Eat for Eight Bucks: Bean and Hominy Gratin

[Photograph: Robin Bellinger]

Shopping List

1 cup raw hominy: $0.80
1 cup raw beans: $0.50
5 ounces cheddar: $2.00
1 bunch collards (3/4 pound): $2.00
1 onion: $0.50
2 strips bacon: $1.00

Pantry items: Butter, flour, milk, adobo sauce, salt, pepper, (and for collards: olive oil, garlic, crushed red pepper).

Total cost (for 3 portions): $6.80

Last week I became obsessed with finding out whether hominy could stand in for the pasta in macaroni and cheese. I added some beans, since I knew this would be at the center of my plate, and turned out a rib-sticking dish of comfort. Bean and hominy gratin isn't quite as tempting as macaroni and cheese, I'll admit, but it's somewhat more nutritious (and, if you start with canned hominy and beans, even easier to make). Adobo sauce from a can of chipotle chilis, which I keep in small amounts in the freezer, gives it a subtle but steady heat.

The collard greens at my farmers' market are in fine form at the moment, so I cooked a mess up the way I do. Although the gratin and collards would both make fine side dishes, they satisfied me completely all on their own. Deviled eggs would be a nice addition, if you need a little something extra or want to stretch the meal to feed four people.

The picture shows leftover gratin spooned into smaller baking dishes the next day for reheating and a quick broil.

Bean and Hominy Gratin

About the author: Robin Bellinger is a freelance editor and shameless cookie addict. She lives in San Francisco and blogs about what she feeds her husband and her daughter at home*economics.

Eat for Eight Bucks: Bean and Hominy Gratin

About This Recipe


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce or 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 5 ounces sharp cheddar, grated
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 cups cooked hominy, drained
  • 2 cups cooked pinto beans, drained


  1. 1

    Preheat the oven to 400. Lightly grease a 9x9 baking dish.


Add a rating with your comment:

Comments can take up to a minute to appear - please be patient!

Previewing your comment: