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Cheese grits are a classic Southern dish that’s easy to make and incredibly delicious. This single serving recipe yields a rich and creamy bowl of cheese grits that’s perfect for a quick meal or a comforting side dish. Made with cheddar cheese and milk, these grits are super creamy and packed with flavor. Ready in just 20 minutes, this recipe is perfect for anyone looking for a fast and tasty dish.

Cheese grits are incredibly versatile and can be enjoyed in many ways. Serve them over buttered noodles or rice to soak up all the creamy goodness. They also make a fantastic dip with French bread. For a balanced meal, pair the grits with roasted Brussels sprouts or sautéed green beans. If you’re looking for a protein boost, top the grits with cooked shrimp or serve them alongside baked chicken thighs for a comforting and satisfying dinner.

Why You’ll Love This Easy Cheese Grits Recipe

  • Quick and Easy: This recipe takes only 20 minutes from start to finish, making it perfect for busy days.
  • Rich and Creamy: The combination of milk and cheddar cheese makes these grits incredibly creamy and flavorful.
  • Single Serving: This recipe makes just enough for one, so you don’t have to worry about leftovers.
  • Versatile: Cheese grits can be enjoyed as a hearty main dish or as a side dish to complement your meal.
  • Inexpensive Ingredients: Grits are budget-friendly and can be found at most grocery stores.

What Are Grits?

Grits are a classic Southern dish made from ground corn kernels. When cooked, they become soft and creamy with a porridge-like consistency. Grits are often enjoyed as a side dish with gravy, cheese, butter, or salt. They also pair well with seafood, meats, and vegetables.

In Louisiana, where I grew up, it was common to eat grits for breakfast with eggs, bacon, and toast.

a clear bowl filled with uncooked grits on a brown table.

Ingredients

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

If you have any ingredients leftover from this single serving cheese grits recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder.

  • Corn Grits: The base of this dish. Use old-fashioned, stone-ground corn grits, not quick or instant varieties. The grits should be flaky and coarsely ground. I often use Bob’s Red Mill Corn Grits, either gluten-free or regular.
  • Milk: You can use any type of cow’s milk. I usually use 2% milk. Higher fat content will make the grits taste richer.
  • Water: The grits are cooked in a mixture of milk and water.
  • Garlic Powder: Adds a subtle garlic flavor. You can use fresh minced garlic if you prefer.
  • Smoked Paprika: Adds a smoky depth to the dish. Regular paprika can be used if you don’t have smoked paprika.
  • Cheese: I use sharp cheddar cheese, but you can also try smoked gouda or goat cheese. Any cheese that melts well will work.
  • Butter: A small amount of salted butter adds extra creaminess and flavor.
  • Salt: Enhances the overall flavor. Adjust to taste.

Recipe Variations

There are many ways to customize your cheese grits to suit your taste:

  • Spicy Cheese Grits: Add a pinch of cayenne pepper or diced jalapeños for a spicy kick.
  • Herb Cheese Grits: Mix in fresh herbs like parsley, chives, or thyme for added flavor.
  • Bacon Cheese Grits: Stir in cooked, crumbled bacon for a smoky, savory twist.
  • Garlic Cheese Grits: Use fresh minced garlic instead of garlic powder for a stronger garlic flavor.
  • Mushroom Cheese Grits: Add sautéed mushrooms for an earthy addition.
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How To Make Cheese Grits For One

The photos and instructions are here to help you visualize how to make a single serving of cheese grits. See the recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

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

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

Expert Tips

  • Use Stone-Ground Grits: For the best texture and flavor, use old-fashioned, stone-ground corn grits. Avoid using instant or quick grits as they don’t have the same quality.
  • Consistent Stirring: Stir the grits frequently while cooking to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pot and to ensure a smooth texture.
  • Gradual Heat: Start with medium-high heat to bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to low to cook the grits slowly and evenly.
  • Cheese Addition: Add the cheese gradually, stirring constantly to ensure it melts smoothly into the grits.
  • Seasoning: Taste the grits before serving and adjust the seasoning as needed.
  • Adjust Consistency: If the grits are thicker than desired, stir in a few tablespoons of water to reach your preferred consistency.
  • Serving Immediately: Cheese grits thicken as they cool, so serve them right away for the best texture.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make cheese grits ahead of time?

Cheese grits are best served fresh, but you can reheat them with a splash of milk to regain the creamy texture.

How do I store leftover cheese grits?

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days. Reheat with a bit of milk to loosen the grits.

Can I make vegan cheese grits?

Yes, use plant-based milk, vegan cheese, and margarine instead of butter.

What’s the difference between corn grits and polenta?

Both polenta and grits are made from ground corn. The main difference is that polenta is made from yellow corn, while grits are usually made from white corn. However, the corn grits I use are often made with yellow corn.

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:

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!


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Cheese Grits For One

4.50 from 2 votes
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
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Instructions 

  • Mix Ingredients: Combine the milk, water, salt, garlic powder, and smoked paprika in a small 1-quart saucepan. Set it over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
  • Cook the Grits: Stir in the grits, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Finish: When the grits are soft and thick, remove from heat. Stir in the butter and cheese. Taste and add more salt if needed. The grits will thicken as they cool.

Notes

  • Use Stone-Ground Grits: For the best texture and flavor, use old-fashioned, stone-ground corn grits. Avoid using instant or quick grits as they don’t have the same quality.
  • Consistent Stirring: Stir the grits frequently while cooking to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pot and to ensure a smooth texture.
  • Gradual Heat: Start with medium-high heat to bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to low to cook the grits slowly and evenly.
  • Cheese Addition: Add the cheese gradually, stirring constantly to ensure it melts smoothly into the grits.
  • Seasoning: Taste the grits before serving and adjust the seasoning as needed.
  • Adjust Consistency: If the grits are thicker than desired, stir in a few tablespoons of water to reach your preferred consistency.
  • Serving Immediately: Cheese grits thicken as they cool, so serve them right away for the best texture.

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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I’m Joanie and I’m incredibly happy you’re here! Our aim is to inspire individuals with access to single serving recipes, education, and a supportive community that will enable them to enjoy the preparation of a meal that will nourish both body and soul.

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Recipe Rating




4 Comments

  1. David H says:

    Nice recipe, good amount for 1. Also added 1/2 t Cajun seasoning.

  2. connie esparcia says:

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

  3. Valerie Peery says:

    Great recipe. One of my favorites.

  4. Janice Davis says:

    I just like your recipes I like things quick simple and easy thank you