How to Cook Grits in the Microwave

The creamy and filling comfort of grits can be ready in minutes in the microwave using quick-cooking varieties. This Southern breakfast favorite of finely ground corn kernels boiled in water or milk traditionally uses stone-ground grits, which can take up to an hour on the stove. Quick-cooking grits are processed further for faster cooking, loosing some of the strong texture and corn flavor of stone-ground grits. However, they make sense if you like smoother grits and are more convenient and widely available.

Corn grits next to corn on the cob. (Image: olgakr/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 1

Combine water, quick-cooking grits and a dash of salt in a microwave-safe bowl. Include 3/4 cup of water for every 1/4 cup of grits you are making.

Step 2

Place the bowl in the microwave, partially covered, and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir the grits. If they are not yet thickened to your liking, continue to microwave a bit longer in 1- to 2-minute intervals. If you are making more than one serving, they'll generally need more time in the microwave, depending on how thick you want them.

Step 3

Remove the grits from the microwave and stir in salt and pepper to your taste. Optional additions includes butter, heavy cream or milk and shredded cheese.

Things You'll Need

  • Microwave-safe bowl

  • Spoon

  • Salt

  • Pepper

  • Butter (optional)

  • Heavy cream (optional)

  • Shredded cheese (optional)


For creamier grits, replace half the water you use with milk before microwaving.


Avoid using any grits labeled "instant." They do not have a texture or taste close to true grits. Always look for "quick" grits instead.

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