Welcome, my dear food lovers and cooking enthusiasts! Do you ever find yourself craving something hearty and filling that’s packed with flavor? I know I certainly do. That’s precisely why I’m here to introduce you to a savory dish that will undoubtedly become your next go-to recipe: Cajun Ham and Grits Pie.
This Southern classic has been given a spicy and zesty twist, guaranteed to keep your taste buds on the edge of their seats. The medley of juicy smoked ham, earthy mushrooms, diced tomato sauce, and scallions is smothered in a creamy white cheddar cheese grits mixture. This flavorful filling is then baked in a crispy crust until golden perfection. Every bite explodes into a flavor that reminds you of cozy evenings with loved ones in Louisiana.
Now, if you’re hesitant about grits or think they might be bland, don’t fret. These are no ordinary grits; these are Quick-Cooking Grits seasoned with authentic Cajun seasoning for an unforgettable rich and zesty taste. I can confidently say this dish is a sure way to please any foodie’s palate.
But wait, there’s more! For all my vegetarian friends out there, fear not; we have a perfect adaptation of the recipe just for you. Instead of ham, we’ll use roasted vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli or eggplant seasoned with our cajun blend of spices sourced from New Orleans to make delicious vegetarian grits pie.
So with no further ado, let’s dive into the ingredient list and get started on this mouth-watering recipe!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Are you tired of the same old boring breakfast dishes? Look no further than this Cajun Ham and Grits Pie recipe. Trust me, once you try it, you won’t be able to resist its irresistible flavors.
This recipe has the perfect combination of spicy and cheesy flavors that will transport your taste buds straight to Louisiana. The cajun seasoning mixed with the melted white cheddar cheese perfectly complements the smokey flavor of the ham, while the scallions and white mushrooms add a delicious depth of taste.
But what sets this dish apart is its versatility. Not only is it a great option for breakfast, but it can also be served as a satisfying dinner or used as a crowd-pleasing party appetizer.
To top it off, this recipe is simple to make and requires minimal prep time thanks to the quick-cooking grits. So whether you’re hosting a party or looking for something tasty to enjoy yourself, this ham and grits pie will definitely hit the spot.
Get ready to taste a flavorful combination of ingredients with this Cajun Ham and Grits Pie recipe! Here’s what you’ll need to make it:
- 1 cup of instant quick-cooking grits
- 2 cups of tomato sauce
- 8 oz. of diced smoked ham
- 8 oz. of sliced white mushrooms
- 3 chopped scallions
- 3 tbsp. of butter
- ¾ cup of shredded white cheddar cheese
- ½ tsp. of salt
- 2 tbsp. of cajun seasoning
These ingredients bring out the true essence of Cajun cooking with a mild heat and rich flavors that will delight your palate. Plus, you can turn this into a vegetarian recipe by omitting the ham and replacing it with diced mushrooms or even some spicy sautéed shrimp if you prefer.
The Recipe How-To
Let’s get down to business! Here is the good stuff: How to make this Cajun Ham and Grits Pie recipe that will make your taste buds dance a jig.
Make sure you have everything before starting, so you can focus on the task at hand. You will need:
- 1 cup quick-cooking grits
- 3 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
- 8 ounces smoked ham, cubed
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 8 white mushrooms, sliced thin
- 4 scallions, chopped
Step 1: Make the grits
First things first, let’s cook our grits with a pinch of salt. Boil the water in a large saucepan and whisk in the grits until they are thick and creamy. Add the butter and cheese to make them even creamier.
Step 2: Cook the ham filling
While the grits are cooking, it’s time to make our filling. Sauté cubed ham for several minutes until it begins to brown. When it’s ready, remove from heat and add tomato sauce, mushrooms and scallions.
Step 3: Assembling the Pie
Grab a pie dish (9 inches is perfect). Butter or oil it up to prevent sticking. Pour half of the cooked grits into the pie dish to form a layer of cheesy goodness. Pour ham mixture over top of that layer. Top with remaining grits.
