Smoked Gruyere Grits with Chicken Sausage, Apples & Brussel Sprouts

There's something satisfying about eating warm food from a bowl.

We've had our first bit of cool fall weather this weekend and all I want to do is hole up on the couch with a blanket, a movie, and a bowl of something warm and goooooood. [read->something cheesy with some vegetables for good measure]

Cheesy grits/polenta embody the warm, comforting one-bowl kind of food that I love. I'm sure some people have strong opinions about the differences between grits and polenta, but for my purposes they're the same thing. You call it polenta if you're Italian and grits if you're Southern. 

Also, smoked gruyere is ridiculous. If you've never tried it, please go buy some now.  

Between mouthfuls of these cheesy grits, I said to Adam, "this cheese tastes like bacon!"

"Uh, you haven't eaten enough bacon then," he said. 

Well, I have had enough cheese to tell you that this is one of my favorites. 

True story--> When I was in fifth grade I made an autobiography in which I wrote "My favorite food is cheese. I love cheesy rice, cheesy potatoes, cheesy eggs, and macaroni and cheese." 

Not much has changed, friends, other than my 11-year-old dream of driving a silver Mustang...

Don't skip the apples here! They compliment the savory chicken sausage, the slight bitterness in the brussel sprouts and the smokiness in the cheese.

Make these cheesy grits for dinner one night this week.  Then snuggle up on the couch with a book, or a movie, or--if you're like me, your laptop and research paper--and say a word of thanks for warm food and comfort.

Smoked Gruyere Grits with Chicken Sausage, Apples & Brussel Sprouts 

1 cup grits/polenta
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups milk
1 3/4 cups water
1/2 tablespoon butter
shredded smoked gruyere cheese  (anywhere from 1/2 cup to a cup, depending on how cheesy you want them. We used 1 cup!)
4 pack chicken apple sausages, sliced
1 honey crisp apple, cut into chunks
1 lb brussel sprouts, ends removed and cut in half 
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 tablespoons butter (optional)

Bring milk, water and salt to a boil. Whisk in grits. Continue whisking for about a minute, then turn heat down to low and cover. Let cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. When grits have reached desired consistency, turn off the heat and add the 1/2 tablespoon butter and cheese. 

Meanwhile, heat a large saucepan to medium-high. Add 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Working quickly, add the brussel sprouts to the pan by hand, ensuring that the cut side is face down. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the bottom is nicely browned. Add the sliced apples and stir. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 8-10 minutes, or until the apples are slightly soft. (You can add a little more butter or olive oil throughout this process if the pan looks dry.)

Remove the brussel sprouts and apples from the pan. Add a touch more olive oil to the pan if necessary, followed by the chicken sausages. Cook for 5-6 minutes until browned. Add the brussel sprouts and apples back to the pan. Stir and cook for a minute or so to heat through. 

To serve, fill bowls with the cheesy grits and top with the chicken sausage/brussel sprout/apple mixture. 



  1. This looks utterly fantastic! Thank you for sharing. I might even be able to get Mr. Grassroofs to try Brussels sprouts this way :)

  2. OH, this looks GOOD!!!!!

  3. Yum! I looooooove brussel sprouts and polenta! And love that you've got apples here, too :)

  4. I love this! Everything about it. Going on the menu. Thanks for sharing! oxox

  5. I'm so excited to try this tonight, although, confession, I've never cooked grits or polenta. Bought some polenta after asking the guy in Trader Joe's where it was, and, um, I hope I can figure out how to work this little tube of stuff. Wish me luck!

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  8. This looks so good! I'm craving for veggies, gotta try this recipe very soon!
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