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Classic cheese grits are creamy, rich, and extra cheesy. It’s a fabulous southern dish made with plenty of cheddar cheese and butter. Serve as a main dish, a side, or breakfast!

Grits are a classic southern dish. Once considered a simple breakfast or side dish, cheese grits can now be found on restaurant menus everywhere. This grits recipe is a family favorite and since cheese grits are so easy to make, I make them often. We use cheddar cheese and milk to make the grits super rich and extra creamy. This single serving grits recipe will yield a small amount of cheese grits. It’s a wonderful amount for anyone cooking for one.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Cheese grits are so easy to make and they can be ready in just 20 minutes!
  • They’re so incredibly delicious. Cheese adds a glorious richness to the grits.
  • They make the perfect side dish and can be enjoyed as a hearty main dish too.
  • Grits are inexpensive and very versatile.
a clear bowl filled with uncooked grits on a brown table.

What Are Grits?

Grits are a classic southern dish and one that I grew up eating. Grits are made from corn kernels that have been ground. They are traditionally cooked in liquid and when cooked, grits become wonderfully soft and creamy and have a porridge-like consistency.

Corn grits are often enjoyed as a side dish covered in gravy, cheese, or butter and salt. They can also be served with seafood, meats, and vegetables.

In Louisiana, where I grew up it was not uncommon to eat grits with eggs, bacon and toast for breakfast.

Ingredients

ingredients needed to make cheese grits on a brown table: cheese, grits, milk, spices,butter, and water.

See recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

  • Corn grits: There are many different “types” of grits. You want to use old-fashioned, stone-ground corn grits, not quick or instant grits. The grits should be as flaky and coarsely ground as possible. I use Bob’s Red Mill Corn Grits, either gluten-free or regular.
  • Milk: Use any percentage of cow’s milk. I typically use 2% milk. The higher the fat in the milk, the richer the grits will taste.
  • Water: I cook the grits in milk and water.
  • Seasonings: Use garlic powder and smoked paprika for great flavor.
  • Cheese: I use sharp cheddar cheese in my cheese grits. I also love making them with smoked gouda or goat cheese. Feel free to experiment with cheeses that melt well.
  • Butter: A little bit of salted butter adds extra creaminess and flavor.
  • Salt: I use 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt for flavor in my cheese grits recipe. If you use table salt, add only 1/4 teaspoon.
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How To Make This Recipe

Grits are easy to make and can be ready in less than 30 minutes. Be sure to keep an eye on them and stir them frequently.

  1. Mix the milk, water, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and salt in a small 1-quart saucepan. Set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
milk, water, smoked paprika and garlic powder in a small black saucepan.
  1. Stir in the grits, and reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Once the grits become soft and thick, remove from the heat and stir in the butter and cheese. Taste, and add additional salt if needed. The grits will thicken even more as they cool.
a black pot filled with cheese grits

Expert Tips

  • If the grits are thicker than desired, stir in a few tablespoons of water.
  • Feel free to add more cheese or a different type of cheese.
  • Do not use “Instant Grits”.
  • Consider serving cheese grits with cooked shrimp (shrimp and grits), or cooked smoked sausage.
a small blue bowl filled with cheese grits with a hand sprinkling extra cheese over the top.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Difference Between Corn Grits and Polenta?

Polenta and grits are both made from ground corn. The difference here is that polenta is made from yellow corn and grits are mostly made from white corn. The corn grits I use most often are made with yellow corn.

Can This Recipe Be Doubled?

Sure! If you’d like to make a double batch, just double the ingredient amounts.

Can Cheese Grits Be Made Ahead?

Yes, although they’re best when enjoyed right after you make them. Grits keep well and if stored in an airtight container in the fridge, they will keep for up to 5 days. Just warm the cooked grits on the stovetop with a small amount of water or milk when you are ready to eat them again.

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder or you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

Serving Suggestions

Grits made from scratch are perfect to enjoy for breakfast alongside eggs, bacon or sausage and biscuits.

They’re also delicious as a lunch or dinner idea served with pork chops or broiled chicken. You might also love making shrimp and grits, a classic southern dish.

You can also serve them as a base for a hearty meat sauce and as a substitute for mashed potatoes.

If you’ve tried these cheese grits or any recipe on One Dish Kitchen please let me know how you liked it by rating the recipe and telling me about it in the comment section below.

Also, if you take a picture please tag us on Instagram (@onedishkitchen) we’d love to see!


Your Cooking For One Source
Because you’re worth it

Cheese Grits For One

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
Classic cheese grits are creamy, rich, and extra cheesy. It's a fabulous southern meal or side dish made with plenty of cheddar cheese and butter. Serve as a side dish, a main dish or breakfast!

Ingredients 
 

  • ¾ cup milk
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ cup stone-ground grits
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • cup shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions 

  • Mix the milk, water, salt, garlic powder, and smoked paprika in a small 1-quart saucepan. Set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
  • Stir in the grits and reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until grits become soft and thick.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in butter and cheese.
  • Enjoy hot. Grits will thicken as they cool. If they are thicker than you like, stir in a few teaspoons of water or milk.

Notes

Expert Tips
  • If the grits are thicker than desired, stir in a few tablespoons of water or milk.
  • Feel free to add more cheese or different types of cheeses.
  • Do not use “Instant Grits”.
  • Consider serving cheese grits with cooked shrimp (shrimp and grits), or cooked smoked sausage.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 504kcal, Carbohydrates: 18g, Protein: 25g, Fat: 36g, Saturated Fat: 23g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 113mg, Sodium: 934mg, Potassium: 364mg, Sugar: 10g, Vitamin A: 1480IU, Calcium: 771mg, Iron: 1mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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3 Comments

  1. Like your recipe for grits. At the table we add dashes of hot sauce and chopped green onions.
    Sooo good. Thanks for your recipe.