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Cheese grits in a tan bowl with shredded cheese on top
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Cheese Grits (Stone-Ground & Quick Grits Options)

These cheese grits are perfectly rich, creamy, and cheesy - the very best way to eat grits if you ask this Southern girl! 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, Southern
Keyword comfort food, southern cooking, southern food
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 410kcal
Author Cheryl Malik

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.
    Water in medium saucepan for grits
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and cover saucepan with lid. Stirring occasionally, cook approximately 5 minutes, or until thickened.
    Stirring water and grits in saucepan with whisk
  • 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.
    Water and grits in saucepan with 3 pats of butter
  • Taste grits and add more salt, if desired. Stir in cheddar cheese until melted and smooth. Top with additional shredded cheese (optional) and serve hot.
    Grits with shredded cheese in saucepan

For Stone-Ground Grits (Recommended)

  • Bring 4 cups salted water and 1 tablespoon butter to boil in large saucepan.
    Water in medium saucepan for grits
  • Slowly add in stone-ground grits. Stir constantly to avoid lumps.
    Pouring grits into 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.
    Stirring water and grits in saucepan with whisk
  • 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.
    Water and grits in saucepan with 3 pats of butter
  • Taste grits and add more salt, if desired. Stir in cheddar cheese until melted and smooth. Top with additional shredded cheese (optional) and serve hot.
    Grits with shredded cheese in saucepan

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.
 
Recipe yields approximately 4 servings. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes. Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving out of 4 using the ingredients listed. 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 4. Result will be the weight of one serving.

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