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Tonight’s Dinner: Chili-cheddar grits with grilled corn and tomatoes recipe

Grits are that classic Southern side dish that goes with everything from breakfast to dinner. But add some vegetables, and you turn that Southern side into a delicious main course.

Grits are commonly found in every diner in the south as a complement to those yummy bacon and egg breakfasts. But don’t worry, if you’re not a Southerner and love grits as much as I do, they can also be found next to the oatmeal in your local supermarket. And while I’ve always considered grits a first thing in the morning food, Fine Cooking was nice enough to show me the error of my ways. Turns out grits don’t just have to be a small side to your morning meal, they can be the main course at the end of the day as well. Add some fresh tomatoes and corn, and this meal is a guaranteed fall favorite.

Chili-cheddar grits with grilled corn and tomatoes

Serves 4


  • 2 ears fresh corn, shucked
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 large heirloom tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup quick-cooking grits
  • 3-1/2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat the grill to 400 degrees F.
  2. Rub the corn with one teaspoon olive oil and toss the tomatoes with the remaining oil. Sprinkle both with salt and pepper. Grill the corn and tomatoes until the corn is brown in spots and the tomatoes have softened, about 10 minutes.
  3. Set aside four tomato halves for garnish. Then place the remaining tomatoes in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Once the corn has cooled, cut the kernels from the cob.
  4. Bring water and salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Whisk in the grits, tomato puree and chili powder. Bring to a boil and stir in half the corn kernels. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the grits are thick, about five minutes. Whisk in the cheese until it melts, about a minute. Divide the grits among four bowls, top with a tomato half and some of the remaining corn and serve.

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