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Overhead view of a white bowl of grits topped with shredded cheese, a pat of butter, and black pepper.
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Cheese Grits (Stone-Ground & Quick Grits Options)

With options for stone-ground grits or quick grits, this might just be the only grits recipe you'll ever need.
Course Breakfast, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword comfort food, southern cooking, southern food
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 410kcal

Equipment

  • Large saucepan with lid
  • Large wooden spoon or silicone spatula

Ingredients

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup grits stone-ground OR quick grits
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup half and half or heavy cream or milk, divided
  • 1 ½ cups shredded cheese

Instructions

For Quick Grits

  • Bring water to brisk boil in large saucepan, then slowly stir in grits and salt.
    Overhead view of grits and water in large silver saucepan.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and cover saucepan with lid. Stirring occasionally, cook approximately 5 minutes, or until thickened.
    Overhead view of grits and water in large silver saucepan.
  • Remove lid. Stir in butter and ¼ cup of half and half. Continue stirring, adding remaining half & half in one tablespoon increments. Stir until mixture thickens and begins to sputter slightly. This should happen quickly, about the same time you finish stirring in cream.
    Overhead view of grits, water, butter, and heavy cream in a large silver saucepan.
  • Taste grits and add more salt, if desired. Stir in shredded cheese until melted and smooth. Top with additional shredded cheese (optional) and serve hot.
    Overhead view of grits and cream in a heavy saucepan with fresh shredded cheese.

For Stone-Ground Grits (Recommended)

  • Bring 4 cups salted water and 1 tablespoon butter to boil in large saucepan.
    Overhead view of grits and water in large silver saucepan.
  • Slowly add in stone-ground grits. Stir constantly to avoid lumps.
    Overhead view of grits and water in large silver saucepan.
  • Add ½ teaspoon salt and partially cover saucepan with lid. Reduce heat to medium or medium-low. Simmer mixture approximately 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Note: grits should simmer, bubbling slightly but not violently. My stove runs hot so I usually simmer on medium-low.
  • Remove lid and stir in remaining butter and ¼ cup of half and half. Continue stirring, adding remaining half and half in 1 tablespoon increments, until mixture thickens and begins to sputter slightly, approximately 15 minutes.
    Overhead view of grits, water, butter, and heavy cream in a large silver saucepan.
  • Taste grits and add more salt, if desired. Stir in shredded cheese until melted and smooth. Top with additional shredded cheese (optional) and serve hot.

Notes

  • Don't walk away from the stove! It's important to continually stir the grits, to prevent them from stick to the sides of the saucepan. 
  • To keep the half and half or cream from curdling, and the cheese from clumping, make sure both ingredients are close to room temperature before adding them to the grits. Remove the saucepan from the heat when you add them, and add them in slowly.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 410kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 580mg | Potassium: 128mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 824IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 255mg | Iron: 1mg | Net Carbs: 32g