Learn how to make Creamy Southern Cheese Grits--A side dish fit for any meal, be it lunch, dinner, or a breakfast extravaganza! This timeless Southern grits recipe boasts an irresistibly creamy texture, enhanced with a medley of spices and an abundance of luscious melty cheddar cheese. Plus my top tips for making the best grits you've ever had. Completely Gluten-free + Vegan Option.
Grits, much like the beloved Crispy Oven Fried Chicken, hold a cherished spot at Southern family tables. Whether they're served with plump and juicy shrimp or piled into a bowl for a hot breakfast, you truly can't go wrong with the creamy, pudding-like texture and decadent creamy cheesy flavor of classic grits.
While there are dozens of ways to cook grits, this Southern-style version is my family's go-to. I think you'll love it as much as I do! And If you're on the hunt for a fresh twist on the classic then this Nashville Hot Cauliflower + Kale Grits recipe is a must try + a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Plus, this version with pesto is incredible-----Vegan Cheese Polenta with Pesto + Chickpea.
This grits recipe is loaded with cheesy goodness. Whipping it up is an absolute breeze + it comes loaded with that delightful Southern charm. The best part? It's incredibly versatile, making them the perfect sidekick for any meal, no matter the time of day!
Ever wondered, "What is grits?" Well, if you didn't grow up in the South, this might be a delicious revelation for you!
Grits, my friend, are a Southern culinary treasure! They're like a warm, comforting hug in a bowl – made from ground, dried corn, and they're a staple in Southern cuisine. Think of them as a creamy, dreamy porridge that can be enjoyed sweet or savory, depending on your mood. They've got a rich, buttery flavor and a smooth, slightly grainy texture that's just oh-so-comforting
Basically, because polenta and grits are both made from ground corn, you can use them interchangeably. However, grits are higher in starch than polenta, so if you do choose to substitute in polenta for grits, you won't have to stir it as frequently, but it won't cook up as creamy as grits.
#1: Heat + Soak Grits: Much like cashews, this allows grits to soften, cook faster, and become more creamy.
#2: Boil grits for 20-30 minutes uncovered, but make sure to stir regularly to avoid lumps.
#3: It's all about adding milk, water, + heavy cream with cheese for the ultimate creaminess.
#4: Don't be afraid to season your girts. It amplifies the flavors more.
#5: Low + slow is always best. This allows the grits to slowly release their starches for a decadent, silky texture.
Here's what you need to make these creamy, rich grits at home:
Definitely! This is a great recipe to mix and match the ingredients/toppings. For added nutrients, fiber, and color, add your favorite veggies.
You can add roasted cauliflower, brussels sprouts, bell peppers, asparagus, green peas, roasted herb tomatoes, mushrooms, or leafy greens (kale, spinach, collard greens). All will be delicious!
If you want to add some greens to your grits, you certainly can. My article, Our Top 12 Favorite Healthy Green Leafy Vegetables shares a list of great greens! Off the top—-kale, spinach or collard greens make great additions. Also, roasted broccolini is one of my faves to adds.
Overall, oats are higher in calories, but they also contain more fiber and protein than grits, making them a much better choice if you're looking to lose weight. However, grits do provide fewer calories overall which may be beneficial for those with diabetes, etc.
Because grits are a fork food, they are often enjoyed on a plate with a type of protein like eggs, meat, or seafood. Oftentimes, grits are a part of a Southerner's breakfast routine which might consist of eggs, bacon, sausage, etc. along with grits and perhaps a biscuit. In general, Southerners enjoy grits as a savory side dish to other foods for a complete meal.
To make this grits recipe dairy-free, use these swaps:
Grits with cheese make an excellent foundation for any number of dishes. At my house, we love to eat these creamy cheddar grits with:
Other topping ideas include:
To change up the flavors of this southern grits recipe or if you don't have all of the ingredients on this list, here are a few simple swaps:
Yes! Grits are made from corn, so this recipe is fully gluten-free.
Leftovers can be kept in an air-tight container (separately) in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Re-heat the girts or polenta over the stovetop or in a microwave when ready to serve. You may need to add a bit of milk to make things creamy again, but that is easily achieved as you whisk.
Of course! All ingredients can be made and individually stored as meal prep (up to 2 days prior) and assembled when ready to serve.
According to research, as a whole grain, grits provides several antioxidants that help mitigate cellular damage from free radicals + unstable atoms in the body. Two of the antioxidants found in grits, lutein and zeaxanthin, are known to contribute to better vision and eye health, protecting against age-related eye diseases
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How to Make Creamy Southern Cheese Grits.