My partner Richard and I recently re-watched My Cousin Vinny the other day (for the thousandth time). And it dawned on me, I hadn’t made a grits recipe in the Instant Pot yet. And that was unacceptable – especially being with a Southerner who loves grits.
If you’ve never had them, grits are bits of ground corn (usually white or hominy) and, when done right (NEVER using “instant” or “quick” ones), they are creamy, smooth with a slightly grainy bite (they don’t call it “grits” for nothing), and are out-of-this-world delicious. Of course butter is a key player, and in this case, so is cheese! I also give you the option of tossing in some shrimp but if that’s not your thing, you can easily leave it out.
- 3 cups water
- 3 cups garlic broth (e.g. 3 teaspoons Garlic Better Than Bouillon + 3 cups water) or vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned, stone ground or hominy white grits (NOTE: it must be these and not instant or 5-minute grits. And avoid yellow grits – those are for polenta)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream or half & half (see Jeff’s Tips)
- 2 - 4 tablespoons (1/4 – 1/2 stick) salted butter
- 1 (5.2-ounce) package Boursin cheese (any flavor) or 4 ounces of a brick of cream cheese (optional)
- 1 1/2 – 2 pounds raw and thawed large or jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined (tail on or off)
- 2 cups shredded cheese of your choice (Cheddar or Gouda work great)
- 2 teaspoons - 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper, or to taste (optional)
- A few dashes of hot sauce, to taste (optional)
- Sliced chives, for topping (optional)
- Add the water, broth, olive oil, and grits to the Instant Pot. Stir well. Secure the lid, move the valve to the sealing position, hit Manual or Pressure Cook on High Pressure for 10 minutes. When done cooking, allow a 5-minute natural release followed by a quick release.
- Once the lid’s off, give everything a good stir so the grits are smoothed out and blended with the remaining liquid. Add in the cream, butter and Boursin or cream cheese (if using) and stir until melded into the grits.
- Hit Cancel and then hit Sauté and Adjust so it’s on the More or High setting. Once bubbling, add the shrimp and sauté for about 2-3 minutes stirring occasionally. As soon as they begin to curl and appear opaque, hit Cancel to turn the pot off and then hit Keep Warm.
- Stir in the cheese. Then, add the pepper (if using) and hot sauce (if using). Stir until melded into the grits and let rest for 3-5 minutes to slightly thicken and then serve. Top with chives and additional pepper, if desired.
How buttery you want your grits is up to you. Start with 2 tablespoons and you can always add more!
If you want thicker grits, leave out the cream but be mindful that, like pasta and grains, grits always continue to absorb liquid and thicken as they rest.
Not into seafood but craving the grits? Skip Step 3 entirely. This will also make it vegetarian.