Sunday, April 10, 2011

Recipe Monday: Yankee Bastard Cheese Grits

I'm not native to the land of the grits, northern girl that I am. In fact, I'd never tasted grits until I decided to make them. It didn't go well, but I was committed to making it better. And so I tried dozens of batches until I came up with this cheesy combo. It's now one of our favorite things, and my husband requests it regularly. Since it's so easy and quick to make, I'm more than happy to oblige.

I'm quite certain my version of cheese grits would be enough to make a proper southern cook faint a little. I do it all wrong. I gather from my research that "real" cheese grits are to be baked, something I saw as an unnecessary extra step, especially if you're trying to get breakfast on the table lickity split. I use quick-cook grits rather than their more revered stone ground cousin because of availability issues. That said, if you can look past the inauthentic-ness of things, I think you'll find these grits are worth it.

  • 2 1/4 c. water
  • salt for the water
  • 1/2 c. quick cook (not instant) grits
  • 3 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 c. extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 c. pepper jack cheese, grated
1. In a 2 quart sauce pot, lightly salt the water and let it come to a roiling boil. Add the grits and bring the water down to a medium-low heat. Stir grits for about 30 seconds, until boiling subsides a bit, and then cover. Continue cooking the grits over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.

For grits newbies, if you are unsure whether your grits are done, give them a quick taste. If you feel like you are chewing on half-cooked rice, it could probably use another minute or two. Grits are done when they are soft.

2. Turn the heat down to low. Add your cheeses, starting with the cream cheese, making sure each is melted and well-combined with the gits before adding the next. Serve immediately.

What's great about this recipe is that you can tweak it to accommodate whatever you have on hand. I've used mozzarella, swiss, and even processed American cheese slices. I've never received a complaint, although the recipe above is our favorite combination. I like to serve these grits with scrambled eggs topped with salsa. Yum.

Just as a side note, I've included a picture of what my "half cup" of cheddar cheese sometimes looks like. We're cheese fiends over here. If you want to increase the amount of cheese in this recipe, you'll get nothing but respect from me!

Source: Cats and Casseroles original recipe


  1. Ahhh you measure cheese the way I do :)

  2. It's funny, I don't like American grits but I do love Hispanic grits. We call it "harina" and it's just boiled cornmeal. If corn is in season, my mom will add in ground corn kernels too. Mom then serves it with either sardines or (my favorite) hot dogs in tomato sauce with peppers and onions. Good stuff and very cheap eats!

  3. I just found your blog and I'm loving the recipes! I'm a true Southern girl (lady, maybe?), and it's totally okay to not bake your grits! I don't know anyone who does. While I believe the "real" stone ground grits are amazingly awesome, I generally use the quick cooking ones. (But 5 minutes? Um, more like 30 to get them really soft!) And I put a ton of cheese in too! I'm glad you're a convert! Now if we could only get you to fry all your vegetables...:)

  4. Sounds yummy and you measure cheese like me as well! :) I was introduced to grits by a girl from Georgia that moved in next door (I live in Utah and grits aren't commonplace here) and her's were not baked either. I loved them and they were served with butter and bacon (more of my favorites). I still enjoy eating them weekly. Can't wait to try your recipe. Thanks for sharing!


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