This easy recipe for cheesy grit cakes is a great breakfast pairing with bacon, eggs, or all by their cheesy selves!
Now, I know not everyone is a fan of grits. Maybe you have tried them and just don’t like them (I understand, I feel that way about mushrooms and olives and eggplant).
Or maybe you’ve heard of them but aren’t convinced and so you haven’t tried them yet, which was pretty much my situation before I got together with this handsome Southern guy….
…and he introduced me to the deliciousness that is grits! (Check out his adorable Durham Bulls cap – they are our home team now!)
I now make grits on the regular, especially since I am now an honorary Southerner, and as usual I like to mess with success.
And in this case, that means cooking up a mess of grits, cooling them down, cutting them into squares and frying them up into crispy, buttery deliciousness!
What Are Grits Again?
Grits are specific kind of ground corn. Unlike cornmeal which is pretty finely ground (and used to make polenta), grits are coarser and sturdier, and are processed a bit differently to retain that delectable texture.
And, grits themselves come in all kinds of varieties…everything from instant grits (only to be eaten in case of emergency from my point of view!) to quick cooking grits (also known as 5 minute grits) to stone ground grits, which have the richest texture and taste.
If I am making regular grits I always go for stone ground (especially the Pencil Cobb grits from Anson Mills, which are a little spendy but SO DANG GOOD). For recipes like this one where you are frying up your cooked grits, the 5 minute grits are just fine.
Ingredients For Cheesy Grit Cakes!
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Here’s How To Make Cheesy Grit Cakes!
STEP 1: Grease a 13 x 9 inch pan with butter and set aside.
STEP 2: Whisk one egg and a half cup of milk together in a small bowl and set aside.
STEP 3: Pour 6 cups of water into a large pot and bring to a boil. Add salt and then pour in 2 cups of 5 minute grits, whisking the whole time.
Pro tip: I used 5 minute grits for this recipe (which are different from instant grits) – however, if you want to try this recipe with whatever grits you have on hand you definitely can, as long as you cook them so they are nice and thick.
STEP 4: Cook the grits for 5 minutes, stirring from time to time – you want these grits to be THICK.
STEP 5: Whisk about 1 tablespoon of hot grits into reserved egg-milk mixture until well combined. Slowly whisk this mixture back into grits until well blended. Stir in 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese.
STEP 6: Transfer the grits into the greased pan, smoothing them out with a spatula so they are even. Let them cool off to room temperature, and then pop them in the fridge until they are cool and firm (at least a few hours, but I like to do this overnight).
STEP 7: When you are ready to make the grit cakes, let the pan come back to room temperature, and cut the grits into squares.
STEP 8: Add 2 tablespoons of butter to a large nonstick skillet and heat over medium high heat until melted. Add grit cakes and cook until golden on both sides, about 4 minutes per side.
Serve warm with butter on top!
More Tips For Making Cheesy Grit Cakes!
This recipe was made with 5 minute grits, sometimes called fast cooking grits (which are different from instant grits) – however, if you want to try this recipe with whatever grits you have on hand you definitely can, as long as you cook them so they are nice and thick.
You want to almost be able to stand up a wooden spoon in the middle of the pot. And they will thicken more as they cook.
Nope! While technically they are both forms of ground corn, grits are a more substantial texture, which you definitely need for this recipe.
Five minute quick cooking grits are usually either in the cereal aisle near the oatmeal in your grocery store. And if you want to go to Grits Heaven, treat yourself to the Pencil Cob Grits from Anson Mills.
Now, everyone in my multigenerational house loves grits, but I think they all fell a little more head over heels when I gave them a stack of warm grit cakes with a nice dollop of butter melting on the top.
All of which is to say…hurray for grits!