Pimento Cheese Grits are a classic southern side dish made with stone ground grits and homemade pimento cheese. They're creamy, cheesy and delicious!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
Pimento Cheese Grits
*See notes in blog post for detailed tips, photos and instructions.
- 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.
Nutrition info is an auto generated estimate.
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