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Cheesy Home-style Sausage Grits, Lightened Up

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This Cheesy Homestyle Sausage Grits Recipe is a favorite Southern dish.  Overflowing with cheese and sausage this lightened up version is just as good as the original!

This Conversation and Cheesy Homestyle Sausage Grits Recipe is sponsored by Smart Balance but written by me!

Cheesy Homestyle Sausage Grits Recipe

Some days I crave good old fashioned comfort food! While I love comfort food dishes, I don’t love all the extra calories and fat that typically accompanies this type of food.  I always do what I can to lighten up the dish and make it a bit more on the healthy side than the original recipe might call for.  So, when Smart Balance challenged me to try their blended butter sticks in one of my favorite recipes to see how they performed, I went for it with our favorite Cheesy Home-style Sausage grits recipe.

This Cheesy Homestyle Sausage Grits Recipe is a favorite Southern dish.  Overflowing with cheese and sausage this lightened up version is just as good as the original!

The usual changes I make to lighten up a dish is to swap out the full fat fat ingredients for lower fat/calorie versions. (Greek yogurt for sour cream or mayo, mashed bananas or avocados for fats in baked goods, evaporated skim milk for cream.)

For this recipe I swapped out regular sausage for turkey sausage, full fat cheese for 2%, full fat milk for 1%, and I switched the regular butter for the Smart Balance Blended Butter Sticks.  These substitutions saved 104 calories and 8 grams of fat per serving. (calculated via myfitnesspal recipe calculator.)

And if you like grits, this recipe is sure to please!

Southern Grits Recipe

Looking for more healthy recipes?  Smart Balance has a printable recipe plan with 14 delicious heart healthy meals.  You can download it for free here.

Cheesy sausage grits recipe

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Cheesy Homestyle Sausage Grits, Lightened up

Cheesy Home-style Sausage Grits, Lightened Up

  • Author: Jamie Sanders
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 17 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


This Cheesy Homestyle Sausage Grits Recipe is a favorite Southern dish.  Overflowing with cheese and sausage this lightened up version is just as good as the original!


  •  1 cup precooked Turkey Sausage crumbles
  • 2 cups lowfat/skim milk
  • 3⁄4 cup Healthy Request condensed cheddar cheese soup
  • 4 packets (1 ounce each) instant grits
  • 1/8 tsp onion powder
  • 1⁄2 cup shredded 2% Mexican blend cheese
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 4 tsp Smart Balance Blended Butter Sticks, cut into tiny pieces
  • *optional 1/8 tsp garlic powder (if you like garlic)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a large bowl, mix together milk, soup, onion powder and optional garlic.  Add the grits and stir until smooth.
  3. Mix in cheese, and sausage.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Spoon mixture into 6 well greased ramekins and top each with 1 tablespoon of butter pieces. (I only had 4 ramekins and put the rest in a  oven proof cereal bowl.)
  6. Place ramekins on a baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until heated through.  (If you don’t have ramekins, use a 1.5 or 2 quart casserole dish and add about 10 minutes to the baking time- keeping your eye on it towards the end.)



1.  Don’t fill your ramekins as full as mine.  The grits will puff up a tiny bit while cooking and might cause the butter to overflow into the oven.
2.  Even though this recipe is “lightened up,” it is still very rich will all the sausage, cheese and butter.  You could easily lessen the amount of butter and sausage by a quarter of the amount called for and probably not even notice a difference…

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Smart Balance.

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  1. Lori Hart says:

    I just love grits!! Found you at Chef in Training. I am one of the hostesses of Tasty Tuesdays and would love you to stop by and link up this recipe if you have not yet already.

  2. Angela LeMoine says:

    Stopping by from Show & Tell Saturday blog hop. This recipe looks WONDERFUL! Pinned and following! Would love for you to stop by and say hi,

  3. Krystle Smith says:

    Grits are a favorite in our house. Love that this version is something that isn't so heavy!

  4. Steph @ Three Loud Kids! says:

    Being from the south I ADORE grits, Im absolutely going to make this!

  5. Holly Lefevre (504 Main) says:

    My hubby is from the South. He likes his grits…and guess what I never make them…but now I have a recipe!

  6. Magical Mystical MiMi says:

    I lived in the south for 5 yrs. and tried grits ONCE and found them to be quite disgusting, this recipe however sounds and looks delicious and I'm absolutely going to give it a try. When I do I'll post and link back to you, hopefully mine turns out as yummy as yours look. 🙂

    1. You don't really taste the grits, just mostly the butter, sausage and cheese. This recipe is good, but of course I will always choose cheesecake over grits :)… My husband on the other hand, begs for these grits!