Grits & Greens Casserole

Here we've combined two favorite Southern side dishes-grits and greens-into one casserole; it's a natural choice to serve with Easter ham. Try omitting the bacon and using vegetable broth to make it a vegetarian dish.

Katie Webster

Used by permission. (c) Eating Well, Inc.

Grits & Greens Casserole

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    4 slices bacon, chopped (optional) 16 cups chopped collard greens, or kale, stems removed (about 1 large bunch, 1 1/2-2 pounds)
    2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil 2 cups water, plus more as needed
    1 small onion, diced 1 cup grits, (not instant)
    4 cloves garlic, minced 3/4 cup shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
    2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, or vegetable broth, divided 1/4 cup prepared salsa
    1/4 teaspoon salt 1 large egg, lightly beaten


    Prep: 50 min Total: More than 60 min
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    • 1

      Preheat oven to 400F. Coat an 8-inch-square baking dish with cooking spray.

    • 2

      Place bacon (if using) in a large Dutch oven. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until crispy, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Pour off the bacon fat.

    • 3

      Return the pot to medium-low heat; add oil, onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until fragrant and starting to brown in spots, 2 to 8 minutes (cooking time will be quicker if you started with bacon). Add 1 cup broth and salt; bring to a boil over high heat. Add collards (or kale); stir until wilted down to about one-third the volume and bright green, 1 to 2 minutes. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until tender, 18 to 20 minutes. Adjust heat during cooking to maintain a simmer, and add water, 1/4 cup at a time, if the pan seems dry.

    • 4

      Meanwhile, bring 2 cups water and the remaining 1 cup broth to a boil in a large saucepan. Pour in grits in a steady stream, whisking constantly. Bring to a simmer, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, whisking often, until thick, about 5 minutes. Combine 1/2 cup cheese, salsa and egg in a small bowl. Remove the grits from the heat and quickly stir in the cheese mixture until combined.

    • 5

      Working quickly, spread about half the grits in the prepared baking dish. Top with greens, spreading evenly. Spread the remaining grits over the greens. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese and the reserved bacon (if using).

    • 6

      Bake the casserole until hot and bubbling, about 20 minutes. Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.

    nutritional information

    4 g
    8 g
    Saturated Fat:
    3 g
    32 g
    11 g
    473 mg
    Monounsaturated Fat:
    2 g
    1 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1/2 high-fat meat, 1/2 fat
    50 g
    Carbohydrate Servings:
    335 mg
    Nutrition Bonus:
    Vitamin A (134% daily value), Folate (66% dv), Vitamin C (60% dv), Calcium (26% dv).
    Added Sugars:
    0 g
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