Pimento Cheese Grits combine two southern favorites into one creamy, dreamy dish that will become a staple at your breakfast, brunch or dinner table.
Seriously... what is more Southern than pimento cheese? The only answer to that is grits. We love both down here, and a marriage of these two culinary masterpieces makes one quintessentially Southern side dish.
I do know that everyone has their own preferred grit texture, though, so be aware that this recipe will make thick, creamy, cheesy pimento cheese grits. If you prefer yours thinner, opt for a milk with less fat or add extra milk. Want it less cheesy? Feel free to use less pimento cheese.
- Grits - We use and recommend "quick" grits. This is the type that cooks in 5 minutes, but is not instant grits.
- Milk - For rich and creamy grits use whole milk. You can, however, use 2%, 1% or even skim milk for a lighter version of this recipe.
- Pimento Cheese - Homemade is always best and we recommend our Old Fashioned Pimento Cheese for this recipe. If you don't have time to make it, our favorite store bought brand is Palmetto Cheese.
- Butter - salted or unsalted is fine.
- Cajun Seasoning - this is an optional ingredient. We often use our recipe for Blackening Seasoning because we always have it on hand. If going storebought, our favorite is Tony Chachere's Original.
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes or Cayenne Pepper is optional if you like a bit of heat.
See recipe card for full ingredients and quantities.
How to make Pimento Cheese Grits
- Make the grits according to the directions on the package using salt and milk (not water). You'll need a fairly large saucepan.
- Stir in the remaining ingredients and stir until thoroughly blended and hot. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
- To make them extra pretty you can garnish with green onions or parsley.
- Use a whisk to stir your grits. That's the easiest way to be assured of lump free grits with a creamy consistency.
- Adjust your added salt to taste. The amount needed can vary with the type of butter used, and whether or not you use Cajun seasoning.
- Add additional milk if the grits seem to thick after cooking. Just add it a little at the time so you don't get them too thin.
- Leave the Cajun seasoning out if you prefer.
- Add about 2 Tablespoons of bacon bits.
- Use seasoning salt instead of the Cajun seasoning
- Leave out the red pepper flakes if you don't care for the spicy kick of heat.
If you have some already made, or time to make it homemade is always best. We have several recipes to choose from (listed below), but classic Old Fashioned Pimento Cheese is our personal favorite. If you use one of our spicy recipes you may want to leave out the red pepper flakes. If you make your own, be sure to use sharp cheddar cheese.
Of course! Stored in an airtight container they'll keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. To reheat you will stir them over very low heat until thoroughly hot. They will be stiff at first and you may need to add a little additional milk.
Any time! Typically thought of as a breakfast dish grits can also be served as a side at brunch, lunch or dinner. In the south grits are commonly served with seafood.
What to serve your grits with
Other ways to use your pimento cheese
Whether you make your own or buy it, you'll have some leftover after making these grits so we've listed a few of our favorite ways to use it.
- Serve on toast or crackers with bacon bourbon jam
- Super simple appetizers in mini phyllo cups (also with bacon)
- Serve with fried green tomatoes
- Combine pimento cheese, bacon bourbon jam, and fried green tomatoes into sandwiches called Spicy Southerners
- Serve it at happy hour on a Southern-themed appetizer board
- Make a pimento cheese ball for a party
- Make pimento cheese-stuffed sliders for dinner
Pimento Cheese recipes
Besides the classic old fashioned recipe linked to in the Ingredient notes section above we also have a Spicy and Smoky Pimento Cheese (that one is made with cream cheese) as well as one for Pepper Jack Pimento Cheese. Either would be great here - just adjust your seasonings according to taste.
If you're here you must love interesting grits so you'll also want to get the recipe for Grits with Corn and Jalapenos. It's a copycat recipe from the restaurant Marlow's Tavern.
Pimento Cheese Grits
- Cook grits according to package directions with 4 cups milk and 1 teaspoon salt.
- Stir in remaining ingredients and heat thoroughly. Serve immediately!
- Adjust to your spice preference by using more or less red pepper flakes or using pimento cheese with or without jalapenos.
- Whole milk, 2%, 1% or skim may be used but will affect richness of the grits.
- You can used store bought pimento cheese or make your own homemade. If you're going to buy it, we love Palmetto and if you want to make your own, here is our favorite recipe!