Try this simple yet flavorful breakfast grits recipe. Perfect for breakfast or dinner, this creamy Southern staple is sure to delight!
Grits are a staple in Southern cuisine. Butter and cheese are all they need, but in the usual fashion, I took this grits recipe to the next level by stepping away from the expected. This comforting dish starts with the typical stone ground grits, water, and milk. What sets this grits recipe apart are the toppings! After trying both, I couldn’t decide, so I’m sharing two ways to serve these up. Option one combines mushrooms with mixed greens, while the second features crumbled chorizo and a fried egg! Yes, you read that right! This dish will make your taste buds sing, and I am not exaggerating. It is one of my favorite recipes ever. The grits are super creamy with a subtle flavor, and that subtlety makes them versatile enough to work with various ingredients.
Why You’ll Love This Grits Recipe
- Hearty and wholesome – One serving of grits will keep you full. They are a good source of carbohydrates, fiber, and essential nutrients like niacin, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12. Finish the tasty, no-frills meal with your choice of toppings.
- Scratch-made – These aren’t your average from-the-box grits (although those are delicious). These babies are made from scratch with salt and whole milk.
- Versatile and portable – This grits recipe is perfect for a weekend brunch or a weeknight dinner! Plus, it’s easy to pack up and take to work during the week (always a plus).
- Quick – The process takes 30 minutes and is a half-hour well spent.
- Great flavor – The grits are everything you want in a grits dish. The flavor is spot on, and they take on the taste of whatever you top them with. Mushrooms will add an earthy, savory flavor, while chorizo brings a sweet, smoky heat.
Breakfast Grits Recipe Ingredients
- Grits: This recipe calls for rough grits, often labeled “stone ground grits.” They are whole dried corn kernels coarsely ground between two grist mill stones.
- Water: Water is crucial in any grits recipe because the dried corn needs to hydrate and soften to reach that porridge-like consistency.
- Milk: Milk, with the water, hydrates the dried corn and adds much-needed fat to the grits for richness.
- Mushrooms: Mushrooms with greens are a vegetarian take on classic shrimp and grits. Each spoonful is super savory and satisfying. Go with a mix of your favorites to add depth of flavor.
- Chorizo: Mexican chorizo is the way to go for this grits recipe. It is a fresh ground pork product found in the sausage section of the grocery store. Just remove it from the casing, crumble it, and cook! Spanish chorizo is dry-cured like pepperoni. You can eat Spanish chorizo without cooking. Although delicious, it isn’t what we need for this dish.
(Scroll down to the bottom for the printable recipe card with exact measurements and instructions.)
How to Make Breakfast Grits
- Bring liquids to a boil: Bring the water and milk to a boil, along with some salt. Then, once boiling, reduce to a simmer.
- Whisk in the grits: Continuously whisk as you pour in the grits. This constant movement prevents lumps from forming. Once done, cook (stirring frequently) until almost all the liquid is absorbed.
- Sauté the greens and mushrooms: Cook them in a lightly oiled skillet. This step takes less than 5 minutes.
- Make the chorizo and eggs: Crumble the chorizo into a pan and cook for 6-9 minutes or until nicely browned. Afterward, add eggs to the skillet and cook to your liking. The tasty fat they release is great for cooking eggs.
- Top and serve: Spoon grits into bowls, finish as desired, and enjoy.
Variations, Substitutions & Cooking Tips
Add aromatics – Minced garlic, chopped onion, and bell pepper are all good. They build a flavorful base for the grits.
Experiment with seasonings – In addition to salt, grits can handle various herbs and spices. Although tasty on their own, they’re essentially a blank slate.
Use a heavy-bottomed saucepan or pot – Low and slow cooking is the secret to any good grits recipe. It causes a slow release of starches for a rich, creamy texture.
What Are Grits?
Grits are a type of porridge made from stone-ground corn or hominy. Hominy is corn treated with alkali to remove the hull and germ. Corn is ground into a coarse meal, then boiled in water or milk until soft with a creamy consistency. Grits can be flavored with salt, butter, cheese, or other seasonings and are often served as a hot breakfast dish or as a side dish with savory toppings like cheese, gravy, or vegetables. They are a staple food in Southern American cuisine and have a long history in the region.
Grits vs. Polenta
Grits and polenta are both dishes made from cornmeal, but they have some distinct differences:
- Origin: Grits are a staple of Southern American cuisine, while polenta is a traditional dish from Northern Italy.
- Type of Corn: Grits are typically made from hominy, corn that has been treated with an alkali to remove the hull and germ, while polenta is made from a finer ground yellow corn that hasn’t been treated with an alkali.
- Consistency: Grits are usually creamy, rich, and soft, while polenta presents a few more possibilities. It can be served as a porridge (like grits), boiled until firm and cut into slices, or fried/grilled.
- Flavor: Grits can be seasoned with salt, butter, cheese, or other seasonings and often served with savory toppings. The simplest polenta is flavored with butter, salt, and parmesan cheese. It’s also not uncommon to serve polenta with sauce or gravy.
Overall, both grits and polenta are delicious and versatile. The choice between them comes down to personal preference and cultural heritage.
- 1 cup rough corn grits
- 2 cups water
- 2½ cups whole milk
- 1½ tsp salt
- Mixed Greens & Mushrooms
- 1 cup mixed mushrooms
- 1 cup mixed greens
- Chorizo and Fried Egg
- 2-3 chorizo links
- 2-3 eggs
- To make the grits, bring the milk, salt, and water to a boil.
- Reduce to a simmer and gradually pour in the grits while whisking continuously.
- Continue to cook and whisk until almost all of the milk has been absorbed (if you cook them too long they will start to clump, to fix this add a bit more milk) this should take about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
- To make the greens, add about 1 tsp. of olive oil to a small saute pan and heat over a medium-high heat. Add half of the mushrooms and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Add the greens and the remainder of the mushrooms, toss together to combine and cook for about 1 minute before removing from heat.
- In a pan, cook the chorizo through on medium heat.
- Cook the eggs in the same pan until the whites are cooked all the way through.
- Serve immediately.
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