Are you tired of the same old breakfast and dinner options? Then discover the versatility of Cheesy Grits Soufflé that can be served not just for breakfast and brunch but dinner, too!
Grits are a staple at any southern breakfast table. At least they were in my house. Their creamy texture and delicious flavor are something that is completely comforting to me. But why are we only relegated to shrimp for breakfast or shrimp and grits at dinner? Why aren’t there more grits recipes for meals outside of those? Enter my Cheesy Grits Soufflé. It’s a delicious recipe that is great for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
What are grits?
Grits are a humble yet versatile Southern staple. They are a type of cornmeal that originated in Native American cultures that is made by grinding dried corn kernels. Grits have been a beloved food in the South for centuries but have since gained popularity across the United States, and for good reason.
Grits take on a creamy and slightly grainy texture which provides the perfect canvas for a myriad of flavors. Whether you prefer a savory or sweet dish, grits can be infused with various ingredients to suit your taste buds. They are incredibly versatile, making them an ideal foundation for many recipes including my cheesy grits soufflé.
Some prefer their grits with a looser, more soup-like texture. Others enjoy a thicker, more spoonable consistency. The cooking time and liquid ratio play vital roles in determining the texture of your grits. For this cheesy grits soufflé, I cooked mine a little thicker in consistency. Since I was adding in eggs yolks, milk, cheese, and whipped egg whites, they needed to be thicker. Looser grits would make this a soupy mess.
What are the best methods to cooking grits?
First and foremost, the most popular method for cooking grits on the stovetop. Start by bringing 4 cups of water for every 1 one cup of grits to a boil and adding a pinch of salt. Slowly whisk in the grits, stirring continuously to prevent any lumps from forming. Reduce the heat to low and let the mixture simmer for about 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the grits become creamy and tender. If you prefer a thicker consistency, simply continue cooking until you’ve almost reached the consistency you want. There is carryover cooking so let them rest and they should reach your desired consistency in a 5 or so minutes later.
Another technique that yields creamy and flavorful grits is the slow cooker method. Combine the grits, water, and salt in a slow cooker, using the same ratio as the stovetop method. Cook on low for about 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally. The slow cooker method allows the grits to slowly absorb the liquid, resulting in a rich and velvety texture. And it’s also a great hands-off method for making grits. Especially on busy holiday mornings!
For this recipe, I used the microwave to cook my grits. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the grits, water, and a pinch of salt. Use the same ratio as the stovetop method. Microwave on high for 5 minutes, then remove and stir well. Return to the microwave for another 5 minutes, stirring again halfway through. After about 10 minutes your grits should be nice and thick. The perfect consistency for this cheesy grits soufflé.
How do you make cheesy grits soufflé?
Now that we’ve learned what grits are and know the best ways to cook them, it’s time to dive into making this delicious recipe. This side dish combines the creamy goodness of grits and cheese with the elegance of a soufflé. This combination results in a mouthwatering creation that will leave your taste buds begging for more.
First, it starts with 1 cups of grits, 3 cups of water, and 1 cup of milk. I do not salt the grits until after they’re cooked. That way I know what the final flavor will taste like before adding in the remaining ingredients for the soufflé. I put all of this into a large microwave safe container. I say large because the grits have a tendency to bubble up and potentially spill over if not cooked in a large container. So, I used my half galloon Pyrex glass measuring bowl.
Once the grits are cooked stir in the butter and let them cool slightly. Now it’s time to add the rest of the ingredients. Separate the yolks from the whites. Combine the yolks with the heavy cream and whisk them into the grits, stirring constantly until combined. Stir in the salt and pepper and any other seasonings you want. I added in some garlic powder and onion powder for additional flavor. Finally, stir in the cheese.
Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form and then fold them into the grits mixture. After the egg whites are incorporated, then pour the mixture into a casserole dish coated in butter or cooking spray. Bake at 425 for 40 to 50 minutes or until the center is no longer jiggly. Yes, that’s a technical term. Jiggly.
How can you customize your cheesy grits soufflé?
