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Jalapeño Cheddar Grits Recipe

Jalapeño Cheddar Grits make a fantastic meal or side. This staple of the south is certainly amazing.

Jalapeño Cheddar Grits Photo

I’m a Southern boy. I was born in Texas, but I grew up in the Carolinas. I also lived in south Louisiana and Atlanta (although I’m not sure Atlanta really counts as the South). It should come as no surprise that I love Southern food.

I grew up eating fried chicken, buttermilk biscuitscornbread and peach cobbler. One thing I did not grow up eating, however, was grits. Sure, grits are common down South, but it’s not like they show up at every meal.

Funny story: the first person my wife and I met when we moved to upstate New York told us how he thought Southerners ate grits for every meal of the day. Not so much. However, with that said, grits are still a delicious and easy side dish that can work with breakfast or with dinner. These jalapeño cheddar grits are one of my latest addictions!

Jalapeño Cheddar Grits Picture

I spent my childhood roaming the streets of downtown Charleston, South Carolina. Every day after school, my friends and I would take to the streets on our bikes to explore the Market, the Battery, and the hundreds of streets that make Charleston famous.

It wasn’t until we moved away that I realized how awesome of an experience that was. My wife and I finally had the chance to return to Charleston this past summer, and it was like a step back in time for me. Nothing changes in Charleston – that’s part of the beauty of the city. But that also means that I still recognized all of the old areas where I used to play.

As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to appreciate food more, and Charleston is quite a foodie town. I came across these jalapeño cheddar grits while we were visiting, and I knew I needed to make my own version.

Jalapeño Cheddar Grits Image

In the South, yellow stone-ground grits are by far the most popular, and they can be easily found in every grocery store in the area. But I live in upstate New York now, and stone-ground grits are a bit harder to find up here (imagine that). I used quick grits for this recipe as they were the only form of grits I could find (I went to 4 stores looking for stone-ground grits before I finally gave up and settled for quick grits.)

If you have access to stone-ground grits, use those. Don’t even think about twice about it! (If you do use stone-ground grits, just make sure to adjust the cooking time of this recipe to the directions on the package.)

I like to toss a bit of extra cheese on top of these jalapeño cheddar grits and throw them under the broiler for a couple of minutes before serving. Sprinkle some chopped green onions on top, and you’ve got a wonderfully delicious dish that is surprisingly easy to prepare!

Don’t believe me? Check out Shaina’s Cheesy Grits and Eggs too.

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Jalapeño Cheddar Grits Photo

Jalapeño Cheddar Grits Recipe

David Dial
Jalapeño Cheddar Grits make a fantastic meal or side. This staple of the south is certainly amazing.
3.06 from 71 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Cuisine Cast Iron Cooking
Servings 6
Calories 524 kcal


  • 8 thick slices Bacon diced
  • 2 jalapeños Jalapeño seeds removed and diced
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • 3 cups Chicken Broth low-sodium
  • 1 1/2 cups Boiling Water
  • 1 1/2 cups White Corn Grits quick cooking
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 cups Shredded White Cheddar Cheese white – divided
  • 1/4 cup Green Onions for garnish (optional)


  • Using a 9" cast iron skillet, add the diced bacon and diced Jalapeño. Cook over medium heat until bacon is crispy (~8-10 minutes).
  • Transfer the bacon and jalapeños to a paper towel and pat dry. Drain the bacon grease from the skillet and set aside.
  • In a medium sauce pan, bring the heavy cream, chicken broth, and water to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, slowly whisk in the grits. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until grits have thickened and absorbed the liquid.
  • Stir in the bacon, jalapeños, salt and 1 1/2 cups of the grated cheese.
  • Transfer the grits into the cast iron skillet and top with the remaining 1/2 cup of grated cheese. Place skillet under broiler for 3-5 minutes, or until cheese on top has melted and grits are light brown in color. Garnish with green onions (optional).


Calories: 524kcalCarbohydrates: 34gProtein: 19gFat: 34gSaturated Fat: 17gSodium: 1409mgFiber: 1g
Keyword Bacon, Boiled, Breakfasts, Broiled, Brunches, Cast Iron Cooking, Cheese, Grits, Jalapeños, Side Dishes
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