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
4.99 from 67 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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How to Make Grits

Grits for breakfast, lunch, or supper! They are a delicious main dish or side.
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes
Servings 4 servings
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  • 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


  • 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.


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.
4.99 from 67 votes

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

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Breakfast, Side Dish
Cuisine American
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Grits in a bowl with a title
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About the author

Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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    1. The recipe card is near the bottom of the post. Scroll down or hit ‘jump to recipe’ and all the ingredients and quantities will be listed.

  1. Best, easiest grits recipe I’ve found! Thank you! Had it for breakfast with veggie sausage and shredded cheddar!5 stars

  2. My husband LOVES grits!!!! I have never made them wth milk and tried this recipe, they were AMAZING and my Husband wants me to only make them like this from now on!!!! 5 stars

  3. I have tried grits many times, and have come to the conclusion that I just don’t like grits.

    I made this recipe today, and I need to reconsider that now. I have finally enjoyed grits!

    Thank you!5 stars

  4. Good morning!

    My daughter has some loose teeth at her beautiful age of 9.5. So Momma’s making something new! Seriously I am fixing her grits. Here’s the types….

    1. Butter
    2. Butter salt and syrup
    3. Cheese and butter
    4. Shrimp and butter

    Those are my four types im cooking for her in small batches to see which one is her favorite!!

    Mines #2

  5. Love this recipe! Easy to make and tasty, I added some cheddar cheese and chia seeds to get more protein and fiber. Made half of the recipe and is was good for two servings.5 stars

  6. Recipe is super good. However servings is misleading. I halved the grits and still had enough for about 6 people.4 stars