I don’t know if you’ve experienced the warm fuzzy hug that is a bowl of cheese grits, but if not, allow me to introduce you to one of the most comforting, simple, and indulgent foods on the planet: cheese grits.
What are Grits?
Grits are a simple porridge made with ground corn that can be prepared either sweet or savory. They’re often served for breakfast in the southern U.S., but they also make a great starchy bed for saucy stewed meats, or a side dish for any meal. And Cheese grits are just grits that have been taken to the next level by stirring in a heap of rich, delicious cheese. They’re simple but so incredibly delightful.
Read more about grits here.
What Kind of Grits to Use
There are a few different types of grits you can buy at the store and you can make cheese grits with all of them. You can use either white or yellow grits without issue, although using yellow grits will give you a more vibrant cheesy color. I used white quick-cooking grits in the recipe below, but if you have regular grits you’ll just need to simmer them slightly longer (just follow the directions on the package).
Can I Use a Different Cheese?
Yes! There are so many delicious cheese options for grits. You can do something like Parmesan, gruyere, chevre, Boursin, or even something like pepper jack. Basically, cheese and grits were made for each other.
How to Serve Cheese Grits
You can serve grits as a side with breakfast (pictured here with eggs and sausage), but they’re also great as the base for a bowl meal, topped with a fried egg and some salsa (or Salsa Poached Eggs). You can also top them with other savory delights, like saucy shrimp, BBQ Meatballs, beef brisket, BBQ beans, or just about any savory saucy dish.
- 2 cups chicken broth ($0.26)
- 2 cups milk ($1.25)
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder ($0.02)
- 1 cup quick cooking grits ($0.49)
- 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
- 2 Tbsp butter ($0.18)
- 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper ($0.02)
- 4 oz. cheddar, shredded ($1.15)
- Combine the chicken broth, milk, and garlic powder in a medium sauce pot. Place a lid on top and bring it up to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to prevent the milk from scorching.
- Once boiling, stir in the quick cooking grits and salt. Turn the heat down to medium-low and let the grits simmer for about 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the grits from the heat and stir in the butter and pepper.
- Finally, stir in the shredded cheddar, one handful at a time, until fully melted into the grits. Serve warm.
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Love savory breakfast foods? Check out our Savory Breakfast Recipes category.
How to Make Cheesy Grits – Step by Step Photos
Combine 2 cups chicken broth, 2 cups milk, and ¼ tsp garlic powder in a medium sauce pot. Place a lid on top, and bring it up to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.
Once boiling, stir in 1 cup quick cooking grits and ¼ tsp salt. Lower the heat to medium-low, and let the grits simmer for about five minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.
It should be nice and thick like in the photo above. Once thickened, remove it from the heat.
Stir in 2 Tbsp butter and about ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper.
Stir in 4oz. of shredded cheddar cheese, one handful at a time, until it’s all melted into the grits.
And that’s it! Dreamy creamy cheesy grits!
Made this today and did not deviate. This recipe is filling and super flavorful. Thank you for another winner!!
Yum. A favorite quick dinner I do is grits prepared this way , but instead of butter and cheese I stir in a couple tablespoons of spicy white cheese dip. Then I put spinach sautéed with sliced garlic on that, and then some shrimp on top of that. It’s amazing. Thanks for a great way to prepare grits.
This has become a staple in our household. I’m thinking next time I might try using pepper jack cheese instead.
Wonderful recipe for cheesy grits. I made dinner bowls by adding saucy black beans (from a can), some salsa, slices of avocado, and quick pickled onions. It did not take long, was easy, delicious and a good raid the pantry and fridge kind of dinner. Comfort food.
Made a batch of creamed spinach as a side for dinner Saturday night and tossed the leftovers into a pot of grits Sunday morning with a few shakes of hot sauce. AMAZING.
These grit are amazing!!! They taste like they were made with heavy cream but I used 2%. The long slow boil with chicken broth is like some kind of magic trick. Thank you for such a great recipe!!!
Looks absolutely scrumptious!! I often make corn polenta to serve with ratatouille (summer) or beef stew (winter). I assume polenta is similar or perhaps the Italian version of grits??
They are similar, they just vary in texture. :)
I made this for Sunday breakfast with fried eggs and salsa as you recommended, it was sooo delicious! We loved it, thank you :)
Can Almond milk (drink) be used instead of cow’s milk? Thx
That will definitely change the flavor and it will probably be less creamy.
It doesn’t say if milk should be skim or 2% or whole. Can you use either/or?
Yes, you can use either, but whole will definitely make the creamiest grits. :)
I make shrimp and cheese grits from time to time. I use the raw shrimp shells to make shrimp stock for the cheese grits. It takes a little more time, but it is definitely worth it. Shrimp stock is much more flavorful than chicken tock.
I read your link to grits. I went to Amazon and it seems most grits are not the hominy ones I thought were the mainstay. Which kind did you use here? The lime treated corn style or the plain? What would be the norm that could be expected if one went to a restaurant in the south? I want to try this recipe for my granddaughter and thought of buying some stoneground grits with the germ included as her diet is really lacking the “good stuff” and saw so much on Amazon I got confused!
I used these Quaker quick cooking grits, the type that you’re most likely to find in major grocery stores. They’re white corn grits, but the label doesn’t say whether they are treated with lye. I don’t think you’re going to find one standard type that people or restaurants use in the south, it’s just whatever fits their budget, convenience, and preference. But this recipe is pretty flexible, so I think you can make it work with any type of grits, just make sure to adjust the cooking time to what the directions say on the package. :)
I love cheese grits! I often add a little smoked paprika stirred in with the other spices and then a dash sprinkled on each serving for extra color and that great smoky flavor. We halve the recipe for just the two of us.
This recipe is easily halved for smaller families, but in case anyone is wondering what to do with leftovers, pour in a small greased loaf pan, refrigerate and slice, then saute in butter next morning. Or pour into a flat square pan and cut into squares to do the same thing. I’ve never tried freezing, but they keep a few days in the fridge. You can also use this recipe as a base for shrimp and grits–equally good for breakfast or dinner. I always cook grits with at least part milk–makes a huge difference as they always turn out creamy and delicious. For cheese, I often use pepper jack instead of cheddar–adds only a hint of heat to that volume of grits.
What a wonderful idea for leftovers! Just made grits for the first time. As a Canadian they aren’t easy to find here but they are so delicious, especially on a cold day.