Jalapeño Cheese Grits with Jammy Eggs and Bacon

published Oct 7, 2020
Jalapeño Cheese Grits with Jammy Eggs and Bacon

These creamy, cheesy grits topped with crispy bacon, a soft-boiled egg, and fresh scallions are perfect any time of day.

Serves4

Prep10 minutes

Cook20 minutes

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Credit: Photo: Justin Bridges; Food Styling: Tyna Hoang

The first time I had jalapeño cheese grits was in Houston. I was meeting up with a friend for a cross-country road trip, and before we hit the road we grabbed food with her family at an all-day breakfast joint called Pecan Creek Grille. It’s a beloved local staple, known for its buttery biscuits and, of course, creamy grits.

Having grown up in Florida I was no stranger to grits, but these were something special. I remember the first bite so clearly: ultra smooth and rich, with a subtle jalapeño flavor that felt like a warm hug. Like regular cheese grits, they were sharp from the cheddar, but the brightness of the jalapeño helped ground them in a way I hadn’t experienced with other grits.

This recipe is inspired by that comforting bowl, which I haven’t stopped dreaming about since. Jammy soft-boiled eggs and crispy bacon bits make it a complete meal, whether you enjoy it for breakfast, dinner, or anytime in between.

Credit: Photo: Justin Bridges | Food Stylist: Tyna Hoang

Making Your Own Perfect Bowl of Grits

Grits are an incredibly personal thing for many people, and there’s no shortage of opinions on how to make them perfect (to soak or not to soak, heavy cream versus whole milk, etc). I prefer thicker grits that are cooked quickly, which is reflected in this recipe. But feel free to adjust it to your preferences — or whatever won’t make your family mad at you.

While stone-ground grits are ideal for flavor, they can be challenging to find in some parts of the U.S., which is where quick-cooking grits come in. Unlike the coarser raw texture you see from the stone-ground variety, quick-cook versions are finely processed, yielding an ultra-creamy result in minutes. I’ve included instructions for both versions below.

More Grits Recipes We Love

Credit: Photo: Tyna Hoang | Food Stylist: Justin Bridges

Jalapeño Cheese Grits with Jammy Eggs and Bacon

These creamy, cheesy grits topped with crispy bacon, a soft-boiled egg, and fresh scallions are perfect any time of day.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 20 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 4

    medium jalapeño peppers

  • 2

    medium scallions

  • 4 ounces

    cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)

  • 8 slices

    thick-cut bacon

  • 3 cups

    water

  • 2 cups

    whole milk

  • 4

    large eggs

  • 1 cup

    quick-cooking grits, preferably yellow

  • 3 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon

    ground white pepper

  • Flaky salt and fresh black pepper, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Fill a small saucepan with about 3 inches of water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, trim the stems from 4 medium jalapeños, then halve lengthwise. Discard the membranes and seeds. Thinly slice crosswise and place in a large saucepan. Thinly slice 2 medium scallions on a slight diagonal. Shred 4 ounces cheddar cheese (about 1 cup). Cut 8 slices thick-cut bacon into bite-sized pieces and place in a large skillet.

  2. When the water is boiling, add 4 large eggs, reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, and cook for 6 minutes. Transfer the eggs to a cutting board to cool slightly.

  3. Add 3 cups water and 2 cups whole milk to the jalapeños and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. While whisking constantly, carefully pour in 1 cup quick-cooking grits about a tablespoon at a time to ensure there’s no clumping. Boil for 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cover. Cook, stirring often to avoid sticking, until the grits are creamy but sturdy enough to hold some shape, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the bacon.

  4. Place the skillet of bacon over medium-high heat and cook until crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. When the eggs are cool enough to handle, peel and halve lengthwise.

  5. When the grits are ready, remove from the heat. If you prefer thinner grits, add 1/4 cup water or more until desired texture. Add the cheese, 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon white pepper. Stir until the cheese and butter are melted.

  6. To serve, ladle the grits into bowls. Top with the crispy bacon, scallions, and one soft-boiled egg per bowl. Garnish with flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper if desired.

Recipe Notes

Spicy variation: If you want a little heat, keep the seeds of 1 jalapeño. Adjust according to your spice preference.

Stone-ground grits variation: To use stone-ground grits instead of quick-cook, adjust the cooking time to about 20 minutes. The same ingredients and steps apply.

Make ahead: The grits can be made a day ahead and refrigerated. Add 1/2 cup water or more until desired consistency while reheating.

Storage: Grits can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.