The weather has turned frigid, it’s not supposed to be in the single digits in the Carolinas! Perfect weather for chili. I thought I would share this version that we’ve made a couple of times already this fall. While I still love a big piece of Brown Butter Corn Bread with chili, topping it with grits is a great idea.
If you’re not familiar with grits, just watch My Cousin Vinnie and you’ll know that they take 20 minutes to cook! No self-respecting Southerner uses instant grits so you’ll have to use the real deal in this recipe. But while you’re browning the meat and veggies, your grits can be cooking away.
I’ve made this in individual ramekins but I prefer to make it in one large casserole dish so that everyone can have the portion they choose. While most of the time I would add butter to the top of my grits, I have to admit, this dish didn’t need any butter. It makes a lot and is pretty filling, so it’s great if you’ve got a bunch of people hungry for dinner. It also freezes well. I wasn’t sure if the grits would get soggy after being frozen, but I just heated it up in the oven and the textures stayed the same.
Adapted from Southern Living October 2017
Chili with Cheesy Grits
Chili with Cheesy Grits is a nice change from your traditional chili recipes. A great Southern twist on Shepards pie.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: 8 1x
- Category: entree
- 1 lb Italian sausage
- ½ lb ground beef
- 2 poblano peppers, seeded and chopped
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 2 garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 15 ounces black beans, drained and rinsed
- 14.5 ounces diced tomatoes
- ½ cup chicken stock
- 2 cups butternut squash, peeled and chopped
- salt and pepepr
- 1 cup uncooked stone ground grits
- 2 cups cheddar cheese, (8 ounces)
- ¾ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
1. CHILI: In a dutch oven, brown sausage and ground beef over medium heat. Remove to a bowl. If needed add a little olive oil to the skillet then add onions and peppers and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook over medium heat until tender., about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook an additional 1 minute.
2. Add tomato paste, chili powder, and cumin and cook stirring for about 1 minute. Add meat back to the pot along with squash, black beans and tomatoes with liquid. Season with salt and pepper and cover. Cook for about 15 minutes until squash is slightly tender. Remove lid and cook an additional 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Chili should be fairly thick. If not, continue to cook uncovered.
3. Preheat oven to 400º.
4. GRITS: In a large saucepan, bring 3 ½ cups of water to a boil. Whisk in grits and turn heat down to medium low. Cook stirring often until tender and thick about 20 minutes. Remove and whisk in cheese and cilantro. Add 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.
5. Gradually stir about one fourth of the grits into the slightly beaten eggs and gradually add the egg mixture to the remaining grits.
6. Cover the chili with the grit mixture. Bake uncovered until grits are set and golden and chili is slightly bubbly, about 25-30 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes.