Cheese Grits

If you grew up in the South, you know what a yummy, comforting thing grits are (grits is?). They’re wonderful with just butter, salt and pepper, but add a little sharp cheddar and garlic to the mix and, oh my goodness, they are something else!  Now, BeeBop grew up in some far flung places like New Mexico and Colorado where they apparently do such unbelievable things with grits as putting (gasp!) sugar and milk on them.  Don’t worry, though. Over the years, I’ve taught him to appreciate the proper preparation of grits.  None of that sugar and milk nonsense in this house.  No, sir.

These cheese grits are (is? I can’t figure that out) easy, fast and inexpensive. They’re good for breakfast, but you’ll also find them in most restaurants in the south alongside fried fish.

These days I cook for two, so here’s my recipe.  You can double or triple it for your family.

Here’s what you need:

1/3 cup quick-cooking grits (none of that instant stuff for goodness sake)
1 1/3 cups water
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
couple dashes garlic powder (not fresh garlic…just trust me, it’s better my way)
2 1/2 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Here’s what you do:

Bring the water and salt to a boil in a smallish saucepan. Add the grits to the boiling water using a whisk. Using the whisk ensures that you don’t get lumps in your grits.

cheesegrits_whisk

Now cover the pot, lower the heat to a simmer and cook the grits according to the package directions.

When the grits are done, stir in the black pepper and garlic powder. Now, if you want to use fresh garlic go ahead. However, since we usually have Cheese Grits with breakfast and I don’t like to get a hunk of garlic in my mouth at that time of the day, I’ll stick with the powder. Thank you very much.

cheesegrits_addpeppergarlic

Next, add the grated cheddar.  Some people want to get all fancy with the cheese and use stuff like Parmesan, sharp Provolone or even Bleu cheese. However, to me anyway, grits are (is?…still can’t decide) homey, comfort food and messing around with all that fancy-ness is just fooling with an already good thing.  Just stick with the cheddar.

cheesegrits_addcheese

Next dump in the cheese and stir until blended.

cheesegrits_stircheese

Yum.

BeeBop read a story recently about a restaurant in New York City (go ahead and say it like they do on the salsa commercial…..NEW YORK CITY!!!!) that had just put grits on their menu. They were selling them for $8 for a 1 cup serving. People were lined up out the door every morning to get those $8 grits.  Man…I could go up there with $50 worth of grits and come home a wealthy woman.

Make some cheese grits soon. Your family will love you. And think about all those folks standing in line with $8 in their hand waiting for 10¢ worth of grits :-)

Enjoy!

Cheese Grits
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Cheese Grits - a Southern classic. Great for breakfast or with fried fish!
Serves: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup quick-cooking grits
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 1 tblsp. butter
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • couple dashes garlic powder
  • 2 1/2 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Instructions
  1. Bring the water, butter and salt to a boil in a small saucepan.
  2. Add the grits to the boiling water using a whisk.
  3. Cover the pot, lower the heat to a simmer and cook the grits according to the package directions.
  4. When the grits are done, stir in the black pepper and garlic powder.
  5. Add the cheese and stir until blended.
Notes
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Comments

  1. Laura says

    Your recipes are great! I love the visula aids. You should keep this up, you never know when someone will see it and decide they should pay you to be a blogger!

  2. says

    I grew up in New Mexico and never had a proper bowl of grits until we were stationed here in Florida… or lower Alabama, welcome to the good ol south… I love grits

  3. David says

    Cheesy grits are wonderful and to take grits “up a notch” try the Charleston, SC shrimp and grits. Creamy grits, ham or sausage links, brown gravy and seasonings. Full of all those things we should avoid – lots of starches, fat, and maybe salt but oh so good!

  4. John says

    It is entirely plausible to me that the “Forbidden Fruit” may have been cheesegrits. They are so good that even the Dutch love them!

  5. says

    Grits, the food of Southern gods! I love them for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, whatever. Your pictures are beautiful. Hopefully they will entice some of our northern friends to give grits a try.

  6. Dan says

    Fried green chili and bacon grits with REAL Maple syrup are my favorite with a side of eggs. But remember, after years of being “addicted to both” it just seemed natural to mix them together. Give them a try if you like the green chili.
    Have a great day.

    • says

      Well! I would have never thought of adding chilies and bacon to cheese grits, but, you know, it kinda sounds good. Might try that one day.

  7. maria says

    I just made these for my husband and when he saw the recipe online he made sure to add this to my favorites folder!!!!!! Love it! simple recipe thats perfect!

  8. Tracey says

    Grits are, not is. No doubt about it. Nobody would eat one grit, so it’s always plural!! It’s kind of like ramen noodles. One wouldn’t eat just ONE noodle. Nope. One would eat the whole package of noodles. From what I understand, the noodles are a primary food group of college students. Just my opinion!!

  9. says

    Lana, we would love if you submitted this recipe & any two other side dishes to this week of the Get Grillin’ event that Cookin’ Canuck and I am hosting :)

  10. says

    Lana, Oh Yes – this is an tried but true recipe. Having spent the first 20 years of my life in Louisiana, this was a staple for breakfast. When I moved to the southwest I started adding chopped green chile. Now my husband even eats grits and LOVES THEM! -:)

  11. sadie says

    This sounds interesting to me, though I don’t really have a clear idea what grits exactly are, seeing as I hail from the Great White North (aka. Canada). Which means I can’t, for the life of me, find a package of quick-cook (or instant, for that matter) grits in any store. So, my question is, what can I use instead? Or are grits one of those unique things that can’t actually be made without buying something labeled as ‘grits’?

    • says

      Hi Sadie – Sorry, but there’s really no substitute for grits. I think the closest thing would be polenta but it’s definitely not the same. Polenta is created by a different process than grits and the taste is quite different. If you really want to try grits, it’s pretty easy to order them online. Lots of vendors offer them.

  12. Kellie says

    Still perusing your site! I make my grits almost the same way! A friend of mine recommended using milk for 1/3 of the liquid, and oh my! Very good! Just be sure to watch the pan & not let it boil over! I have never added a garlic powder…think I’ll try that tomorrow a.m.! Really enjoying your site!!

  13. Branch says

    Yes, polenta and grits are different but i love them both.

    To me the secrets to good grits are boiling salted water, stir while adding grits at a 4-1 ratio, and don’t overcook them or they will become starchy and pasty.

    And never ever use “instant” grits.

  14. Wanda says

    I love me some cheese grits. Try making them with milk instead of water. they turn out super creamy, and oh so yummy.

  15. Shelby says

    My secret ingredient in grits is a little cream cheese. Stir in well when grits are soft then add the regular cheese. Enjoy!

  16. Julia says

    We love Grits! Years ago on PBS Was a B&B show highlighting a recipe from one of inns featured. I salivated watching a 80 year old sweet cook saying to bring Heavy Cream or Half and Half to a gentle boil…add your Grits…as soon as they are cooked put the pan over a double boiler and let them cream up some more! I now always make ours with half and half..butter and the Vermont sharp Cheddar!! MOST DELISH AND FATTENING…

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