The Only Grits Recipe You Need

How to make grits that are creamy, rich, and flavorful. We asked Chef Richard for his grits recipe, perfected over 20 years in Southern kitchens. These are so good!

Watch the Video

Creamy Grits Recipe Video

Grits are a classic Southern dish made from coarsely ground corn. With a texture like creamy porridge or polenta, grits offer a versatile base that works perfectly with both sweet and savory flavors. This recipe for grits is:

  • Made with simple ingredients
  • Amazingly creamy
  • Foolproof and easy!

Trust us, Richard’s grits are amazing – this is the only recipe you need! Enjoy them with poached eggs, shrimp (like in shrimp and grits), as a side dish, or sweetened with brown sugar or honey butter for breakfast.

Creamy Homemade Grits

The Basic Ratio for Grits

To make Richard’s Southern-style recipe, use a 1:4 ratio of grits to liquid and add butter (a must) and cream (optional but delicious).

  • Stone-ground grits: These offer the absolute best flavor and texture.
  • Chicken stock or water: Stock bumps the savory factor. Stick with water for sweeter dishes with brown sugar and honey.
  • Butter: My college roommate Jodi – who grew up eating Southern grits – swore by the power of butter. Trust me, it’s not optional!
  • Cream: Add a splash of cream for the creamiest grits.
  • Salt & Pepper: Salt is crucial to bring out the flavor. If the taste doesn’t pop, add a bit more salt. Don’t skimp on the pepper – another trick I learned from my roommate and Richard.

Our Tips for Making the Best Grits

Start with a boil: Bring your liquid, in our case, chicken stock, to a boil before adding the grits. Feel free to substitute the stock with water!

Whisk away lumps: Whisk the grits into the boiling liquid in a steady stream and continue whisking for about 2 minutes. Whisking prevents lumpy grits and makes them creamy.

Whisking grits into stock
Adding butter, cream, salt, and pepper to the grits on the stove.

Simmer, don’t splatter: After adding salt, pepper, butter, and cream, reduce your heat to low and simmer the grits for about 20 minutes (possibly longer, depending on your brand of grits), whisking occasionally. Low heat prevents messy splatters and keeps our grits creamy.

Customize with cheese: While our recipe below focuses on classic grits, you can stir in your favorite shredded cheese at the end of cooking for cheesy grits. I especially love a sharp white cheddar, parmesan, or a smoked Gouda. Some of our readers have also suggested cream cheese in grits.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are grits? Grits are similar to polenta or porridge and are made from coarsely ground corn (often dried hominy). They are a classic Southern dish with a creamy texture and a mild corn flavor.

What are the different types of grits? We love traditional or stone-ground grits with a coarser texture and a distinct corn flavor. They take the longest to cook. We use medium coarse ground grits (Bob’s Red Mill) and find they take about 20 minutes. Coarser grinds, like what you see from Anson Mills and Marsh Hen Mill, formerly Geechie Boy Mill, will take longer — closer to 45 minutes. Other types of grits include quick grits (finer grind for faster cooking) and instant grits (pre-cooked and dehydrated). We recommend stone-ground grits in our recipe below.

How can I prevent lumpy grits? Whisk your grits into boiling liquid in a steady stream and stir occasionally while cooking.

Help! My grits are too thick/thin. What do I do? If your grits are too thick, add a bit more hot liquid and stir until the desired consistency. If they are too thin, continue simmering uncovered until some liquid evaporates.

Serving Suggestions

Bowl of grits cooked with stock, butter, and cream.

The Only Grits Recipe You Need

  • PREP
  • COOK

These creamy homemade grits are delicious. Use stock for savory dishes and water for sweet. Our recipe specifically calls for stone-ground grits, known for their rich corn flavor and slightly coarser texture.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Watch Us Make the Recipe

You Will Need

1 cup (165g) stone-ground grits

4 cups (945ml) chicken or vegetable stock, try homemade chicken stock or veggie stock

4 tablespoons (55g) butter

1/4 cup (60ml) cream

3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper


    1Bring the stock to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the grits, then keep whisking for 2 minutes to avoid clumping.

    2When they begin to thicken, reduce the heat to a low simmer (helps to prevent splattering). Whisk in the butter, cream, salt, and pepper.

    3Continue to cook at a very low simmer until thickened, whisking occasionally. Expect a cooking time around 20 minutes, depending on the brand and how coarsely your grits are ground (see tips). Continue simmering on low if they need to thicken further. The longer you keep them on the heat, the more they thicken.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Cook time varies by brand: We used Bob’s Red Mill in the photos and video, and they took 20 minutes. Larger ground grits, like Anson Mills will need longer to cook, same with Marsh Hen Mill, formerly Geechie Boy Mill. Watch for them to be cooked and tender with some structure left, if they are mushy, you’ve cooked them too long.
  • Non-savory dishes: Use water instead of stock when serving with sweeter items like brown sugar, honey, or fruits.
  • Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.
Nutrition Per Serving Serving Size 1/6 of the recipe / Calories 207 / Total Fat 10.8g / Saturated Fat 6.3g / Cholesterol 26mg / Sodium 341.4mg / Carbohydrate 22.8g / Dietary Fiber 0.4g / Total Sugars 0.5g / Protein 5.7g
AUTHOR:  Adam and Joanne Gallagher
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5 comments… Leave a Review
  • Ray Farrow March 5, 2024, 12:29 pm

    I use Marsh Hen Hill grits. Yellow grits are my favorite. I also add Parmesan cheese and some bacon bits.

  • Ann French February 27, 2024, 3:20 am

    Hi everyone. I subscribe to your page. I fancy the grits recipe….. but what are grits? I am English and live in the UK and we don’t have grits. What could I use instead?? Thank you.

    • Joanne February 27, 2024, 3:18 pm

      Hi Ann, While they are slightly different (different kind of corn and the grind), you can try polenta in this recipe.

  • Shannon February 24, 2024, 10:07 am

    BEST GRITS EVER! I have never been a huge fan of grits. Other than shimp and grits, they always seem sort of bland. My husband loves grits, his fav being sausage and egg grit bowl. I made these this morning and OH MY GOODNESS!! Completely drool worthy. I usually add pepper jack cheese but these needed nothing at all. Perfect consistency, perfect flavor…just overall a perfect bowl of grits. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

    • Adam February 25, 2024, 12:14 pm

      You have made our day 🙂 We are thrilled that you loved your grits. If you loved these you have to try our shrimp and grits!


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