Are grits gluten-free?

In this short article, we will answer the question “Are grits gluten-free?”, will explain what is it and share with you a delicious grits recipe.

Are grits gluten-free?

Yes. As long as the brand of grits is produced in a gluten-free facility, grits are a naturally gluten-free item that can be consumed without risk while following a gluten-free diet. 

However, certain grits are produced with other gluten-containing grains, which increases the possibility of cross-contamination. Always read the ingredients listed on the packaging.

What are grits exactly?

Grits are a common American meal made from crushed dry hominy, a type of corn that has undergone specific processing, which is then heated until it becomes soft and creamy.

When beans are cooked, they swell up and take up the cooking liquid, becoming slightly gelatinized. There are many grain grinds available, from coarse to medium to fine. The beans can be yellow in addition to their regular white colour.

What sort of corn is utilised to manufacture the hominy is the cause of the colour variation.

Even though grits have a rather moderate flavour on their own, the flavour of the cooking liquid will be present. Additionally, they are frequently cooked with cheese, butter, and salt as seasonings.

When boiling beans, it’s a good rule of thumb to remember that they’ll take up around four times as much liquid as their volume. 

In order to produce a cup of beans, you would therefore need to boil four cups of water or broth with the beans for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the liquid is completely absorbed. Additionally, some beans cook instantly in a matter of minutes.

In South America, where they are served in place of potatoes, grits are a well-liked dish. However, they can be had at any meal; one of the most well-known dishes is shrimp and grits.

Is polenta the same as grits?

No. And now for something you may not be aware of: grits and polenta are two different foods. And it’s not because the beans are normally white and the polenta is yellow. Beans are prepared from dried hominy, as I described at the beginning. 

And the term “hominy” specifically refers to corn that has been treated by soaking and frying in an alkaline solution, typically something called “limewater.” This type of corn is typically referred to as “hard corn.”

This procedure, known as nixtamalization, also results in two additional qualities of hominy that set it apart from regular field corn, which is used to make corn flakes, cornmeal, and polenta.

Niacin (vitamin B3) is released from corn during nixtamalization, allowing our bodies to absorb it. Additionally, it causes a chemical alteration that enables the proteins and carbohydrates in the soil hominy to adhere to one another. 

This means that ground hominy flour, also known as masa, can be made into a dough by adding water. Without it, making corn tortillas and tortilla chips would be impossible.

Additionally, nixtamalization aids in removing the nut hulls, expands and gelatinizes the starches, releases tastes and smells, and makes hominy simpler to process. Thus, beans are more delicious than polenta. Take care of it.)

Grits, which are produced from ground hominy, are frequently referred to as hominy grits or southern grits, whereas polenta, which is made from ground corn, is sometimes termed “corn grits.”

Since so many distinct dishes have “grits” in their names, it is simple to mistake them for one another.

But keep in mind that beans are manufactured from hominy, which is a grain that has been nixtamalized. It tastes different from polenta, has a different nutritional makeup, and may be used to make pasta, among other distinctions.

Recipe for grits and shrimp

Shrimp and grits, or simply shrimp and grits, are one of the most common and homemade dishes in the southern United States. 

Recently, this straightforward dish has gained popularity, and everyone is asking for the recipe for shrimp and grits, which is simply shrimp cooked in a corn cream resembling our xerém or polenta and topped with heaps of cheddar cheese. 

Do you want to know how to do it?


For the shrimp:

  •  500 grams of prawns
  •  8 slices of bacon
  •  3 cloves of crushed garlic
  •  1 onion or shallot chopped
  •  1 lemon (juice)
  •  2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
  •  1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  •  1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  •  1 coffee spoon of Tabasco
  •  Black pepper

For the grits:

  •  3 cups water or chicken broth
  •  2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  •  1 cup finely ground hominy or polenta
  •  3 tablespoons of sour cream
  •  3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  •  salt

Method of preparation:

  • To prepare this American grits recipe, start by making the grits, and bringing the water or broth to a boil. When it boils, add the hominy or polenta and keep stirring over medium heat until all the pieces dissolve and become thick.
  • Tip: How long it takes for the grits to thicken depends on whether you’re using grits or polenta – polenta cooks faster.
  • Then add the butter, cream and cheese and mix everything very well. Turn off the heat and let it rest covered.
  • Tip: The cheese traditionally used in this dish is sharp cheddar, which is a cheese with a longer curing time than regular cheddar, so a little harder.
  • Keep making this shrimp and grits recipe: In a large skillet, fry the bacon until crispy. Remove to a plate with absorbent paper and, in the remaining fat, cook the shrimp for 3 minutes or until it changes colour. Season to taste with pepper.
  • Add the remaining seasonings to the shrimp: garlic, onion, parsley, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco and lemon juice and mix everything. Let it stay for another 1 minute, to activate the flavours, and turn off the heat.
  • Tip: You can replace Tabasco with another hot sauce of your choice.
  • To serve the shrimp and grits, place the grits on individual plates, add a portion of the shrimp and garnish with the bacon cut into pieces and, if desired, chopped chives as well.

Indulge in this traditional southern US recipe and let us know what you think in the comments – we guarantee you’ll love it!


In this short article, we answered the question “Are grits gluten-free?”, explained what grits and shared with you a delicious grits recipe.


Leave a Comment