Habanero Cheese Grits with Pan-Blackened Fish

Total Time: 50 min
Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 20 min

4 Servings (serving size is 3 ounces fish, 1/2 cup grits, and 1 3/4 cups salad)


This recipe is the perfect blend of spice and body to create a wholly satisfying meal! Recipe courtesy of VeryWellFit.
Calories: 410
Total Fat: 19g
Saturated Fat: 5g
Cholesterol: 75mg
Sodium: 560mg
Total Carbohydrate: 26g
Dietary Fiber: 4g
Total Sugars: 4g
Added Sugars: 0g
Protein: 36g
Vitamin D: 1mcg
Calcium: 171mg
Iron: 3mg
Potassium: 900mg

Habanero Cheese Grits with Pan-Blackened Fish


  1. In a small bowl, combine paprika, cumin, ground chile, ground mustard, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and salt.

  2. Sprinkle the spice mixture on both sides of each fish fillet. Spread the mixture evenly to the edges of each piece.

  3. In a medium saucepan, stir together the chicken broth and grits; cover the pot. Over medium-high heat, bring the grits to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook the grits, stirring occasionally, until they are thickened and tender about 20 minutes. Remove pot from the heat, add half of the habanero cheddar, and stir until the cheese is melted.

  4. While the grits are cooking, in a large cast iron or stainless steel skillet, warm the garlic-infused oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil in the pan is hot enough to sizzle a drop of water, add the fish fillets. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until thin edges become pale and opaque, then flip and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. Check each fillet at its thickest point to be sure that it is done all the way through. Cooked fish is a solid white color and flakes apart easily. For best results, the entire surface of each fillet should make contact with the pan, so you may wish to cook the fish in two batches.

  5. In each of 4 bowls, place a mound of cheese grits to one side. On the other side, arrange the lettuce and tomatoes. Top the vegetables with the cooked fish. To garnish, sprinkle each bowl with 1/4 of the remaining habanero cheddar, scallions, avocado, pumpkin seeds, and cilantro. Serve with wedges of lime.

How to make


  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ancho chile

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

  • 1 pound cod or another firm white fish (four 4-ounce fillets)

  • 2 1/4 cups reduced-sodium, low-FODMAP chicken broth (no garlic or onions)

  • 1/2 cup uncooked corn grits

  • 1/2 cup shredded habanero cheddar cheese, divided

  • 2 tablespoons garlic-infused olive oil

  • 4 cups thinly sliced Romaine lettuce

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh tomato

  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallion greens (green part only)

  • 1/2 medium avocado, chopped

  • 3 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro

  • 1 lime, in wedges