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Grits Fritters Recipe

Crispy Fried Grits Fritters made from cheese grits with bacon, corn, and green onion. Dip them in a sweet and spicy pepper jelly sauce for an appetizer with tons of southern flair.

Crispy Fried Grits in metal serving tray.

I’m a big fan of anything that can be eaten with your fingers: hushpuppies, beignets, you name it. These grits fritters are so delicious, you’ll be popping one right after the other into your mouth.

The grits are made ahead of time and refrigerated to firm them up. If you cook a big batch of grits for breakfast, you could use the leftovers to make Grits Fritters.

Once chilled they are easy to shape into balls which are then dropped in an egg wash and rolled in Panko crumbs. Fry them in 350 degree oil until golden.

Crispy Fried Grits Fritters on wooden board with bowl of pepper jelly sauce.

Easy Pepper Jelly Sauce

They are crunchy on the outside and creamy and cheesy on the inside. Grits Fritters taste great on their own, but even better dipped in a simple pepper jelly sauce made with jarred Red Pepper Jelly, apple cider vinegar, and dijon mustard.

If you have fun eating fritters with your fingers, you should also try Fried Pimento Cheese Balls and Crawfish Etouffee Balls.

Hand dipping fritter in sauce.

Grits Fritters Recipe Tip

The grits will need to be made at least 4 hours in advance. Preferably a day in advance because you want them chilled so that they set up. This is necessary for them to hold their shape.

Grits Fritters with Bacon and Cheese and a Red Pepper Jelly Dipping Sauce

Recommended Equipment

  • Dutch Oven- a Dutch Oven like this one is perfect for frying a holds a nice even temperature.
  • Deep Frying Thermometer- not necessary but useful for keeping the oil temperature in the right range. I love this digital thermometer that can easily be clipped on the side of a Dutch oven.
  • Strainer- this KitchenAid All Purpose Strainer is perfect for fishing fried foods out of the oil.
Crispy Grits Fritters in metal serving dish with bowl of dipping sauce.

More Grits Recipes

Grits Fritters

Crispy Grits Fritters made with cheese grits flavored with bacon, corn, and green onion. Great on their own. Even better served with Red Pepper Jelly Sauce.
PREP: 4 hours 20 minutes
COOK: 12 minutes
TOTAL: 4 hours 32 minutes


  • 1 cup quick-cooking grits
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded extra-sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 2 green onions, minced
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cups Panko crumbs
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup Red Pepper Jelly
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar


  • Using 4 cups of milk and 1 teaspoon salt, prepare grits according to package directions. Remove grits from heat and stir in cheese, bacon, green onions, corn and both peppers. Pour into a lightly greased 8-inch square pan. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and chill 4 to 24 hours.
  • Using your hands, roll grits into 1 1/2-inch balls.
  • In a bowl, whisk together eggs and 1/4 cup water.
  • Dip balls in egg mixture and then roll in Panko crumbs to coat.
  • Pour 2-3 inches of oil in a Dutch oven or deep skillet. Heat oil to 350 degrees.
  • Fry fritters in batches for 3 to 4 minutes, until golden brown on all sides.
  • Drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Serve warm.
  • To make Pepper Jelly Dipping Sauce, combine pepper jelly, mustard and vinegar in a microwave safe bowl. Stir well. Microwave for 20 seconds or until warm.


Recipe makes about 32 fritters.


Calories: 364kcal
Author: Christin Mahrlig
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Southern
Keyword: fried foods, grits

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Recipe adapted from Southern Living The Way to Fry: Fresh, fabulous recipes for the modern Southern cook

Originally posted October 29, 2014.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

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34 thoughts on “Grits Fritters Recipe”

  1. Shelley Swindler

    Oh my… yummy!!!! I wonder if you could prepare ahead and flash freeze them???? I do a lot of events in my home… Moms nite in, friends over, teenagers gathering, etc. I was thinking these would be yummy to have pre made and be able to pull some out and pop in the air fryer last minute. Thoughts????

  2. How much corn do you use? I didn’t see in the recipe but in the the description on the top of the page

  3. I have used finely chopped spaghetti squash and also finely minced cauliflower to make fritters, usually added things like, minced onion, peppers, maybe cheese… then egg yolk, salt, pepper, garlic.. make into patties, then cover in panko crumbs, fry in just enough oil to prevent sticking we like them better than potatoes… never tried grits but will do so … Thanks for the recipe..

  4. I had never heard of grit fritters before, but I love hush puppies and corn fritters, so I thought I’d give it a try. Anyway, I recently moved to Florida (from the north) and had them in a restaurant. These were Garlic Grit Balls (no cheese) with Tomato Beurre Blanc sauce. I was in heaven–delicious.

  5. Great idea. Made them as patties instead of balls. Was able to use less oil. Also, I used leftover cheese grits instead of making the grits for this recipe. So, the overnight rest did work well to firm up the grits.

  6. Gonna serve these at my Christmas cocktail part dec 16….a no brainer appetizer, finger friendly.

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