Southern Rotel Cheese Grits are deliciously cheesy and a little spicy. This is an incredibly flavorful side dish recipe that’s ready in less than 30 minutes.
Grits are a great pantry staple. because they are so versatile. They’re a great base for almost anything like short ribs, shrimp, roast, or vegetables. As well, they’re good for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner.
What are grits?
Grits are made with whole dried white corn kernels from a variety of corn that has a higher starch content, which gives grits their creamy, soft texture. Traditional grits are made by either using a stone-ground or steel roller mills. The manufacturing process affects the flavor and texture of the final product. Stone-ground grits are less processed than quick-cooking or instant grits, which means they have more flavor and texture.
Varieties of grits range in coarseness. Instant and quick-cooking grits are ground finer than traditional stone-ground grits, which is why they cook faster. The smaller the grain, the quicker the grits cook. That being said, coarser grits are the most traditional version.
I enjoy grits cooked the old-fashioned way served simply with butter. However, when you add a little spice and a lot of cheese, they are over-the-top good.
I cooked this grits casserole in chicken stock then filled with melty cheddar cheese and Rotel tomatoes.
Southern Rotel Cheese Grits
I used quick-cooking grits not instant.
For more flavor, I cooked them in chicken broth instead of water.
The secret to creamy grits without a lot of heavy creams is to stir, stir, stir almost the entire time as they cook. This releases the starch and makes them ultra-creamy.
You can easily control the spice level by using mild, medium, or hot tomatoes with green chiles (Rotel tomatoes).
You can get this pretty casserole dish here. It comes in a package of two and I love it. Not only is it pretty, but it’s also great for casseroles and bread.
Additionally, I enjoy cooking and serving with wooden spoons. Here is a versatile set that you can buy.
- 4 cups chicken broth low-sodium
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup grits quick-cooking NOT INSTANT
- 2 cups cheddar cheese shredded
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/2 cup milk
- 10 -ounce tomatoes with green chiles mild (like Rotel brand)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a medium saucepan, bring chicken broth and salt to boil. Add grits and stir constantly until they are blended in the broth.
Cook on low heat for 5 minutes (Most quick-cooking grits have a cook time of 5 minutes, refer to the grits package to be sure. Some brands recommend cooking for 7 minutes.) Stir occasionally.
Remove the pan from heat and add 1 cup cheddar cheese, pepper, garlic powder, milk, and Rotel. Stir until cheeses are melted.
Pour into a 7x12-inch or 9x9-inch casserole dish and top with remaining cheese.
Bake 20 -25 minutes or until hot, bubbly, and cheese is melted. Allow to cool 5 to 10 minutes before serving.