Sweet Potato Grits

Kitchen Tested
  • Yield 6 servings

The marriage of two Southern staples -- grits and sweet potatoes -- in a creative new brunch or dinner side dish.

High Cotton Food Styling & Photgraphy

“The first time I had sweet potato grits, it was a revelation. Two of the ultimate Southern sides were married into one—delicious.” -- Virginia Willis


2 cups water
3 cups low-fat or whole milk
1 cup stone-ground grits
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and grated
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
White pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 pinch ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon unsalted butter


  1. Combine water and milk in a large heavy saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat. Slowly add grits, whisking constantly. Add sweet potato. Season with salt and white pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring often, until grits are creamy and thick, 45 to 60 minutes.
  2. Taste grits and sweet potatoes to make sure both are cooked and tender. Add ground ginger, cinnamon and butter. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and white pepper. Serve immediately.

Brilliant Short Recipe: Sweet Potato Spoonbread

Add a bit of technique and the basic country classic is transformed into a brilliant soufflé-like spoonbread. Preheat oven to 375F. Butter a 2-quart casserole. To the cooked sweet potato grits, add 2 large eggs, one at a time, stirring after each addition. In a separate bowl, beat 2 large egg whites and 1 pinch of salt with a handheld mixer until stiff peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into warm sweet potato mixture. Transfer mixture to prepared pan; smooth the top. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, until outside is puffed and risen, inside is firm but moist, and top is golden brown. Serve immediately while still puffed. Serves 6.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Virginia Willis’ Basic to Brilliant, Y’all: 150 Refined Southern Recipes and Ways to Dress Them Up for Company (Ten Speed Press, 2011).



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