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This is simply coarse ground cornmeal cooked until it is a thick but flowable texture. Perfect for breakfast with butter and maple syrup or for serving alongside pot roast, pork ragu or saucy shrimp dishes.

Course: Breakfast, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Makes: 8 Servings
Calories: 141 kcal
Author: Dédé Wilson


  • 6 cups (1.4 L) water, lactose-free whole milk, 2%, 1% or fat free
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra
  • 1 1/2 cups (207 g) coarse ground yellow cornmeal, we prefer stone-ground
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick; 57g) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Place liquid and 1 teaspoon salt in a large heavy bottom pot over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Sprinkle cornmeal in slowly, whisking all the while until it is all 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. As the liquid absorbs and the mixture thickens you will be able to see whisk marks in the grits, but do not overcook. The mixture should remain fluid; you want the mixture to be able to flow from a spoon. Total cooking time will be about 20 to 25 minutes and they should be creamy and tender. Do not rush cooking or the grits will not soften adequately. Add more liquid if necessary if they firm up to quickly.
  2. Remove from heat and whisk in butter until incorporated. Taste and season generously with pepper and more salt, if desired.
  3. While freshly made grits are the best - they firm up tremendously upon cooling - 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.


  • Grits have a tendency to stick to the pot. A heavy bottomed pot, that conducts heat evenly, is your best bet and if it has rounded corners, you will be able to stay in contact with the grits as you stir and whisk, further eliminating the potential for sticking or burning.
Nutrition Facts
Amount Per Serving
Calories 141 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Sodium 291mg12%
Carbohydrates 19g6%
Fiber 5g20%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 2g4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.