Instant Pot Grits


Creamy and rich, this classic Southern dish cooks up beautifully in a pressure cooker.

Instant Pot Grits
Photo: Will Dickey
Active Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
40 mins

While grits are a favorite in most Southern homes, few are eager to do the endless stirring required for creamy, luscious grits. Speeding up the process, the Instant Pot is our new favorite tool for quick and easy grits. With only 10 minutes of cooking, you'll have fluffy, tender stone-ground grits in no time.

This recipe calls for Parmesan and flat leaf parsley to add some savory richness, but feel free to swap out the cheese or dress up the grits to suit your fancy.

What Are Grits?

Grits are a classic American food staple made from ground corn, eaten first by the Native Americans and then enjoyed by Southerners.

Despite the similarities, grits and cornmeal aren't the same. Cornmeal is more finely ground and typically has the hull and germ removed, unlike most varieties of grits. Like flour, grits can be milled or prepared in different ways, from the coarsely milled stone ground to the pre-cooked instant type; there's a variety for every occasion and person.

The Different Types of Grits

Stone-ground grits

This recipe calls for stone-ground grits. As the name suggests, they are coarsely ground in the traditional method using stones. Starting with whole dried kernels, the germ stays intact, making this variety more toothsome and nutritious.

Heirloom grits

Made with heirloom varieties of corn, heirloom grits are prized for their distinct flavor and texture. You may even find them in fun colors like blue or red.

Hominy grits

Hominy grits undergo nixtamalization, which softens the corn kernels and allows them to be more easily digested and absorbed. Then the kernels are ground.

Quick-cooking grits

More finely milled, quick-cooking grits can be made in a jiffy, or in only 5 minutes.

Instant grits

Not for the pressure cooker; instant grits are pre-cooked and dehydrated. Add boiling water to enjoy.

How to Make Instant Pot Grits

Unlike stovetop grits, these Instant Pot Grits turn rich and luscious in the pressure cooker, which means you won't have the task of standing over the stove and stirring for 30, 40, or 50 minutes to get the perfect texture. We'll consider that a win!

Gather your ingredients—the list is pretty basic: grits, water, salt. Then, you'll dress them up with half-and-half, Parmesan cheese, butter, and fresh parsley.

instant pot grits ingredients
Will Dickey

Step 1. Prepare the grits

Grits will stick to the inside of an Instant Pot insert if you do not thoroughly coat it in cooking spray. While, yes, you could clean it off ultimately, let's just not make more work than we have to. So grab that cooking spray, and cover the inside of the Instant Pot insert.

Next, add the water, grits, and salt. Stir gently to combine, but make sure all the grits are under water before you bring the cooker to pressure.

grits in instant pot
Will Dickey

Step 2. Cook the grits

Place the Instant Pot lid on the machine, and secure it in place for sealing. Select manual/pressure cook setting, and then select high pressure for 10 minutes. Once you press start, it'll take 9 to 10 minutes for the Instant Pot to come up to pressure. Then, it'll begin the 10 minutes of cooking.

Step 3. Release the pressure

After the 10 minutes of cook time, let the Instant Pot release pressure naturally. This will take about 15 minutes. When the pressure is out and all the steam has escaped, the float valve will drop. Carefully remove the lid.

Now, you get to finish off the grits. Add the Parmesan, half-and-half, parsley, and pepper. Stir until the cheese is melted, and everything is well combined.

grits in instant pot insert
Will Dickey

How Long Do You Cook Grits in the Instant Pot?

Cook grits for 10 minutes at High pressure.

What to Serve with Instant Pot Grits

These creamy, luscious grits are ideal as a savory side or as the base of Shrimp and Grits. Add an egg, and serve for breakfast, or try Deviled Grits, which adds bacon and brown sugar. There isn't a wrong way to enjoy grits.

How to Store Instant Pot Grits

Store Instant Pot grits in the fridge in an airtight container, and enjoy within three to four days after preparing. Grits can be frozen as well and kept for around a month properly stored: Grease a baking tray and pour in leftover grits. Wrap well with plastic wrap and foil, and freeze. Thaw grits in the fridge overnight before rewarming to maintain the best texture. Reheat in a 350°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes until warmed through.

Editorial Contributions by Alexandra Emanuelli.


  • Cooking spray

  • 3 cups water

  • 1 cup uncooked stone-ground grits

  • 2 tsp. kosher salt

  • 2 ½ oz. Parmesan cheese, finely shredded (about 1 cup)

  • ½ cup half-and-half

  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, plus more for serving

  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish

  • ¼ tsp. black pepper, plus more for garnish


  1. Liberally coat the insert of a 6-quart programmable pressure multicooker (such as Instant Pot) with cooking spray. (Times, instructions, and settings may vary according to cooker brand or model.) Add water, grits, and salt to cooker; stir gently to combine, allowing grits to fall in an even layer in bottom of insert. Cover cooker with lid, and lock in place. Turn steam release handle to SEALING position. Select MANUAL/PRESSURE COOK setting. Select HIGH pressure for 10 minutes. (It will take 9 to 10 minutes for cooker to come up to pressure before cooking begins.)

  2. Let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes. Carefully turn steam release handle to VENTING position, and let steam fully escape (float valve will drop). (This will take about 5 minutes.)

  3. Remove lid from cooker. Add cheese, half-and-half, butter, parsley, and pepper to grits in cooker, stirring until cheese is melted and grits are creamy. Garnish with additional parsley and pepper; serve hot with additional butter.

Related Articles