It takes just 7 minutes to master how to make grits on a stovetop. This customizable grits recipe can go sweet or savory; so try it whether you want breakfast grits or a grits side dish!

A bowl of grits with a pat of butter in the middle.

First introduced as an American diet staple by Native Americans in the 1500s, stone-ground corn or hominy grits are now a mainstay on many restaurant menus at diners, Southern cuisine bistros, and beyond. Creamy grits are especially popular in the low country of South Carolina.

It’s ultra-easy to whip up a batch of homemade grits on the stovetop. In fact, all you need is a saucepan, a whisk, and 7 minutes.

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Recipe FAQs
  6. How to Make Grits Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for making grits.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Milk: Any style you have on-hand, from whole to skim. I prefer 2% or whole milk. You could even used plant-based milk if you desire, just be sure it’s unsweetened (unless you’re craving sweet grits).
  • Old-fashioned grits: This option sounds like it might take all day, but it’s surprisingly quick-cooking. If you only have instant grits, it’s even easier to master how to make grits. (More on this below.)

Step-by-step instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the milk, water, and ¼ teaspoon salt to a boil over medium-high heat. Whisk in grits in a steady stream, constantly whisking to prevent clumps. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring constantly, scraping the bottom of the saucepan, until grits are thick and creamy, about 15 minutes.
Grits being added to a silver pan with white liquid.
  1. Remove from heat and stir in the butter. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. (I like 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper) Serve warm.
Grits in a silver skillet being stirred with a whisk.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes four 1-cup servings, enough for a hearty breakfast addition or dinner carbohydrate.
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Take ’em over the top: Butter is a classic grits topping. If you’re on Team Sweet, try an extra splash of warm milk, sugar, and cinnamon. Or if Team Savory is more your speed, a dash of hot sauce, a fried egg, pulled chicken, or Shrimp Creole would taste divine atop a bed of grits.
A bowl of grits with a pat of butter in the middle.

Recipe FAQs

What about how to make instant grits?

In a medium bowl, empty 4 packets of instant grits and add 2 cups of boiling water. Stir well, season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and serve warm.

What if I want savory grits?

Use 1 cup of store-bought or homemade chicken broth instead of 1 cup water in step 1.

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A bowl of grits with a pat of butter in the middle.

How to Make Grits

It takes just 7 minutes to master how to make grits on a stovetop. This customizable grits recipe can go sweet or savory; so try it whether you want breakfast grits or a grits side dish!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 2 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 7 mins
Servings 4 servings (1 cup each)
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Calories 344

Ingredients 

  • 4 cups milk (see note 1)
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste (see note 2)
  • 1 cup old-fashioned grits
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Instructions 

  • In a medium saucepan, bring the milk, water, and ¼ teaspoon salt to a boil over medium-high heat. Whisk in grits in a steady stream, constantly whisking to prevent clumps. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring constantly, scraping the bottom of the saucepan, until grits are thick and creamy, about 15 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the butter. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. (I like 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper) Serve warm.

Notes

  1. Milk: Any style you have on-hand, from whole to skim. I prefer 2% or whole milk. You could even used plant-based milk if you desire, just be sure it’s unsweetened (unless you’re craving sweet grits).
  2. Old-fashioned grits: This option sounds like it might take all day, but it’s surprisingly quick-cooking. If you only have instant grits, it’s even easier to master how to make grits. (More on this below.)
  3. Yield: This recipe makes four 1-cup servings, enough for a hearty breakfast addition or dinner carbohydrate.
  4. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 344kcalCarbohydrates: 43gProtein: 11gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 158mgPotassium: 377mgFiber: 1gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 654IUCalcium: 280mgIron: 1mg
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Comments

    1. Hi Linda, you may find a similar produce labeled polenta, or cornmeal. Cornmeal is usually ground finer and will result in a smoother texture. I recommend checking the directions on the package, as well. Enjoy! – Meggan