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Southern Grits Dressing

Call it stuffing or call it dressing, every family has their own way of making this Thanksgiving staple. This particular one takes its inspiration from two things you’re more likely to see in the south – cheesy grits and cornbread dressing. Rather than relying on cubed up cornbread, though, this dressing takes creamy grits and pairs them with a few goodies to bring them right to the dinner table. And trust me, they’re right at home there. Packed with cheesiness and texture, this dressing is just about as comforting and delicious as it gets.

You start by simmering some grits until they’re good and thick and tender…

… and then you stir in some eggs and evaporated milk.

Those two certainly help in creating a beautiful texture, but they’re not quite as exciting as the cheese, bacon, and chives that follow them.

Everything heads into a casserole dish…

… and gets a little extra topping of cheese before it heads into the oven.

Which means that when it comes out of the oven, it’s cheesy and golden brown on the top…

… and creamy and flavorful below. The corn grits are filling but not heavy, and the bacon adds a nice smokiness to go along with all that cheesiness. It’s not your traditional dressing, sure, but it’s a side dish so delicious that its deserving of making many appearances on your table throughout the year.

Southern Grits Dressing

2 hours to prepare serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 1 cup grits, uncooked
  • 8 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 6 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 2 cups Cheddar cheese, grated and divided
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives, snipped
  • 1 pinch paprika
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 2-qt baking dish with butter or nonstick spray.
  2. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan and gradually whisk in grits. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently.
  3. If grits get too thick, ladle in more water, 1/4 cup at a time. Continue cooking until you have 5 cups of soft but thick grits, about 1 hour.
  4. Let cool slightly, and whisk in eggs and evaporated milk. Add all but 1/2 cup of the cheese, chives, paprika, bacon, salt and pepper, and stir to combine.
  5. Spread into prepared baking dish and top with remaining cheese. Place dish on top of a baking sheet and bake until golden brown and fluffy in the middle, about 1 hour. Let cool 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Self.

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