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Simple Buttered Carolina Gold Rice Grits

Recipe for a broken heart: cook up a pot of rice grits, add butter, and have a good, long cry.

About 3¼ cups


15 minutes to cook and 10 minutes in the oven to dry

The rice may be prepared through step 1 a day in advance and chilled. To serve, proceed to step 2.


Plumper, rounder, meatier than the term “grits” suggests, rice grits are also more elemental, more satisfying than almost any dish on this website. They are made to be sauced. Freshly cooked and hot, rice grits are profoundly comforting with a ladle or two of Slow-Cooked Sea Island Red Peas thrown over them. Cooled slightly, sautéed with aromatics, and served with chicken and gravy, they achieve the status of an elegant side dish.

equipment mise en place

For this recipe, you will need a heavy-bottomed 3- to 4-quart saucepan, a wooden spoon, a fine-holed footed colander, a rimmed baking sheet, and a spatula.

    • 6
      cups spring or filtered water
    • Fine sea salt
    • 7
    • 2 to 3
      tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
    • ½
      teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    Bring the water and 1 tablespoon of salt to a boil in a heavy-bottomed 3- to 4-quart saucepan. Add the grits, stir once, and return to a boil. As soon as the water boils, reduce the heat. Simmer gently, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the rice is just tender with no hard starch at its center, about 15 minutes. Drain the grits in a fine-holed footed colander and rinse well with cool water. Shake the colander to drain off excess water.


    Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Evenly distribute the rice in a rimmed baking sheet. Place it in the oven to dry for about 5 minutes, gently turning the rice a few times with a spatula. Dot with the butter and sprinkle with the pepper and salt to taste. Continue turning the rice until the butter has melted and the rice is hot, about 5 minutes more. Transfer to a warmed serving bowl and serve immediately.