Hominy au Gratin

IF I COULD,  I’d eat Hominy au Gratin every day. It’s creamy. It’s comforting. And it goes with everything. Need an accompaniment for hamburgers? Poached eggs? A Thanksgiving turkey? Hominy au Gratin is your friend.

Now, if you are not a Southerner, you might be wondering “what the heck is hominy?” Well, it’s dried kernels of corn that have been soaked in an alkaline solution. The solution removes the hull and germ of the corn. It also turns the kernels into soft, voluptuous pearls. Voluptuous peals that have the same, melt-in-your-mouth texture as gnocchi.

Hominy au Gratin
Ingredients for 8-10 servings
2- 1lb, 14oz cans white or yellow hominy (or 4- 15oz cans)
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups hot milk
2 cups lightly-pressed down shredded cheddar cheese, divided
Seasonings – one pinch each of salt, pepper, and nutmeg

To remove the taste of the can, pour the kernels into a colander and then rinse them under cold water.  Set aside while you make the cheese sauce.

The cheese sauce begins with a flour-and-butter mixture, or  roux: In a saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter. You don’t want the butter to color any more than a pale yellow. As assurance against browning, I always lift the pan about an inch or two above the flame.

Add the flour to the melted butter, and stir it quickly until the mixture becomes smooth and bubbly — about one minute.

Add the milk,  increase the heat to medium, and stir constantly until the sauce thickens and reaches a boil. If your milk is already hot — I pour mine into a Pyrex measure and then microwave it on “High” for 2 minutes — thickening will occur in a matter of seconds.

Off heat, stir in one cup of cheese until it melts. Then stir in the seasonings — salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Taste carefully; you might like to add more salt.

Did someone say “Cheese?”

Pour a quarter-cup of the cheese sauce into a buttered (or non-stick-sprayed) baking dish. Then pour on the hominy. Pour the remaining cheese sauce over the hominy, and shake the dish to help the sauce settle between the kernels.

Top with the remaining shredded cheese.

I’d say this baby’s lookin’ good already.

Bake on the middle rack of your preheated 425F oven until bubbling and slightly browned — 30-40 minutes.

Folks, Hominy au Gratin is so delicious it practically defies description. Promise me you’ll try it sometime, okay?

Here’s the copy and paste version of the above recipe:

Hominy au Gratin
Kevin Lee Jacobs, A Garden for the House
Ingredients for 8-10 servings
2- 1lb, 14oz cans white or yellow hominy (or 4- 15oz cans)
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups hot milk
2 cups lightly-pressed down shredded cheddar cheese, divided
Seasonings – one pinch each of salt, pepper, and nutmeg

Necessary equipment: a heavy bottomed, 2 1/2 quart saucepan; a wooden spoon or spatula; a buttered (or vegetable-sprayed) baking dish, approximately 9-x12-x2-inches.

Preheat oven to 425F.
1. Pour the hominy into a colander, and then run cold water over the kernels to remove the taste of the can.
2. In the saucepan, melt butter over low heat; when melted, add the flour and stir, with a wooden spatula,  until smooth and bubbly. Then add the hot milk, increase heat, and stir constantly until the sauce thickens and reaches a boil.
3. Off heat, add seasonings and one cup of the cheese; stir until the cheese melts. Taste carefully – you might like to add more salt, pepper, or nutmeg.
4. Coat the bottom of the baking dish with a small amount of sauce, pour on the hominy, and then top with the remaining cup of cheese.
5. Bake on the middle rack of the preheated 425F oven until bubbly and browned — 30-40 minutes.

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Related Posts:
Bean Dip with Rosemary and Sage
Classic Tomato Pie
French Blueberry Galette


  1. badger gardener says:

    How do you do it? Every recipe you put up here positively makes me weak in the knees. I am going to need a new recipe card box as mine is overflowing w/ cards marked “from the kitchen of Kevin”. I’ve never had hominy but gnocchi is my favorite food in the world, so I have a feeling I will enjoy it. I hope our grocer’s up here in the North have it in stock.

  2. Carolyn Collins says:

    Being raised in Texas, I have eaten hominy all my life. This looks delicious. It’s hard to make hominy look pretty but you did it!

  3. Hmm… I have never had hominy or gnocchi. You sure have made this sound and look delicious! I might, just might try this.

  4. Badger gardener – How nice of you! I think most supermarkets sell hominy. My local store stocks it among the canned beans.

