Recipe: Smoky Sausage-and-Grits Casserole

Breakfast in the South is a time for us to start the day as a family over a table full of comforting foods. We like biscuits, casseroles, cinnamon rolls, grits, fried eggs, country ham with red-eye gravy – you name it. We even love preparing breakfast for dinner (like this yummy Breakfast Sausage-Egg Pizza with creamy Mornay Sauce!). Waking up to a warm, cozy casserole is the best thing about Saturday morning, and this Smoky Sausage-and-Grits Casserole definitely does the trick. This rich, creamy breakfast recipe is a hearty, filling dish that combines a few of our favorite ingredients, like smoked sausage, quick-cooking grits, sharp Cheddar cheese, and fresh thyme. Most of the preparation for this casserole recipe can be done in one Dutch oven. You can brown the sausage in the Dutch oven first, and then replace it with the quick-cooking grits.When your grits have thickened, add in the sharp Cheddar cheese until it's fully melted into the grits. After the cheese is incorporated, add in your milk, some fresh thyme, black pepper, and garlic powder for some extra flavor. Whisk in the eggs (this is what will hold the casserole together!) and stir in the cooked sausage. Pour this mixture into a greased baking dish, and bake your breakfast casserole for about an hour.

One of the great things about this recipe is that it can actually be prepared up to four days in advance. Just be sure to keep it in the fridge, and then let it come back to room temperature before baking on the day you'd like to serve it. Spoon out a hearty helping of this cheesy grits casserole, top with a little extra fresh thyme, and serve alongside some fresh berries for a breakfast that the whole family can look forward to. If your family isn't big on smoked sausage, you can also try varying the recipe with cubed ham or chopped, cooked bacon – these ingredients add some extra flavor to your grits casserole.

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