These crisp, savory grits cakes are a delicious way to use up leftover grits. They’re versatile and easy-to-make! Try this tasty twist on classic Southern grits!

Looking for leftover grits recipe? Or maybe you’re ready for an alternative to creamy grits? This recipe is it! Check out the post for all the steps to making delicious grits cakes.

Grit cakes displayed on a tray

This grit cake recipe is versatile, easy, and the perfect savory side dish for any time of day. They make a great accompaniment to ground sausage, sausage gravy, country ham, fresh shrimp, or a number of other protein options.

You can flavor your fried grit cakes any way you want. Load them up with cheddar cheese, jalapeno, parmesan cheese, green onions, or anything else you can dream up!

Even better yet, these cakes can be made with leftover grits or quick grits. Enjoy their crunchy texture and convenient portability for breakfast, picnics, dinner, or appetizers!

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Why You’ll Love this Recipe

  • Crisp and savory
  • Easy to make
  • Versatile
  • Can be made with leftover or quick grits

Ingredients You’ll Need

Grit cakes ingredients laid on a table

Here are some of the ingredients that make this great recipe stand out!

  • Flour: Flour dries out the surface of the grits and creates a crisp crust on the outside. You can use all-purpose flour for this recipe, or make them gluten-free by using a high quality gluten-free measure-for-measure flour blend like King Arthur Flour.
  • Olive oil: Grit cakes aren’t complete without oil, which helps create a crispy texture! I personally love the flavor of olive oil. But vegetable oil could work too.
  • Water: Water helps cook the grits – but for even more flavor, you can substitute the water with four cups stock (chicken or vegetable).
  • Grits: As you can guess, quality grits are the key to delicious grit cakes. I highly recommend Palmetto Farms brand.
  • Salt: Since this is a simple recipe, salt plays a major role in creating that savory flavor that shines through! So don’t skip the salt!

Check out this article to find out are grits gluten-free? You also might like these recipes for grits and eggs and cream cheese grits.

How to Make Grit Cakes

A pot with grits and a pot with a spoon stirring
  • Line quarter sheet pan with parchment paper or foil, making sure it covers all of the sides with enough room to lift the grits out of the pan later.
  • Add the water, grits, and salt to a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat. Bring the grits to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for 20-22 minutes, or until all of the water has been absorbed. Make sure to stir the grits occasionally so they don’t scorch.
Grits spread in a pan and grits in a bowl
  • Remove the grits from the heat and spread them into an even layer in the prepared baking sheet. Place the grits in the fridge to chill for 1 hour, or until fully set.
  • Remove the grits from the pan (using the parchment or foil to lift them) and slice them into your desired size.
  • Place the flour in a shallow bowl and dip a few of the cakes into the flour, making sure to coat them evenly on all sides.
Grit cakes in a skillet
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add as many cakes as will fit – you don’t want to overcrowd the pan.
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes per side, or until the grit cakes are golden brown and crisp. Remove from the heavy skillet and let them cool on paper towels or a wire rack.
  • If the pan is dry, add the additional 2 tablespoons of oil before frying the remaining grits cakes (repeat steps 5 – 7 with the remaining grits).
  • Season the grit cakes with additional salt and pepper, to taste. Enjoy immediately or place grits cakes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.
Grit cakes displayed on a tray

Storage Instructions

  • To store: Grit cakes are best when eaten shortly after being made, but you can store leftovers in an airtight container or in plastic wrap. Store in the fridge for up to three days.

Grit Cakes from Leftover Grits

To make this recipe from leftover grits, first reheat the grits over the stove. Then follow these steps:

  • Remove the grits from the heat. Pour grits into a prepared pan and spread them into an even layer. Place the grits in the fridge to chill for 1 hour, or until fully set.
  • Remove the grits from the pan (using the parchment or foil to lift them) and slice them into your desired size.
  • Place the flour in a shallow bowl and dip a few of the grits cakes into the flour, making sure to coat them evenly on all sides.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add as many grits cakes as will fit – you don’t want to overcrowd the pan.
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes per side, or until the grits cakes are golden brown and crisp. If the pan is dry, add the additional 2 tablespoons of oil before frying the remaining grit cakes (repeat steps 5 – 7 with the remaining grits).
  • Season the grit cakes with additional salt and pepper, to taste. Enjoy immediately or store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.

