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If you’re on the lookout for a breakfast that’s the perfect blend of Southern comfort and a little something extra, you’re in for a treat. Sausage and Cheese Grits Casserole combines savory ground sausage, creamy grits, and gooey cheese for a breakfast experience that’s hearty, comforting, and totally irresistible.

Easy to make and easy to bake, a breakfast casserole the whole family will love!

A slice of cheese grits and sausage casserole with the serving dish and a bowl of fruit on the table.

Ingredient Notes

A labeled image of ingredients needed for grits and sausage casserole.
  • Ground Breakfast Sausage: When selecting sausage, you can choose from a variety of flavors, such as mild, medium, or spicy. Make sure to cook the sausage thoroughly and drain any excess fat before using it in the casserole.
  • Quick Cooking Grits: Quick cooking grits are a time-saving option. These are different from instant grits and may also be called 5-minute grits. You could also use regular grits if you have more time. Adjust the cooking time according to the type of grits you use.
  • Water: Water is used to cook the grits. You can enhance the flavor by using chicken broth or vegetable broth instead.
  • Salt and Black Pepper: These seasonings enhance the flavor of the casserole. I salt the water after boiling to cook the saltiness into the grits. You don’t need as much as you would think with grits, as you have some in the butter, sausage, and cheese.
  • Salted Butter: The butter is sliced into pats to evenly distribute the buttery flavor throughout the casserole. You can use unsalted butter if you prefer to control the saltiness.
  • Heavy Cream: Heavy cream adds richness to the casserole. You can also use half-and-half or omit if you want to reduce the calorie content.
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese: Sharp cheddar cheese gives that cheesy flavor that goes so well with the grits. Half will be mixed in and half baked on top of the casserole.
  • Large Eggs: Eggs help bind the casserole together. Make sure they are beaten well before incorporating them into the mixture.

Variations and Substitutions

  • Vegetables: You can add sautéed vegetables like bell peppers, onions, or spinach to the casserole for extra flavor and nutrition. You may need to adjust the amount of liquid or add a bit more heavy cream after mixing them in.
  • Spices: Consider adding spices like paprika, garlic powder, or thyme to enhance the overall flavor profile of the casserole.
  • Spice It Up: Add a bit of heat by including diced jalapeños, chopped green chiles, crushed red pepper flakes, or hot sauce to the mixture. This can give the casserole a spicy kick.
  • Variety of Cheeses: While cheddar cheese is a classic choice, you can experiment with other cheeses such as Monterey Jack, gouda, mozzarella, pepper jack, cream cheese, or a blend of cheeses for a different flavor profile. Feel free to experiment with different types of cheeses or a cheese blend to customize the flavor of the casserole.
  • Gluten-Free Option: If you need a gluten-free version, ensure that the sausage you use is gluten-free and opt for certified gluten-free grits.

How To Make Sausage and Cheese Grits Casserole

Be sure to see the recipe card below for exact ingredients and full recipe instructions!

Step 1: Prep Pan and Oven

To start, preheat your oven to 350°F. Get a 9-by-13-inch baking dish ready by either spraying it with nonstick cooking spray or buttering it to prevent sticking.

Step 2: Cook Breakfast Sausage

While your oven heats up, grab a large nonstick skillet. Put your ground breakfast sausage in there and cook it over medium-high heat for about 8 to 12 minutes. You want the sausage to turn brown and crumbly, so use a spatula to break it up as it cooks.

I like to get nice bits of brown on the outside of my sausage for color and flavor.

Once it’s cooked, drain the sausage on some paper towels to remove the excess fat.

If you would like, reserve a little bit of the sausage to serve crumbled on top (about 1/4 cup).

Cooking breakfast sausage in a skillet.

Step 3: Prepare Grits

As the sausage works its magic, grab a saucepan and get some water boiling. Sprinkle in a bit of salt and give it a good stir until the salt dissolves.

Now, slowly whisk in your quick-cooking grits to blend them with the water. Turn down the heat, cover the pan, and let it simmer for about 5 to 7 minutes. Give it a stir every now and then.

Salting boiling water and cooking grits with lid on the pot.

Step 4: Stir in Ingredients for Cheesy Sausage Grits

Once the grits are all done and creamy, take them off the heat. Toss in the butter, heavy cream, and a dash of black pepper. Mix it all up until everything’s combined nicely.

Adding butter, heavy cream, and pepper to cooked grits.

Now, add in those beaten eggs and give it a good whisk to make sure everything’s mixed together well.

Whisking in beaten eggs into cooked grits.

Time to bring in the stars of the show! Mix in half of your shredded cheddar cheese and that delicious cooked sausage. Use a spatula to blend everything together nicely.

Adding half of shredded cheddar cheese and breakfast sausage to cooked grits and stirring to combine.

Step 5: Pour in Casserole Dish & Bake

Now, pour this yummy sausage and grits mixture into that prepared baking dish. It’s looking good, but we’re not done yet.

Prepared baking dish and grits mixture poured in.

Sprinkle the rest of your shredded cheddar cheese on top. Now it’s ready for the oven.

Remaining half of shredded cheese added to top of sausage and grits casserole before baking.

Pop it in there and let it bake for around 40 to 45 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when it’s all bubbly and the cheese on top has melted into gooey perfection.

Step 5: Let Set & Enjoy

Once it’s out of the oven, give it a little time to cool and set for about 5 minutes. And then comes the best part—serving and savoring this scrumptious Sausage and Cheese Grits Breakfast Casserole. Enjoy every bite!

A white casserole dish filled with Sausage and Cheese Grits Casserole.

