Recipes | Basics

Cheesy Grits


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Grits Every Day Please!

Grits are simply cooked cornmeal and while they can be enjoyed plain, perhaps with some butter, salt and pepper (see our simple YUMMY photos of this below…. pretty much a perfect “butter vehicle” if you ask us!), they become something very special with the addition of cheese. TA DA! Cheesy Grits!

(Let’s be honest…what DOESN’T become very special without the addition of cheese?!)

Perfectly cooked cornmeal grits with melting butter.

But then you add cheese and the world just becomes that much better…

A bowl of creamy corn grits next to a bowl of shredded cheddar cheese.

Sometimes a little extra cheese is called for. And by the way, you can use yellow or orange cheddar cheese; your choice.

Shredded cheddar cheese being added to a bowl of creamy corn grits.

Cornmeal & Polenta

You might be wondering about cornmeal and FODMAPs.

Polenta, which is a coarse-ground cornmeal, gets its own entry in the Monash app. Lab tests have told us that polenta is low FODMAP in servings of 1 cup (255 g) cooked.

Corn flour – masa harina – has also been lab tested and is low FODMAP in amounts of 2/3 cup (100 g) as a raw ingredient. Check it out in our Low FODMAP Tamales.

If you are wondering about finer textured ground cornmeal, if does not have its own listing in the Monash app, but FODMAP Friendly has lab tested it and it is low FODMAP according to their lab testing at ¾ cup (100 g).

Corn Lovers Rejoice

If you are a corn lover, there are many types of corn from which to choose – including fresh – even when in the Elimination Phase. The Monash app has lab tested cornbread, corn tortillas, corn cereals and more. Take a look at your app to learn more!

Here at FODMAP Everyday® we celebrate corn! Check out these recipes:

When To Serve Cheesy Grits

We consider these Cheesy Grits a Basic recipe in our lives; once you make them you will make excuses to get to eat them. We like them as a side dish to pot roast or as an integral part of our Shrimp and Grits.

You can try different cheeses for varied results.

While we like sharp or extra sharp cheddar be sure to try smoked Gouda or aged Parmesan as well.

Thank you to our fearless FODMAPer and Low FODMAP for Foodies Facebook Group member Lorraine S.T. for suggesting that we update this recipe!

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5 from 3 votes

Cheesy Grits

Cheesy grits are easy to make: milk, water and coarse ground cornmeal enhanced with cheese are cooked together to create a spoonable, versatile side dish. 

Low FODMAP Serving Size Info: Makes about 4 ½ cups (1 kg); 6 servings; each serving ¾ cup (183 g)

Makes: 6 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Author: Dédé Wilson


  • 2 cups (480 m) lactose-free whole milk, 2%, 1% or fat free 
  • 2 cups (480 ml) water 
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 1 cup (138g) coarse ground yellow cornmeal, sometimes labeled polenta; (we prefer stone-ground) 
  • 1/4 cup (½ stick; 57 g) unsalted butter, cut into pieces 
  • 4 ounces (115 g) finely shredded extra sharp cheddar; (about 1½ cups) 
  • Freshly ground black pepper 


  1. Place milk, water and salt in a large heavy bottom pot over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Very slowly sprinkle in cornmeal, whisking all the while until all is added and cornmeal is combined with liquid. Turn heat down to low until the mixture barely simmers and whisk frequently - almost constantly - until mixture is thickened and smooth. The liquid will absorb and you will be able to see whisk marks in the grits but the mixture should be fluid as well as thick. They firm up tremendously as they cool. Total cooking time will be about 20 to 25 minutes.  
  2. Take off heat and whisk in butter and cheese until incorporated. Taste and season generously with pepper. Place back on burner for a few moments, whisking constantly, to heat through and make sure all the cheese is melted. Serve immediately. 



  • Grits do have a tendency to stick to the pot. If you have a pot with rounded bottom corners your whisk will be able to contact all of the grits, making your whisking easier and more efficient.
  • While freshly made grits are the best - they lose their flowy texture upon sitting - you can make them up to two hours ahead and reheat them if absolutely necessary. Add a bit of water to the grits and place over low heat. Stir to re-loosen the grits, incorporate with the water and heat until hot all the way through. Serve immediately.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American


Calories: 272kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 17g | Sodium: 507mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Calcium: 2mg

All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more. For a more detailed explanation, please read our article Understanding The Nutrition Panel Within Our Recipes.