Give the mash potatoes a break and try this delicious Butternut Squash Grits with Crispy Bacon and Sage. Creamy and cheesy grits flavored with sweet butternut squash and tangy Gouda cheese are the perfect side dish for your holiday dinner. The Crispy bacon and sage leaves make them look so beautiful and festive. Your family and guests will love this dish.
What you will need to make Butternut Squash Grits with Bacon and Sage
Small butternut squash. You will need about 3 cups.
Chicken stock. I prefer low sodium.
Orange Corn Grits. For this recipe I used Professor Torbert’s Orange Corn grits. I love the intense orange color and nutty taste. You can find them Here.(non affiliated link)
Freshy grated Gouda Cheese
6-8 Fresh sage leaves, clean and steamed
salt and pepper to taste
HelpfulTips and Tricks
You can find already peeled and sliced butternut squash at almost any grocery store. This will save you time and effort if you don’t want to tackle peeling your own butternut squash. Just grease a baking sheet add the butternut squash on a single layer, season with salt and pepper and bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until fork tender.
I was very careful not to burn the bacon fat so I could have a clear color when I added it to the grits. If you prefer not to do so, or if the bacon fat burns just discardthe fat and sub for butter.
Pre-grated cheeses contain stabilizers to keep the cheese from clumpling together and I find that won’t melt as easy or give you a smooth, silky texture. It is a little more work but grating your own cheese is always worth it.
Fried sage leaves are seriously addicting! I suggest to make more than you’d think you need.
1 small butternut squash (You will need 3 cups, roasted0
3 cups chicken stock
½ cup Professor Torbert’s Orange Corn Grits
1 ½ cups freshly grated Gouda Cheese
1 teaspoon dry sage
Salt and pepper to taste
4 strips of bacon, cut into strips
6-8 Fresh sage leaves, clean and steamed
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the butternut squash in half, length wise and scoop out the seeds. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and grease with olive oil, place the butternut squash cut side down and roast for 30-40 minutes or until very tender.
Let the squash cool and scoop out the flesh. Reserve 3 cups of butternut squash for this recipe. Store the rest in the refrigerator for another time.
Add the 3 cups of chicken broth to a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Once it boils turn the heat to low and add the grits. Cook for about 15 minutes stirring occasionally.
While the grits are cooking make the crispy bacon and sage: In a skillet, add about a teaspoon of olive oil and cook the bacon until crispy. (Be careful not to burn the bacon fat) Remove the bacon and transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel. Add about 1 tablespoon of oil to the remaining bacon fat and once it comes back to a medium high temperature gently drop the sage leaves in the hot oil and fry until crispy, about 5-10 seconds. Remove from the oil and transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel, sprinkle the sage leaves with kosher salt.
Once the grits are done, add in the remaining bacon fat and oil, grated cheese, butternut squash puree and dry sage. Stir everything until smooth. Use a potato masher if needed.
Season the grits with salt and pepper and transfer to a serving plate. Sprinkle with bacon all over the grits and garnish with the sage leaves. Serve immediately.
Hello, my name is Marisol Chancellor. I was born and raised in Monterrey Mexico. I’ve been living in Texas for 12 years and even when I love barbeque, fruit cobblers and sweet tea, there’s something that has the power of transporting me right back to my mom’s kitchen and gives me a little piece of home, cooking. I grew up in the kitchen and for me, memories are always linked to food, and behind the food, well, there’s always a story that comes along. So, please let me share with you my love for cooking and while we are at it, let’s share some memories, because let’s be honest, we are also hungry for nostalgia.