This Hominy Au Gratin casserole recipe is easy to make and super creamy. Hominy Au Gratin is an old fashioned southern staple that is a tasty and filling cheese and bacon topped side dish. Comfort food at it’s best.
Have you had Hominy Au Gratin before? Have you eaten hominy? Do you know what hominy is?
First of all, I have always loved hominy and this Hominy Au Gratin casserole is no exception. It’s creamy, cheesy, and flavorful.
What is hominy?
Hominy is corn. To make hominy, field corn or maize is dried. It is then treated by soaking and cooking the mature, hard grain (versus fresh, soft corn) in a dilute solution of either lye, slaked lime which is calcium hydroxide, or wood ash. This process is termed nixtamalization. The soaked maize loosens the hulls from the kernels and softens the kernels themselves. The process causes the kernels to double in size. It is then either left whole for hominy or ground into masa, which is used for tortillas and tamales, among other things.
This casserole recipe is made with a béchamel base with the addition of cheddar cheese. Béchamel is a “white sauce” or sauce blanche made from milk, butter, and flour. It is very similar to macaroni and cheese. The hominy provides a different texture than pasta, but it has a lot of the same flavors.
Most noteworthy, Béchamel sauce is the mother, or base, sauce of a number of other classic sauces with the addition of a few more ingredients added including:
- Mornay sauce which is a cheese sauce
- Nantua sauce is a crayfish, butter, and cream
- Crème sauce uses heavy cream
- Mustard sauce is prepared with mustard seed
- Soubise sauce contains finely diced onions that have been sweated in butter
- Cheddar cheese sauce contains cheddar cheese, dry mustard, and Worcestershire sauce
- 2 14 ounce cans hominy, drained
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 and ½ cup milk
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 cup plus ½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- 2 ounces chopped pimentos
- ⅓ to ½ cup bacon bits
- Drain hominy.
- Cook bacon and crumble if you are not using precooked bacon bits.
- Melt butter in a large saucepan.
- Add flour, whisk and cook 2 minutes.
- Whisk in milk and simmer 2 minutes
- Add salt, pepper, and onion powder. Whisk to combine.
- Add 1 cup cheese and stir until it melts.
- Stir in pimento and hominy.
- Pour into an oven safe casserole dish. (An 8x8, 9x9, or 8x12 inch dish works best.)
- Top with additional ½ cup cheese and cooked, crumbled bacon.
- Bake at 350 degrees until bubbly and cheese is melted approximately 25 to 30 minutes.
- *Tip I always like to place my casserole dish on a baking pan with at least a 1 inch side in case the casserole cooks over.
Hominy Au Gratin
I’ve made this recipe for years and recently decided to top it with bacon. Consequently, bacon does make everything better. I didn’t think it was possible this casserole better, but bacon does it. Of course, you can omit the bacon if you so desire. I cooked and crumbled bacon which does take a few minutes to cook. However, for an easy bacon addition, you may want to use bacon bits, the kind you put on salads. They are good and saves a lot of cooking time.
Another suggestion, I don’t recommend using pre-shredded cheese. Pre-shredded cheese is coated with cornstarch to prevent it from sticking together. That’s an extra ingredient you don’t need and freshly grated is a ton better.
As well, simply stir in 1 cup cooked, shredded or cubed chicken to make this a main dish meal.
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