Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up

Getting Gritty for Grits


I used to be an unusual breakfast eater when I was little. Like mashed potatoes for breakfast odd. My parents used to live in Savannah, Georgia and as a stint to please my savory breakfast preferences, my mom introduced cheesy grits in elementary school. As a New Englander, they’re deliciously different. Grits are finely ground corn kernels and have a “grittier” texture than oatmeal or cream of wheat. We just rediscovered them for a dinner comprising of pot roast and grits, which graced the cover of Southern Living. I took my old cheesy grits and added bacon for flavor and spinach for color — you’d never know there’s spinach in there. Although they’re mostly used in Southern cuisine and with savory dishes, you might see a sweeter take in posts to come. Enjoy your Cheddar Grits with Bacon & Spinach, y’all!

Ingredients (serves 1).

  • 1/4 c grits *
  • 1/2 to 1 c water
  • 2 pieces bacon, cooked (preferably turkey bacon, otherwise reduced fat and/or reduced sodium)
  • 1/8 c sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Pinch of shredded Parmesan (optional)
  • 1/8 c baby spinach, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

* NOTE: there’s two types of grits: quick-cooking and stone-ground. Quick-cooking obviously cook in about 3-4 minutes in the microwave versus about 3o min to an hour on the stovetop for stone-ground. Quick-cooking are processed more, and if that’s something you want to avoid, you can always cook a big ol’ batch o’ grits the night before to use for the week. For a creamier consistency, replace water with milk of choice.


  1. Cook grits according to package directions and with less water for a thicker consistency or more depending on preference. I used quick-cooking and cooked them in the microwave for about 3-4 min.
  2. Top grits with cheese.
  3. Finely chop the two bacon pieces and add to grits along with chopped baby spinach. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. If desired, pop back in the microwave for 15 sec to melt the cheese.
  5. Serve hot and enjoy!



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