Cheese Grits


"I seriously have received three marriage proposals over a bowl of my cheese grits," says chef Amber Huffman. "I've accepted none so far."

Total Time:
25 mins
6 servings

Grits are a pure Southern food, a cracked corn porridge first introduced to colonists in Virginia by Native Americans. Over the years, they've escalated from what was once considered merely food for the poor into fine dining status — and not just in the Southern states. No matter what the setting, grits are an amazing comfort food to be enjoyed by anyone.

Technically speaking, there's not too big a difference between grits and polenta — they're both made from ground corn. Polenta originated in Italy and is typically made from yellow flint corn, yielding a flakier, chewier texture than grits. Grits are most often made from starchier white dent corn for a sweeter, smoother, more pure corn flavor. Of course, you can definitely find yellow corn grits and white corn polenta, and the way each is ground leads to differing products.

Huffman's recipe for cheese grits adds extra-sharp cheddar and barbecue shrimp, pairing low-country staples.


  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 1 cup old-fashioned grits

  • 4 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (1 1/2 cups)

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Add the garlic and slowly stir in the grits. Reduce the heat to moderately low and cook, stirring frequently, until the grits are tender, 20 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the cheese, butter, and cream. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Cheese Grits
© Brown W. Cannon III

Serve with

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