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My Creamy Grits and Goat Cheese Breakfast Soufflé recipe yields four personal savory soufflés and makes a great breakfast main dish or side.
Wander south and you’ll have your first experience with eating grits. And I mean to say, creamy, cheesy, addictive Southern-all-the-way stone-ground grits like this method for my Creamy Grits and Goat Cheese Breakfast Souffle Recipe.
Not to be confused with corn meal or polenta, stone-ground grits cook up into a seriously creamy epic eating event. Today’s recipe allows for this savory breakfast dish to be baked into individual souffles.
You will need four eggs for this recipe. The egg yolks and egg whites are separated during preparation and are each used differently at different stages of the method.
The resulting bake is less an egg souffle or a cheese soufflé, but a crispy-topped, creamy middle ultimate breakfast casserole. I don’t save this (or any other fabulous breakfast recipes!) for special occasions, rather bake it up on a weekend and reheat throughout my week.
Paired with poached or scrambled eggs and topped with a spoonful of pesto or carrot green pesto, this is a true and easy breakfast or Brunch paradise.
Ingredients That Go Into This Recipe
- unsalted butter
- spring onions or green onions
- heavy cream
- whole milk
- Kosher salt
- white or yellow stone-ground grits
- goat cheese
- pesto sauce
- hot sauce
How This Recipe Came About…
I can still see my friend Brian’s face as the laughter set in upon ‘his asking, and my answer’ to had I tasted grits yet. I’d moved from New Jersey to South Carolina only five months earlier, and the local food scene was like a foreign experience for me.
I remember replying that “I’d had a grit or two” since moving down, to which end he knew I hadn’t based on the silly way I’d answered! Off to lunch we went to Magnolia’s downtown where Tyler Florence got his start not so many years ago.
It may as well have been Christmas morning based on the gorgeous shrimp and grits that was placed before me. The grits, rather than the traditional presentation in a bowl with shrimp gravy ladled atop, arrived in the form of a creamy grits and cheese souffle.
That day forever changed my awareness of southern cuisine. It wasn’t foreign at all. It was a new and exciting beginning regarding our perception of food, how it’s sourced, and what makes it appealing to our senses.
That, and I was instantly all about grits…
What Can I Add to Grits for Flavor in This Creamy Grits and Goat Cheese Breakfast Souffle Recipe?
The question would be better phrased “what can’t I add?” A little bit of butter and maybe a mild cheese mixture is generally my limit.
And each time I think I’ve tasted grits just as many ways as they can possibly be made, some up and coming chef blows the pages of the Charleston City Paper up with his new method for the stuff.
In the recipe I’m imparting today, and because this is ultimately a souffle, the grits are flavored with salted butter, mild goat cheese (chevre), both shallot and spring onion, a hint of salt, and Dijon mustard for balance.
Can I Use a Different Cheese in This Breakfast Souffle Recipe?
Absolutely. Select what your eaters will eat. If using cheddar cheese, microplane it rather than shredding it. Just keep ‘lite’ in the back of your mind.
Marinated Feta works nicely as does Boursin. The next time I assemble these, I am planning to make this a grits and sausage souffle with Parmesan cheese added.
How To Make Creamy Grits and Goat Cheese Breakfast Souffles?
Gather Ingredients and Prep Your Ramekins
While you begin prepping, grab 4 large eggs from the chiller and place them on the counter to come to room temperature. You can separate the yolks from the whites now or later, your choice.
The most important task at hand is to find four oven safe crocks or ramekins in which to bake your souffles. You needn’t worry about assembling a bain-marie for these souffles, as this bake is a fairly short 15 minutes.
I melt butter to liberally grease my ramekins. You may use cooking spray or use a pastry brush to ‘paint’ olive oil inside the ramekins if you prefer it over the butter.
Place the buttered ramekins atop a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. Set all aside.
Make Some Grits!
Preheat your oven to 400°F.
I chop two shallots and two or three spring onions (or green onions) to equal one cup combined. Do not worry about these being too oniony; the tanginess of the goat cheese is definitely far out in front of any onion in this method in terms of a flavor dominance.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, add some butter and the shallot and onion mixture. You’ll want these to simply soften, so cook for about 5 minutes, heat lowered if the mixture appears to be browning.
As the onion mixture gets to a soft texture, add 2 cups of water, a half cup of heavy cream, a half cup of whole milk, and a liberal addition of Kosher salt. I go a full tablespoon.
