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Shredded Barbecue Chicken over Grits

There’s nothing like juicy meat over steaming grits. And the pumpkin in these grits makes them taste like a spicy, comforting bowl of fall flavors. Your family will come running to the table for this one. —Erin Renouf Mylroie, Santa Clara, Utah
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Cook: 25 min.
  • Makes
    6 servings


  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 1 cup hickory smoke-flavored barbecue sauce
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 tablespoon ground ancho chili pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2-1/4 cups water
  • 1 cup quick-cooking grits
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 6 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro


  • Sprinkle chicken with pepper; place in a large nonstick skillet.
  • In a large bowl, combine 1 cup broth, barbecue sauce, molasses, chili pepper and cinnamon; pour over chicken. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until a thermometer reads 165°. Shred meat with 2 forks and return to the skillet.
  • Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, bring water and remaining broth to a boil. Slowly stir in grits and pumpkin. Reduce heat; cook and stir for 5-7 minutes or until thickened. Stir in cheese until melted.
  • Divide grits among 6 serving bowls; top each with 1/2 cup chicken mixture. Serve with tomato, sour cream, green onions and cilantro.
Nutrition Facts
1 serving: 345 calories, 9g fat (4g saturated fat), 62mg cholesterol, 718mg sodium, 42g carbohydrate (17g sugars, 4g fiber), 25g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 2-1/2 starch, 1 fat.
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Average Rating:
  • Jaclyn
    Aug 3, 2020

    No comment left

  • Googeegaga
    Oct 25, 2019

    So good!

  • SuSey22
    Jan 4, 2014

    I am new to grits & really enjoyed this recipe, I used a sweeter BBQ sauce but loved the zip from the ancho chilli & pepper jack, this was a little too spicy for my daughter most found it the perfect balance of flavors, will definitely make this a regular on our menu!

  • melfreas
    Nov 24, 2011

    Delicious!! And pretty easy to put together.

  • dawnrosanne
    Mar 19, 2011

    I substituted 1 TB of chili powder for the ancho chili pepper. I don't even know what an ancho chili pepper is! Also, I did not like the grits, but my husband did. I fixed a side of plain rice and put my chicken on top of that instead of the grits. I used Sweet Baby Ray's for the Barbeque Sauce. The chicken has a great flavor. The dinner was really good!!

  • harmycakes
    Jan 8, 2011

    This has become a new family favorite! The flavors blend together wonderfully. Fabulous dish!

  • jamiefish
    Nov 3, 2010

    My husband thought that it was "interesting". The kids didn't care for it. However, I thought it was delicious. I will be making it again regardless of the rest of my family's qualms.

  • katmthomas2002
    Oct 31, 2010

    We loved this recipe! I doubled the amount of chicken it called for, and cooked the chicken mixture in the crock pot for 5 hours on high. I will definitely make it again.

  • hmillay
    Oct 17, 2010

    We found this to be somewhat odd. Maybe it's the pumpkin in the grits? Or maybe barbecue sauce just doesn't jive with the southwestern elements (the pepper jack, cilantro, ancho chile powder, etc.). I think the quality and flavor of the bbq sauce is crucial here - ours was okay, but not super fancy. Maybe that's the issue? I would totally eat the grits on their own, though - yum!