Ham and Grits - The Southern Lady Cooks

This delicious recipe for Ham and Grits is super easy to make and a wonderful addition to any breakfast. We love to make this dish when we have leftover ham, so it makes an appearance after most holidays. Super versatile as you can add any spices or extras you may enjoy but this recipe is one of our favorites. It reheats well and we love to enjoy it topped with fried eggs!

Ham and Grits Ingredients Needed:

Quick cooking grits




Cooked ham

Garlic powder

Green onions

Cheddar Cheese

Hot Sauce (optional)

As you can see, these are simple ingredients but this dish has a lot of flavor. The green onions and garlic really add to it, add in the hot sauce and it’s delicious. I have made it without and we still loved it! We love cheddar cheese but you could always add in whatever cheeses your family prefers.

There are many different kinds of cooked ham, from smoked ham to honey baked. I have tried this dish with both of those different flavors and it was great with both!

If you love grits like we do, you will definitely want to try our Southern Shrimp and Grits! That classic dish as great reviews and is one of our most popular recipes.

Ham and Grits - The Southern Lady Cooks

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Ham and Grits

Judy Yeager
Delicious grits recipe with ham
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American, southern
Servings 6 servings


  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup quick cooking grits
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup ham cooked and chopped
  • 1/4 cup green onions chopped (can use regular onions)
  • Several drops hot sauce Optional
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese or cheese of your choice divided (can use more cheese if you like a lot)


  • Bring water and salt to a boil, add grits and cook five minutes until thick.  Remove from stove and add butter, eggs, garlic powder, ham, green onions, hot sauce and half the shredded cheese.
  • Mix together and pour into sprayed casserole.
  • Sprinkle rest of the cheese on top. (I use a 9 x 5 loaf pan). Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes uncovered.
Keyword Ham and Grits
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Recipe Rating


  1. I wasn’t too sure about this recipe, but since it was easy, I decided why not? It was really good! Heats up just as good the next day. I halved it for just two of us and used sharp cheddar cheese, which I like for many of my cheese recipes, because I think the sharp gives it a little more flavor. Thanks, I love your recipes! So many are exactly like my mother made when I was growing up.5 stars

  2. If you can’t find grits I think polenta might be a good substitute.. polenta us yellow corn, grits is white corn. Grits might be a bit more coarse than polenta.

  3. Sue Younkin says:

    So excellent! The first time I made this, I used shrimp because I didn’t have any ham. (love, love, love shrimp ‘n grits!). Today I didn’t have either, so fried up some bacon til really crisp, and used it instead. Heaven in a spoon!! Thanks so much for this recipe! So adaptable!! It is a major “staple” in my home now!!

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      So happy to hear you are enjoying this recipe, Sue. Thank you for letting me know.

  4. Joan Whaley says:

    Oh my gosh…I want both the casserole and leftover cakes!!! Yummmo!!

  5. Sharon in Florida says:

    Made this for breakfast today, using sausage. Definitely a ‘keeper’ recipe! Awesome stuff!

  6. Made for breakfast this morning. used sausage instead of ham, regular onions and added green peppers. Browned the sausage, green peppers, and onions first, then finished it. It was AWESOME!!!!

  7. This one I will try, sounds so good. Really like using left overs/

  8. I don’t have any grits right now, but I love the idea. I want to try my hand at corn meal mush which may end up a staple here. But I wonder if this recipe would work with that also. It looks good and hardy, and I like what you do with the left overs. NICE!

  9. In our grocery store the grits are with the hot cereal, such as oatmeal, cream of wheat and such.

  10. Leslie Heironimus says:

    Smithfield (Virginia) country ham would be SO good in the grits (with a spoonful of red-eye gravy). I’m trying this next time my mom cooks one of those great hams!

  11. I make mine the exact same way. Since joining Pinterest though I forget to make my old recipes….so I pinned this for a reminder.

  12. Denise Pace says:

    Grits are sold in the cereal aisle at the grocery stores in Maryland. I think they should be stocked in the rice, pasta aisle as we often serve cheese grits in place of rice or potatoes or pasta. My family would rather have cheese grits than any other side.

  13. Kay Walden says:

    What are “grits” could I use potatoes in place of? but then I see a comment of “sprinkle of sugar – splash of cream”? maybe not!

      1. I like them with just salt and pepper on them but would like to know how to keep them warm and from getting way tooo thick!! Thanks.

    1. In northern areas, try cream of wheat. Grits are a southern thing! They are listed with hot cereals.

  14. Oh my goodness, this looks like heaven, I am trying your recipe this weekend!! Nettie

  15. Is this something that can be prepped ahead of time and frozen to be cooked in te oven later?
    Or even made the night before and refridgerated an then baked the next morning?

  16. I have always enjoyed my grits plain with a sprinkle of sugar and a splash of cream, but these sound amazing. I don’t know what looks better – the original recipe or the fried leftovers version!

  17. What is grits? I asked in our shops but they think I’m mad. I don’t think we have grits here in South Africa.

    1. You can order grits on Amazon.com.

  18. Julie Bromley says:

    My grandmother used to fry grits. She would pack them into an empty, clean coffee can which had been liberally buttered on the inside and put them in the refrigerator. The next morning, she’d cut the bottom out of the can and use it to push the grits out to a thickness of about 1/2-1″, flour them lightly and fry in butter. We ate them like pancakes. I can only imagine how awesome your ham & grits would taste fried.

  19. Jon Cappel says:

    I have another question. Where in your grocery store is grits located??? I still don’t have enough nerve to ask, as up here they give one funny look when one asks for things like hushpuppy mix, and creole seasoning, so thought I would ask you just what department is it in there and I will look up here. Thanks, Porky

    1. I live in Nova Scotia , Canada. I don’t think they sell grits in the grocery store here. lol.
      How much does this make? 3/4 cup doesn’t sound like a lot of grits. Does it expand a lot?
      Is there a substitution if I can’t find grits. (hoping I can)

      1. Hi Sandra, I don’t know what you would substitute for grits but 3/4 cup cooked makes 3 cups of grits. Then, you add ham and cheese so it is several servings.

      2. over here in the UK when we can’t get grits we use coarse polenta it is similar when cooked, not as good as the real thing but will do in a pinch . Hope this helps

      3. can use polenta…same thing

      4. Use polenta, but try to find white polenta. Grits are white polenta. The taste difference is subtle but noticeable.

    2. I think that the grits should be with the flour….In the South ,you would find flour, corn meal, grits and cream-a-wheat all together….. I love grits…. and it has been a staple in most Southern homes….. rich and poor…..Its what we call a ”rib sticker” ….meaning there is a lot of energy in it and when you eat it for breakfast…. you are READY for 3 or 4 hours of hard labor …..It is also pretty cheap for what you get…. A cup of raw grits will make a POT FULL….lol…

    3. Kroger’s has grits by the oatmeal. Most of the grocery stores in Ohio sell grits, hush puppy mix, etc.