Ham & Cheese Grits Casserole (... & kissing a giraffe)

April 23, 2012
For breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner ~ Ham & Cheese Grits Casserole is true Southern comfort food at its best.

Ham & Cheese Grits Casserole

I kissed a giraffe.  Well, kind of.  


Actually, during our class field trip last Friday, I fed a giraffe a leaf out of my mouth.  But his lips gave me a little peck (read that *slobber*) on my chin ... so, I consider that getting a big ol' kiss from good ol' Mr. Giraffe.

As you can see in the photo, I was a bit apprehensive about my giraffe feeding adventure.  It's just a tad unnerving to see this giant giraffe head (look at his head! ... it's huge!!) coming straight at your face.  To block this out, as you can also see in the photo, I closed my eyes.  As if this makes a giant giraffe head coming straight at your face any better.  But despite my apprehension, I really wanted to feed the giraffe.   I mean, how often do you get the chance to feed a giraffe from your mouth??

Plus, my students thought I was the coolest teacher.  Ever

So, what does me feeding a giraffe have to do with Ham & Cheese Grits Casserole?  Nothing.  Absolutely nothing at all.  I just couldn't pass up sharing that story with you.

Now let's look at some Ham & Cheese Grits Casserole, shall we?

Ham & Cheese Grits Casserole

This is an original recipe of mine, based on this Shrimp & Grits Casserole adapted from Cooking Light magazine.  I figured if Shrimp & Grits Casserole was so yummy, then Ham & Cheese Grits Casserole would be too.  I was right.

Just like with the Shrimp & Grits Casserole, start by whipping up some creamy grits.  Then stir in lots of ham, lots of cheese, an egg, and some seasoning.

Ham & Cheese Grits Casserole

Bake it up until its set and lightly golden brown on top.

Ham & Cheese Grits Casserole

Finally, dig in and serve up a big bowl.  Hmmmm, I wonder if my new friend the giraffe would like it?

Ham & Cheese Grits Casserole

Ham & Cheese Grits Casserole
Source:  A Tracey creation
(Printable recipe)
2 c. milk (I use whole milk, but any 'slimmer' variety is fine too)
3/4 c. chicken broth
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 c. quick-cooking grits
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
2 T. butter
4 oz. cream cheese (less fat Neufchatel-type is fine)
1 or 2 T. chopped fresh chives (you can also use dried)
3 T. fresh parsley or 1 T. dried parsley
1 T. lemon juice
1 egg
2 c. chopped ham

1.  Bring milk, chicken broth, and chopped onion to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Gradually add grits and salt to pan, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cook 5 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly.

2.  Remove grits from heat. Stir in cheddar, butter, and cream cheese until melted; then stir in remaining ingredients.

3.  Spoon grits mixture into a 11x7" baking dish generously coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes, or until set and the top is just starting to get some golden brown areas.


Please enjoy these other ham dishes from The Kitchen is My Playground ...


  1. Yummy casserole! Ham and cheese... great combo! The giraffe seems to like you =)I think your new friend will love this =)

  2. I love it! So addicting! That would be a great breakfast during the weekend.

  3. That's a hilarious story. Yes, I'm sure you scored serious cool points from your students. I really have to try grits some time! This looks so good!

  4. You are a cool teacher... a slobbered on teacher... but a cool teacher!!!!
    You kids will always remember that! Now THAT IS cool!
    Thanks for this delicious sounding recipe. My son loves grit and breakfast. Perfect recipe for him!
    You have a great blog!

    1. Thank you, Yvonne! Yes, I think this casserole would be fabulous for breakfast or a brunch.

  5. Mmm this looks like really good comfort food!!!! Looks really yummy!!! And the picture with the giraffe is so funny! :o)

  6. MMMMM. I haven't had grits in sooo long. This seems like the perfect opportunity to get reacquainted with them :)

  7. This Southern girl loves grits! Thank so much for sharing this recipe on Show Me Saturday! Pinning and making!

  8. How can you go wrong with Cheese, Grits and Ham, this is fantastic! Photos with the little guy are awesome! Thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and have a great week.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  9. Mmmm!!! I love grits more than life itself. This recipe looks ah-MAZ-ing! I pinned for future reference...I WILL be trying this one!

  10. Looks like you are having a wonderful time with the Giraffe and your Class! Your recipes sound so good!

  11. Congratulations!
    Your recipe is featured on Full Plate Thursday this week. Hope you have a great weekend and enjoy your new Red Plate!
    Miz Helen

  12. If you add some frozen peas or green beans before baking you've got a full dinner based on grits. Is there anything better?


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