Grits, Ham, and Turnip Greens Soufflé

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes



Appears in

The Glory of Southern Cooking

The Glory of Southern Cooking

By James Villas

Published 2007

  • About

I can’t remember whether the grits soufflé awarded a prize at a March of Dimes Gourmet Gala in Louisville, Kentucky, included country or regular smoked ham. Since then, I’ve made it with both types (as well as with various cheeses) and loved each and every rendition, so feel free to use whichever suits your taste. I do strongly advise, however, that you make the effort to acquire stone-ground grits for this particular recipe, since both the flavor and texture make all the difference. By no means try to prepare this soufflé with quick-cooking or instant grits.


  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 4 leaves of turnip greens, stems removed
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup stone-ground grits
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Tabasco sauce to taste
  • ½ cup chopped cooked ham
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 4 large eggs, beaten


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a -quart soufflé dish or casserole, sprinkle the bread crumbs over the bottom and sides, and set aside.

In a pot of boiling water, blanch the turnip greens for 1 minute, drain, chop finely, and set aside.

In a heavy saucepan, combine the water and salt and bring to a boil. Gradually add the grits, stirring, reduce the heat to low, and cook 15 to 20 minutes or till thick and creamy, stirring constantly. Remove pan from the heat, add the turnip greens, cheese, butter, pepper, Tabasco, ham, and garlic and stir till well blended. Add the eggs and stir till well blended. Scrape the mixture into the prepared dish and bake till golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Serve hot.