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Cheesy Grits

Cheesy Grits

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  • 1 1/2 cups grits (not instant)
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 6 ounces sharp white Cheddar, shredded
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Recipe Preparation

  • Bring 4 cups water to a boil. Gradually whisk in grits and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until grits are tender and resemble a porridge, 15–20 minutes. Stir in butter and cheese until melted. Season with salt, pepper, and hot pepper sauce.

Recipe by The Bon Appétit Test KitchenReviews Section

Reviews ( 13 )

Best grits ever. Not a high bar, but these grits were excellent.

Adjusted recipe to ingredients onhand: 5 minute quick grits, chicken bouillon, milk, pepper, granulated garlic, no salt as bouillon is salty nor butter as it was tasty without.

Cooked grits as normal adding milk as needed to make it creamy, pepper & garlic towards the end & cheese thereafter.

LOVED this recipe’! It is definitely a keeper! I served it with seafood gumbo, but it would be great with anything! I like mine a tad stiff so I boiled my grits (on the second try) for at least 4 minutes before reducing heat.

  1. Combine the milk and chicken broth in a medium size saucepan. Heat over medium heat.
  2. Bring to a boil, stir in the salt, and add in the grits. Stir to combine.
  3. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Stir with a wooden or silicone spoon.
  5. Continue to cook over low heat while stirring occasionally (at least every 2 minutes) for another 6-8 minutes.
  6. Turn off the heat and add in the butter and cheese. Stir until the butter and cheese is melted.

  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup medium to coarsely ground yellow corn grits or cornmeal
  • A little freshly grated or ground nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • About 2 teaspoons honey, plus more for passing at the table
  • 1 ½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 bunch scallions, whites and greens, finely chopped

In a medium saucepan, heat stock over medium heat. In a bowl, season grits with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Stir in 1 cup water, then add the grits to the pan with the hot stock. Cook, stirring often, until the grits are tender, about 12-15 minutes. Mix in the butter and honey, then add the cheese and scallions.

Divide the grits among 4 shallow bowls. Pass honey at the table.

Cheese Grits

If you're new to the region, read closely and follow the directions. If you've been lovin' grits for years, jot down the recipes and stop by the store as soon as you can.

Featured Recipes:

The food in our "Taste of the South" column often generates intense discussions at our tasting table, and cheese grits proved no exception. We all agreed that this straightforward dish embodies the very definition of good, old-fashioned, stick-to-your-ribs Southern food. The rest, however, was open to a little friendly debate.

Following our standard procedure, we tested a number of recipes, which included everything from garlic to bacon and just about every kind of cheese you can imagine. In the end, it was the unadorned but extraordinarily delicious Creamy Cheese Grits that won, hands down. The reason? The cheese. Specifically, sharp Cheddar and Monterey Jack.

We found that the combination of tangy sharp Cheddar and mild Monterey Jack creates the perfect balance of creaminess and flavor. Here&aposs why: The sharper the cheese, the less moisture it has. This is a good thing when sliced and eaten out of hand, but it&aposs not so good when the cheese is heated. When sharp and extra-sharp Cheddar are melted, they can taste greasy and grainy. Enter Monterey Jack, whose high moisture content makes it just right for melting. When you try the recipe, you&aposll know why they&aposre the perfect match.

If you&aposre looking for a more dressed-up, savory recipe, don&apost miss Baked Cheese Grits. We took the basic ingredients from Creamy Cheese Grits, replaced the water with chicken broth, and kicked up the flavor with the addition of ground red pepper and Worcestershire sauce. It&aposs sure to be a hit at your next supper club or dinner party.

Recipe Summary

  • 8 cups water
  • 2 cups coarse, stone-ground white grits (not instant) (12 ounces), rinsed
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 pound sharp white cheddar cheese, coarsely shredded
  • 3 large eggs, beaten

Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. In a large, heavy pot, bring the water to a boil. Sprinkle the grits into the water, stirring constantly, and return to a boil. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until the grits are just tender, about 30 minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until the grits are very thick and tender, about 10 minutes longer. Off the heat, stir in the butter and cheese, then stir in the eggs.

