Shredded Barbecue Chicken over Grits Recipe
Shredded Barbecue Chicken over Grits Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Shredded Barbecue Chicken over Grits Recipe

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“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
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

Nutritional Facts

1 each: 345 calories, 9g fat (4g saturated fat), 62mg cholesterol, 718mg sodium, 42g carbohydrate (17g sugars, 4g fiber), 25g protein Diabetic Exchanges:2-1/2 starch, 3 lean meat 1 fat


  1. Sprinkle chicken with pepper; place in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray.
  2. 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 meat thermometer reads 170°. Shred meat with two forks and return to the skillet.
  3. 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.
  4. Divide grits among six serving bowls; top each with 1/2 cup chicken mixture. Serve with tomato, sour cream, green onions and cilantro. Yield: 6 servings.
Originally published as Shredded Barbecue Chicken over Grits in Healthy Cooking October/November 2010, p53

Sweet White Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a sweet white wine such as Moscato or a sweet Riesling.

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Reviewed 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!"

Reviewed Nov. 24, 2011

"Delicious!! And pretty easy to put together."

Reviewed 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!!"

Reviewed Jan. 8, 2011

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

Reviewed 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."

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