Grits with Corn and Onion Greens

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Savory grits with extra corn and green onion greens, Parmesan cheese, and parsley.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

A dear friend of mine from Alabama called me recently and demanded to know, “why aren’t there any grits on your site?!” Uh, because I’m not Southern and I don’t know what the heck I’m talking about when it comes to grits and I can’t even try to fake it with our readers? Well, not knowing what we are doing has never stopped us in the past, and my dear ole dad found a recipe for grits he couldn’t pass up. This was so good I made him make it twice. What I have learned in researching grits is that people who grew up eating them are passionate about how they like them – white corn, hominy grits, with syrup for breakfast, etc. So, if you have a particular way that you like your grits, please let us know about it in the comments.

By the way, according to NBC, Michael Phelps eats grits for breakfast, along with several fried egg sandwiches, an omelet, three slices of French toast, and a stack of chocolate chip pancakes. Breakfast of champions.

Grits with Corn and Onion Greens Recipe

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  • Yield: Serves 6 to 8.

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large white or yellow onion, grated
  • 1 cup whole corn kernels, either frozen or freshly cut from the cob
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup stone-ground grits or coarse-ground grits
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (about 3 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh green onion greens

Method

1 Heat the oil n a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the grated onion and cook, stirring, until transparent, about 2 minutes. Add the corn kernels and cook, stirring occasionally, until the kernels become soft, about 5 minutes.

2 Add the milk, water, and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Whisk in the grits, decrease the heat to low, and simmer, whisking occasionally, until the grits are creamy and thick, 45 to 60 minutes. Stir in the butter, Parmesan, parsley, and chopped green onions. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.

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Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit, Y'All: Recipes and Stories from Three Generations of Southern Cooking by Virginia Willis.

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Showing 4 of 93 Comments

  • Dino

    When I was in Florida, I was introduced to to “Nassau grits” which I liken to the grit equivalent of dirty rice. I discovered that there were many variations that depended on both personal preference and ingredient availability. If you can put it into an omelet, it seemed to be fair game to put into grits. I like the “kitchen sink” variety which may include sausage, bacon, onions, bell peppers, shredded cheese and even bits of scrambled eggs. Some folks cook the grits and then add the extra stuff during cooking -personally, I don’t care when they married the grits to the extras, as long as they got together. If I find myself near grits (usually they’re plain) and despite the fact that I can eat them with a little salt and pepper, I always look for stuff to mix in…I’ll crumble some bacon, add shredded cheese or break up a sausage patty to augment the grits -sort of a personal “grit casserole” …YUM!!!

  • SAS

    Yay, yay, yay! I admit it! I’m the one that demanded that Elise come up with a recipe for grits! What kind of legitimate recipe site is complete without one?!

    Although, this one is fancier than the “recipe” I use. I just follow the directions on the package, and add whatever cheese I have on hand (usually a shredded Monterey Jack and cheddar blend), butter, salt and pepper to taste, and fresh herbs. My favorite herbs to add are tarragon and dill, together, although any fresh herbs that you like will suffice.

    My people will be proud, Elise! Go grits!!

  • Rhonda

    I have never had grits any other way except with butter and sugar. One day I’ll try them another way, but for now that’s all that works for me. I’m in central Texas, and if grits are served here, they are pretty much eaten like oatmeal. I guess it depends on where in the south you are from. This recipe does look good, though.

  • Meredith

    I’m from Mississippi and there’s absolutely no way sugar would come near my bowl of grits (sorry, Rhonda). We always ate them for breakfast with butter and salt. Then, there’s always Shrimp and Grits (don’t knock it until you try it) and hundreds of varieties of cheese grit casseroles (ask any churchgoing lady of a certain age for her recipe).

  • Lynn

    I grew up in OR. I had never tasted grits until I got married to my husband who grew up in OK. He loves grits. It took me a while to like them, but now I do. We like them for breakfast served with soft boiled or over easy eggs and maybe a little cheese on top. My husband adds a little hot sauce. My favorite way to cook them is in the crockpot over night. I post about it recently. Here is the link if you are interested.
    http://lynnskitchenadventures.blogspot.com/2008/05/new-favorite-breakfast.html

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Grits with Corn and Onion Greens