Fried grit cakes are ubiquitous in the South. They are a natural progression of cheese grits for dinner to leftover cheese grits for dinner again. That’s because whenever you make grits, two things are bound to happen;
1 – you will make way too much and you will have leftovers.
2 – those leftovers while solidify into a pretty firm clump in the fridge.
So, it’s only natural that you want to bread and fry these delicious leftovers.
What are Grits?
Grits are, basically, ground dried corn. That’s it. Just corn, ground down to a meal, but not quite cornmeal. You can read this article by Spruce Eats on the difference between Cornmeal, Grits and Polenta.
Grits have been a Southern staple for as long as the South has existed. It’s poor people food. You can feed an army on a handful of grits, then slice up the leftovers and feed it to them again the next day.
We, in the South, eat them for breakfast or dinner. We always stir in some butter and maybe a little cream. Sugar or cheese are also accepted additions.
How to Make Fried Grit Cakes
The biggest tip I can give you before you get started is to make sure that your grits are thick before you pour them in a pan to set. Like almost mashed potato thick. Otherwise you will have a hard time keeping the cakes together when you flip them.
Also, feel free to use Old Fashioned grits instead of stone ground here if you need to.
Here are the steps to making fried grit cakes:
Bring chicken stock and garlic to a boil in a large pot.
Gradually stir in grits.
Cook and stir for about 5 minutes or until the grits have absorbed the stock and begin to pull away from the pan when you stir.
Add in butter and stir until well incorporated
Stir in cream
Eat some for dinner…and then pour the rest into a greased 9×13 baking dish
Cover with plastic wrap and weight down with something heavy, like another baking dish.
Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Then turn out onto a cutting board and slice into 16 equal pieces.
Place flour in a shallow bowl and season with salt and pepper. Beat eggs with a little water in another bowl. Mix breadcrumbs with dried basil in another shallow dish. Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium high heat.
Coat each grit cake in flour, then egg, then breadcrumb mixture and then place gently in hot oil.
Fry until golden brown on each side and drain on paper towels.
Pour a little marinara over grit cakes and top with a little more Parmesan. And devour.
This post has been updated from the original April 2009 post
- 2 1/2 c . stone ground grits
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 2 T minced garlic
- 2 c . heavy cream
- 12 T butter cut into 1/2" pieces 1 1/2 sticks
- 1/3 c . grated Parmesan
- salt and pepper
- canola oil for cooking
- 1/2 c all purpose flour
- 2 eggs beaten
- 2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
- 1 T dried basil
- Marinara sauce to serve
- Bring chicken stock and garlic to a boil in a large pot.
- Gradually stir in grits.
- Cook and stir for about 5 minutes or until the grits have absorbed the stock and begin to pull away from the pan when you stir.
- Add in butter and stir until well incorporated
- Stir in cream
- and Parmesan
- Eat some for dinner...and then pour the rest into a greased 9x13 baking dish
- Cover with plastic wrap and weight down with something heavy, like another baking dish.
- Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Then turn out onto a cutting board and slice into 16 equal pieces.
- Place flour in a shallow bowl and season with salt and pepper. Beat eggs with a little water in another bowl. Mix breadcrumbs with dried basil in another shallow dish. Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium high heat.
- Coat each grit cake in flour, then egg, then breadcrumb mixture and then place gently in hot oil.
- Fry until golden brown on each side and drain on paper towels.
- Pour a little marinara over grit cakes and top with a little more Parmesan. And devour.
midwest mama says
Oh, my mouth is watering. I miss grits (my kids hate em), but how could they turn their noses up if they are fried?!
Those look SO good Jodie! Us Southern gals always love anything with grits!
Oh man! I've never heard of this! I love grits. I must try this out. Thanks for the process photos!
Grits anything is so good!
Sassy Molassy says
Was it significantly different enough from polenta to justify the extra stuff?
You know, when I went to the store I was looking for polenta and couldn't find any! I settled on grits instead. I could have made the grits without all the extra stuff, but I think I would lose a lot of flavor and creaminess. If you can find polenta ( which you probably can in Memphis. I'm sure Fino's on Madison has some), use it! I bet the texture would be great!
can you believe I've never had grits???? I'm guessing this would be polenta-ish? I think I'm going to have to try this!!
Never? You definately have to try this then. Grits and polenta are the same thing except grits are …well…grittier. Let me know how you like it!
grittier? sounds…gritty LOL!!
Eric McNew says
Made these last night and my fiancé, an Atlanta native and grit-addict, said they were the best grits she’s ever had! Thank you for the recipe. I served them with a simple pork roast, chard and radish greens (with soy and ramp pickle brine), and pickled ramps and radishes:
That looks like a fantastic meal!!
It was…unfortunately, I made too much though and we are on day 3 of leftovers 🙂 fantastic recipe.
Was looking for a recipe for fried grits and came across this. It’s not what I remember, but it is definitely worth a try. My dad used to make fried grits by putting them in a loaf pan to solidify. He would then slice it, fry it and pour syrup over it. Yummy. My dad has passed away and I can’t help thinking about him and those grits.