Back to grits – KEEP WHISKING! Cook until thickened, about 20 minutes. You’ll need to keep the whisk action going here and there, as grits pop and splatter due to the air bubbles that form in the saucepan.
When the grits are truly creamy and you are really ready to just dig right in, stop – whisk in the goat cheese until it’s completely incorporated.
Eh Hem, What About These Eggs?
But while you’ve got the grits going during those 20-ish minutes, take the time to separate your eggs if you haven’t already. Whisk together the egg yolks and the Dijon mustard in a medium bowl.
In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer or the whisk attachment of your stand mixer to beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. It’s okay if you go past soft and end up with medium peaks, and it’s even okay to end up with stiff peaks.
Tempering the Fluffy Egg Mixture
Whisk a small amount of the hot grits into the egg yolks to temper the eggs. It’s important to not skip this step, as combining the lot without tempering will inevitably yield nothing more than lumpy scrambled eggs in your unfinished grits.
Now whisk the tempered eggs into the remaining grits until all are well combined.
So, about those egg whites…use a rubber spatula to scoop an estimated third-ish of the stiff egg whites and fold them into the grits. Repeat with the remainder of the beaten whites until you’ve used them all.
Assembling Pure Kitchen Deliciousness
Spoon equal amounts of the grits into the ramekins you prepared earlier. Bake in the preheated oven and watch the souffle rise! Well, souffles.
The souffles will puff and set but will remain somewhat jiggly in their centers in about 15 minutes. They are ready to garnish and serve the moment you remove them from your oven.
Add a teaspoon of cream and a handful of crumbled goat cheese to garnish, a spoonful of pesto sauce, or some freshly snipped chives. My mom enjoys hers with extra cheese of choice and a small dollop of sour cream.
Every idea for garnishment is a great idea as it’s what your eaters will eat.
What to Serve with This Creamy Breakfast Souffle Recipe?
If I want to feel full and happy the whole day after breakfast, I pair this classic souffle recipe with other great breakfast or Brunch recipes like a slice of quiche. In my photos herein, I simply poached eggs and tried to make the souffle the star of the show.
Can Creamy Grits and Goat Cheese Breakfast Souffles Be Made in Advance?
Yes. And I do this more often than not so I can enjoy them during the week.
Simply prepare according to my instructions in the recipe card and load into well-buttered individual ramekins. Bake them off and either enjoy or allow to cool before covering with plastic wrap and refrigerating until you’re ready to use them.
To reheat, load into your oven, toaster oven, or microwave and heat through.
Creamy Grits and Goat Cheese Breakfast Souffles
- 4 ramekins optional: use a well-buttered 8-inch square baking dish
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
- ½ cup shallot finely chopped
- ½ cup spring onion, green or red finely chopped; may substitute green onions
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup stone ground grits yellow or white
- 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
- 1 cup goat cheese crumbled
- 4 large eggs whites and yolks separated and brought to room temperature
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- additional goat cheese for garnish
- pesto sauce
- hot sauce
- freshly snipped chives
- Remove 4 eggs from refrigeration and divide whites from yolks. Allow to come to room temperature while you prepare grits.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease 4 8-ounce ramekins liberally with 1 tablespoon of the unsalted butter. Set atop a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil and set all aside.
- Heat remaining unsalted butter in a large saucepan over medium heat just until butter foams. Add the shallot and spring onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add 2 cups water, heavy cream, whole milk, and Kosher salt to the shallot and onion mixture and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Do not walk away from the stove at this time as the mixture is prone to boil-over.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and whisk in the grits all at once. Cook until thickened, whisking intermittently to prevent scorching on the bottom, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the goat cheese until completely melted.
- While grits cook, whisk together egg yolks and Dijon in a medium bowl. Set aside. Beat egg whites with whisk attachment in the bowl of a stand mixer or with an electric hand mixer on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. NOTE see recipe card below for cooking at high altitude.
- Whisk ¼ cup of the hot grits into yolk mixture to temper, then whisk tempered yolk mixture into remaining grits until combined. Gently fold one-third of the egg whites into grits and repeat until all whites are folded into grits.
- Divide mixture equally among prepared ramekins. Bake in preheated oven until puffed and set but still slightly jiggly in centers, about 15 minutes. Garnish however desired. Serve immediately.
The nutrition value can vary depending on what product(s) you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use a calorie counter you are familiar with.
Please note that table salt and iodized salt are NOT substitutions for Kosher salt. Do not deviate unless otherwise specified.