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Shrimp and grits in a bowl

Creamy Cheese Grits


Grits are the perfect southern side dish because they are simple and inexpensive to make as well as incredibly versatile. Made from ground corn, grits can be flavored any way you’d like. This cheese grits recipe includes chicken broth, cream, cream cheese, and shredded cheese, and makes a side dish that can go with any meal at any time of the day. It’s a delicious complement to scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, a savory pot roast, grilled vegetables, fried fish, a creole shrimp gravy (pictured above), blackened salmon, and so much more.

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Pantry Items/Seasonings

  • Instant grits
  • Chicken broth (optional)
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper


  • Heavy cream or whole milk
  • Unsalted butter
  • Cream cheese
  • Block cheese (Colby jack, sharp cheddar, pepperjack are my favorite cheeses to use in grits, but feel free to do your own thing here. Also, it’s recommended that you shred the cheese yourself since pre-shredded cheese is coated in anti-caking agents that affect how the cheese melts.)

Equipment/Tools You’ll Need

  • Saucepan or small pot (with a lid)
  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • Whisk
  • Cheese grater
  • Tasting/serving spoon

Other Delicious Grits Variations

  • “Plain” Grits: Add salt, pepper, and butter
  • For Vegan Grits: Use coconut milk or cream, vegan cream cheese & the vegan cheese of your choice
  • Sweet Potato Grits: Add 1 cup of sweet potato (baked/boiled then pureed), butter, and cinnamon, to taste
  • Chipotle Grits: Add 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (diced or pureed) and pepperjack cheese
  • Some people claim to enjoy a sweet version of grits (LOL), so here’s a recipe for that

Shrimp and grits in a bowl

Creamy Cheese Grits

Lena B.
A quick, creamy, delicious southern side dish that's perfect with almost any meal at any time of the day.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Breakfast, Brunch, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Soul Food
Servings 4 servings


  • Saucepan or pot with a lid
  • Whisk
  • Cheese grater
  • Tasting/serving spoon


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream or milk
  • 1 cup instant grits
  • 2-4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 8-12 oz. colby jack and/or cheddar cheese shredded
  • 2 oz. cream
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper


  • Add water, chicken broth and cream to a pot and bring to a boil.
  • Slowly whisk in grits and continue stirring for 1-2 minutes. Lower heat to a simmer, add salt, and cover. Simmer until the grits are no longer grainy, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid lumps forming.
  • Add cream cheese, shredded cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. Continue simmering for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.


  • Make sure to keep an eye on the boiling liquid and remove it from the heat if it starts to bubble over. Scorched cream is a pain to clean up.
  • If you want to use “real” (non-instant) grits, it will require about 2 more cups of liquid (you choose! Adding more broth = for flavor – more cream = well, more cream) and at least 45 minutes to simmer to a creamy consistency. Instant grits are processed further and cut the cooking time in half.
  • Any of these cheese work well in grits: mild or sharp cheddar, pepper jack cheese, Colby jack, Monterey jack, gouda, muenster
Keyword Cheese, Grits







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