Step 4: Bake it!
Bake in preheated oven at 350°F for approximately half an hour or until golden brown.
- Feel free to add your favorite vegetables such as bell pepper or jalapeño to bring out that cajun flavor.
- To make this vegetarian-friendly, use smoked tofu instead.
- Want a healthier option? Use turkey sausage instead of ham.
- Don’t be intimidated by making this pie recipe – all we’re doing is layering grits and filling! It’s easy as pie (no pun intended).
Enjoy your delicious Cajun Ham and Grits Pie fresh from the oven!
Substitutions and Variations
Looking to mix things up with this Cajun Ham and Grits Pie recipe? There are plenty of substitutions and variations you can try. First up, for those who prefer a vegetarian option, simply remove the smoked ham and replace it with sautéed mushrooms or roasted vegetables. White mushrooms can be a great replacement for ham as they add a meaty, umami flavor.
You can also switch up the cheese in this recipe, using any kind of cheese that melts well. I must say, however, that white cheddar cheese is a match made in heaven with this dish! If you’re feeling bold, try adding some blue cheese crumbles for an extra kick.
For a spicier version of this dish, you can increase the amount of cajun seasoning or add some diced jalapeños. Shrimp grits is another delicious variation of this recipe. You can easily swap out the ham for shrimp seasoned with cajun seasoning, sautéed in butter and finished off with a squeeze of lemon juice.
If you want to take it even further, experiment with grits fritters or bacon grits as a side dish. Or why not switch out the black-eyed peas for collard greens or creamed corn? The possibilities are truly endless with this versatile dish.
Remember, experimentation is key in cooking. Don’t be afraid to try new ingredients and adapt the recipe to your tastes. That’s what makes cooking such an exciting and rewarding experience!
Serving and Pairing
Now that you’ve got your Cajun Ham and Grits Pie all baked up, it’s time to think about the perfect way to serve and pair it. This dish is hearty, flavorful, and filling, so you want to balance it with some refreshing sides.
You can cut the pie into slices and serve each slice with a generous dollop of tomato sauce on top. The acidity of the tomato sauce helps to cut through the richness of the ham and cheese, making for a perfectly balanced bite.
For a lighter option, you could serve the Cajun Ham and Grits Pie with a simple green salad dressed in a light vinaigrette. The bitterness of greens works really well to cut through the richness of the pie.
If you’re feeling more indulgent, why not fry up some bacon or sausage links on the side? These savory meats complement the flavors in the pie perfectly and bring an extra element of smokiness to the meal.
And if you’re looking to add some extra flavor and texture to your meal, consider serving a side of black-eyed peas or corn bread. The sweetness of these Southern classics perfectly complements the spiciness of the Cajun seasoning.
No matter what sides you choose, make sure they’re not too overwhelming in flavor or too filling. You want your Cajun Ham and Grits Pie to shine as the star of the show. Enjoy!
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
As a busy chef, I know that sometimes you just don’t have the time to make a dish from scratch on the day of your event. That’s why I designed this Cajun Ham and Grits Pie recipe with make-ahead, storing, and reheating instructions – so you can always serve a crowd-pleasing dish without stress!
To prepare ahead of time, I suggest making the ham grits filling and corn grits crust separately. In fact, they can be made up to two days before assembling the pie. After cooking, store each component in separate airtight containers in the fridge until ready to assemble.
When it comes to reheating, I recommend preheating your oven to 350°F (175°C) and removing the assembled pie from the fridge while your oven heats up. Loosely cover the pie with aluminum foil and bake for 20-25 minutes or until warmed through.
This dish is especially convenient for busy mornings as you prepare for breakfast or brunch. Make the grits ahead of time in your Instant Pot, let cool and then store in an air-tight container in your refrigerator. In the morning just mix crumbled cheese into your grits and reheat on medium heat on stovetop for about 5 minutes- faster than waiting at a drive-thru and much healthier too!