I didn’t add anything but cheese to my grits. I wanted this side dish to be a simple and not overshadow your main meat like turkey, ham, or even a prime rib roast. But that doesn’t mean you can’t mix ingredients into your cheesy grits soufflé. These variations will take your cheesy grits soufflé to new heights of deliciousness, ensuring that you never get bored with this easy to make dish. So, get ready to tantalize your taste buds and explore the endless possibilities of a cheesy grits soufflé.
The first thing to comes to mind is bacon. Because everything is better with bacon! And that would make this recipe more versatile for breakfast, brunch, or dinner. You could also stir in some cubed ham and make this the main entrée for a meal. Or try some pulled pork, grilled chicken, or sauteed shrimp.
Another variation is to spice it up and add a jalapeno. By adding finely chopped jalapenos to the grit mixture, you can infuse a burst of heat that will wake up your taste buds. Pair this version with a sharp cheddar cheese for an extra layer of flavor that complements the spiciness perfectly. If you don’t want the spice but want the Latin flair, try some roasted Hatch chiles and add in some chili powder and cumin.
If you prefer a milder flavor profile, try smoked Gouda and caramelized onions. The smokiness of the Gouda cheese adds depth to the dish, while the sweetness of caramelized onions offers a delightful contrast. Or try some surprising ingredients like sun-dried tomatoes and feta cheese. The tanginess of the feta cheese balances out the sweetness of the sun-dried tomatoes, resulting in a cheesy grits soufflé with Mediterranean flair.
As you experiment with different variations, don’t be afraid to think outside the box and let your creativity run wild. Consider adding ingredients such as bacon, mushrooms, or even roasted red peppers to customize your cheesy grits soufflé to suit your preferences and surprise your guests. The possibilities are truly endless, and each new combination will bring a unique and delicious experience to your table.
With these variations, you can elevate the humble cheesy grits soufflé into a dish that is truly extraordinary. As you experiment with different variations, don’t be afraid to think outside the box and let your creativity run wild. Consider adding ingredients such as bacon, mushrooms, or even roasted red peppers to customize your cheesy grits soufflé.
No matter how you serve this cheesy grits soufflé up, it’s a simple recipe that you can customize for any flavor combination, any type of cuisine, or for any meal. And since it’s easy to make with frugal ingredients you can plan on making this side dish all the time.
Elevate your holiday celebrations with our Cheesy Grits Soufflé recipe. This scrumptious dish is the side dish you've been waiting for.
- 3 cup water
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup grits
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 large eggs, divided
- Preheat oven to 425 F.
- Place the water and milk in a large microwave safe container. Stir in the grits and microwave on high at 3 minutes intervals stirring after each interval until the grits are thick and creamy. They should be very thick but still able to stir.
Stir in the butter, salt, and pepper and set aside to cool slightly.
- Separate the eggs and beat the yolks with the heavy cream. Add a spoonful of grits to the egg yolk mixture and stir to combine then add the mixture to the rest of the grits along with the cheese.
- Whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the grits until incorporated. Pour the mixture into a casserole dish coated with butter or olive oil. Sprinkle the top with paprika, cover, and bake at 425 F for 30 to 40 minutes or until the grits are no longer jiggly in the center.
Amount Per Serving Calories 259Total Fat 22gSaturated Fat 13gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 150mgSodium 359mgCarbohydrates 7gFiber 0gSugar 2gProtein 9g
More Side Dish Recipes:
- Air Fryer Spaghetti Squash Fritters from Magical Ingredients
- Apple Pomegranate Salad from Art of Natural Living
- Baked Macaroni and Cheese for a Crowd from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Balsamic, & Brown Sugar from The Spiffy Cookie
- Cheesy Grits Souffle from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- French Onion Mashed Potatoes from Cheese Curd In Paradise
- Grape and Pineapple Salad from Palatable Pastime
- No Knead Dinner Rolls from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Parmesan from Blogghetti
- Savory Canned Pumpkin Drop Biscuits from Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice
- Squash Salad with Tahini Vinaigrette from A Day in the Life on the Farm