    Carolyn Collins – It’s even more delicious than it looks 🙂

    Erin- Well, you have got to try hominy at least once. And gnocchi, too. I’ll come up with a nifty gnocchi dish before too long.

  5. Kevin, if there’s a Hispanic food section of your grocery store – maybe not, since you live up north, but maybe there’s a Hispanic food market? Anyway, I highly recommend the hominy sold there, rather than the washed-out totally white version sold in the vegetable aisle. It’s less refined and starchy than the Bush or Goya brands, and has great texture and a more nutty taste. Won’t swear, but I think the brand name is “La Costena” or something similar – the can is red.

  6. If you live in the Baltimore/Washington DC area, the best canned hominy is made by Mannings! … Packed tightly with very little water … when we moved to Florida, all we could find was Bush’s hominy … and it was awful … more water than hominy … will check the Hispanic food section of our supermarket and see what I can find … thanks for the tip … we sure miss our Mannings Hominy … we usually bring a year supply back to Florida when we go home …

  7. I will try this as all the ingredients would be gluten-free if I used rice flour. Thanks, looks yummy and easy. I tried to make gluten-free gnocchi once and it turned into starch-water with small lumps.

  8. MicronCat – Thanks for the tip. There is a Mexican store in a neighboring town not far from me. I’ll have to compare the hominy they sell to the one from Goya.

    Kathy – I wonder if Mannings would ship their fab hominy to you?

    Gloria – I’ve also made Hominy au Gratin with cornstarch as a thickener, so that my gluten-intolerant partner could enjoy the dish. T’was delicious.

  9. Kevin,

    The brand name for the Mexican Style hominy is Juanita, not La Cosena. I made this yesterday, subbing tapioca flour because I’m trying the “wheat free” thing for awhile, and we loved it. Next time, will leave out the nutmeg and add garlic, and a dash or two of Marie Sharp’s. Nomnomnom….


  10. Yum, I just love hominy in the white and yellow version. I think I will try this recipe using half and half. Thanks for your recipes. I really enjoy your blog, unlike some other blogs you don’t overload us with useless information.

  11. Anna Lapping says:

    I love hominy but I’ve never had it baked with cheese. I’m going to try it.

  12. Brenda Johnson says:

    I too have never had hominy…. but this looks like a pretty darned good way to try it to me! Anything covered in cheese is a winner in my book!!!!

  13. It’s just not fair – why does all the good stuff have cheese in it? I can substitute for milk, for butter – but not for cheese. Is there anything else you can do w/ hominy that’s yummy but doesn’t call for cheese? I know that’s a big request, but I have faith in your creativity and resourcefulness. 🙂

  14. Ok, I will give this a try even though I do not like hominy! I am willing to give it a chance because, hey, anything smothered in melted bubbly browny cheese can’t be all that bad, right?

  15. Renda – Yes, Yes, YES to half & half.

    Anna – If you try this dish, I hope you’ll let me know how it turns out for you.

    Brenda – You simply have to try this piece of heaven!

    Mary M-S – Here’s a super-simple, dairy-free way to enjoy hominy: saute the kernels in 2-3 Tbs butter (or whatever butter sub you use). Then toss with 2-3 Tbs freshly-snipped chives, basil, parsley or whatever herbs you happen to have on hand. Delicious.

    Deb Nelson – I can’t say for certain, but I’ll wager this gratin will give you a new-found respect for hominy! I hope you’ll try it and then let me know…

  16. I grew up eating fried pork chops and hominy. This recipe is one I just have to try, Kevin. What I appreciate about your recipes — besides how delicious they sound and how deliciously easy you make the pre p — is the step-by-step photo commentary. Thank you, thank you!

  17. Now to find certified organic hominy so I can be sure it’s not made from genetically modified corn! (80% of all corn is genetically modified these days).

  18. Kevin, I love hominy and grew up in the North, but we had it probably at least once a month. It was always just served with butter, salt and pepper. I can’t wait to try this recipe, for a change-up. We have both the Mexican version and the “old/regular” canned hominy available, in WA State, and yes, the Mexican is drier. The yellow variety is a bit chewier, but I like them both. Thanks for posting.

  19. Thank you for your recipes!

  20. No wonder obesity is an epidemic in the South and Mid-West!

  21. Janice in Black Creek, BC says:

    to Mary M-S; have you tried some of the soy based cheese substitutes? some of them melt nicely.

