Grits & Greens Casserole

Grits & Greens Casserole

9 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, March/April 2010

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.

Ingredients 6 servings

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  • 4 slices bacon, chopped (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 16 cups chopped collard greens or kale, stems removed (about 1 large bunch, 1½-2 pounds)
  • 2 cups water, plus more as needed
  • 1 cup grits (not instant)
  • ¾ cup shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
  • ¼ cup prepared salsa
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. 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, ¼ 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 ½ 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 ¼ 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.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 5, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Bake at 400°F until bubbling, about 30 minutes.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: about 1 cup
  • Per serving: 238 calories; 8 g fat(3 g sat); 5 g fiber; 32 g carbohydrates; 11 g protein; 196 mcg folate; 46 mg cholesterol; 2 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 5,065 IU vitamin A; 36 mg vitamin C; 341 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 482 mg sodium; 378 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (101% daily value), Vitamin C (60% dv), Folate (49% dv), Calcium (34% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 2
  • Exchanges: 1½ starch, 1 vegetable, ½ high-fat meat, ½ fat

Reviews 9

September 29, 2016
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By: Addie
This was truly delicious. I was expecting it to be a tad bland because there aren't that many spices/add-ins, but you really do not need to play with this recipe. Made the following variations because of resources in the house/dietary restrictions: Kept the meat to the side so everyone could put it on top of the dish as they chose. Didn't have bacon in the house so we used ground meat instead, seasoned it with a garlic & herb seasoning from McCormick's to add a little flavor.
February 09, 2013
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By: Tedsey
If you like kale or greens, this recipe is wonderful. The mellow cheese grits offsets the bitterness of the greens. The bacon adds a nice salty and smokey flavor. I use low fat cheddar, turkey bacon and I omit the egg to lower the cholesterol. I do not mix in the salsa, but offer it on the side. A 10 oz. bag of fresh, washed and chopped kale (or mixed greens) speeds up the process a lot.
August 26, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Great Way to Get Your Greens! I've made this now a number of times. I serve larger portions as a main dish (4 servings instead of 6). I've used various mixes of greens--braising mix, chard, collards, whatever needs to be used. It was the recipe that made me decide that kale was edible! I have also halved the recipe, leaving out the egg. I usually use a bit more cheese and split the bacon between the top and the greens. Pros: low calorie, filling, nutritious
July 31, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
I amended the recipe, but it was SO good! I omitted the cheese (since I am lactose intolerant) and added half a pack of silken tofu in with the grits and salsa. I also added paprika. I added half a red pepper to the onions and cooked the pepper and onions seperate from my kale and then added them together in a pot. I also added appx. a 1/2 cup of spinach to the kale for added veggie intake. To top the casserole, i used turkey bacon ( 5 slices) and about 1/4 cup of parm. cheese. Again SOOOOOO good!
April 12, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Tasty and Healthy This dish turned out much better than anticipated. I did use tofu bacon instead of the real stuff and two egg whites (no yolk). Collard greens are the better choice.
April 12, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Just Great! This recipe turned out much better than I had anticipated. I did use Tofu Bacon instead of the real stuff and two egg whites. Collard greens are the better choice. Pros: Tasty and Nutritious
April 05, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
AWESOME! Used a frozen bag of chopped spinach thawed and squeezed dry - - had too much to do Easter morning in the kitchen to fool with fresh collards! Only one person at Easter Dinner wouldn't even try it!! A hit with our other guests!
March 09, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
This was delicious. My husband actually changed his stance on collard greens after eating this! I agree with the first reviewer - it needs more salt. I used only one pound of collards and it was plenty. Next time I would add a teaspoon of salt to the grits, and possibly a tad more salsa, too. I served this for dinner with fish sticks, and it was the perfect southern feast.
March 09, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
"Eat your greens" is what my husband's southern mamaw always told him, and she would have been proud to see that he and both our boys did, thanks to this fantastic, flavorful casserole! Made it vegetarian by using veggie broth and omitting the bacon. I sprinkled soy Bacos on top before serving. (Any sooner and they would have been soggy.) Made for a great main course - would have been fun with eggs on the side for a brunchy dinner. (Or for an actual brunch.) Only addition - needs WAY more salt than the recipe calls for. I seasoned both the grits and the greens to taste before putting the casserole together in the baking pan.
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