Tips

  • Properly Cook Grits: Follow the package instructions for cooking the grits, whether they’re quick cooking or regular grits. Stir them occasionally to prevent sticking and achieve a smooth consistency.
  • Cook Sausage Thoroughly: Make sure to cook the ground breakfast sausage thoroughly until it’s browned and crumbled. This ensures both the flavor and safety of the dish.
  • Don’t Overbake: Keep an eye on the casserole while it’s baking. Especially the first time you bake it- Oven temperatures vary, so cooking times may vary as well. You want it to be bubbly and the cheese on top to be melted, but avoid overbaking, as this can lead to a dry casserole.

Recipe FAQs

Can I use regular grits instead of quick-cooking grits?

Yes, you can use regular grits or stone ground grits instead of quick-cooking grits, but you will need to adjust the cooking time. Regular grits take longer to cook, so follow the package instructions for cooking times and adjust the recipe accordingly.

Can I use a different type of meat?

Certainly! You can substitute the ground breakfast sausage with cooked and crumbled bacon, diced ham, or smoked sausage. You can also use any chicken sausage or sausage substitutes you like.

Can I make this casserole ahead of time?

Yes, for make-ahead grits casserole. You can assemble the casserole, cover it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and refrigerate it overnight. Bake the next day or when you’re ready, remove it from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before baking. You may need to increase the baking time slightly since the casserole is starting from a colder temperature.

Can I make it vegetarian?

To make it vegetarian, omit the meat and consider adding sautéed vegetables, mushrooms, or vegetarian sausage as a protein source.

Feel free to reach out if you have more specific questions or if there’s anything else you’re curious about!

Grits and Sausage Casserole with a serving removed from the serving pan.

Storage & Reheating

Storage: Cover with foil or plastic wrap or place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for 3 days.

Reheat: Individual servings can be warmed in the microwave in 30-second intervals until warmed through.

To reheat the entire casserole, cover the casserole dish with foil and reheat in a 350°F oven for 15-20 minutes until warmed.

What to Serve With Grits and Sausage Casserole

The Sausage and Cheese Grits Breakfast Casserole is a hearty breakfast on its own! But this flavorful dish pairs well with a variety of sides. Here are some ideas for what to serve with it:

We love to serve this with eggs made your way, a fresh fruit salad, biscuits, or toast. Add a little something sweet like Apple Pie Skillet Biscuit Bites or Apple Sticky Bun Bites.

It’s also delicious topped with either or served along one of my five-star gravy recipes: The Best Ever Sausage Gravy or Grandpa’s Chipped Beef Gravy!

It’s perfect for a Christmas morning breakfast, really any holiday breakfast, or brunch.

Topping Ideas

  • Fresh Herbs: Chopped fresh herbs like parsley, sliced green onion, or chives can be sprinkled on top of the casserole before serving for a burst of freshness.
  • Hot Sauce: If you like a bit of heat, you can drizzle some hot sauce over the casserole before baking or serve it on the side.
  • Custom Toppings: When serving, consider adding toppings like chopped green onions, diced tomatoes, avocado slices or guacamole, or even a dollop of sour cream for extra flavor and texture.
  • Elevate with Sauces: Serve the casserole with a side of tomato salsa, hollandaise sauce, or a drizzle of maple syrup for a creative twist.
A white plate with black rim with a serving of cheesy grits casserole with breakfast sausage set on a table with fruit and the casserole dish in the background.

Other Breakfast Recipes

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A white plate with black rim with a serving of cheesy grits casserole with breakfast sausage set on a table with fruit and the casserole dish in the background.
Recipe
5 from 8 votes

(click stars to rate)

Sausage and Cheese Grits Casserole

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Author: Nikki Lee
Sausage and Cheese Grits Casserole combines savory ground sausage, creamy grits, and gooey cheese for a breakfast experience that's hearty, comforting, and totally irresistible.
Easy to make and easy to bake, a breakfast casserole the whole family will love!

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound ground sausage
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup quick cooking grits, (not instant grits)
  • 1 stick butter, (½ cup), sliced into pats
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 2 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided in half
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon salt, (or to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper, optional, (or to taste)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9 X 13 baking dish with cooking spray or butter the dish to prevent sticking.
  • In a large nonstick skillet, cook sausage on medium-high for 8 to 12 minutes, until sausage is browned and crumbled, using a spatula to break up meat. Drain sausage on paper towels t remove fat.
  • While the sausage is cooking, bring the water to a boil, in a saucepan. Add in salt and stir until dissolved. Slowly whisk in the grits to combine with water. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Once grits are done, remove from heat and mix in butter, heavy cream, and black pepper.
    Then add in beaten eggs and whisk until combined.
    Add in half of the shredded cheese and sausage and mix together with a spatula.
  • Pour the sausage grits mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Then top with remaining shredded cheddar cheese and bake for 40-45 minutes, until bubbly and cheese is melted.
  • Remove from oven and let set for 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1serving Calories: 350kcal (18%) Carbohydrates: 11g (4%) Protein: 14g (28%) Fat: 28g (43%) Saturated Fat: 14g (88%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g Monounsaturated Fat: 9g Trans Fat: 0.4g Cholesterol: 108mg (36%) Sodium: 569mg (25%) Potassium: 149mg (4%) Fiber: 1g (4%) Sugar: 0.4g Vitamin A: 618IU (12%) Vitamin C: 0.3mg Calcium: 183mg (18%) Iron: 1mg (6%)

Nutritional Disclaimer

Soulfully Made is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

©️Soulfully Made

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10 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This was my first time making grits and I so appreciate how easy the recipe is to follow…and the result was delicious! Thank you!