Southern cheese grits casserole is a simple breakfast idea, perfect for kids or for a crowd.  This popular comfort food tastes amazing served in a bowl or on a plate, piping hot.  This savory dish is guaranteed to please!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
person holding a spoonful of Southern cheese grits
Breakfast, Vegetarian Main Course

Southern Cheese Grits Casserole

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This recipe was originally published on March 21, 2018.

The first time I remember having grits was many years ago in Savannah, Georgia.  I was hooked with my first bite of this amazing cheesy dish!  You’ll love this cheese grits casserole, too.

person holding a bowl of Southern cheese grits casserole

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Where did grits originate?

Native Americans ground corn into grits and cooked it into a thick maize porridge.

What does cheese grits taste like?

When you eat grits a few minutes after you make it, it tastes smooth, creamy, and warm.  Grits by themselves don’t have a lot of taste, so it’s best to add salt, cheese, and other ingredients to heighten the flavor.

You can serve grits sweet with butter and sugar or savory with cheese, meat, and vegetables stirred in.  Grits are similar in consistency to a thick porridge.

What’s the difference between white and yellow grits?

White grits has more sugar in it, and yellow grits is higher in starch.  If you don’t have to watch your diet for health reasons, pick the grits you like to eat better.

bowl of cheese grits casserole with cheese and green onion

Are grits better with milk or water?

Grits need to be cooked in a liquid.  The most popular choice is water, but it really depends on what you are serving the grits with.  If you are making grits for breakfast, it’s common to use both water and milk.

If you’re making grits for supper, like for shrimp and grits, it’s more common to use chicken broth.  If you want the taste of the corn grits to shine through, use only water.  If you want to add a bit of cream to your grits, to make them extra creamy, add the cream at the end once the grits are already cooked.

Can cheese grits casserole be made ahead of time?

Grits are best eaten right away, but if you need to make them ahead of time, follow these guidelines.  Make the casserole, but don’t bake it yet.  Instead allow it to cool, cover tightly and refrigerate.  When ready to eat, bake it at 400 F until golden brown.

person holding a spoonful of cheese grits casserole

What to do you serve with cheese grits?

This depends on if you are serving this for breakfast or supper.  If you are having this for breakfast, serve it with eggs, bacon, or sausage.  If you are having this for supper, serve it with seafood (shrimp, scallops, or salmon) and collard greens.

Are grits healthy?

The healthiest type of grits is stone ground grits.  This kind of grits has more texture, because it isn’t ground as finely as quick grits or regular grits.  Grits by themselves are quite healthy, but they are bland, so most people add in other ingredients to improve the taste.  What you add to your grits will determine how healthy they are.

What are the calories in cheese grits casserole?

Our cheese grits casserole has 247 calories for a 3/4 cup serving size.  This casserole is high in vitamin A and calcium and has 19 g carbs per serving.  If you would like more nutritional information, scroll down to the bottom of the recipe card.

baking dish of Southern cheese grits casserole with a spoon

How do you reheat grits casserole?

  • Warm on top of the stove in a pot over medium low heat.  Whisk in some water, milk, or chicken broth to break up the congealed grits and make it less thick.
  • Put the grits in a warm oven for one hour, or until it’s reheated throughout the casserole.

Can cheese grits casserole be frozen?

Cheese grits casserole can be frozen, just follow these tips.  It’s best to assemble the casserole in a freezer to oven safe dish.  Follow steps 1 to 6 in the recipe card.  Allow the cheese grits to cool completely then seal so it’s air tight and place it in the freezer for up to one month.  When ready to use, let it thaw in the fridge and then bake it for 40 minutes in a 400 F.

How to Make Southern Cheese Grits Casserole

 Gather all your ingredients.  Grate the three cheeses: smoked Gouda, extra sharp cheddar and Parmesan then chop the green onion.

ingredients for Southern cheese grits casserole

In a large Dutch oven, pour 5 1/3 cups of filtered water. 

person pouring water into a Dutch oven

Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the water and stir it in.  Cover the Dutch oven and bring the water to a boil.

adding salt to the pot of water

Slowly add the grits to the hot water.

adding grits to the pot of boiling water

Whisk the grits into the boiling water so they don’t clump.  Cook uncovered for 5 minutes or until they have become thick then remove the pot from the element.

whisking the grits into boiling water

Add in 1/2 cup of salted butter.

person adding butter to a pot of grits

Whisk it until it melts and is well incorporated.