If you find yourself with leftovers after enjoying this delicious meal, they will keep well stored covered in the refrigerator for up to three days. You can reheat this casserole as mentioned above or simply microwave individual portions for a quick lunch or dinner. Note that cheese grits tend to thicken as they sit, so you may need to add a bit of milk or water when reheating.
The best part of this make-ahead recipe is how well it stores – you can prepare it well ahead of time without sacrificing any wonderfully cheesy taste.
Tips for Perfect Results
In order to achieve the perfect Cajun Ham and Grits Pie, there are a few tips and tricks I’d love to share with you. These will aid in producing an exceptional dish that is worth every minute of your time.
Firstly, it is important to use quick-cooking grits for the ham grits base, and not instant grits. Quick-cooking grits contain small pieces that cook quickly, meaning they will not take much of your time while also being smooth and creamy. It’s best to cook them according to the package instructions, stirring frequently so that no lumps form.
To get that authentic Cajun flavour into the ham grits pie, I recommend using Cajun seasoning, smoked ham chunks, and white mushrooms. These ingredients will ensure a filling that is full of flavour.
Another way to elevate the taste of this dish is by using good quality white cheddar cheese. This gives the pie a tangy and rich cheesy flavour that is perfect in combination with other ingredients. Consider trying garlic or herb-infused cheddar cheese for even more taste dimensions.
When baking the pie, allow it to cool down for a few minutes before slicing it. This will help set the filling and make it easier to cut without falling apart.
Finally, if making a vegetarian version of this recipe, try using black-eyed peas as a substitute for smoked ham. They work perfectly well as they have a meaty texture with earthy flavour notes.
By following these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to create an outstanding Cajun Ham and Grits Pie that will leave everyone coming back for seconds!
And there you have it, my fellow foodies – a delicious and hearty Cajun Ham and Grits Pie recipe that will leave you feeling satisfied and content. The combination of creamy grits, savory ham, and earthy mushrooms is just irresistible. Not to mention the bold flavors from the cajun seasoning!
But what truly sets this recipe apart is its versatility. With just a few substitutions and variations, you can easily turn this into a vegetarian-friendly option, or adjust the spice level to your liking. And if you’re feeling adventurous, why not try adding some shrimp or black-eyed peas to the mix?
Whether you choose to serve this as a comforting breakfast or a filling dinner, paired with some greens or topped off with a fried egg, one thing is for sure – your taste buds will thank you.
So don’t hesitate to give this cajun ham and grits pie a try – it’s sure to become a new family favorite!
Cajun Ham and Grits Pie [with Vegetarian Adaptation] Recipe
- 1 1/4 cups quick-cooking grits
- 2 teaspoons cajun seasoning
- 1 1/4 cups shredded extra-sharp white cheddar cheese
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 8 scallions, coarsely chopped
- 2 (8 ounce) packages white mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup smoked ham, coarsely chopped (see substitutions in description)
- 1 1/2 cups chunky tomato sauce (marinara works too)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Grease a deep 10-inch pie pan.
- In a saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to a boil.
- Stir in the grits, 1 teaspoons Cajun seasoning, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- Cover, lower the heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until cooked, about 7 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup cheddar, 2 tablespoons butter, 3 tablespoons scallions, and salt to taste.
- Pour into the prepared pie pan; spread evenly.
- In a large skillet, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and remaining scallions and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.
- Add the ham (or peppers or shrimp), tomato sauce, and remaining 1 teaspoons Cajun seasoning and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.
- Pour the mushroom mixture over the grits.
- Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup cheddar and bake until heated through and lightly browned, 20 – 25 minutes.
- Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Your Own Notes
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These recipes have been carefully chosen by me so you can be sure they are top-notch. Make sure to try them out and enjoy the delicious flavors that come with them. You won’t be disappointed!
Chloe is passionate about creating unique dishes that draw on the flavors of her favorite cultures. She loves experimenting with new ingredients and pushing the boundaries of traditional recipes. Her enthusiasm for cooking is infectious, and she is always eager to share her creations with friends and family.