Cheesy Grits are a delicious addition to a meal. They can be served with breakfast, lunch, or dinner and take just 30 minutes to prepare.
Grits are ground corn kernels. You may see grits labeled as “stone-ground grits”. You may also see hominy grits which are made from hominy. Stone ground grits are made from whole corn kernels while hominy grits are made from corn kernels that have the outer hulls removed.
You cook grits by boiling them. Often milk, cream, or butter are involved, but you can opt to use broth instead. The process can take 5-45 minutes depending on which type of grits you use.
Polenta is similar to grits, but it is made with cornmeal. Cornmeal is ground to be finer than grits, giving polenta a different texture.
Instant grits can cook in 5-10 minutes as opposed to the 30-45 minutes it takes to cook stone ground grits.
I used stone ground grits to prepare this recipe. I have made this recipe again and again and I find that the grits I use cook in just about 30 minutes. If you use thicker ground grits, the cooking time will increase.
Some grits recipes are loaded with butter and cream. I tried to rein that in a bit. I use half and half and just 1/4 cup of cream, and only 2 tablespoons of butter. I recommend using a sharp cheddar cheese since it provides extra flavor and you and get away with using less cheese.
The secret to smooth creamy grits is lots of whisking. Pay attention to your grits and whisk them often.
Here are a few of my favorite recipes made with Cheesy Grits:
Forget a salad bowl, use cheesy grits as the base for your meal instead. I love to layer grits with toppings. Shrimp might be a classic, but I like to add eggs and bacon, buffalo chicken and veggies, or steak.
This meal works really well for meal prepping. Cheesy grits get topped with spicy buffalo chicken, corn, spinach, and bacon. The cheesiness of the grits works to balance out of the heat of the buffalo chicken.
I love serving this recipe for slow cooked sirloin tips over cheesy grits. The combination of the grits and the gravy is so decadent.
How to Make Cheesy Grits:
- 1 1/2 cups of Water
- 1 1/2 cups of Half and Half
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1 cup of Grits
- 2 tablespoons Butter
- 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
- 1/2 cup Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Combine the water, half and half, and salt in a large pot. Bring to a steady simmer and then add the grits. Whisk to combine.
Let the grits slowly simmer over low heat for about 25 minutes, until they are very thick. Whisk periodically, this is the trick to getting smooth creamy grits.
Once the grits have cooked for 25 minutes, add 2 tablespoons butter, the cream, and 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese. Stir to combine.
Serve once all of the cheese has melted.
Different brands of grits can have different cooking times. It may take up to 45 minutes for thicker stone ground grits to cook.