Andouille Sausage and Grits

Sausage, corn and cooked peppers over creamy grits.

A Taste of Wild - Gulf Coast

Jon and Aubrey head south to the Gulf Coast to discover the hot, humid bayou country, explore the deep and diverse flavors of Cajun and Creole cooking and share their favorite eats along the way.

Andouille Sausage and Grits

“We’ve come all the way to Louisiana, it’d be a shame to leave without making grits the star of at least one meal!”

Aubrey shakes her head and rolls her eyes.  I can tell what she’s thinking: Jon and his grits.  What a Southerner.

But as we walk the aisles of the grocery store, I can sense her coming around. Here’s some local andouille, some corn, some fresh peppers. Suddenly, we’ve got ourselves a Sunday night dinner plan.

It wouldn’t be Southern food without some grits, plain and simple. A dish that is (quite literally) hundreds of years in the making, grits were first created in the 16th century by the Muskogees—a Native American tribe that originated in the Southern Woodlands of the United States. The Muskogees would grind corn in a stone mill and then add hot water to create a thick paste. Over time, this simple corn dish was shared with the surrounding colonists and settlers and quickly became an American staple.

Grits are still a major part of the Southern diet today, with over three-quarters of all grits sold in the U.S. being bought by the South. The area that stretches from Texas to Washington D.C. is affectionately referred to as the “grits belt.” Their versatility definitely contributes to their popularity: Grits can be served both savory or sweet, mixed with a variety of meats and seafood, even solidified and fried to create a type of pancake. But the most popular form has to be southern shrimp and grits.

Playing off this classic southern dish, our recipe spices things up by swapping the shrimp for Andouille sausage and adding a dash of cayenne pepper to the grits. Andouille sausage first appeared in France, where pork meat was smoked and then mixed with onion, wine and seasonings. Since making its way to the States, Andouille has evolved quite a bit since its early French origins. Andouille in the South is typically double smoked—the pork is smoked before being mixed with onions and seasonings, and then smoked again once everything is stuffed into the casing. Then it’s loaded with cayenne pepper or some other hot chili powder, giving it a nice spicy finish. One important thing to note: People in the South never call it “Andouille sausage;” it’s just “Andouille.”

If you’re not into overly spicy foods, don’t worry. While this recipe does have a slight heat, the creamy grits help offset the smoky Andouille. And the addition of shredded cheddar cheese cuts provides a buttery, salty flavor. This dish can also be modified for vegetarians—just forego the Andouille and load your grits with sautéed vegetables. No judgment if you only want a bowl of cheesy grits, we get it.  

Andouille Sausage and Grits

Andouille Sausage and Grits

Yield: 4 servings
Prep: 10 minutes Cooking: 20-30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 links Andouille sausage, sliced diagonally 
  • 1 green pepper, seeded and diced
  • ½ cup of corn kernels, fresh or frozen
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ¼ cup grits 
  • 1 cup water
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup sharp white cheddar, grated
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Cooking Tools

Method

  1. Pour ¼ cup heavy cream and water into a small pot and bring to  boil. Then pour in the grits while whisking constantly to prevent clumps. Once the grits are fully incorporated, lower to a simmer and let cook for 20 minutes. If they get too thick and start to bubble, you may need to add a little more water.  
  2. While the grits are cooking, prepare your fried sausage and vegetables. Place a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Then add the Andouille sausage, green pepper, corn and butter. Stirring occasionally, let the cast iron do its magic and char the ingredients a little. Sautee to your liking. 
  3. Stir in cayenne and remaining ¼ cup heavy cream to the grits. Reduce to desired thickness, turn off heat and mix in cheddar and butter. 
  4. Add a healthy scoop of grits to a plate or bowl and top with Andouille and veggies. Dig in!

Jon and Aubrey used the knife and cutting board from Camp Chef, a brand THOR recommends for easy campground cooking.