Pour the mixture into the prepared dish and bake for 1 hour, until bubbling and the top is golden. Let the grits casserole cool for 20 minutes before serving.


  • #Cheesy grits#
  • 1) Low-sodium chicken stock – 2 cups. (You can keep some more).
  • 2) Cream – 2 cups. (You can keep some more).
  • 3) Unsalted butter - 4 tablespoons.
  • 4) Grits or polenta - 3/4 cup.
  • 5) American cheese - 4 ounces (It should be torn into pieces).
  • 6) Parmesan - 1/2 cup. (Grated)
  • 7) Kosher salt – to taste.
  • 8) Freshly cracked black pepper – to taste.
  • #For sausage, shrimps and peppers#
  • 1) Olive oil - 3 tablespoons.
  • 2) Parmesan-parsley pork sausage – 1 pound. (It should be cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds).
  • 3) Minced garlic cloves - 4 nos.
  • 4) Small orange bell pepper – 1 no. (It should be cut into small dices).
  • 5) Red bell pepper – 1 no. (It should be cut into small dices).
  • 6) Spanish onion - 1/2 Spanish. (Small dices)
  • 7) Uncooked large shrimp – 1 pound (It should be peeled and cut into thirds).
  • 8) Low-sodium chicken stock - 1/2 cup
  • 9) Unsalted butter - 1 tablespoon.
  • 10) Fresh parsley - for garnishing. (Chopped)

Cheesy Grits With Spring Vegetables Recipe

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and prepare an ice bath. Add asparagus to water and cook until bright green and tender-crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer to ice bath until chilled. Drain and transfer to a paper towel-lined tray. Repeat with fava beans, snap peas, and English peas. Cafefully peel outer shells from each fava bean and discard. Set all vegetables aside.

Bring milk and water to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Whisking constantly, pour in the grits. Add 2 teaspoons kosher salt, reduce to a bare simmer, and cook, whisking every 2 to 3 minutes, until creamy and tender, about 25 minutes.

Remove saucepan from heat. Whisk in 4 tablespoons butter, cheddar, and parmesan cheese. Season to taste with plenty of black pepper and more salt as necessary. Add water or milk to thin to desired consistency if grits are too thick. Grits should be loose enough to spread out on a plate slowly. Cover pot and set aside.

Heat vegetable in a large skillet over high heat until smoking. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring and tossing occasionally, until well-browned on a few sides. Add shallot and cook, stirring constantly, until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add blanched vegetables, remaining 2 tablespoons butter, lemon zest, lemon juice, and half of chives, tarragon, and parsley. Cook, tossing and stirring constantly, until any liquid in the pan is reduced to a saucy glaze. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside off-heat.

Stir remaining herbs into grits, reserving a bit for garnish, then divide grits between four serving plates. Top with sautéed vegetables, then with a poached egg. Garnish with remaining herbs, season egg with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.

Creamy Stone-Ground Cheese Grits

  • Quick Glance
  • (1)
  • 10 M
  • 1 H, 15 M
  • Serves 4 servings

Ingredients US Metric

  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons (1 oz) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup stone-ground grits
  • 1/2 pound white Cheddar cheese, grated


Combine the water, milk, salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Slowly whisk in the grits and cook, stirring frequently so the grits don’t stick to the bottom of the pan, for 1 1/4 hours to 1 1/2 hours. (We found that, depending on the size of the pan and the flame, the grits were sometimes creamy and done after 45 to 60 minutes. Still, the longer you cook them, arguably the creamier they become.) If the grits absorb all of the water and milk during this time, just add a little hot water as needed to thin out the grits until they reach the desired consistency.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and the Cheddar. Serve the cheese grits immediately or set aside for a little while and reheat over very low heat. Originally published October 04, 2010.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

I'm lucky to live close to a working gristmill where I buy organic stone ground grits. I love them just about any way they can be cooked. I made this recipe to serve as shrimp and grits. While this is a recipe you have to keep close watch over, it's well worth the time. My grits took 55 minutes to cook and I did have to add a little more hot water. I wanted to save some to eat for breakfast the next morning, but there were no leftovers. Oh well. Since they're better the first time they're cooked, I'll just have to get up early and make these for breakfast.

