Grits really should be given another name that doesn't imply that they're so, well, gritty, because they're not. When cooked properly they are deliciously creamy and can be full of flavor - usually butter and cheese as you'll see in the recipe below. Throw in some ham and you've got a full meal in just one dish.
Most recipes call for grits to be cooked before you do anything else with them, even when they're being added to a casserole. But this extra step isn't necessary and is really just going to dirty extra dishes that you'll have to clean later. Cooking them in the oven does take a bit longer, but that just gives you more time to get to anything else you might need to do.