person whisking a pot of cooked grits

Add the grated smoked Gouda and the extra sharp cheddar.

whisking grated cheese into a pot of cooked grits

Whisk in the spices: white pepper, garlic powder and the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt.

person holding a tray of spices for cheese grits casserole

In a medium sized bowl, lightly beat 2 eggs with a fork.

person stabbing an egg yolk with a fork

Pour in the 1 1/4 cups of whole milk and whisk together with the eggs.

pouring milk into a bowl of beaten egg

Pour the egg mixture into the cheese grits and whisk until it’s smooth.

whisking the egg and milk mixture into a pot of grits

Grease a casserole dish with butter using your fingers.

person buttering a square baking pan

Pour in the hot cheese grits and sprinkle with the 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese.

sprinkling cheese on top of Southern cheese grits casserole

Bake in a 400 F oven for 30 to 40 minutes.  The casserole should be set in the middle and a nice golden brown color.

dish of Southern cheese grits casserole

When ready to serve, garnish with grated extra sharp cheese and chopped green onion.  Serve it while it’s still hot.

person sprinkling grated cheddar on a bowl of cheese grits casserole

Pro Tips for Cheese Grits Casserole

  • Want to add meat?  Try bacon, sausage, or andouille.
  • Want to add more vegetables?  Try green chilies, jalapeños, spinach, corn, or green bell pepper.
  • Don’t want to add milk?  Try chicken broth.
  • Want additional dairy?  Try sour cream or heavy cream.
  • Want this vegan?  Use vegetable broth, nutritional yeast, and spices.

side view of a bowl of cheese grits casserole

Our Go-To Kitchen Tools for Cheese Grits Casserole

If you like this recipe, try out these other delicious Southern recipes!

person holding a forkful of biscuits and gravy holding one of the buttermilk biscuits cut in half holding a bowl of fried apples

The pleasure of a 5-star review for this Southern cheese grits casserole would be greatly appreciated.

Print
person holding a spoonful of Southern cheese grits

Southern Cheese Grits Casserole


  • Author: Brooke
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 9 cups 1x

Description

Southern cheese grits casserole is a simple breakfast idea, perfect for kids or for a crowd.  This popular comfort food tastes amazing served in a bowl or on a plate, piping hot.  This savory dish is guaranteed to please!


Scale

Ingredients

For the Casserole

  • 5 1/3 cups water (1.26 liters)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 1/2 cups enriched quick grits (253g)
  • 1/2 cup salted butter (115g)
  • 1 cup smoked Gouda, grated (75g)
  • 1 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated (70g)
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup whole milk (295 ml)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated (45g)

For the Garnish

  • 1/2 cup spring onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated (45g)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.  Grease a 9×9-inch baking pan with butter.
  2. Pour the water into a 6-quart Dutch oven and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Stir 1/2 teaspoon of salt into the water.
  3. Once the water is boiling, gradually pour in the 1 1/2 cups of grits, stirring continuously, then turn the heat down to a simmer.  Cook until the grits have become thick, roughly 5 minutes, whisking occasionally.  Remove the pot from the heat.
  4. Add the butter, grated smoked Gouda, grated extra sharp cheddar, garlic powder, white pepper, and the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt.  Whisk thoroughly.  Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
  5. Mix together the eggs and the milk in a separate bowl until blended, then pour the egg mixture into the pot of grits.  Stir until well combined.  Add a bit more milk to thin the grits, if necessary.
  6. Spread the grits in the greased baking pan and sprinkle 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese on top of the grits.
  7. Bake uncovered for 30 to 40 minutes.  The casserole should be set and a nice golden brown on top.
  8. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.  Garnish with chopped green onion and shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese.  Serve while still warm.

Notes

  • Make this recipe perfectly the first time.  Check out the step-by-step photos and pro tips before the recipe card.
  • The pleasure of a 5-star review for this cheese grits casserole recipe would be greatly appreciated.
  • 👩🏻‍🍳 Want to see our latest recipes?  Subscribe to our email newsletter to get our latest recipes, fun food facts, food puns, and behind the scenes news about our blog.
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: baked cheese grits casserole recipe, garlic cheese grits casserole

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5 thoughts on “Southern Cheese Grits Casserole

  1. I had one taste, and LOVED it! I used to not like cheese grits at all. The grits are soft, and the cheese and green onion make it even better.

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