Breakfast Grits

Breakfast grits

The Spruce

  • Total: 25 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 8 Portions (8 Servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
182 Calories
12g Fat
16g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 Portions (8 Servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 182
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 7g 36%
Cholesterol 32mg 11%
Sodium 479mg 21%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Protein 4g
Calcium 116mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Grits are a very versatile dish. Served sweet or savory (accompaniments are provided in the ingredients section), we often prepare this dish for overnight guests. Some people choose to make a hearty meal with eggs and cheese, while others like to add butter, syrup, nuts, and/or jam for a sweet dish.

Either way, it's fun to serve something that allows each diner to invent their own creation. Sometimes guests like to have a dish of grits garnished with something sweet, then go for a heftier serving with eggs and cheese.

Southerners like to use old-fashioned or stone ground gritsFor an everyday breakfast, we generally use quick grits, which are ready in just a few minutes, rather than stone-ground or old-fashioned grits which take up to an hour to cook. For a leisurely weekend meal, we always choose the stone-ground or old-fashioned grits as they are "the real thing" and much better.

For the purposes of this recipe, we specify quick (never instant) grits, as the stone-ground and old-fashioned grits are often difficult to find outside of the South without mail ordering them (which is certainly not practical for a last-minute meal). They are also very finely ground and don't produce a good texture.


  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 3 cups water
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cup​ quick grits (not instant)
  • Garnishes
  • Butter (to taste)
  • Cinnamon (to taste)
  • Raisins (to taste)
  • Syrup (to taste)
  • Brown Sugar (to taste)
  • Peanut Butter (to taste)
  • Jam (to taste)
  • Cheese (to taste)
  • Fried Eggs (to taste)
  • Bacon (cooked and chopped, to taste)
  • Milk (or half-and-half, to taste)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Gather the ingredients
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  2. Bring the whole milk, water, butter, sugar, and salt to a boil over medium-high heat in a heavy saucepan.

    Bring milk and butter to boil
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  3. Slowly add the grits, stirring constantly until smooth.

    Slowly add the grits
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  4. Turn the heat down to medium-low, cover the pan, and cook for about 6 minutes or until smooth, stirring several times.

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  5. Serve with some of these optional garnishes and accompaniments.

    Serve with cinnamon
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  6. Enjoy!


  • We recommend making more grits than you need for breakfast, then transfer the extra to a lightly-oiled loaf pan. When set, slice the grits and pan-fry the slices in a bit of butter until golden brown. They are wonderful alone like this or may be served with a sauce. You can actually use these leftover grit slices the same way you would use polenta. Yum!