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Cheddar Cheese Grits with Italian Sausage

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Cheddar Cheese grits with Italian sausage is a stick-to-your-ribs meal that’s not only delicious but quick and budget friendly as well.

Italian Sausage over Cheddar Cheese Grits

I see a lot of tourists at my day job. Many of them making their very first trip to the South. They ask me where to find all of the typical southern foods while they are in Nashville. Foods like the best BBQ (Peg Leg Porker), the best biscuits and gravy (Loveless Cafe), the best fried chicken (Monell’s). But when it comes to grits, many tourists seem a little terrified of them.

What are Grits?

Grits are, basically, ground dried corn. That’s it. Just corn, ground down to a meal, but not quite cornmeal. You can read this article by Spruce Eats on the difference between Cornmeal, Grits and Polenta.

Grits have been a Southern staple for as long as the South has existed. It’s poor people food. You can feed an army on a handful of grits, then slice up the leftovers and feed it to them again the next day.

We, in the South, eat them for breakfast or dinner. We always stir in some butter and maybe a little cream. Sugar or cheese is also accepted additions.

Italian Sausage over Cheddar Cheese Grits

What kind of grits to buy

When you head off to the store to buy grits you will be confronted with 3 different kinds of grits: Stone-ground, Quick and Instant.

Much like oatmeal or rice, you want to stay away from the Quick and Instant varieties. If you absolutely must, opt for the “Old-fashioned” or “Regular” grits, but stone ground grits are the best. If you can find a local farm that mills their own grits, that’s an even better option (my local farm is Beaverdam Creek Mill and they are wonderful!).

What to do with leftover grits

Every time I make grits there are leftovers. One cup of grits pretty much turns into 4-5 cups of cooked grits and that’s a lot for anyone to eat. So what do you do with them? You pour them into a greased loaf pan and pop them in the fridge to make fried grit cakes tomorrow.

I know I’ve talked a lot about grits and not a lot about the other ingredients in this meal, but I wanted to give any who aren’t familiar with grits as an ingredient a little more understanding about it.

This recipe is a savory way to have your grits for dinner. Any Italian sausage will do (even turkey or chicken sausage) and feel free to throw as many of those homegrown tomatoes you have lying around in the pan with them. No one ever complains about more sauce.

Sweet Italian Sausage over Cheddar Cheese Grits

Cheddar Cheese Grits with Italian Sausage

Italian Sausage with Cheddar Cheese Grits is a hardy, stick to your ribs weeknight meal that is perfect for any night of the week! This dish comes together in less than 30 minutes and satisfy the biggest appetites at the table.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: main dish
Cuisine: italian
Keyword: grits, polenta, sausages
Servings: 4
Calories: 700kcal
Author: jodiemo


  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup stone ground grits not quick or instant
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausages
  • 2 Tablespoons minced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes about 1 1/2 lbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped Basil optional


  • In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Add grits in a slow stream, whisking the whole time. Reduce heat, cover and simmer stirring frequently until the grits are very thick, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter and cheese, season to taste.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat the oil over MEDIUM LOW HEAT and add sausages. Turn occasionally and cook until nearly done, about 10 minutes. Add onion and garlic to the pan and cook for 2 minutes. Then add tomatoes to the pan, season with salt and pepper and cook until sausage is done (Internal temperature of 165 degrees) and tomatoes are tender, about 5 -10 minutes.
  • Serve grits topped with sausages and tomatoes. Sprinkle with basil and serve.


Calories: 700kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 132mg | Sodium: 2068mg | Potassium: 733mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1607IU | Vitamin C: 46mg | Calcium: 322mg | Iron: 12mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @TwoLuckySpoons or tag #twoluckyspoons!

Originally published August 2009

This Post Has 3 Comments

    1. Love this recipe which I followed exactly except had to use drained, canned petite diced tomatoes. I made the grits, put in a baking dish, added sausage and other cooked ingredients and put in the oven for about 15-20 minutes (the cook needed a break) and it turned out great!!!!

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Jodie is a wife, mom, writer and lover of chickens and gardens. She runs her family's winery by day and cooks and writes by night.

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