As many of you already know, thanks to social media, I am currently on a family vacation in Hilton Head, South Carolina. While basking in the rich flavors of the South this week, I thought it only fitting that I share with you a Southern recipe packed full of deliciousness. There are many different ways to cook up grits, today I am sharing with you a simple and delicious way to serve this popular Southern dish. The spongy bread-like density of these baked grits gives the dish a hearty consistency, filled with sharp cheddar cheese; and finished off with a crispy bacon and green onion topping. YUM.
Let me back up a bit and tell you about my first grits experience. The first time I had grits happened to be at Cracker Barrel, don’t judge. I remember thinking the grits were bland, but the more butter and salt I added, the more tasty they became…I guess that is true for just about anything?! I imagined them being even better with more flavors and textures, savory or sweet, fried or baked. And they are, sorry Cracker Barrel.
baked cheese grits
prep time: 20 minutes / bake time: 45 minutes / serves: 8
1 1/4 regular grits
2 cups milk
2 cups water
2 tablespoons butter, + more for baking dish
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, + 1/2 cup to top with
pepper to taste
4 strips bacon, cooked crisp and rough chopped
1/4 cup green onion, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Butter a 9×11 baking dish and set aside.
- In a large sauce pan, over medium-high heat, bring to boil 1 1/2 cups milk, water, butter, garlic, and salt.
- Once boiling, whisk in grits and continue whisking until thickened, about one minute.
- Reduce heat to low, cover, and allow to simmer for 4 more minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in grated cheese.
- In a separate bowl, beat eggs and 1/2 cup milk until combined.
- Carefully whisk egg mixture into grits mixture until smooth.
- Carefully pour ingredients into buttered baking dish and top with 1/2 cup cheese.
- Bake for 45 minutes or until grits are raised and golden. Grits should be cooked through and not runny. Serve hot and top with bacon crumbles and chopped green onion.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up-to four days.
I love staying at vacation rentals where I can still cook homemade meals for my family, like this dish which everyone gobbled up. When traveling, tasting the local cuisine is a must, but its nice to have the option to cook instead of relying on the local food when at least trying to eat healthy. While on vacation this week I also made my Chunky Guacamole for family game night and my Coconut Chicken Curry with Sweet Potatoes for dinner one night.
Would love to hear from you! What are some of your favorite dishes to make on vacation?