How to Make Grits


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Making Grits has never been easier with this simple recipe. Made by boiling in a milk mixture and serving topped with butter this is one cozy dish everyone loves!

This dish has gone from a humble breakfast to a gourmet entrée adorned with everything from local shrimp to expensive mushrooms, to cheese!

Grits in a bowl with butter

Grits vs. Polenta

Both grits and polenta are corn-based side dishes.  While both are made of ground corn (as is cornmeal), there are some differences.

What are Grits?

Grits are a coarsely ground grain made with either hominy or stone-ground corn. The simplest way to prepare grits is to boil them in water, but they can also be infused with extra flavor by cooking them in broth or stock.

For creamy grits, cook them in milk or half milk half water. Once grits are cooked, they are usually mixed with butter, but the variations are endless!

Polenta is made from yellow ground corn and is the Italian version of grits. It’s also a deeper shade of yellow and has a different grind while grits are generally a pale white, so be mindful of that when swapping. Polenta takes a little more time to prepare and requires additional stirring in order to keep it creamy and free from lumps.

Ingredients for Grits

Types of Grits

  • Quick and Regular – the most common kind of grits are just that, quick and easy to prepare. The endosperm is removed which makes them a little less nutritious but gives them a longer shelf life and a quicker cook time.
  • Hominy – hominy grits are made from white corn that has been soaked.
  • Stone Ground – stone-ground grits are coarsely ground, retain more of the nutrients, but take up to an hour to cook and are harder to find at the grocery store.
  • Instant – essentially, precooked and dehydrated. Instant grits are great for a quick breakfast when made in the microwave with a little water or milk.

Grits in a pot with butter

How to Make Grits

This recipe is just 2 simple steps and tastes so delicious!

  1. Bring milk, water, and salt to a boil on the stove (per recipe below).
  2. Add grits slowly while whisking to avoid sticking together and becoming lumpy.
  3. Cook over low-medium heat and stir frequently.

Remove from heat and add butter and then salt and pepper to taste.

Delicious Variations

For a little variety, try preparing grits with different flavor combinations:

  • For Cheese Grits: Add shredded cheddar cheese after it has been cooked but are still on the stove. Stir constantly until the cheese is fully melted and the grits are smooth.
  • For Shrimp and Grits: Saute the shrimp separately and add to the cooked grits. Add a can of diced tomatoes and shredded cheddar cheese for a fancy version!

What to Eat with Grits

For breakfast, simply cooked with milk and butter and seasoned with salt and pepper is the way to go. Try adding a fried egg on top, a sprinkling of bacon bits for flavor, and serving with a fresh biscuit!

If you are preparing it as an entrée, any kind of sautéed vegetable on the side would taste great! Or a crisp salad with a bright vinaigrette to clear the palate is a great idea!

Grits in a bowl with butter
5 from 2 votes
Review Recipe

How to Make Grits

Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
Course Breakfast, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Grits for breakfast, lunch, or supper! They are a delicious main dish or side.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups milk or light cream, more as needed
  • ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 cup regular grits or quick-cooking grits
  • 3 tablespoons butter

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Instructions

  • Bring milk, water, and salt to a simmer over medium heat.
  • Slowly add grits while whisking to avoid lumps.
  • Cook grits covered over medium-low heat, stirring frequently ( about 15 minutes for regular grits, 5 minutes for quick-cooking grits).
  • Remove from heat and stir in butter. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Recipe Notes

Optional: Stir in 1 cup of sharp cheddar cheese before serving.
Milk can be substituted with half and half, a portion of heavy cream or even broth if needed.
For a thinner consistency, add more milk. For a thicker consistency, cook a bit longer.
This recipe is for regular or quick cooking grits. Stone-ground grits will need a longer cook time. Various brands/grinds may have a slightly longer/shorter cook time. 
Cook time calculated using regular grits.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 253, Carbohydrates: 35g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 28mg, Sodium: 425mg, Potassium: 231mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 494IU, Calcium: 154mg, Iron: 1mg
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Holly

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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