I always loved grits when I was growing up and have memories of being so excited as a little girl when I knew my mom was making grits. Usually they were served as breakfast-for-dinner or to go along with fresh-caught seafood.

When I got to college and out on my own, I tried them in the school cafeteria and later bought versions you can make in the microwave or quickly at home and was beyond disappointed with them all. The texture and taste were nothing like my memories! I gave up on grits. Then, a few years ago at one of our favorite little restaurants—the kind where the menu is new each time you go because it is truly what the chef found fresh and created that day—my husband's meal came with creamy cheesy grits with blackened tuna on top. Just by the "mmmmm" noises he could not control, I had to take a bite, and the memories flooded back. I had to find out how to make the perfect creamy, cheesy grits. Since that time I've tried a lot of recipes in search of grits that would meet the high standard of my memories, some with much heavier ingredients than this recipe (i.e., cream, butter).

This recipe reached—or maybe exceeded—the goal. And it is SO easy. I wouldn't change a thing. I made these to go with simple grilled sausages as a quick summer meal. Yes, the cooking time is long, but I didn't feel like I was actively cooking the entire time, just occasionally stirring. There's so little clean-up compared to most dishes, that even that part was easy. We thought the seasoning was perfect, too. My husband usually thinks grits need more salt, but he didn't need to add any to this recipe. I think these would be perfect for brunch, with any seafood, even steak for a change from potatoes, and it went great with the sausages. Definitely a new family favorite.


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Ok, I think you’ve convinced me. This Jersey girl has tried grits, but never found the redeeming value in them — they were soooo blah. I picked up a package of Stone Ground grits at Williams-Sonoma a while ago so now it’s time to use the package. I’m going to give this recipe a go along with the shrimp and andouille recipe you suggest.

Surely if guys from MA get into grits, this Jersey girl can too!

Fran, you got to try it. I added considerably more milk, as I like my grits loose and creamy, but it was fantastic. (That whole pot was gone 20 minutes after we shot it)

Totally love in a pot David. I just made grits for dinner this week. I like to add beer, a mix of onions and garlic sauteed in cumin and paprika, a few diced tomatoes, and of course cheese. YUM! I could eat them every day.

I love, love, love cheese grits. (And I have to agree with Emeril, we do have the best grits here in South Carolina!)

I can attest to that. Beth sent me a bag of South Carolina white grits and, boy, do I love them. I’m guess I’m just a good ole Southern boy at heart (who can’t live with out New England clam chowder and fried clams….)

Amy, I completely hear you. The beer sounds great. What kind of cheese do you use?

Crispy Cheesy Fried Grits

1 teaspoon salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
Pinch thyme
Pinch garlic powder
Pinch crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup sliced onions
2 cups fresh stone ground grits
6 cups water
12 ounces grated cheddar or Jack cheese
4 ounces grated mozzarella cheese
4 slices American cheese, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap. In a small bowl, combine salt, black pepper, thyme, garlic powder and red pepper. Set aside.

In a skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions and saute until softened. Set aside.

In a large pot, bring grits and water to a slow boil and cook until thickened and soft. Add sauteed onion, 8 ounces of cheddar, mozzarella and American cheese and stir until cheeses melt. Add reserved seasoning blend and Cajun seasoning. Pour into prepared loaf pan and cool overnight in refrigerator.

Remove from loaf pan and slice into 3/4- to 1-inch thick slices.

Heat a griddle over medium-high heat and spray with nonstick cooking spray or lightly grease with butter. Cook grits 2 to 3 minutes per side until heated through. Put about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the remaining cheddar cheese on the griddle and place the hot grits on top. Cook until the cheese forms a crust. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 347 calories (percent of calories from fat, 50), 16 grams protein, 27 grams carbohydrates, no fiber, 19 grams fat, 60 milligrams cholesterol, 668 milligrams sodium.


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