Southern Cheesy Grits
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There is nothing more Southern than a big ol’ bowl of Grits! Every local joint in the south has their own version of this classic dish, so we’re adding our recipe to the mix too. Our Southern Cheesy Grits stick very true to the traditional recipe. Mix Chicken Stock and Water with the Grits then finish it off with Butter and Cheese!

What we love about grits is they are so unbelievably simple to make, and are an awesome substitute for some of the more typical carbs you would expect on a dinner plate such as Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, or Bread. Grits are a really hearty dish that will fill the hungriest of appetites, however they don’t leave you feeling really heavy like some other carb sides will. Perfect for those warm Southern summers!

Sharp Cheddar Cheese and Parmesan Cheese make for Tasty, Cheesy Grits!

For our Southern Cheesy Grits Recipe, we’re going with two types of Cheese. Sharp Cheddar Cheese and Parmesan Cheese. The quantities are basically 3 parts Cheddar to one part Cheddar, so the overwhelming flavor in the grits will be from the Cheddar

The Sharper the Cheddar cheese you can get, the better. Try to find some lovely Aged Cheddar Cheese if you can get your hands on it. The Sharpness adds a great zing to the grits, giving them a lot more depth of flavor we find

Parmesan Cheese may not be as traditional, but it is a fantastic addition to the recipe. You won’t get that melty quality of cheese, that’s what the Cheddar brings. However, the Parmesan Cheese will bring a lovely richness, tang, and nuttiness to the dish

Southern Cheesy Grits spoon
Good quality Chicken Broth is the key to the most flavorful Cheesy Grits you can make

The secret to great Homemade Grits is good quality Chicken Broth

We highly encourage you to make your own Chicken Broth in preparation for making the Southern Cheesy Grits. There really is simply no comparison with Homemade Chicken Broth. It brings an amazingly rich level of flavor to the grits, far more than simply adding Water can do

Our fantastic Instant Pot Chicken Broth recipe is a great recipe to use. If you have time, please prepare some Chicken Broth prior to making this dish

You can use the store-bought Chicken Broth if you are in a pinch for time, that is totally understanding. We do find however that store bought Chicken Broth doesn’t pack anywhere near as much flavor as the homemade stuff

What’s unappealing about the store-bought Broth is the unbelievable amount of sodium (i.e.: Salt) that is in them. They need to load up the Broth with Salt to keep it from going bad, which ultimately just means you’re putting a ton of sodium into your dish. It’s not healthy, and also completely alters the balance of the recipe. So, if you are buying store bought stock try to get the low sodium stuff. Please!

Should I use White Corn Meal or Yellow Corn Meal in Grits?

Really it is up to you, and totally a personal preference. Both have the exact same consistency, so the recipe doesn’t change at all. The Yellow Corn Meal has a might more prominent flavor of Corn than White. White is more subtle, so the Cheese will be more prominent flavor in the Grits

Visually if you want to create that authentic Yellow looking Grits that are so famous in Southern cooking, then go for the Yellow Corn Meal

Southern Cheesy Grits close up
Yellow Corn Meal gives you this amazing color and more corn flavor in the Cheesy Grits

No Cream needed, Broth, Cheese, and Butter is all you need

Trust us, the combination of the lovely homemade Chicken Broth, the velvety Cheddar, and of course, Butter, will leave you with a beautifully silky texture for your grits. Cream does add a level of luxury to the dish, however for optimal texture and flavor we find you simply don’t need it!

The challenge with Grits can be they dry out quickly after cooking them. Especially if you are refrigerating them for later. You love a bit of that smooth texture, and it can almost become cake-like. A good trick to ‘reconstitute’ the Grits into their former self is to add a little bit of Whole Milk or Cream into the Grits before you re-heat them. Mix it in well and that lovely silky texture will be back!

Additional toppings you can add to your Cheesy Grits to make them shine

Consider this recipe for Southern Cheesy Grits a baseline recipe. Cooking them by simply following this recipe will produce an amazing result, we guarantee you. However, the fun part about Grits is they pair well with so many additional flavors that you can have all kinds of fun adding your personal flair with toppings and additional ingredients

The classic pairing with Grits is Bacon. This combination appears in so many great Grits dishes. Simply cut your Bacon into bite sized pieces and fry them up in a separate frying pan until beautiful and crispy. Add them into the finished Grits along with all that beautiful Bacon Fat for a decadent and tasty treat

Another addition we love is Spanish Chorizo. The beautiful sausage is so rich in flavor and like Bacon, adds a beautiful meaty addition to your Cheesy Grits. We love this pairing so much that it features in our awesome Shrimp and Grits with Chorizo Recipe (recipe link coming soon!)

Southern Cheesy Grits in a Shrimp and Grits dish
One of the classic Southern Dishes – Shrimp and Grits! One of the many amazing dishes you can create with these Cheesy Grits

Some great dishes to eat alongside your Cheesy Grits

So, once you’ve whipped up these amazing Grits why not pair them with some of our delicious recipes. There are some of our favorites to pair with our delicious Southern Cheesy Grits

Recipe Details

Servings

4 – 6 people

Prep time

5 minutes

Cooking time

20 minutes

Total time

25 minutes

Southern Cheesy Grits Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Stone Ground or Regular White or Yellow Grits (not instant)
  • 2 cups Chicken Stock (recipe here)
  • 2 cups Water
  • 2 tbsp. Unsalted Butter
  • 1 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated
  • ¼ cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • ¼ cup Scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. Salt

Instructions

  1. Place a medium sized saucepan on your stovetop over high heat. Add the Chicken Stock and Water to the Saucepan and bring to a boil
  2. Once boiling, add the Grits to the Saucepan. Stir well with a whisk, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes
  3. Stir the grits every 4 minutes or so to ensure they are not sticking to the pan and fully incorporate all of the liquid
  4. After 20 minutes, remove from the heat and add the Salt, Butter, Cheddar Cheese, and Parmesan Cheese. Mix well until the Butter and Cheese has melted and incorporated into the Grits
  5. Check for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Garnish with the chopped Scallions and then serve immediately. Grits are best served as soon as they are cooked

Note: An optional addition to the Cheesy Grits is to squeeze the Juice of ½ a Lemon onto them right before serving. The Lemon adds a lovely acidic hit which brightens up the whole dish. It is optional, but worth trialing to see if you like it (we do!)

We hope you enjoyed our version of the classic Southern Cheesy Grits Recipe. For more amazing Southern Side Dishes check out our page here

Happy Cooking!

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