Grits Recipes

Goodbye Artificial Ingredients

My grits recipes include meat and vegetables with several ways to add cheesy flavor so you don't have to rely on artificially-flavored instant grits packets from the store which include unnatural ingredients like partiyally hydrogenated soybean oil, corn syrup solids, artificial flavors and colors, and monosodium glutamate.

Quaker plain "quick" grits don't have any of the additives.

Dry Your Own Grits

Further down the page, you will find instructions for precooking and drying polenta, or "yellow grits," which are more nutritious and have more fiber than instant grits. Precooking and drying these coarser grits allows you to cook them on the trail with minumal fuel usage, just like instant grits. The big bonus is that they taste much better with more corn flavor.

Grits are Thirsty

When preparing grits recipes, remember that grits absorb a lot of water. You’ll need to baby sit the pot with some stirring. Add a little more water if necessary and be prepared to lift the pot off the stove to prevent burning. Add cheese options after the grits have cooked.

Four Ways to Make Cheesy Grits

  • Pepperidge Farm Baked Goldfish. Pepperidge Farm packs those little fish with real cheddar cheese without slipping in any artificial ingredients or partially hydrogenated oil.You can crumble them up to mix in and leave a few floaters for the top just for fun.
  • Real Cheddar Cheese. It should keep for a day or two in moderate temperatures. Keep block of cheese in original packaging or wrap in plastic. Cut the cheese on the trail as needed.
  • Cheddar Cheese Powder from a box of macaroni & cheese such as the Annie's Organic brand. Use 1 – 2 tablespoons per serving of grits and pack in separate bag.
  • Freeze Dried Cheddar Cheese. It's light-weight and keeps well. Stir into the grits after they have cooked and wait a few minutes for optimal cheesiness. A ¼ cup serving adds 170 calories to the meal. Click the link for a source.

Pizza Grits Supreme

Serves 1


  • ¼ Cup quick grits or ½ cup precooked and dried polenta
  • ¼ Cup dried tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, and onions
  • ¼ Cup dried deli ham
  • 2 Tbsp dried pineapple pieces
  • ¼ Cup Pepperidge Farm Pizza Flavored Goldfish or freeze dried grated cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1¼ cups of water

At Home:

Pack goldfish in a small plastic bag and enclose with other ingredients in a larger plastic bag.

On the Trail:

Combine grits, vegetables and ham with water and soak for five minutes. Light stove, bring to boil, and cook for one more minute. Insulate pot and wait ten minutes.

Prior to serving, stir crumbled Goldfish or other cheese options into grits. If you use powdered cheese, add a little extra water.

Packing & Cooking Alternative:

If you package the grits in a separate bag, you can soak and bring the other ingredients to a boil first and then add the grits. This will make it much less likely you will have any problem with grits sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Green Grits & Ham

Serves 1


  • ¼ Cup quick grits or ½ cup precooked and dried polenta
  • ¼ Cup dried peas
  • ¼ Cup dried deli ham
  • ¼ Cup Pepperidge Farm Cheddar Goldfish or freeze dried grated cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1¼ cups of water

Pack and prepare in the same manner as Pizza Grits Supreme.

DIY Grits

Create your own grits recipes by mixing in your favorite dried vegetables and meat.  See dehydrating meat and dehydrating vegetables. Peppers, tomatoes and ground beef feel right at home in grits.

You might also like Shrimp & Grits Recipes.

For a single serving, follow the basic grits recipe formula of ¼ cup quick grits or ½ cup precooked and dried polenta, ¼ cup meat, ¼ cup veggies, and 1¼ cups of water.

Add in your cheese flavor of choice after you turn off the heat.

Dehydrating Polenta

An alternative to using instant grits is to precook and dry polenta, also called "yellow grits" at home. Most of the nutrition is milled out of instant grits. Coarser milled grits contain more of the nutritious germ from the kernals as well as more fiber.

How to Cook & Dehydrate Polenta:

  • Combine ½ cup polenta with 2 cups water and ¼ tsp salt.
  • Boil five minutes and reduce to low simmer for another ten minutes.
  • Let sit covered for another ten minutes and then allow to cool.
  • Spread on dehydrator tray covered with non-stick sheet. The cooked polenta will be sticky, so pull apart the clumps as best you can.
  • Dehydrate at 135° F for four hours, but it might be dry after 3½ hours.
  • After two hours, pull apart the clumps into smaller pieces since they will be less sticky.
  • After three hours, take up nearly dry grits in your hands and rub them against themselves to further reduce the size.

Yield: A ½ cup of polenta yields one cup after cooking and drying.

On the Trail:

In the grits recipes which call for ¼ cup instant grits, increase the quantity to ½ cup precooked and dried polenta since the size was doubled during precooking and drying.

To prepare a single serving of precooked and dried polenta by itself on the trail, combine ½ cup dried polenta with ¾ cup water and bring to a boil or high heat. Let it sit for a few minutes to finish absorbing the water and serve with complimentary items such as ratatouille and beans.

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