Cheesy Pumpkin Grits with Sausage, Mushrooms and Butternut Squash

In case you didn’t already know, I’m the biggest proponent of savory pumpkin recipes. Over the years I’ve really tried to push for a non-sweet pumpkin season. From corn dogs, to breadsticks, to pizza sauce, to these awesome garlic knots, there is literally nothing savory I won’t pumpkin. This time around, I’m bringing you these Cheesy Pumpkin Grits with Sausage, Mushrooms and Butternut Squash, finished off with some roasted pepitas for added crunch and to really tie in that pumpkin theme. I’m really proud of this recipe because it was honestly born out of my crazy mind and my love of the season. It’s full on comfort food in a bowl. Curl up on the couch and enjoy a delicious warm meal because you can’t go wrong with this dish.

In a large saucepan, combine the milk, water, pumpkin and a large pinch of salt. Set over medium hight heat and bring to a simmer. Slowly whisk in the cornmeal and lower the heat. Cook, stirring often, until the grits are tender and have thickened, 20-25 minutes.

**Note: It’s very important with grits to not turn away from them completely. Keep them over low heat and continue to stir every so often so that it doesn’t stick or burn at the bottom.**

In the meantime, set a large skillet over medium heat with the oil. Once hot, add in the sausage and use a wooden spoon to break it up. Cook until crispy and browned, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add in the butternut squash and cook until just beginning to brown. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the mixture to a bowl or plate and set aside.

**Note: I par cook my butternut squash by dicing (make sure they’re similar in size) and then place in a bowl. Add a splash of water, cover with plastic wrap. Poke a few holes and then cook in the microwave for 5 minutes. You can also boil for 8 minutes as well. Drain and set aside.**

Add another drizzle of oil (if needed) and add in the mushrooms and shallots. Cook, stirring often, until softened and browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt, pepper, fresh thyme and crushed red pepper flakes.

Return the cooked sausage and butternut squash to the skillet and sprinkle in the scallions. Lower the flame and keep warm. You can give it a taste and adjust seasoning accordingly.

Finish the grits by add in a large pinch of salt, pepper, the granulated onion, granulated garlic, dried oregano, dried thyme, chili powder, paprika, butter, and gouda. Stir until evenly combined and creamy.

**Tip: If the grits are too stiff or dry, you can loosen them with a splash of warm water. Just give it a taste as the water will dilute the flavor and so you might have to add a pinch more of salt or pepper!**

To serve, divide the grits among serving bowls (the more the better). Spoon over the sausage mixture and top with pepitas and parsley.

Any sausage will work here, I used hot Italian because I like a kick, but honestly you can use chicken, turkey or even meat-less sausage for this recipe. It’s all up to you!

The real star of this recipe however, are the cheesy pumpkin grits. They would be delicious as a side dish as well. Perfect with a roast or maybe with some shrimp aka shrimp and pumpkin grits. You can’t go wrong either way.

These cheesy pumpkin grits are the dish to make this season and I really hope you’ll give it a try because it’s absolutely delicious. I know I say that all the time, but honestly I wouldn’t post something on here that I truly don’t love myself. You’re going to love it, trust me. Let me know what you think below. And again, thank you so much for reading and following along. You truly humble me.

Cheesy Pumpkin Grits with Sausage, Mushrooms and Butternut Squash
5 from 1 vote

Cheesy Pumpkin Grits with Sausage, Mushrooms and Butternut Squash

Cheesy Pumpkin Grits with Sausage, Mushrooms and Butternut Squash is the perfect Autumn meal you should be making again and again this season.
Servings 6
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 50 mins

Equipment

  • skillet
  • Saucepan
  • wooden spoon

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1 cup coarse polenta or cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb hot Italian sausage
  • 1/2 lb par-cooked diced butternut squash
  • 1 lb sliced mushrooms
  • 1 medium shallot minced
  • Kosher salt and coarse black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 scallions thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme or sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder or cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup shredded smoked gouda
  • 1/4 cup roasted and salted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped

Instructions

  • In a large saucepan, combine the milk, water, pumpkin and a large pinch of salt. Set over medium hight heat and bring to a simmer. Slowly whisk in the cornmeal and lower the heat. Cook, stirring often, until the grits are tender and have thickened, 20-25 minutes.
  • In the meantime, set a large skillet over medium heat with the oil. Once hot, add in the sausage and use a wooden spoon to break it up. Cook until crispy and browned, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add in the butternut squash and cook until just beginning to brown. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the mixture to a bowl or plate and set aside.
  • Add another drizzle of oil (if needed) and add in the mushrooms and shallots. Cook, stirring often, until softened and browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt, pepper, fresh thyme and crushed red pepper flakes. Add in the cooked sausage and butternut squash and sprinkle in the scallions. Lower the flame and keep warm.
  • Finish the grits by add in a large pinch of salt, pepper, the granulated onion, granulated garlic, dried oregano, dried thyme, chili powder, paprika, butter, and gouda. Stir until evenly combined and creamy. If they're too stiff, you can loosen with a splash of warm water.
  • To serve, divide the grits among serving bowls. Spoon over the sausage mixture and top with pepitas and parsley. Enjoy!
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Autumn, Dinner, Fall, Main Dishes, Pumpkin

Join the Conversation

  1. Pumpkin spice and everything nice? Not this year. What an idea, this is going to be so good to try in my own kitchen.

  2. 5 stars
    nice dish! really creative set of ingredients, love how they all work together with the grits, thank you

  3. Made this – loved it!

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