Spoon Bread with Mushrooms and Herbs

Make spoon bread the star of the show.

Spoon Bread with Mushrooms and Herbs
Photo: Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis
Active Time:
1 hrs
Bake Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 40 mins

Spoon bread, a cornmeal-based dish similar to a savory pudding, is a Southern delicacy. But this recipe for Spoon Bread with Mushrooms and Herbs turns a humble Southern staple into the main event. Heavenly, creamy grits act as the base to this Southern spoon bread. It puffs like a soufflé, creating a golden-brown crust that encapsulates a tender, creamy interior. Buttery, flavorful mushrooms give some earthy, herby, and toothsome factors to the spoonbread. Trust us: This is dangerous.

A trick to getting your mushrooms nice and browned: Don't stir the pot. Let the mushrooms cook undisturbed at first so they can get a good sear, which prevents sogginess. Folding in a portion of the beaten egg whites into the soufflé helps lighten the grits mixture and makes it easier to fold in the remaining whites without deflating them. If you're looking to prep in advance, you could easily make the mushrooms ahead of time, stirring in the herbs right before serving.

This spoon bread makes for a stunning side or vegetarian main. Serve with some lightly dressed greens and a bottle of crisp white wine for lunch or brunch.


  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, divided, plus more for greasing dish

  • 3 cups half-and-half

  • 3 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 1 ½ cups stone-ground yellow or white grits (such as McEwen & Sons)

  • 5 large eggs, separated

  • 6 ounces Gruyère cheese, shredded (about 1 ½ cups)

  • 3 tablespoons crème fraîche

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 pound mixed wild mushrooms, halved or sliced

  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic (from 2 medium garlic cloves)

  • ½ cup dry white wine

  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 3-quart oval or 13- x 9-inch baking dish with butter; set aside. Bring 3 cups water, half-and-half, and 1 tablespoon of the salt to a boil in a large pot over medium-high. Once simmering, gradually whisk in grits; reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, whisking occasionally, until grits have absorbed all liquid, pull away

  2. Whisk egg yolks until smooth. Whisk ½ cup of the hot grits into yolks to temper; stir tempered yolk mixture, Gruyère, crème fraîche, and 2 tablespoons of the butter into remaining grits.

  3. Beat egg whites with whisk attachment in the bowl of a stand mixer or with an electric hand mixer on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. Gently fold one-third of the egg whites into grits; repeat until all whites are folded into grits. Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish; bake in preheated oven until puffed, golden brown, and just set but still slightly jiggly in center, about 40 minutes.

  4. While spoon bread is baking, heat oil in a large high-sided skillet over medium-high. Add mushrooms in an even layer. Cook, undisturbed, until starting to crisp and brown on 1 side, about 4 minutes. Stir vigorously, and continue to cook, undisturbed, until they start to decrease in volume and brown more evenly, about 4 minutes. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are browned and tender, 4 to 6 more minutes. Add garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 1 minute. Add wine; remove from heat. Stir in cream, parsley, tarragon, and remaining 2 tablespoons butter and ½ teaspoon salt. Cover; keep warm until ready to serve.

  5. Once spoon bread is cooked through, remove from oven, and serve immediately topped with mushroom mixture.

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