Cheese Grits… the ultimate Southern side dish! This creamy and comforting delight is a staple in the south, and deserves a spot in every cook’s repertoire.
They go great with so many things, and can be enjoyed with any meal of the day. You can cook them up in no time with quick cook grits, or simmer stone ground grits low and slow for the ultimate treat.
Grits are also very forgiving. With a few simple tips, you’ll have them perfected every time…
I must admit, I’m fairly new to grits. My husband grew up on them, but it wasn’t until we met that I first came across this cornmeal porridge.
Instantly, I was hooked. Now we enjoy them for a cozy breakfast with some eggs, or as a side dish to a variety of main dishes. We’ve even made five different Shrimp and Grits variations for GypsyPlate, which we’ll tell you all about later.
But first, let’s get the basics down…
Tips For the Best Cheese Grits
- If you have time, use stone ground grits. Quick cook are still great, but aren’t as creamy.
- Keep stirring. Grits can have a tendency to clump up at the bottom of the pan, especially early on in the cooking.
- Although you can cook them in just water, using half water and half milk makes them much creamier.
- Add salt, or better yet bouillion, before adding the grits. This really makes the flavor pop.
- Don’t be afraid to overcook them. Grits aren’t fussy like rice. If you want them softer, simply add more water, if necessary, and keep cooking till they are to your liking.
- Likewise, if they get too thick, just add more water.
Cheese Grits Ingredients
- Grits – We’re using stone ground today.
- Milk – You can also use half and half, or even heavy cream, for even richer grits.
- Bouillon – We love chicken flavored Better Than Bouillon.
- Butter – You can’t have grits without it.
- Cheese – Sharp cheddar today. But just about any cheese goes great in grits. Parmesan, blue, feta, and even American cheese are some of our favorites.
How to Make Southern Cheese Grits
Combine water and bouillon in a pan over high heat. Meanwhile, heat the milk in the microwave till it is hot.
Once the water is boiling, add the milk. (First heating it in the microwave prevents it from scorching at the bottom of the pan during a long boiling time).
When the entire mixture is boiling, stir in the grits. Cook the grits uncovered, stirring every few minutes, according to the following times:
Grits Cooking Times
- Quick grits: These take only about 5 minutes.
- Stone ground grits: Cook times vary by brand, as some are coarser than others. Refer to the package, but they generally take 30-45 minutes.
Once grits are done, stir in butter and cheese.
What to Serve with Cheese Grits
Grits are great any time of day. We love them for breakfast with fried or Scrambled Eggs and either bacon or sausage. They’re also good alongside omelets, like our Denver Omelet.
Shrimp and Grits, a traditional Lowcountry dish, is one of our favorites. Try all of the varieties we’ve cooked in our kitchen:
There is a great New Orleans dish called Grillades and Grits, which has the grits topped with braised meat medallions.
They are also usually eaten with Bahamian Boiled Fish, which is a typical breakfast in the islands.
Other good pairings for cheese grits include:
What’s the Difference Between Grits and Polenta?
Polenta, which is most common in Italian cooking, is also a corn based porrige.
Grits are typically made from white hominy grits, whereas polenta is made from yellow corn.
The texture of polenta is also coarser and grainier. It tends to be cooked to a thicker, chewier consistency, more comparable to risotto.
That being said, in a pinch both grits and polenta can be a substitute for each other.
Are Grits Gluten Free?
Yes, grits in their pure form are gluten-free. However, some brands are stored and produced in a manner that may allow for cross contamination, so it’s best to check the label.
Leftovers and Storage
Leftover cheese grits are good for about five days stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
Simply reheat in a pan over medium heat on stovetop, stirring frequently. Grits do thicken considerably when refrigerated, so you may need to add additional water to get the creamy texture back.
Leftover grits can also be made into patties. Refrigerate the grits in a bread or meatloaf pan, then slice into patties. You can fry them as is, or coat with an egg and milk mixture, followed by breadcrumbs, then fry.
Take your taste buds down south with this cheese grits recipe. We bet it’s going to be one of your go to side dishes, which you’ll come back to again and again.
Pin or bookmark this amazing side dish so you always know where to find it. And be sure to subscribe to GypsyPlate, we’re always cooking up new recipes for you!
Cheese Grits, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!
Try these other great side dishes!
Southern Squash Casserole
Cilantro Lime Rice
Southern Cheese Grits
Cheese Grits are the ultimate Southern side dish. This creamy and comforting corn porridge is great with any meal of the day.
- 2 cups water
- 1 chicken bouillon cube (or 1 tsp Better than Bouillon)
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup stone ground grits
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 1 cup cheddar cheese
- Combine water and bouillon in a pan over high heat. Meanwhile, heat the milk in the microwave till it is hot.
- Once the water is boiling, add the heated milk.
- When the entire mixture is boiling, stir in the grits. Cook the grits uncovered, stirring every few minutes, for 30-45 minutes, till they are tender to your liking.
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2 thoughts on “Southern Cheese Grits”
I’m an Aussie. What are grits?
A cornmeal porridge popular in the American south.