These grits are perfectly creamy and rich, you’ll never make them any other way! Perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, with shrimp, cheese, bacon, or even sweet, made from stone-ground or quick grits. From a Southerner, I promise this recipe (and answer to “What are grits anyway?!”) will make you fall in love with grits.
Why These Grits Are So Good
- Amazingly creamy and delicious either savory or sweet, this recipe is the easiest way to get perfectly thick and rich grits.
- A longtime staple of Southern cooking, grits are not only a filling and hearty breakfast dish but are also delicious with seafood, veggies, and as a base for other dishes.
- This recipe can be made with either stone-ground or quick grits, so whether you want grits with a rich corn flavor or just want grits in a hurry, this recipe has got you covered!
How To Make It
- In a medium pot, bring 4 cups of salted water and 1 tablespoon of butter to a boil.
- Slowly add in the grits and stir constantly to avoid grits getting lumpy. Add another teaspoon of salt.
- Partially cover, and reduce the heat to medium or medium-low. Your cook time depends on if you are using stone-ground grits or quick grits. For stone-ground grits, simmer the grits for about 15 minutes. For quick grits, simmer for 5 minutes. Make sure to stir occasionally with both types so that the grits don’t stick to the pot.
- Uncover the pot and stir in the rest of the butter and half of the heavy cream. Keep stirring while adding the remaining cream a couple of tablespoons at a time until the grits thicken. This will take about 15 minutes with stone-ground grits, but only a few minutes with quick grits. The grits will “sputter” when they’re ready. Add more salt if desired. If making cheese grits, add your cheese (and bacon) now. If you’re making sweet grits, top your grits with maple syrup or sugar after serving.
- Your stove top may heat slightly different than others, which is why we say to lower to medium or medium-low heat after partially covering. If your stove tends to run hot, heat your grits at medium-low. If you’re not sure, err on the side of caution, and choose medium-low as well. No one wants scorched grits!
So … What Are Grits Anyway?
Grits are a Southern staple. Are you a real Southerner if you don’t have childhood memories of eating heaping, massive spoonfuls of grits for breakfast at your grandma’s or at restaurants with plastic tablecloths?
Made from corn, grits can be sweet or rich and savory. Loaded with cheese, bacon, shrimp, chicken broth, cream, fruit, or honey, they are surprisingly versatile for such a simple dish. Although sweet grits are a little less common, they are just as delicious and filling. There is something about a bowl of hot, creamy, sweet grits that just makes me feel warm and cozy. So much better than oatmeal!
If you are thinking, “I’ve had grits, and they were gross,” then you did not have grits, my friend. You had some hotel continental breakfast sludge masquerading as grits because, let me tell you, once you’ve had real Southern grits, you will always want a side at breakfast. Or lunch. Or dinner.
What Are The Different Types of Grits?
Stone-ground grits (our personal favorite) are just recently becoming more widely available outside of the South. They are ground, literally, between stones. They’re less processed and have a rich corn flavor. Because they’re larger than other varieties, they take longer to cook.
Quick grits are ground very finely, which makes them take much less time to cook. They’re also pretty easy to find at grocery stores.
Regular grits are similar to quick grits, but are just a little bit larger, and take just a little bit longer to cook. Quick and regular grits have the longest shelf life.
Instant grits are usually found in a package, and while they’re easy to find and cook quickly, they don’t have the rich taste that other varieties do.
Hominy is soaked in a solution that causes the outer shell of the corn kernel to soften, which is then removed. Hominy is pretty big on its own (it’s basically a corn kernel), but can be ground to be used in more traditional grits recipes.
More Southern-Inspired Recipes
- Healthy Authentic Seafood Gumbo (Gluten Free, Whole30, Paleo, Low Carb)
- Instant Pot BBQ Chicken
- Biscuits with Goat Cheese and Blueberry Compote
- Instant Pot Pulled Pork
- BBQ Chicken Bowls with Sweet Potatoes and Coleslaw (Whole30)
- Instant Pot Baby Back Ribs
- 1 cup grits stone-ground or quick
- 4 cups water
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
- 1/2 cup heavy cream or half and half
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese optional, for cheese grits
- crumbled bacon optional, for topping cheese grits
- maple syrup, white sugar, or brown sugar optional, for sweet grits
- Bring 4 cups of salted water and 1 tablespoon of butter to a boil in medium pot
- Add in grits and stir constantly. Add additional teaspoon of salt.
- Partially cover, and reduce heat to medium or medium-low.
- Stone-ground grits: Simmer for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally to keep grits from sticking.
- Quick grits: Simmer for 5 minutes. Stir occasionally to keep grits from sticking.
- Uncover pot and stir in remaining butter and half of the heavy cream or half and half. Keep stirring while adding remaining cream a couple tablespoons at a time until grits thicken, about 15 minutes with stone-ground grits, but only a few minutes with quick grits. Grits will "sputter" when ready. Add more salt if desired.
- Cheese grits: Add cheese (and bacon, if desired) to grits and stir.
- Sweet grits: Top grits with maple syrup or sugar after serving.
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.