I bought some of your mild breakfast sausage at the Charlotte Farmer’s Mkt on Sat. Although I can’t eat it due to the spices, my family absolutely LOVED it! My husband, who normally doesn’t care for pork products, couldn’t stop eating the sausage. My mother, who rarely eats more than a few bites of her food, ate two patties. My daughter also conceded that it was much better than what I normally buy at Target. Thank you so much! I’m hopeful that you sell beyond the Charlotte Farmer’s Mkt as it is a good distance from our home. I will keep an eye out for your products. Many thanks for making this morning’s breakfast such a hit! - Lynn A.

Sausage + Rice Casserole

from Lana C., a customer at our Matthews Farmers’ Market

  • 3 cups cooked rice
  • 1 lb. Grateful Growers sausage
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup cooked, sliced mushrooms (for convenience, you can use one 4 oz. jar – do not drain liquid)
  • One 10 3/4 oz. can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 4 T. butter Panko crumbs for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a heavy large skillet over medium heat, brown sausage until thoroughly done (drain if necessary). Combine all ingredients in skillet except butter and pour into buttered casserole dish (I use a 2 qt. oval dish and it works great). Top with Panko crumbs and dot with butter. Bake until bubbly and top is slightly brown, about 25-30 minutes.

Lana’s note: (P.S. when using Grateful Growers mild sausage, I have never had to drain ANY fat or grease off – it is just great!)

Sugarless Sausage Spice Mix

3 tbsp. rosemary, ground
10 tbsp. sage, ground
7 tbsp. salt
3 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. marjoram
3 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. basil, powdered
3 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. garlic powder or salt
3 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. cayenne, if desired


Mix all ingredients. Store in a glass jar. Shake well before using. Makes about 1 cup of seasoning.  Use about 1 1/2 – 2 TBSP of spice mix per pound of unseasoned pork – more or less to your taste.  Mix thoroughly with meat (using your hands is most effective), mix in 1 TBSP cold water.  Cover and chill for 1-2 hours to allow flavors to blend and penetrate meat (you can even chill overnight if desired).

If you don’t like some of the herbs/spices listed here, you can experiment with your favorites.  Feel free to add or omit according to your preferences!

potato, kale and pork soup

Saute pancetta in a large pot… add a dab of bacon grease if necessary. If you want more meat in the soup, also brown any Grateful Growers’ amazing sausages. Add chopped onion and saute until soft. Add 8 potatoes, 6 garlic cloves and 8 cups of chicken broth.. bring to boil. Simmer 15 minutes until potatoes are done. Add finely chopped kale and cook 5 more minutes. Puree the soup and season with salt and pepper. Then add the browned meat.  Makes a great looking green soup; or add blackeyed peas if you want a real New Year\’s recipe…

Sausage Stuffing

This is a holiday favorite that is sure to get raves.  You can add or subtract vegetables + fruits based on what’s in season and your own preferences.  This is a great recipe for experimenting, and it is scalable to fit the size of the crowd around your table.
  • 1 pound of Grateful Growers sausage (use any flavor you wish. My favorite for this is the breakfast sausage, but it is equally great with italian or bratwurst.  I haven’t tried it with chorizo yet.)
  • 3-4 loaves of bread, sliced (use different kinds to make things interesting)
  • 3-4 stalks of celery, cut in a small dice
  • 4 carrots, small dice
  • 1 whole onion, small dice
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 stick of butter, melted
  • 5-6 cups of stock (chicken, turkey, pork, or veg)
  • 1 cup of mushrooms, small dice
  • 1 cup of peeled apples, small dice
  • 1 cup of minced kale or collards
  • herbs: sage, thyme, rosemary
  • salt + pepper
Preheat the oven to 375degrees.  Crumble and brown the sausage on low-medium heat (covered).  Remove the meat from the pan and sautee the vegetables + apples in the sausage drippings until soft.  Toast the bread in the oven – don’t let it burn.  Cut the cooled toast into 1/2 inch cubes and put them in a giant bowl or pan.  In a big bowl, beat the eggs then add the cooked veg.  Add half of the stock and the melted butter and mix it well.  Blend in about 2 tsp. of each herb, about 1 tsp. salt and pepper.  Pour the whole thing over the bread cubes and mix it all together.  Your hands are the best tools for this.  If the mixture is dry, add more stock or even warm water is okay.  I like moist stuffing, so be generous with the liquid but keep in mind you are not making soup.  A handful of stuffing should bind together but not drip when you squeeze it.  If it’s too wet, add some more toast. Too dry, add more liquid.  Grease a big baking pan with lard (which you should have), butter,  or vegetable shortening (which - ick - you may have to resort to).   Bake covered for 45 minutes, then test.  The center of the stuffing should be hot and begin binding together firmly.  Bake uncovered for another 15 minutes or so, until the top is browned and begins to get crunchy.  Enjoy!

