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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. Christin
      Christin Mahrlig

      I haven’t tried baking them Rebekah. I think they would turn out like most things baked instead of fried- pretty good, but not as good as frying!

  1. Mike Swindle

    Nevermind – I didn’t read the recipe completely. Was thinking it would be a separate recipe. BTW – I also just saw a flash of light and heard a loud boom!!!

  2. Mike Swindle

    What is the recipe for the “simple pepper jelly sauce”? It is referred to as pepper jelly, apple cider vinegar and dijon mustard but it does not specify how much of each. Can you provide that for us?

  3. This may be a silly question but what is grits? I am from Australia….never heard of this ingredient .

  4. These little balls are served at Ginger Brown’s restaurant in Fort Worth, TX. I just had them yesterday. Great reheated, too!

    1. I live in the DFW Area… I’ll going to go to the place so i can try these fritters…I make them also…My family was surprise when i made these with my left-over grits

  5. I have never seen or heard of this recipe! Truly a new take on grits- cannot wait to try it. Thanks for sharing.

  6. I’ve never thought of or ever had this but it makes total senses! It looks perfectly fried – and would be such a crowd pleaser for any game night kind of gathering (or just for no reason at all!).

  7. Catalina @ Shades of Pink

    I love Southern food, but this is something I have never tried, and I am so ready to do so.

  8. Annie @Maebells

    How this is my kind of recipe! I love grit fritters! I actually love grits in any form or fashion….actually I think that is a requirement if your South of the Mason Dixon, right?! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. Sarah@wholeandheavenlyoven

    I really don’t think I would be able to keep my hands off of these fritters. They look SO crispy and crunchy—perfect!

  10. Isadora @ she likes food

    These look awesome!! I love delicious finger foods too, especially when dipped in a pepper jelly sauce! I could be happy just eating a bunch of these for dinner ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. I have never had this kind of fritters…and I am loving it with the red pepper jelly…looks delicious Christin!
    Hope you are having a great week ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Krystle(Baking Beauty)

    Deep fried grits? Oh my gosh I didn’t think they could get any better! Your dipping sauce looks incredible too! Pinned!

  13. Kathy @ Olives & Garlic

    I had grits once at Cracker Barrel and remember loving them. I bet these are super good. Must try!

  14. Jess @ On Sugar Mountain

    Oh man you just brought everything I love about so many different Southern foods into one awesome finger food! Hush puppy meets grits meets beignets meets MY MOUTH. Pinning this for football food! ๐Ÿ˜€

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