Easy Fried Grits Cakes

Golden fried round grits cakes on a serving plate

The Spruce Eats

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Chill Time: 60 mins
Total: 85 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
254 Calories
18g Fat
20g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 254
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 24%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 52mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 12mg 1%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 30mg 1%
*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 delicious and nutritious Southern staple that can be a versatile addition to your menu. Traditional creamy grits are served at breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and are a great accompaniment to all sorts of dishes, from eggs or fried chicken to pulled pork or sausages. Fried grits cakes are another option, and these crunchy savory cakes can also be served as appetizers, and their crisp texture is ideal for topping softer preparations like pulled pork or eggs.

A 100-gram serving of uncooked instant dry grits has 7 grams of protein and 4.2 grams of fiber. It also offers significant amounts of selenium, an antioxidant component that aids in a healthy metabolism function. They're easily incorporated into your diet, and choosing grits over other starches can be a nutritious and delicious choice.

Our tasty fried grits cakes are easy to make, and the basic recipe has plenty of room for add-ons like crispy bacon, cheese, or chives. If you're using quick grits for this recipe, follow the package directions.

"This side dish would go perfectly with some southern-style BBQ shrimp, or alongside a runny egg for breakfast. I love that you can make the grits earlier in the day, and then cut and fry them when you are ready to serve." —Tracy Wilk

Easy Fried Grits Cake Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 5 cups water

  • Dash of salt, or to taste

  • 1 cup stone-ground grits

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • Vegetable oil, for frying

  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives, optional for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for easy fried grits cakes recipe gathered

     The Spruce Eats

  2. Bring the water and salt to a boil in a large, heavy saucepan. Add the grits and continue to simmer, stirring constantly, over medium heat until the grits are cooked and thick, or about 15 to 20 minutes. If too thick, add a little more boiling water, 1 spoonful at a time.

    Soupy grits mixture being stirred with a wooden spoon in a saucepan

    The Spruce Eats

  3. Pour the hot grits onto a large plate or medium baking sheet to make a layer about 3/4 inch deep. Cover and let stand to cool, then refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour to chill thoroughly.

    Grits mixture poured into a baking sheet with a tall rim

     The Spruce Eats

  4. When the grits are cold and firm, use biscuit cutters the size of your choice to cut rounds. Or cut them into rectangular pieces with a sharp knife. The rectangles ensure the total usage of the mixture.

    Firm grits being cut with a round biscuit cutter on the baking sheet

    The Spruce Eats

  5. Dredge the grits pieces with flour, shaking off any excess flour. Reserve.

    Grits cakes lightly dusted with flour o a plate

     The Spruce Eats

  6. Heat about 1/2 inch of vegetable oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the grits cakes until golden brown on both sides, about 2 1/2 minutes per side.

    Grits cakes frying in oil in a frying pan

    The Spruce Eats

  7. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt to taste.

    Golden grits cakes on a plate lined with paper towel

    The Spruce Eats

  8. Garnish with the chives, if using, and serve hot.

    Golden fried round grits cakes on a serving plate

     The Spruce Eats

Tasty Additions

Here are a few ideas on how to serve these delicious fried grits cakes:

  • For an appetizer, cut the cakes into small rectangles, fry, and top each with a tablespoon of marinara and a generous amount of grated Parmesan cheese. Also, use caramelized onions, grilled shrimp, or Manchego cheese to top the small rectangles.
  • If using them as a breakfast or brunch dish, top them with scrambled eggs and fried bacon or sausage gravy. Use them in place of English muffins as a base for eggs Benedict or open-faced egg, ham, and cheese breakfast sandwiches.
  • For a flavorful lunch or dinner, top them with creamed chicken or creamy shrimp. Serve these fried cakes to accompany pulled pork or top them with creamy coleslaw. Cut them in triangles before frying and serve with spicy guacamole.
  • Make mini cakes with cookie cutters and top any soup or stew with these crunchy bits.
  • Make this a gluten-free fried grit cake version by skipping the flour before frying. Use rice flour instead and check the label of the grits you're using to ensure they are certified gluten free.
  • Add chopped jalapeños, green onion, red chile flakes, or any dry herb during the last 5 minutes of stovetop cooking.
Article Sources
The Spruce Eats uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Grits, Dry Instant. FoodData Central. United States Department of Agriculture.

  2. Wang N, Tan H-Y, Li S, Xu Y, Guo W, Feng Y. Supplementation of micronutrient selenium in metabolic diseases: its role as an antioxidantOxid Med Cell Longev. 2017;2017:7478523. DOI: 10.1155/2017/7478523