Creamy Loaded Cheese Grits

So many of you know that I’ve lived in Louisiana for 9 years, but I’m not from here. I’m a Utah girl, who ate cream of wheat and oatmeal for breakfast and while I had heard of grits (kind of like cream of wheat, made with corn instead of wheat), I kind of thought they didn’t actually exist, that people didn’t actually eat them.

People eat them.

Everywhere you go for breakfast in the south, there are grits. Sure as they’re going to ask you if you want grape jelly with your breakfast sandwich, grits will be on the menu. There are grits at McDonalds. Also, they’re not very good. If you’ve never had grits, don’t try them for the first time at McDonald’s.

So, just like any other pantry staple, a) everyone has their way of making grits, b) everyone thinks their way is the best/only way of making them, and c) grits  can be terrible and boring and they can also be amazing. Amazing

Sometimes I feel like because I’m not from here, I don’t have any right to share these kinds of recipes, but I also feel like once I tried the good news of Melanie Stephenson’s cheese grits at the PTO breakfast last week, it would be irresponsible of me not to share them. So. If you’re from the South and you feel like I shouldn’t be sharing recipes for grits because I haven’t always been a lifelong believer, I’m sorry. But I can’t not share them. Can we still be friends?

Creamy Loaded Cheese Grits from Our Best Bites

You’re going to need water, half and half (you know things are heading in the right direction when half and half shows up), kosher salt, freshly ground pepper, quick cooking grits (if you’ve never bought grits, check the cereal aisle near the oatmeal. If you really can’t find them where you are at, which happens, try Amazon), extra sharp cheddar (mild cheeses will get lost here), butter, bacon pieces (you can make your own or buy pre-cooked bacon, just make sure it’s real bacon and not, like, bacon bits a la 1986), and, if you’d like, finely chopped green onions.

Creamy loaded cheese grits from Our Best Bites

In a large saucepan (like, the largest pot that came with your cookware set), combine the water and half and half. Can we talk about this unexpected magical picture that happened when I added the cream to the water?

Creamy loaded Cheese Grits from Our Best Bites

I thought it was so cool I made it black and white…

Creamy loaded Cheese Grits from Our Best Bites

Anyway. Add your cream to your water. Be artsy. Then add some salt

Creamy loaded Cheese Grits from Our Best Bites

and freshly ground pepper and bring it just to a boil (if you boil it like a boss, the cream will curdle). Whisking constantly, add the grits. Be careful because it might splatter, especially near the beginning.

Reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes, whisking frequently, until the mixture is thick and smooth. While the grits are cooking, grate your extra-sharp cheddar…

Cheese Grits-6

cube the butter…

Creamy loaded Cheese Grits from Our Best Bites

and, if you’d like, chop 1/2 cup green onions. Chop them smaller than I’ve chopped them here, especially the firm white ends.

Cheese Grits-7

Remove from heat and add cheese. Stir gently until cheese melts and is combined. Add cubed butter and stir until smooth and shiny. Add bacon 1/4 cup finely chopped green onions (if desired) and stir until combined. If you’d like, you can garnish with remaining green onions, a little shredded cheese, and a pinch of bacon pieces. Serve immediately.

salt, and pepper. Bring just to a boil (and stir occasionally to prevent the cream from scorching

Loaded Cheese Grits
Serves 8
These creamy, savory grits are perfect for any breakfast or brunch!
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 6 cups water
  2. 1 pint (2 cups) half and half
  3. 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more if necessary
  4. 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  5. 2 cups quick cooking grits
  6. 1 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  7. 4 tablespoons salted butter, cubed
  8. 1 cup real bacon pieces (you can cook your own or use precooked bacon pieces, just make sure you're getting real bacon)
  9. 1/2 cup green onions, finely chopped, divided (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan (like, the largest pot that came with your cookware set), combine the water, half and half, salt, and pepper. Bring just to a boil (and stir occasionally to prevent the cream from scorching
  2. Slowly pour the grits into the boiling mixture while whisking continuously--it may splatter, so be careful. Reduce heat to low and cook 10 minutes, whisking very frequently (especially in the beginning).
  3. Remove from heat and add cheese. Stir gently until cheese melts and is combined. Add cubed butter and stir until smooth and shiny. Add bacon and 1/4 cup finely chopped green onions (if desired) and stir until combined. Serve immediately.
Adapted from AJC
Adapted from AJC
Our Best Bites http://ourbestbites.com/
*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

