Best Southern Cheese Grits

savory cheese grits close up on a clear plate

Sharing is caring!

Cheese grits are just about my favorite southern food group and definitely a comfort culinary staple in our house! Sharp cheddar cheese, Rotel tomatoes, butter, cream, garlic, and stone ground grits…should I say more? Make these for Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving, Christmas, Easter, or any day of the week.

What are Grits?

Grits are made from hominy corn, ground into a grain and are naturally gluten free. Plain ol’ quick cooking grits loaded with delicious cheeses, butter, cream, garlic (check out my easy peeling garlic method)….well you get the picture; kinda taste bud nirvana! And then add Ro-tel tomatoes, Cajun seasonings, garlic salt, green onions and you’ve got nothing less than a little taste of heaven!

Cheese Grits are simple to make!

If you’ve never made cheese grits then get ready for a real treat! They’re so simple, quick, and almost fool proof to put together. It’s definitely a dish for all types of cooks. This recipe can make a novice cook look like a pro!

Not only are they almost dummy-proof, they complement almost any food you pair with them. Christmas tenderloin, Thanksgiving mac and cheese substitute, Easter ham, barbecue ribs-chicken-steaks, fish, shrimp, any veggie dish, or a simple salad with this yummy Dijon Italian Dressing on top. They even represent lucky gold food at New Years!!

Grits for breakfast is a really good thing!

Topped off with a few runny fried eggs and they make a perfect breakfast treat. The hardest part to this dish is waiting for them to get done.

Golden Cheese Grits on a clear plate on a blue background

Golden Yummy Cheese Grits

The absolute number one ingredient you can not skip when making this traditional southern dish is butter. Butter is no doubt key to making a great dish of grits…and lots of it! Simple butter paired with garlic, salt and pepper is about as easy and yummy as it gets.

Bake them or just leave mushy, it’s totally up to you. Note: if using eggs for a casserole dish then baking is a must. It’s probably a good idea to bake them for at least 15 minutes.

Plain Grits cooked with cream and butter in a pan with a stir spoon

Lots of melted butter!

Old Recipes are the Best!

The recipe below is from a Paula Deen’s cookbook I’ve had for years. If you’ve not familiar with her she’s just about the best southern cook around. Her recipes are basic, easy to make and always crowd pleasing. I’ve made this recipe quite a bit and always deviate from the original. My recent deviation resulted in the best, according to my friends and family, cheese grits I’ve ever made.

Original cook book recipe for Tomato Grits from Paula Deen's cookbook

Original Recipe

How I make Cheese Grits

  • First start out cooking the grits on top of the stove. Instead of using water and milk, chicken broth and cream were used.
  • Then add Velveeta and garlic paste. These were subbed for the Kraft Garlic Cheese (Kraft doesn’t make this anymore so don’t go looking for it like I have in the past).
  • For the seasoning garlic salt and Cajun seasonings replaced the plain salt. And of course ground black pepper was generously added.

White grits in a pan with melted cheese and green onions

  • After the Velveeta is melted in, mix the eggs, Ro-Tel, green onions and extra cheese (saving about 3/4 cup of cheese to sprinkle on top).
    Holiday cheese grits unbaked in a red casserole dish

    Use a colorful dish for beautiful presentation.

  • Pour into a greased casserole pan, sprinkling the remaining cheese on top, and bake at 350 for about 40 minutes or until set (not jiggly in the center).
  • For added spice I sprinkled chili powder on top, YUM!

After this yumminess is done, let it cool off for a bit and then serve. This dish is soooooo holiday friendly! You can make this up a few days earlier, refrigerate it and then pop it in the oven before your big meal.

Cooked Holiday Cheese Grits in a purple Rachael Ray stoneware dish

Delicious and visually pleasing.

Wallah…Isn’t it beautiful? Look at all that golden cheese, doesn’t it just make your mouth water? The colorful cookware really makes this dish pop!

Cooked Holiday Cheese Grits on a clear plate on a turquoise background

Best Crowd Pleaser Award!

When I bring food to a gathering or just cooking for my family I’m ALWAYS looking to make an impression. These yummy grits are just the perfect dish to do just that! Your people will think you are the best cook on the planet with these grits…and isn’t that the goal? To be memorable and loved??💘

Enjoy and make everyday special!


Disclaimer: Clicking on the informative, interesting, and helpful advertisements in this post will result in a very small residual for this blog so please feel free to click away:)

savory cheese grits close up on a clear plate

Spicy Cheese Grits

Adjusted by Elise from Paula Deen's Lady & Sons II
Cheesy golden southern grits kicked up with Ro-Tel, Cajun seasonings, and chili powder.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
cooking time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Breakfast, Main Course, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American, Southern
Servings 12


  • 2 cups chicken broth or water
  • 1.25 cups whipping cream or milk
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 cup grits, quick cooking
  • 2 tsp Cajun seasoning or to taste
  • 1 tsp pepper or to taste
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 3 large green onions, chopped or snipped
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 6 oz velvetta cheese
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 10 oz Ro-Tel diced tomatoes & green chiles undrained
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten


  • Pre-heat oven to 350.
  • Use large saucepan to bring broth and cream to a boil, add salt, and slowly add the grits. Return to a boil, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Reduce heat, cover, and cook for 3 more minutes.
  • Stir butter into grits and continue to stir until butter completely melted and incorporated into grits. Cover and cook an additional 3-5 minutes until grits are thick and creamy. Remove from heat and let set.
  • Add onions, both cheeses, and garlic paste. Stir until cheese is melted and incorporated. Add the Ro-tel and mix well. Stir in the beaten eggs, then pour into a 8x11x2 inch casserole.
  • Bake for 40 mins or until set in the middle. Sprinkle on more grated cheese to just cover the top. Back an additional 5-10 mins.
  • Let rest before serving. ENJOY!


Serving: 0gCarbohydrates: 0gProtein: 0gFat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0gMonounsaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 0mgPotassium: 0mgFiber: 0gSugar: 0gVitamin A: 0IUVitamin C: 0mgCalcium: 0mgIron: 0mg
Keyword barbacue, gluten free, grits, holiday, side dish, southern, spicy
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

the best ever spicy cheese grits pinterest pin photo

facebook grits

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Comment
Recipe Rating

Thanks for stopping by!

Want to be the first to hear what's coming up?

Enter your email address and we'll be in touch with all kinds of new recipes for your taste buds, easy DIY home ideas and gardening fun!!!

Thank You For Subscribing

This means the world to us!

Spamming is not included! Pinky promise.