Cheesy Grits with Spinach and Fried Eggs

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When a savory recipe is made and loved in my household as much as this one, I know I can’t wait long before sharing it with you. Andy & I have enjoyed this for breakfast more Sunday mornings than I can count, and the flavor and texture combo is so great- I knew you all had to know about it.

Until recently- I thought grits were bland mush that existed in the south as form of torture. They never looked very good, and the one time I tried them at Cracker Barrel I was left un-impressed. That was before I understood the amazing-ness that are cheesy, buttery grits which are the perfect vessel for a number of things like- bacon, grilled shrimp, and in this case spinach and runny eggs. Even though we consider this to be a bit of a special breakfast, it takes very little time to make and is so creamy and delicious. I love that I’m getting some protein and greens in addition to the decadent grits.

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Did you know that grits and polenta start as the same thing and the only difference comes in how you prepare them? I didn’t until my sister heard it from Alton Brown who is incidentally the brains behind the grits recipe. We seriously make it ALL the time- it’s just so creamy and delicious. If you like me are a grits skeptic this may just be the recipe to change your mind!

Cheesy Grits with Spinach and Fried Eggs

Cheesy Grits with Spinach and Fried Eggs

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup grits*
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces cheese, cheddar, parmesan, gouda etc, shredded
  • large handful of fresh baby spinach
  • 4 eggs

Instructions

  1. Place the milk, water, and salt into a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
  2. When the milk mixture is boiling, slowly add the grits in while whisking. Lower the heat and cover. Remove cover every minute or two continuing to stir to prevent clumping or sticking. Cook until grits are creamy. (Time will vary depending on what type of grits you use.)
  3. Remove from the heat, the black pepper and butter and cheese. Stir until well combined and melted.
  4. Toss in the spinach and stir, folding the hot grits over the spinach until it is wilted.
  5. Fry the eggs as desired, (I like mine over-easy.) Spoon grits and spinach into bowls and top with fried eggs.

Notes

*I used quick-cooking grits which only take about 5 minutes. If you aren't using this type you'll want to allow 15-20 minutes for the grits to absorb all the liquid and get creamy.Grit recipe adapted from Alton Brown

Nutrition Information:
Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g

Did you make this recipe?

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30 Comments

  1. I’d never heard about grits before…I mean, I didn’t even know it existed! Now I’m really curious to try out this recipe, especially since I’m a huge fan of the spinach-cheese-fried egg combo! I love when you post savory recipes, can’t wait for more to come!

    xo, Elisa

    1. Have you heard of polenta? It’s the same thing :)

      1. Love grits/polenta.. serve them both for either breakfast or dinner .. by themselves or with a topping.. fried egg and herbs or even a red sauce or pesto.. I even served with Beef Bourguignon.. absolutely delish.

  2. Confession: I have never had grits. But, I am from Canada originally and we just don’t make ’em there.
    I have been wanting to try them out and this looks like a fannnntastic way to do so!
    I mean, cheese, butter and fried eggs? All over that.

  3. Oh, grits. Bless my Southern heart, grits are my comfort food. I like ’em with sharp cheddar and pickled jalapenos. For breakfast. I like spicy breakfast foods :)

  4. I had grits for the first time in Charleston this past fall, and they totally blew my mind! I need these for breakfast!

  5. I made this for supper last night. It was so good and comforting. Thank you for clarifying that polenta and grits are the same thing. We eat polenta regularly, but I never knew that I was also eating grits. The way you prepare them above is the same as how I prepare polenta.

  6. this looks like a GREAT meal
    kind of reminds me of italian pasting which is one of baby’s first foods in Italy…and has become comfort food for adults! i will have to make it for you audra! my kids LOVE it!
    One cup water w a little salt to boil
    1/4 cup pastina
    6 min
    then crack an egg and whip it in the water
    add butter, cheese and chili flakes on top
    DELICIOUS

  7. Rebecca K. says:

    Alright Baker Chick.
    I have made this recipe 2 days in a row! So delicious.
    We make eggs almost every morning in our house so throwing a pan on for the grits while the eggs are cooking is pretty easy! Yesterday I used parm cheese and today Feta, which I might prefer?
    Thanks for this recipe!

  8. You were saying that grits and polenta start as the same thing – does that mean that I can use polenta as a substitute in this recipe? We can’t can grits where I live in Botswana, but this looks so delicious, I was wondering if you think it will work with polenta?

    1. Yes assuming you are starting with dry ground grits/polenta. Sometimes they sell polenta in a log and that is not the same thing!

  9. Yum, This has got my name all over it!! Such a fantastic combination of flavors :)

  10. Found this recipe this morning. Made it for breakfast and it was delicious! Just love it. It will definitely become a regular on the breakfast rotation. I’m a big fan of grits. Thank you for sharing!

  11. grits are the perfect vehicle for anything else, including cheesey eggs :) Glad you like em, and thanks for sharring!

  12. I am in the deep South & we love our grits at any meal. My daughter made honor roll today so I am making her favorite- runny eggs (aka over medium). Thanks for the recipe; I wanted something with a bit of veggies. I’m serving this with Salmon Patties, another Southern classic.

  13. Delicious! I just made it for a quick lunch-didn’t have spinach on hand, so I’ll try it next time. I usually make my quick grits in the microwave with just water, and didn’t realize they could be so creamy. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  14. I had heard of grits, but coming from Australia, I thought it was some foreign grain that we didn’t have here! How funny that it’s polenta! I made this for breakfast this morning and enjoyed it. First time having polenta for breakfast. I used kale which I needed to microwave beforehand because it was quite tough but it worked well. I will definitely try this again with spinach. Thanks so much for the recipe.

  15. I just made these grits and I’m on my second helping! I used cream cheese (that’s all I had) and topped it off with a couple splashes of Cholula – delicious! I’ve been trying to get back to eating whole foods and this will definitely be on the menu again.

  16. Kristi Goines says:

    I’d like to try this! Can you use frozen spinach?

  17. I have made this several times and it is delicious! My Hubble is not a spinach eater but enjoys this as long as I chop the spinach. Today I am adding pimentos to add flavor and color!

  18. Omg I had never had grits before I found this recipe. It looked so good I bought some instant grits on our last grocery trip. Followed this recipe exactly and holy cow, that was DELICIOUS. The texture of grits reminds me so much of pastina (which I LOVED growing up). I’m officially hooked & we’ll be making this again!

  19. I made this today and it is truly delicious. However, I respectfully point out – – grits and polenta are not the same. Polenta comes from yellow corn, grits from white corn. Grits are typically finer in texture. And, they generally differ geographically, too. Polenta is easier to find up North, while grits are found down South. They substitute one for the other quite nicely.

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