20 comments

  1. Not to be annoying (on purpose, at least)…I think there are a few problems with the last few instructions – both in the write up and in the recipe at the end (add grits in the last step?). You HAVE inspired me to try some grits this weekend though 🙂

  2. I can’t wait to try these!

    When I was in middle school, my family took a road trip down south…Georgia/Florida and I tried plain grits. Not a fan.

    Fast forward to a couple of years ago and my husband and I went to Charleston, SC. I tried cheesy grits and was in love! Cheese makes everything…particularly grits!…so much better!

  3. I’ve never been to the south, but I tried grits for the first time last year and really liked them. I’m excited to make them at home!

  4. Now that we’re southern transplants, I think we need to learn how, and make these too! We’ve already added biscuits and gravy and fried chicken and waffles to our regular menu, this can’t hurt too 😉

  5. I am a Midwestern girl but LOVE grits, preferably with cheese and butter (duh) and get them anytime we cross the Mason Dixon line. I make them quite a bit too but hadn’t found the perfect recipe to mimic the deliciousness we’ve had in the south. This looks like it could be THE recipe! Also, shrimp and grits? Ranks up there as one of my favorite meals of all time. So maybe these grits with some Cajun grilled shrimp on top? Or maybe since you’re a Louisiana girl now you’ve got a to die for recipe for that too that you could share?!? 🙂

  6. I’m not from the south… AZ girl. I want to try these and branch out a bit! Would you consider these breakfast, side dish, main meal??? Just curious. 🙂

  7. YESSSS!!! I saw your pic on Instagram and then DREAMED about them last night. I love Grits and had them when I visited the south but haven’t found a proper place that prepares them in Los Angeles yet….

    Yippee! Thank you!

  8. Haha, I just bought that same half & half bottle yesterday at Smith’s. Also, I’m not from the South, I love grits (and polenta), and these look amazing! I’m making them right away!

  9. I’ve grown up in the south (and still live here). I’ve had grits all kinds of ways: plain, cheesy, with a fried egg on top, cream and sugar, and under yummy shrimp!!! These grits look amazing too. All kind of goodness, so I must try. (Side note: I had to “sell” something for a presentation class at BYU way back in the day. I sold GRITS!!! I know at least I convinced a couple people to try them. 🙂 )

  10. I am a grits lover and this recipe looks just right. Yum! I haven’t had them for a while, but I might need to have them soon!

  11. My family loves your “Shrimp & Grits” recipe and I make it as often as I can. The problem is that I live in Alberta and Fast cooking grits are impossible to find. I buy Bobs Red Mill grits, but they are not quick cooking grits. Any other OBB pals in Canada know of a place to get them? When I even ask for grits at the grocery store, the attendant and/or management gives me a constipated look, like I’m speaking another language or something.

  12. Pshhhh. I always boil shiz in the kitchen like a boss. Haha! I’ve only had grits once and I was in the “not a fan” category. But, you’ve swayed me…I’m gonna give these a try!

  13. I’ve tried grits a couple times are restaurants that were “known” for good ones and never liked them. But I might have to try them again. These look so good! I am laughing a little at your instructions to cook 5 min grits for 10 min though. Is that right?

    1. I know, it’s kinda funny. I’m just following directions, but I also think it’s because of the milk and you can’t boil things quite as vigorously.

  14. Yum! I grew up in Monroe, LA, and Cheese Grits Casserole is a holiday/special event staple. Paula Deen’s Baked Garlic Cheese Grits is a great make-ahead dish. I add paprika, red pepper, and a few other spices not listed. You can assemble the night before, and then bake in the morning before the brunch/holiday/PTA/whatever. It’s ALWAYS a hit.

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