Every home cook needs a cheese grits casserole recipe in their collection. This one is mine and it is SO GOOD! These cheesy grits are great with breakfast or ANY meal!
It wasn't until we moved to Mississippi that I fell in love with cheese grits. I think I tried buttered grits a few times before moving to the south, but I didn't know about this love affair with cheesy grits until I became immersed in the culture of southern food. Now this cheese grits casserole is a staple in my home.
About This Recipe
Years ago, I was a part of a sweet women's study on Wednesday mornings. Each week, a different small group in the study was responsible for bringing a breakfast potluck. Without fail, there was always a dish of cheese grits casserole. Always!
The cheesy grits were what I looked forward to most for those weekly gatherings. In fact, I possibly spooned seconds more times than not. It was always a treat to gather and be fed with like-minded moms for fellowship and study.
During one of those years, I collected the breakfast recipes from all the moms and organized them into a stapled handout so we could keep the recipes at the end of the year when the study was over. This cheese grits casserole recipe is a slight variation from one found in the book.
Grab a tub or box of quick grits at the store then the rest you probably have on hand! Below is a list of what you need to make cheese grits casserole.
Grocery List for Cheese Grits Casserole:
- Quick grits - My favorite brand is Jim Dandy, or use any quick grits you prefer. NOT instant.
- Shredded cheddar - I prefer sharp cheddar but use what you like. You can even mix up the flavors.
- Parmesan cheese - The grated kind in a tub is just fine.
- Unsalted butter - If you only have salted on hand, cut the salt from the recipe.
- Milk - Any kind. Half and half works, too.
- Eggs - We use 3 large so it's souffle like.
- Seasonings - This recipe calls for salt, garlic salt and cayenne. You can adjust to your liking.
You also need water to boil the grits -- just water from your sink will do! Note in the tips below that chicken stock/broth or a combination of water and cream can be used, too.
Click here, or scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post, for the full recipe ingredients and instructions.
Scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the step-by-step on how to make cheese grits casserole. The general steps are as follows:
- Preheat oven and grease casserole pan.
- Bring water and salts to boil over high heat.
- Stir in grits. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring often.
- Remove from heat and stir in cheese and butter.
- Mix in milk, eggs and cayenne.
- Transfer to casserole dish and bake at 350°F for 45 minutes.
- Let cool 10 minutes before serving.
Tips and Tricks
This is my go-to recipe for cheesy grits, but let me give you a few tips I've learned over the years.
- Jim Dandy brand of grits is my favorite. There's just something about Jim Dandy grits that taste better. I can't tell you why, just a personal preference. If you can't find Jim Dandy brand in your stores (looking at you my northern friends!) then other brands will do just fine!
- Use quick grits NOT instant grits. Please do not make this mistake.
- For many recipes I like to shred a block of cheddar instead of buying pre-shredded bags. Freshly shredded just melts better and has less grease. BUT, either will work.
- Boil the grits in a combination of chicken broth and water (equal to the 3 cups) or mostly water and a little bit of cream for extra richness.
Storage and Leftovers
Store: Keep leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 5 days.
Reheat: Reheat individual portions in the microwave, in 30 second increments.
Freeze: You can freeze cheese grits casserole after baked and reheat in microwave or oven until heated through.
More Breakfast Casserole Recipes
- Easy Sausage Breakfast Casserole
- Crock Pot Sausage and Egg Breakfast Casserole
- Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole
- Pimento Cheese Breakfast Bake
This recipe was originally published August 2019 and updated December 2021 with optimized photos.
Cheese Grits Casserole
- 3 cups cold water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 cup quick grits (not instant)
- 1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I prefer sharp cheddar)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup milk (or half & half)
- 3 large eggs lightly beaten
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease medium sized casserole dish with non-stick spray. (I use my 8-inch square Pyrex.)
- In a large saucepan over high heat, stir together the water, salt and garlic salt and bring to a boil. Slowly stir in the grits with a wooden spoon. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until thickened, stirring every so often.
- Remove pan from heat. Uncover and stir in the cheddar, Parmesan cheese and butter until melted. Mix in the milk, eggs and cayenne until combined. Transfer mixture to the prepared baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes, or until set in the middle and golden.
- Remove from the oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.
- Nutrition information is an estimate only.
- Source: Slightly adapted from Jim Dandy's recipe