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Southern Breakfast Grits Recipe


In this post I’ll be sharing a Southern Breakfast Grits Recipe.

Grits have been a staple in the south for centuries. Three quarters of the grits sold in the U.S. are sold in the South. That makes us experts on grits, don’t ya think?!? Traditionally grits were ground on a stone wheel at the local grist mill.

In case you’ve never heard of grits and don’t know, grits are made from corn.

You can still get stone ground grits and that is my personal preference. One rule we follow in the south – never, ever use instant grits!
I remember as a small child, my Daddy would sprinkle a little sugar on grits so that I would eat them. I think many southern parents might use this technique to get children acclimated to grits. When you grow up though, you eat your grits with salt, pepper, and a pat of butter. Real butter!
You’ll see grits on menus all over the country these days since southern food is a trend these days. I’m sharing my recipe for making the perfect grits you’ll love every time.
After you get the hang of this basic grits recipe, try Shrimp and Grits or Blackberry Grits (find the recipe links at the end of this post).

Southern Breakfast Grits Recipe

Grits Ingredients and How to Make Southern Style Grits:
  • Water
  • Heavy Cream
  • Stone Ground Grits
  • Salt
  • Cracked Black Pepper, to taste
  • Butter, plus more for serving

Stone Ground Grits

Southern Stone Ground Grits

Believe or not, grits can be prepared many ways. Some folks like their grits more basic, made with just water and salt. I prefer rich and creamy grits which is why I add the heavy cream and butter during cooking. 

Desired consistency can also vary from person to person. Some like thinner grits and those don’t take as long to cook while other like a thicker creamier consistency.

To make grits, you’ll begin by adding the water, heavy cream, grits, butter, salt and pepper  to a medium sauce pan then cover with a lid and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Stir everything together well when adding it to the pot to ensure each grit is surrounded by the liquid and will not stick together.
We want to avoid lumps in our grits.

The Best Southern Style Grits

How to cook grits
Once your grits begin to boil, reduce the heat to medium low, simmer for 20 minutes for thinner grits or until 30 to 40 minutes until thickened as desired. Stir the grits every 5 minutes during cooking.
How to cook grits
Serve grits immediately when they are done. When eating grits it is customary to maybe add a little more salt and pepper to taste and extra butter if desired.
Thick creamy delicious grits in a serving bowl for breakfast
There are some folk who prefer their grits on the sweeter side and might add a little sugar or honey. I’m a savory grits girl myself. The best grits in my book are thick creamy, rich in flavor and seasoned well. Southern grits are a wonderful main breakfast or breakfast side.
Grits are also enjoyed for all meals of the day as the base topped with shrimp, salmon patties or other seafood. Homemade grits are the best which is why I recommend avoiding instant grits. But hey, they’re your grits and you make them any way that you like.

How to Make Southern Style Grits

The grits below in the yellow serving bowl are on the thinner side which some prefer.

Perfect Creamy Grits

Common Questions About Grits

How are grits made? Grits were originally made at a grits mill where the power of stones, powered by a water wheel, would grind corn to make the grits. Today, grits are still made this way along with modern manufacturing technology.

Why are grits so popular in the South? Grits are a survival staple food that were taught to settlers in the Southern states by the native American people. Through tradition and being so economical, grits have remained popular.

Buttery serving of stone ground cooked grits

Are grits unhealthy? Plain grits are better for you but not very flavorful. The additions of salt, butter or cheese can add higher levels of sodium and fat that you should be aware of.

What is the best brand of grits? Stone ground grits are preferable so look for those. I’ve left a couple of my personal favorites in the recipe card as suggestions.

Southern breakfast food in a bowl

Which is better, white or yellow grits? There is no noticeable difference in taste, it’s a matter of preference.  

Yield: 4 Servings

Southern Style Grits Recipe

Best Southern style Grits in a red and white bowl with a pat of butter on top

Delicious creamy breakfast grits prepared Southern style.

Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes


  • 2 c Water
  • 2 c Heavy Cream
  • 1 c Stone Ground Grits
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • Cracked Black Pepper, to taste
  • 4 tbs Butter, plus more for serving


  1. Add water, heavy cream, butter, grits, and seasonings to a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium high heat.
  2. Cover the pot with a lid and reduce the heat to medium low, simmer for 20 minutes (for thinner grits) or 30 to 40 minutes (for thicker creamier) or until thickened as desired. Stir the grits every 5 minutes during cooking to avoid sticking to the pot and to prevent lumps.
  3. Serve hot with a pat of butter.


Depending on the brand of grits being used, be sure to check the label for instructions and cooking times as they may vary.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 347Total Fat: 55gSaturated Fat: 35gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 65mgSodium: 511mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 4g
See it at the following:
Full Plate Thursday

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Blackberry Grits Recipe

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Try Bacon Cheesy Fried Grits from Kevin is Cooking.

Meet Julia

Author of Julia's Simply Southern

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Miz Helen

Tuesday 11th of October 2016

Congratulatitons!Your recipe is featured on Full Plate Thursday and pinned to our Full Plate Thursday Features Board. Enjoy your new Red Plate and thanks so much for sharing with us!Come Back Soon,Miz Helen

Julia's Simply Southern

Tuesday 11th of October 2016

Wonderful! Thank you so much. See you next time at Full Plate Thursday.


Monday 26th of September 2016

This looks really nice ♥

Julia's Simply Southern

Monday 26th of September 2016

Thank you Summer :)

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