Pimento Cheese Grits

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Pimento Cheese Grits are a classic southern side dish made with stone ground grits and homemade pimento cheese. They're creamy, cheesy and delicious!

cheese grits topped with pimento cheese.
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Why This Recipe is Special

If I could pick one recipe above all the others, it would be pimento cheese grits. First of all, grits are as southern as it gets. I mean, some folks have never even tasted the regular type, let alone the pimento cheese kind.

I just got one thing to say about that. Bless your little hearts!

Classic southern cheese grits taste good any time of the day. They're perfect with eggs for breakfast or brunch, and a great side with barbecue ribs, southern pulled pork, and meatloaf for lunch or dinner. Heck, they're even great as a mid-day snack!

What Are Grits?

Grits are basically ground corn that come in many varieties. You can prepare hominy, quick grits, instant grits, or my favorite...stone ground.

Each type is different, but most southerners prefer cooking with the quick type or stone ground, so that's what I use in this recipe.

biscuits and gravy, cheese grits and bacon on a blue plate

What Do Grits Taste Like?

I get this question all of the time. My answer is usually 'heaven'. But, the real answer is whatever you add to them.

Cooked grits are silky smooth and have the consistency of a thick cereal. Without anything added, they're pretty plain and tasteless. So, of course, southerners have found a way to jazz them up a little!

Down south, you can't get much better than cheese grits, garlic and butter. Put them all together in a big ole pot and, y'all, it's magic. But when you add pimento cheese to the mix...it's just over the top.

How to Make Cheese Grits

Start by boiling 4 cups of water, then add 1 cup of stone ground grits. Cover the pot and simmer on low heat, stirring frequently to keep the grits from sticking. Add more water if needed.

After the grits have simmered for at least 30 minutes, check to see if they are soft and tender. If so, you're ready to fold in the pimento cheese, seasonings and cream.

I have a great recipe for homemade pimento cheese, but you can use store-bought if you wish. If you're gonna buy it, Palmetto Cheese is the closest thing to homemade you can find.

two mason jars filled with pimento cheese with crackers in the foreground.
Homemade Pimento Cheese

Adding The Good Stuff

Once the grits are tender, mix in some salt, garlic powder, dried parsley and half and half. Stir in the pimento cheese, then scoop the grits into small bowls.

Top each bowl with a small scoop of pimento cheese spread, then garnish with more sharp cheddar. It's been called everything from the caviar of the south to southern pate!

I can't say enough good things about this recipe. It's one of those 'gotta try it to believe it' kind of things. After you do, let me know if your southern heart starts to patter!

scoop of pimento cheese on top of stoneground grits in a blue bowl.

Turn This Dish Into a Casserole

You can turn this recipe into a cheese grit casserole by stirring all of the ingredients together and folding in 2 beaten eggs. Bake it in a 350 degree oven for about 30 to 40 minutes until golden brown. That's some good eating right there!

Recipe FAQS

What are stone ground grits?

Stone ground grits (ad) are packed with fiber and nutrients that others (such as quick or instant) don't have. They're not processed as much as the regular type, and qualify as whole grain, which means they also take longer to cook.

What food goes with grits?

Just about any beef, poultry or fish or pork tastes great with grits. In fact, Charleston, South Carolina is known for its Shrimp and Grits which combines broiled or grilled shrimp with gravy. In North Carolina, we like to serve cheesy grits with barbecue and fried chicken.

What toppings can you put on grits?

Some southern folks love to eat their grits with butter and sugar sprinkled on top like a breakfast cereal. Most enjoy adding bacon, sausage or barbecue along with scallions, collards, tomatoes and cheese.

Some folks like them spicy and add hot sauce or cayenne pepper on top! There are a few city folks who add fresh greens like arugula and kale, which is admirable, but not necessarily a southern tradition.


Leftover grits can be stored up to 3 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container. To reheat, add a little water or milk and place them in a saucepan over medium low heat. Stir until heated through. Or, take the easy way out and pop them into the microwave for 60 seconds.

More Southern Sides

If you love this authentic southern recipe, try my other classic southern sides!


Recipe Card

cheesy grits topped with a scoop of pimento cheese in a blue bowl.

Pimento Cheese Grits

Pimento Cheese Grits are a classic southern side dish made with stone ground grits and homemade pimento cheese. They're creamy, cheesy and delicious!
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dishes
Cuisine: Southern
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Calories: 473kcal

*See notes in blog post for detailed tips, photos and instructions.



  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup stone ground grits (ad)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • ½ cup pimento cheese (stirred in grits)
  • teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried parsley
  • ½ cup half & half


  • 1 cup pimento cheese to garnish (divided into 4 scoops)
  • ¼ cup shredded cheddar to garnish


  • In a large dutch oven, (ad) boil water, then add grits, salt, and butter.
  • Cover and simmer grits until tender (about 30 minutes). Stir frequently during this time.
  • Add a little water if needed and stir to prevent scorching.
  • Remove from heat and fold in pimento cheese.
  • Add dried parsley and garlic powder.
  • Stir in half and half.
  • Salt to taste if needed.
  • Stir well and pour into individual bowls.
  • Garnish with a scoop of pimento cheese and shredded cheddar.


  • Stone ground grits take longer than quick grits to become tender. Check frequently and stir throughout cooking time to make sure they do not scorch. 
  • If you can't find stone ground, use quick grits instead, but not instant grits.
  • You can turn this dish into a casserole by following instructions, then add 2 beaten eggs and mix all ingredients together. Pour into a 13 x 9 inch baking dish and bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.


Calories: 473kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Sodium: 989mg | Potassium: 60mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 374mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition info is an auto generated estimate.

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  1. 5 stars
    Oh my gosh! These grits are incredible! I've never tried making them with pimento cheese before but now that I have I'll never go back to the regular grits again! Thanks for a great recipe, Debi.

    1. I'm so glad you liked these pimento cheese grits, Marie! They're one of my favorites! 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    Oh wow. Can’t get more southern! I’ve always loved grits and adding pimiento cheese is genius. Thanks, Debi!

  3. This looks and sounds delicious. I have never considered substituting grits for pasta. This is definitely on my to try list ❤️

    1. Thanks Ronda! I just love cheese grits, and when you add pimento cheese, it's just crazy good!

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