Overnight cheesy grits casserole is some down-home delicious Southern breakfast or brunch fare - and perfect for prepping ahead!
First off, happy birthday to my husband!
It's his birthday today and as anyone with a December birthday can imagine, it tends to get lost in the shuffle a bit. Last year was a big one for him and we took a trip to Aruba to celebrate, but we're back to just the ho-hum version this year 😂
We do have J's preschool Christmas performance this morning though, and his parents are in town for the weekend so that counts, right? We're headed to my parents house tonight for cocktails and appetizers then home for me to make him one of his favorite dinners. (That I really should put on the blog for all of you!) Not too shabby after all. 👍
And without further ado... the FOOD!
I must be a good Southern girl if I’ve got a grits casserole in my repertoire. Right y’all? ❤️
This overnight cheesy grits casserole is my mom’s recipe and would probably be frowned upon in the fancy circles. It does not require the more upscale stone ground grits. (Did I use upscale to describe grits?)
Or even the now trendy Anson Mills grits that I love to get in Charleston, S.C.. (Did I use trendy to describe grits? We are still talking about ground corn, yes?)
This recipe uses plain ole regular grits. Honestly, I think it makes the dish more authentic, more down-to-earth. This is what real people have been using all along.
(Confession: I have totally made this using stone ground grits that I got from Charleston, S.C., the mecca of all things grits in my mind. But it’s not necessary.)
We always had this overnight cheesy grits casserole at our Christmas brunch with some of my mom’s side of the family when I was growing up. My cousin’s grandmother particularly loved it.
She would gush over all of the food, in her magnificent Southern lady drawl, but you could always tell the grits were her favorite. She was a good Southern girl too. 😉
She passed away a few years ago, but I will always think of her when I make this dish. Don’t you just love how food can connect us that way? 💕
OK, let's get cooking.
Now, I’ve got some notes and substitutions coming up on how to make grits casserole. Just tryin’ to be helpful.
If you want to jump on down to the recipe, simply scroll right on through the rest of the text. The recipe card is near the bottom of the page, above the comments section.
Notes on overnight cheesy grits casserole:
- Regular grits are fine to use here, as are stone-ground grits — just follow the package directions. I don’t recommend quick or instant grits.
- If you taste the grits after you cook them and add the butter and cheese, you may be tempted to stop there. And that would be OK. But this dish only gets more magnificent if you add the remaining ingredients and bake it off the next day.
- You’ll need to temper the eggs by adding a small amount of the hot cooked grits to your bowl of beaten eggs. This helps increase the temperature of the eggs slowly so you can add them to the grits and incorporate the without them cooking. Scrambled eggs and grits are good, but this is not that dish.
- We've always made this and let it sit overnight but I don't see any reason you couldn't bake it off right away if you wanted to fix it the morning of your brunch.
And since those can all be prepped the night before, it makes Christmas morning — or whenever you’re serving a group brunch — way more stress-free. 👍
Hope you find a way to work in some Southern grits goodness for your holiday plans - or just your next brunch party!
- 1 ½ cups uncooked regular grits
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons paprika, divided
- 3 large eggs
- Cook grits according to the package directions.
- Add butter and cheese to the hot, cooked grits and stir until melted.
- Add Worcestershire sauce and 1 teaspoon of the paprika to the grits, mixing well.
- In a small bowl, beat the three eggs. Add a small amount of hot grits to the bowl with the eggs to temper them, stirring well. (This helps get the eggs to the right temperature to mix with the grits, without cooking them.)
- Slowly add the egg mixture to the cheesy grits, stirring continuously, until well-combined.
- Pour grits into a lightly greased 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining teaspoon paprika.
- Let cool, then cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees and remove the baking dish from the refrigerator to sit for 15 minutes.
- Bake, uncovered, at 325 for 1 hour or until set.
- Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Regular grits are fine to use here, as are stone-ground grits — just follow the package directions for cooking them. I don’t recommend quick or instant grits.
We’ve always made this and let it sit overnight but I don’t see any reason you couldn’t bake it off right away if you wanted to fix it the morning of your brunch.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 281Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 127mgSodium: 326mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 13g