Breakfast Grits

Breakfast grits

The Spruce

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 25 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
179 Calories
12g Fat
15g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 179
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 7g 36%
Cholesterol 32mg 11%
Sodium 348mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 15g 6%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 109mg 8%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 133mg 3%
*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 as they are mild tasting and a good base for different flavors. They can be served sweet or savory, for breakfast or as part of an elegant dinner. When it comes to eating grits as the first meal of the day, some people choose to make them hearty by adding eggs and cheese, while others like to add butter, syrup, nuts, and/or jam for a sweet dish. Either way, when you serve the grits with a variety of toppings, it's fun to allow each diner to invent their own creation.

Southerners like to use old-fashioned or stone-ground grits, but for an everyday breakfast, it's faster to use quick grits (never instant), which are ready in just a few minutes, whereas stone-ground or old-fashioned grits take up to an hour to cook. Save the stone-ground or old-fashioned grits for a leisurely weekend meal, as they are "the real thing" and much better tasting than the quick-cooking version.


  • 3 cups whole milk

  • 3 cups water

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 3 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 1/2 cups quick grits (not instant)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Gather the ingredients
    The Spruce
  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 your desired garnishes and accompaniments.

    Serve with cinnamon
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  6. Enjoy.

Toppings for Grits

Whether you like a sweet start to the day or something more hearty tasting, these grits can be topped with a wide range of ingredients.

  • Sweet: Butter, cinnamon, raisins, syrup, brown sugar, peanut butter, jam, or berries.
  • Savory: Cheese, fried eggs, bacon (cooked and chopped), caramelized onion, roasted red peppers, tomatoes, scallions, or herbs.


If you make more grits than you need for breakfast, 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 served with a sauce. You can actually use these leftover grit slices the same way you would use polenta.

What's the difference between quick and instant grits?

Although the names sound similar, these two types of grits are very different from each other. Quick grits are actually regular grits that have been ground fine, so they cook faster. Instant grits, on the other hand, are precooked and dehydrated and are prepared by just adding boiling water.