  22. I agree w/ Badger Gardener above. You always make me hungry first thing in the morning… hhahaha!
    Anyway, I was born in the south, so I am fully aware of hominy.. mmm! I’ve always wanted a good way to introduce it to my boyfriend in a way that he’d like it – au Gratin? Cheese? yeah, cheese will do… Making a note to make this one night for dinner.
    And I do love the shot of Lily… she’s like my Charlotte, hard to capture a still shot of her groveling for food in the kitchen… >D

  23. I have really enjoyed your blog for both food and gardening. i love hominy and will try the Mexican type. As a vegan I will find a way to make it work for me…will let you know. Thanks for the inspiration.

  24. Brenda Johnson says:

    So I made both the hominy dish and your apple crisp for dinner tonight! A smashing success enjoyed by all!!!! YUM! (and now with stuffed tummy…. I head for my couch….)

  25. Beverly, zone 6 eastern PA says:

    I have never eaten Hominy in any form. Your recipe looks divine. I am sorely tempted to try it. Now that the weather has cooled a bit, I feel inspired to use my oven! Thanks Kevin!

  26. I have never, never tried hominy. But this recipe sounds so delicious, maybe it’s time for me to try some.

  27. badger gardener says:

    Hominy harmony. Yum. I served this over the weekend as a side w/ grilled burgers and my husband and I loved it. Now I am waiting to see what you do w/ gnocchi (hint, hint).

  28. Oh, Kevin! I grew up eating the stuff and vowed never to serve it when I grew up. The last 10 years have been spent in South Texas where hominy and tripe (Menudo) is a local favorite. In my childhood home, hominy was a leftover from the hungry days of the Depression and the pioneer days of the Civil War.

    You have managed to transform something I always thought of as “poor people’s food” into a really yummy looking dish. I’ll make it tomorrow and report back. You are a miracle worker.

  29. Hi Elizabeth – Great fun to read your comment. If you make this dish, let me know how it turns out for you, okay? (I think it’s divine!)

  30. Kevin….once again, this sounds delicious. I will make this later in the week. Interesting, the discussion about hominy. So many people have never enjoyed it. I have lived in Southern California my entire life…I am 55 years young and never ate it as a child. In fact, I never heard about anybody cooking with hominy. I first used it about three years ago, totally by accident. Absoloutley love the stuff. I use it alot in soups with beans (butter beans, white beans etc) vegetables, sausage, bacon, ham etc…It makes a hearty soup during college football season…LOL!. Now I am going to try the Mexican hominy. Thanks to all for the tips/education on hominy. Kevin, I just love your site , “A Garden For The House”.

  31. OMG! Here in New England we call hominy, Hulled Corn. I remember a man used to come to my great grandmother’s house and sell it from a truck, like the bread man in Ca. I love this stuff and I will be trying this recipe Kevin. Thanks for the memories.

  32. Delicious!!! Thanks much Kevin!

  33. Karen Burks says:

    This looks wonderful and I am going to try it. Here in the South we make Golden Glow Casserole. You take hominy grits and make them by the recipe on the box. Pour them in a shallow pan and put them in the fridge. When they are set you cut them in squares and stack and arrange in a casserole. Pour your melted cheese sauce over each layer. You can also add bacon crumbles, green onions etc. Stick it in the oven and heat till bubbly and slightly brown on top. Cheese grits are wonderful with broiled shrimp. This is a staple of shrimpers in the Carolinas. I’ve had it many ways and all are wonderful.
    Happy Thanksgiving,

  34. Hi Karen – The “Golden Glow” casserole sounds wonderful! Must try.

  35. Made this over the weekend for family and friends. We all LOVED it!!! I really enjoy your website. Always excited to see something in my E-mail from you. Thanks!!

  36. Phyllis – So glad you tried — and liked — the Hominy au Gratin!

  37. I make hominy with scrambled eggs for breakfast. Just add a little salt and pepper and some crumbled bacon and it’s really delicious. I serve it to people who have never eaten hominy and they love it. I’m sure a little cheese on top would be really tasty.

  38. I’ve lived in the south 29 years, after 23 in PA, this is the first time I’ve ever been tempted to try hominy. It’s on my grocery list and I can’t wait to try it.

  39. Wanted to recipe to use up a huge can of white hominy I had sitting around…had all the ingredients in this one-and just made it…SO GOOD, thank you! I also added panko bread crumbs to the top to give it some crunchiness…perfect for a cold winters day in Buffalo!


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