FAQs

What are grit cakes made of?

The most traditional ways of making grit cakes calls for freshly made hot grits, water, flour, oil, and salt. You can also use quick grits or even leftover grits to make grit cakes.

How do you eat leftover grits?

You can use leftover grits to make grit cakes, which transform creamy grits into a crispy, savory cake.

Can you freeze grit cakes?

If you want to prepare grits ahead of time, you can freeze the grits in a baking dish before frying them in a skillet over the stove. Be sure to let the grits fully cool before storing in the freezer, and let them return to room temperature before frying.

Grit Cakes Tips and Tricks

  • To use quick cooking grits, bring the water to a boil over medium high heat. Slowly whisk in the grits and kosher salt. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed. Continue with Step 3 above. 
  • For traditional cheesy grits, add 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese to the cooked grits in Step 3, before you spread them out in the pan.
  • For spicy Tex-Mex inspired grits, add 1 cup of shredded Monterey jack cheese and 1 tablespoon of minced jalapeno. 
  • For more “elevated” grits, add 1 cup of parmesan cheese and 1 teaspoon of fresh minced thyme.

More Breakfast Recipes

I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! If you try these grits cakes, be sure to leave me a comment/rating below. I’d love to hear from you!

Grit cakes displayed on a tray
5 from 10 votes

Easy Grit Cakes

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Resting Time 1 hr
Servings 4 servings
These crisp, savory grits cakes are a a delicious way to use up leftover grits. They're versatile and easy-to-make! Try this tasty twist on classic Southern grits!

Ingredients

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup stone ground grits
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup all purpose flour or a 1:1 gluten free flour substitute
  • ¼ cup olive oil divided

Instructions 

  • Line quarter sheet pan with parchment paper or foil, making sure it covers all of the sides with enough room to lift the grits out of the pan later.
  • Add the water, grits, and salt to a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat. Bring the grits to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for 20-22 minutes, or until all of the water has been absorbed. Make sure to stir the grits occasionally so they don’t scorch.
  • Remove the grits from the heat and spread them into an even layer in the prepared pan. Place the grits in the fridge to chill for 1 hour, or until fully set.
  • Remove the grits from the pan (using the parchment or foil to lift them) and slice them into your desired size.
  • Place the flour in a shallow bowl and dip a few of the grit cakes into the flour, making sure to coat them evenly on all sides.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add as many grit cakes as will fit – you don’t want to overcrowd the pan.
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes per side, or until the grit cakes are golden brown and crisp. If the pan is dry, add the additional 2 tablespoons of oil before frying the remaining grit cakes (repeat steps 5 – 7 with the remaining grits).
  • Season the grit cakes with additional salt and pepper, to taste. Enjoy immediately or store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.

Notes

Recipe Notes
  • To use quick cooking grits, bring the water to a boil over medium high heat. Slowly whisk in the grits and kosher salt. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed. Continue with Step 3 above. 
  • For traditional cheesy grits, add 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese to the cooked grits in Step 3, before you spread them out in the pan.
  • For spicy Tex-Mex inspired grits, add 1 cup of shredded Monterey jack cheese and 1 tablespoon of minced jalapeno. 
  • For more “elevated” grits, add 1 cup of parmesan cheese and 1 teaspoon of fresh minced thyme.

Nutrition

Calories: 233kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Sodium: 594mg | Potassium: 34mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 2mg

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Hi, I’m Erin!

BS Food Science,

MS Nutrition

I believe you can make amazing, gluten-free food with everyday ingredients that everyone will enjoy. I’m here to share my tried-and-true recipes with you!

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