In this addictive Baked Cheese Grits recipe, creamy rich Southern Grits are cooked with garlicky butter and cheddar and parmesan cheeses then baked to perfection. Each flavorful bite oozes melts on the tongue. Make these grits casserole for your next family breakfast or serve them for dinner as a side dish. If you want more amazing brunch recipes like these, serve my Shrimp Scampi over these grits, Sweet Potato Grits, or Cauliflower Grits and serve with Brown Sugar Bacon, This Chorizo Breakfast Skillet, Easy Breakfast Casserole, Hash Browns, Hoe Cakes and Bacon Cheddar Biscuits.
The BEST Cheese Grits Casserole Baked to Perfection!
“Home is wherever the grits are made”. Someone famous said that right? Well, even if that’s not the case I still choose to use it as a personal motto. Grits are a Southern staple that you can find in homes and diners all across the South. I grew up eating my Big Mama’s grits for breakfast on cozy Sunday mornings and as a side to her famous pork chop dinners. Her grits were decadent, creamy and stirred with love.
Now, I make my Big Mama’s grits when I’m in need of something to bring me back. The memories come flooding with each bite and I welcome that. This recipe is one that I’m obsessed with. The added cheese, garlic and spices create a bowl of pure joy.
Take my advice, make these grits and keep the whole pot to yourself. Or share, up to you!
Where Did Southern Grits Come From?
I really go into detail about Grits in my How to Make Grits post but as a brief reminder, they have been a staple in the Southern diet for centuries! Way back when, before ships set sail for the “New World”, Native Americans were cooking a soft, mashed corn dish. Settlers were introduced to the dish in 1584 when they dined with local natives.
Eventually, settlers in Jamestown, Virginia were taught how to make this stone-ground corn porridge by natives themselves. Grits continued on to become extremely popular in the South. South Carolina even declared grits as their official state food!
Today, grits are more popular than ever, and I’m not mad about that at all.
How To Make Cheese Grits Recipe
Don’t let grits intimidate you- they may seem a bit difficult but honestly, they couldn’t be easier to make. All you need is a bit of time, patience and a whole lot of love! Here are a couple tips to ensure you make the best grits ever.
Tip 1: Buy the Right Kind of Grits
Don’t use instant grits! This cheese grits recipe calls for your grits to be cooked slowly so they have time to absorb those yummy flavors. Instant grits will change in texture if you attempt to cook them longer than the suggested cooking time. Old-fashioned or stone-ground grits are capable of withstanding the lengthened cooking period.
Tip 2: Freshly Shred Your Cheese
Store-bought shredded cheese will work perfectly well but if you can, freshly shredded cheese is the way to go. To get the maximum amount of ooey-gooey cheesiness, buy a block of cheese and shred it yourself. Trust me, you’ll notice the difference!
Tip 3: Cook to Your Preferred Thickness
Everyone has a preference when it comes to the thickness of their grits. If you like them to be runnier, add more milk or water. If you like them thicker, don’t add as much liquid. This recipe will produce something right in the middle.
Why This Baked Cheese Grits Recipe Are A Great Side Dish
Any Southerner will back me up when I say that grits go with just about everything. Grits have an incredible way of being flavorful while still taking the backseat to their counterpart. The creamy texture, pungent cheese and subtle garlic merge together to create something both unique and complimentary.
I love using this cheese grits casserole as a bed for saucy short ribs, blackened shrimp or even just a couple of fried eggs instead of mashed potatoes all the time. No matter what you serve them with, these grits are sure to jazz up any meal!
Recipe Pairings for Grits Casserole
Still stumped on how to serve your grits? Here are a few ideas to get you started! Pair your grits with any one of these recipes and you’ve got one heck of a meal.
- Pomegranate Braised Short Ribs
- Brown Sugar Mississippi Pot Roast
- Southern Smothered Pork Chops
- Easy Shrimp Scampi Recipe and Grits
- BBQ Shrimp and Grits
Baked Cheese Grits Recipe
- Kosher salt to taste
- 8 cups water
- 2 cups old fashioned grits
- 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese I used medium here but feel free to use what you prefer (mild, medium or sharp)
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 3 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 cup salted butter
- 2 cups whole milk
- 3 large eggs beaten
- Optional: Grated parmesan cheese and parsley sprinkled on top
- Add salt to water and bring to a boil.
- Add grits to boiling salted water, whisking into the water then lower heat to the lowest setting and cook covered until grits are tender but still pourable, about 12-18 minutes.
- Remove from heat and whisk in cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, minced garlic and butter. Continue whisking until both the cheeses and butter are melted and well combined.
- Next, while vigorously whisking, add milk and eggs and continue to whisk quickly so the eggs won’t scramble.
- Pour grits into a large greased 4 quart casserole dish then sprinkle parmesan cheese on top and bake at 325 for 60-70 minutes or until grits just shake slightly. You can also broil for a couple of seconds to make a gorgeous brown color on top.
- Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.