Make a hearty grits breakfast bowl to fill you up and start your day right. Creamy, cheesy grits are topped with crumbled pan-fried sausage and scrambled eggs. The perfect comfort food breakfast!
This grits breakfast bowl is the perfect comfort food breakfast. Filled with cheesy grits, pan-fried breakfast sausage, scrambled eggs, and chives - you can't get any better than that!
What are grits?
Grits are made of ground corn. They are made with a specific type of corn - dent corn (Wikipedia). The corn is treated with lime to remove the hull. Corn with the hull removed is called hominy. Then, the hominy is dried and coarsely ground, making grits.
Polenta is made with a different type of corn, flint corn (Wikipedia). Flint corn is put through the same process as dent corn. The main difference is that flint corn is a harder corn, which creates a coarser texture when ground.
Polenta and grits go through the same manufacturing process and are cooked similarly. They are very similar dishes. But, they originate from different parts of the world and made with different types of corn.
Ingredients and substitutions
I recommend using freshly shredded cheese from a block. Pre-shredded cheese is often dusted in a powder to prevent clumping, which can make your dish grainy when melted.
For this recipe, you'll want to use stone ground grits. If you've never purchased grits before, you can usually find them near the oats or cereal in your local grocery store. If you only have instant grits on hand, follow the package directions instead of my directions below for cooking your grits.
Breakfast sausage can be pork, chicken, turkey, hot, or mild - any sausage will work in this recipe. You can also substitute the breakfast sausage with cooked and crumbled bacon.
Grits tips and tricks
Cooking your grits will be the most time consuming part of this recipe. Here are a few tips if you're new to cooking grits.
- Grits need to be cooked low and slow to get that silky, creamy texture. Don't be tempted to turn up the heat! This will cause your grits to stick to the bottom of the pan and burn - they won't cook faster.
- When pouring your grits into the pot, whisk constantly to prevent clumps.
- Whisk frequently while your grits are cooking to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pan or forming lumps.
- Do your grits look dry? Add a splash of water and turn the heat down slightly.
- Grits are done when they no longer have a grainy texture. Do a taste test - feel a rough, grainy texture? They're not done yet. Cooked grits will be soft and creamy.
- Do not substitute the milk with water. Milk helps give your grits an extra creamy and rich texture.
What else can I add to breakfast grits?
- Crumbled bacon
- Fried egg
- Sunny side up egg
- Cooked spinach
Have leftover grits breakfast bowl? You're in luck - stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator, they'll keep for 3-4 days.
To reheat, lightly cover and microwave at medium heat. You may need to add a splash of water to your grits, but they thin out nicely when reheated.
Grits Breakfast Bowl
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup stone ground grits not instant
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 4 large eggs
- 12 ounces breakfast sausage
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
- In a saucepan over medium heat, add milk, water, and salt. Bring to a boil, then slowly whisk in the grits.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 20 minutes, whisking frequently. If grits begin to stick to pan, reduce heat and add a splash of water. Grits should be creamy and thick, with no rough texture remaining when they're done cooking.
- Remove from heat and add pepper, butter, and shredded cheese. Stir until melted and set aside.
- While grits are cooking, warm a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Crumble sausage into pan and cook until browned on all sides, turning occasionally with a spatula, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer cooked sausage out of pan, draining all but 1 tablespoon of grease.
- Crack eggs into a bowl and whisk until combined. Pour eggs into your greased non-stick skillet over medium to medium-low heat. As eggs begin to set on the bottom of the pan, pull the eggs across the pan with a spatula. This will form egg curds in the pan. Continue pulling and folding the eggs until no liquid remains. Remove from heat.
- Divide cheesy grits between four bowls, then top each bowl with sausage and scrambled eggs. Optionally, add more shredded cheese on top. Garnish with chopped chives and serve immediately.
- Leftover grits bowls will keep for 3-4 days in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Microwave at medium heat, adding a splash of water as needed to thin your grits.
- Sausage can be pork, chicken, turkey, mild, or hot sausage. Or, substitute with cooked and crumbled bacon.
- If using instant grits, follow the package directions instead of my directions above. Instant grits will cook much more quickly.