Making grits in the Instant Pot is faster and easier than the traditional method of making them on the stove top. One of my favorite things about this simple method is that they come out perfect every single time.
While they’re most often thought of as a classic Southern dish in the United States, grits are also known as polenta in Italy. What that means is that there are many different ways to prepare and eat them.
From cheese grits to maple grits to shrimp and grits, they really are versatile as a side dish or as part of a main dish. Whether you like them sweet or savory, for breakfast or for dinner, it’s easy to make delicious grits in the Instant Pot.
While it might take a bit longer than quick grits, following my easy Instant Pot grits recipe is the best option if you don’t want to stand over a hot stove. My simple recipe is easy to customize too with the tips you’ll find in the recipe variations section below.
- By the Numbers: How to Make Instant Pot Grits
- Tips for Cooking Grits in the Instant Pot
- Instant Pot Grits Recipe
- More Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Recipes
- 1 cup of corn grits
- 3 ½ cups of water
- ¼ teaspoon of sea salt
- 1 ½ tablespoons of butter
- ½ cup of milk or heavy cream
- ½ cup of grated cheddar cheese
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Mixing spoon
- Instant Pot
- Serving bowls
By the Numbers: How to Make Instant Pot Grits
Follow these simple step-by-step directions to learn how to make the best grits in your Instant Pot electric pressure cooker.
Step 1: Add Grits, Water and Salt to Pot
Add 1 cup of grits, 3 ½ cups of filtered water and ¼ teaspoon of sea salt to the Instant Pot, and stir with a wooden spoon until well combined.
Step 2: Cook Grits
Place the lid on the Instant Pot, make sure the steam valve is in the sealing position and cook on Manual High Pressure for 10 minutes.
Allow the pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes before releasing the remaining pressure and opening the lid. Turn off the Instant Pot by pressing the Cancel button.
Step 3: Stir in Milk, Butter and Cheese
For cheesy grits, stir in ½ cup of milk, 1½ tablespoons of butter and ½ cup of grated cheddar cheese until well combined, making sure you break up the clumps in the grits as you go. The residual heat from pressure cooking will melt the ingredients quickly.
Step 4: Serve Cooked Grits
Serve in a bowl for a simple meal or as a side or base for another dish. See tips for a sweet version!
Tips for Cooking Grits in the Instant Pot
Answers to all of your questions about making this easy grits recipe in the Instant Pot, including tips, variations and substitution ideas.
Here are some of my favorite ways to make grits that aren’t cheesy:
- Plain Grits. Skip the butter, cheese and milk at the end of the recipe and you have perfect plain grits. You may want to add a little water after cooking to thin them a bit.
- Sweet Version. All you have to do for a sweetened version of this recipe is to omit the salt and substitute maple syrup in place of cheese.
- Shrimp and Bacon. Use bacon grease instead of butter, then top your bowl of grits with crispy bacon and shrimp (get my Instant Pot shrimp recipe and try my Air Fryer Bacon recipe).
- Extra Creamy. Use cream cheese instead of cheddar cheese and/or chicken stock instead of water for super flavorful, creamy grits. Or add both!
- Vegan option. If you want to make vegan grits, you can substitute dairy-free versions of the dairy-based ingredients. The plain grits option is also naturally vegan.
- Milk. Use your favorite substitute such as almond or coconut milk.
- Butter. Use dairy-free butter, coconut oil or olive oil.
- Cheese. Use your favorite soy or cashew cheese, or omit completely.
Burn notice issues
If you get a burn notice the first time you try making this recipe in your Instant Pot, you may want to try the pot-in-pot method next time. What this means is that you place all of the ingredients in a separate pot that will fit inside of your Instant Pot insert, then you place that pot on top of the trivet in your Instant Pot. Nothing can scorch to the bottom of the pot with this method, and you shouldn’t get a burn notice using it.
Types of grits
If you haven’t made grits before, they’re basically a type of cornmeal that’s very coarse. There are a few different types and you can usually find them near the oatmeal at your local store. They should all be naturally gluten free.
My favorite grits to keep stocked in my pantry are Bob’s Red Mill Organic Corn Grits, which are made from milled yellow corn. If you want stone ground grits, Palmetto Farms has a really popular mixture of yellow and white grits.
You may have to adjust the cooking time a bit with different varieties if they are more or less fine ground.
Instant Pot Grits Recipe
- 1 cup corn grits
- 3 ½ cups water
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 ½ tablespoons butter
- ½ cup milk - or heavy cream
- ½ cup cheddar cheese
- Add the grits, water and salt to the Instant Pot inner pot, and stir to combine.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot and cook on High Pressure for 10 minutes. Use a natural pressure release for 15 minutes then quick release the remaining pressure and open the lid.
- Stir in the rest of the ingredients (milk, butter and cheese) until well combined, making sure you break up the clumps in the grits as you go.
- Serve in a bowl for a simple meal or as a side dish.