Mornings are much better with a hearty, savory breakfast casserole like this cheesy grits bake. Made with cubed ham, fresh corn, and flavorful thyme, this impressive dish is an easier twist on a soufflé—but will make every family member happy. This rich casserole made with yellow stone-ground grits bakes up puffy and golden with pockets of the fresh corn and cubed ham throughout. Two different types of Cheddar cheeses make sure this casserole is going to be completely melded and flavored with creamy, cheesy goodness. You can make this breakfast casserole ahead of time—to make your life easier, especially if hosting guests for the holidays—by covering and storing in the fridge. Take it out before baking and then pop it in the oven to bake for about 50 minutes to an hour. If corn isn’t in season at the time, you can use frozen corn in a pinch. A warm, creamy casserole is the perfect cozy breakfast for chilly Saturday mornings, so have this recipe on hand for a savory breakfast any weekend or holiday! Your guests will be praising your hosting skills.
2 tablespoons salted butter
1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
4 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon table salt
1 1/2 cups uncooked yellow stone-ground grits
2 (8-oz.) pkg. cubed boneless ham, drained and patted dry with paper towels
Lightly grease a 3-quart baking dish. Preheat oven to 350°F.
Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium; stir in onion and garlic, and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Stir in water and salt, increase heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Whisk in grits, and stir in ham; return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, whisking occasionally, until thickened and grits are almost tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove from heat; add both cheeses, stirring until completely melted. Stir in milk, corn, thyme, pepper, and eggs. Spoon mixture into prepared baking dish.
Bake in preheated oven until golden and cooked through, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.