Sausage Soup


  • 1 pound of Grateful Growers Farm breakfast sausage
  • 6-8 cups of chicken, veg, or pork stock
  • 2 cup of lentils, cooked (you may substitute any cooked bean/legume)
  • 2 cups of white potatoes, finely diced
  • 2 cups of finely minced collard greens, spinach or kale
  • 1 cup of finely diced carrots, optional
  • 1 cup of finely diced onions, optional

 Brown the sausage in a skillet and set aside.  Put stock in a pot, add vegetables and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until potatoes begin to soften.  Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 1-2 hours.  If crockpotting, cook on low for several hours.  Add additional liquid (stock or water) as desired.  Garnish with a shredded hard cheese or bread crumbs.  Recipe can be halved if this is too much, but we like leftovers!



  • 1 whole chicken, stewed, saving the broth
  • 1 smoked sausage, diced
  • 1 lb. of Grateful Growers lovely breakfast sausage
  • 3 cups of uncooked rice
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

Set aside the broth to let the fat rise to the top and skim the fat off. Pick all the meat off the chicken and keep it warm. Put the smoked sausage, breakfast sausage and onion in a large dutch oven and brown over medium heat; add garlic at the end and cook just for a minute. Drain any fat off, removing the browned meat and onion to the same place you’re keeping the chicken warm. You will need enough chicken stock to make 8 cups. Pour stock and rice into the pot, add salt and pepper to taste depending on how salty your stock is, bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to simmer about 30 minutes till rice is fully cooked. Add warm meat and use a fork to fluff rice and mix meat in.

This recipe feeds a small army or a large family. You can reduce the meat amounts and rice amounts and liquids accordingly, always using a little more liquid than the rice directions call for.

Chicken Stuffed with Rice and Pinenuts

– submitted by Andie Brymer

  • 1 chicken
  • 1 onion
  • 1/4 cup butter (half a stick) or more
  • 4 ounces sausage or more
  • 1 cup or more of cooked rice
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • salt and pepper
  • chicken broth

Saute the onion in butter and remove. Saute sausage. Briefly brown the chicken in the remaining butter adding more if needed. Remove from heat.

Toast pinenuts in a dry frying pan for a few minutes, stirring often to avoid burning.

Mix rice, pinenuts, onions, sausage, cinnamon, salt and pepper with enough chicken broth to make it moist. Stuff into chicken, placing remaining mixture around the bird.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for approximately two hours. Baste with any remaining butter or melt more until 30 minutes before finishing. May need to cover bird with aluminum foil at some point. Some folks do this during the first phase of cooking but I found I needed to at the end also.

Biscuits and Sausage Gravy

Scratch-Made Biscuits

  • 1/4 cup Grateful Growers rendered lard
  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • about 3/4 cup milk or buttermilk

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Use a pastry blender or 2 knives in scissor fashion to cut lard into flour until the mixture is crumbly. With a fork, stir in enough milk to form a soft dough. DO NOT OVERMIX, or the biscuits will be tough. Turn dough onto a floured cloth and pat down to about 1 inch thick. Cut biscuits with a floured cutter or jelly glass, place them on a baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.

Sausage Gravy

  • 1 pound of Grateful Growers breakfast sausage (mild or hot)
  • About 1 cup of flour
  • About 2 cups of milk
  • Brown sausage in a skillet over low-medium heat.

    Toss in flour a few tablespoons at a time, stirring as you go. When the meat and bottom of the pan are coated, continue stirring and cook for a couple of minutes until the mixture begins to brown lightly. Stir in milk 1/4 cup at a time, until the bottom of the skillet is covered. Cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more milk until you achieve the desired consistency. If the gravy is too thick, add milk, if it’s too thin, keep cooking.

    Serve over split biscuits or use toasted sliced bread instead of biscuits if you’re in a hurry. For a really decadent meal, serve with sunny-side-up Grateful Growers eggs.

Country Grits and Sausage Casserole


  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup stone ground grits uncooked
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1-8 oz. block extra-sharp Cheddar shredded cheese
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried whole thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 pound mild or hot pork breakfast sausage, cooked, crumbled and drained

Bring water to a boil; add salt and stir in grits. Return to boil; reduce heat to low and cook about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cheese, stirring until melted. Combine eggs, milk, thyme, and garlic powder; stir well. Gradually stir about 1/4 hot grits mixture into egg mixture (this step is important, or the eggs will scramble), then add egg mixture to remaining hot mixture, stirring constantly. Stir in sausage. Pour into a 11 x 7 x 1-1/2 inch baking pan sprayed with non-stick spray. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until set. Serves: 6

Note: This can also be made just before baking. I’ve also used leftover grits- if the grits are cool, no need to temper the eggs (the step of adding a little hot grits to the eggs).