Go Back
grits closeup

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 1/2 cups (1 kg); 6 servings; each serving 3/4 cup (183 g)

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Makes: 6 servings
Calories: 272 kcal
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 (1/2 stick; 57 g) unsalted butter, cut into pieces 
  • 4 ounces (115 g) finely shredded extra sharp cheddar; (about 11/2 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.
Nutrition Facts
Cheesy Grits
Amount Per Serving
Calories 272 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 17g26%
Sodium 507mg21%
Carbohydrates 21g7%
Fiber 4g16%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 9g18%
Calcium 2mg0%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.