The best grits are savory, and these 7 savory grits recipes will take you through an entire week of breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
If you’ve only been eating grits for breakfast, you’ve been making a mistake (and if you’ve been flavoring them with maple syrup or brown sugar, well…you do you, but plenty of people believe sweet grits are inferior).
Grits (which are made from ground, dried corn and similar to polenta) are incredibly versatile and make a great base for all sorts of sauces, meats, seafood, and poached eggs. They take beautifully to cheese, butter, and herbs if you want to get a little fancy, and are great with hot sauce. They’re also easy to reheat; try searing them in small cake form in a bit of butter for a great take on leftovers.
One word of caution: Don’t use instant grits (too fine and mushy); quick grits are acceptable and still have some texture, but if you have more time to stir, regular stone-ground grits are even better.
Palmetto Farms Stone Ground Grits, $10.97 on Amazon
Yes, they take a little longer to cook, but the texture and taste are well worth it.
Related Reading: Chowhounds discuss quick vs instant grits
Here are 7 of our favorite grits recipes to eat all week.
This is your basic grits recipe, with butter, milk, cream, water, salt, and pepper. You can top them with almost anything you can think of, from braised beef to griddled sausage and runny eggs, or serve them as a side for fried chicken or fish. Get our Classic Grits recipe.
Related Reading: The Carrot-Ginger Hot Sauce You’ll Put on Everything
This crowd-pleasing grits casserole is still creamy, but a bit firmer than the usual porridge-style dish. They’re mixed with milk, hot sauce, eggs, and plenty of sharp cheddar before being baked for 45 minutes (which gives you time to get the rest of dinner finished). They go with lots of things, from crisp bacon at brunch to baby back ribs at a BBQ. Get our Baked Cheese Grits recipe.
This soufflé is so easy you’ll be kicking yourself for not trying it sooner. With shredded dry Jack cheese (substitute aged cheddar, gouda, or manchego for a similar sharp, nutty flavor if need be), and a ton of chopped scallions, these are fantastic party food, but easy enough to whip up on any weeknight. We particularly like them with a pot roast, but paired with a green salad they’re a great light meal. Get our Jack Cheese and Grits Souffle recipe.
Shrimp and grits are one of our favorite southern dishes, so get ready for a few different versions. This one from Maxie’s Supper Club (which, full disclosure, is in New York), uses spicy Tasso ham, curry powder, cumin, and cayenne, and several other unexpected ingredients for an original and tongue-tingling take on grits that you haven’t tried before. Top it off with andouille sausage for even more meaty kick. Get our Shrimp and Grits recipe.
Tasso Ham, $14.99 at D'artagnan
Get a taste of zesty Cajun-style smoked ham made from humanely raised pork.
While fresh corn is still summer-sweet, make this delicious dish that combines traditional grits with juicy kernels and tender ale-spiked shrimp. While most grits are made creamy with plenty of dairy, this recipe uses the juice from the fresh corn to thicken and enrich the mixture. If you leave out the shrimp and the little bit of prosciutto that’s there for extra flavor, it’s actually vegan. Get our Shrimp and Fresh Corn Grits recipe.
If you’re just looking for a simple shrimp and grits recipe, this is the one. Sharp white cheddar adds savor to the grits and the shrimp swim in a spicy sauce on top with briefly warmed fresh tomatoes for sweetly acidic bursts of flavor. Oh, and crisp bacon too. Get our Spicy Shrimp and White Cheddar Grits recipe.
The original version of this post was written by Caitlin M. O’Shaughnessy in 2015. It has been updated by Jen Wheeler with new images, links, and text.