cup of uncooked grits
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 pound of ground sausage (I used ground turkey or chicken, with its own spices; see below)
  • 4 green onions or 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups of cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1/4 cup of fresh parsley, chopped

Spices for sausage (if you’re making your own; per pound of meat)

  • 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon of dried sage
  • 1/2 tablespoon of smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon of red chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
Preheat oven to 325 F.  Saute the sausage (or the meat and spices, if you’re making your own), breaking it into small pieces.  When the sausage is almost done, add the diced onion and continue to saute for a few more minutes until the onions are soft and the sausage is cooked through.  Drain to remove excess fat (if there is any—if you used turkey or chicken, there shouldn’t be).
Follow the directions on your grits package carefully—I used 5-minute quick grits, so I brought my water to a boil on medium-high, added the salt and grits, brought the mixture back to a boil, then turned down the temperature to low, covered, and cooked for 5 minutes. Easy peasy.
When the grits are done, add the butter and stir it in until totally melted, then add the egg and 1 cup of the cheese to the grits.  Stir everything together, then combine with the sausage mixture and pour into a greased 9×13 pan.  I actually just spread the sausage in the bottom of the greased 9×13 pan, then poured the grit mixture over the top and gently stirred everything together.
Garnish with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese, paprika, and parsley.  Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the casserole is bubbly and lightly brown on top.  Let sit for at least 10 minutes before serving.

The casserole can be refrigerated for up to 2 days before baking, and it also freezes well.

Original recipe here

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