Chorizo cheese grits casserole | Homesick Texan

Chorizo cheese grits casserole

A few years ago, a Brooklyn friend announced she was going to smoke a pork shoulder for pulled pork.  She’d provide the meat and the rest of us could bring the accompaniments and trimmings. 

The usual array of fresh salads, pickles, and pies was suggested. Rich dishes, such as smoked meats, pair well with light and tangy accompaniments. Then one friend from the Carolinas announced she’d bring a cheese and sausage grits casserole. “May I use your oven?” she said. 

At the gathering, as predicted, the slaws and crisp pickles cut through the heaviness of the meat. Surprisingly, my friend’s creamy, cheesy grits were also a welcome pairing. There were no leftovers after the meal. 

Chorizo cheese grits casserole | Homesick Texan

While I had been concerned that it would be too heavy, the tang from the cheese and a lift from peppers gave the dish enough brightness. Sure, the grits were not light, but a few bites rounded out the tray bringing another layer of flavor and textures to the meal. 

She shared her recipe, and noted she often added breakfast sausage, too. When I went to make my own grits casserole, I swapped in spicy Mexican chorizo instead. I also added some sautéed garlic, pickled jalapeños, and plenty of cheese. 

Chorizo cheese grits casserole | Homesick Texan

The resulting chorizo cheese grits casserole can be served as a side dish all times of the day, as it’s equally welcome at breakfast served with eggs or on a plate with smoked meats. It’s flavors pair well with salsa, and if you’re serving beans, a spoonful on top is delicious, as well.

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Chorizo cheese grits casserole

Course Breakfast, Side Dish
Cuisine Texan
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 8
Author Lisa Fain


  • 1 teaspoon safflower oil
  • 12 ounces Mexican chorizo, removed from casing
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup quick-cooking grits
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • Pinch cayenne
  • ¼ cup diced pickled jalapeños, plus more for serving
  • 8 ounces Colby-Jack cheese, shredded
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • Salsa, for serving


  • Add the oil to a 9-inch cast-iron skillet and heat on medium. Remove the chorizo from its casing, then place it in the skillet. Cook the chorizo, breaking it up with a wooden spoon and occasionally stirring, until fragrant and some of the fat has been released, about 5-7 minutes. Turn off the heat. Drain the chorizo and set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. If you wish to bake the grits in the skillet you cooked the chorizo, leave about a teaspoon of grease in the skillet. Alternatively, lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish (or another 3-quart dish) and cook the grits in it instead.
  • Heat a medium pot on medium-low and melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the garlic, and while occasionally stirring, cook until softened about 30 seconds.
  • Add to the pot the water, grits, salt, pepper, oregano, and cayenne. Stir until everything is well combined then turn the heat up to medium. While occasionally stirring, cook the grits until thickened, about 7-10 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat. Stir into the grits the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, pickled jalapeños, and cooked chorizo.
  • Set aside ½ cup of the shredded cheese for topping the casserole then stir the rest of the cheese into the grits until well combined.
  • Allow the grits to sit off the heat for 5 minutes then stir in the eggs until they are well blended.
  • Transfer the grits to the prepared baking dish and then evenly top with the remaining shredded cheese.
  • Bake uncovered in the oven for 55 minutes to 1 hour, or until the top is browned and the casserole is set.  While cooking, after 40 minutes you may want to loosely tent the top with foil if the cheese is becoming too dark.
  • After removing from the oven, allow the casserole to rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Garnish with more pickled jalapeño slices and serve with salsa on the side.

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