A Buffalo Chicken Grits Bowl is made with creamy cheesy grits, crispy bacon, sauteed spinach, fresh corn, and spicy shredded buffalo chicken. It’s a comfort food meal that you can make in just 30 minutes.
I love grits. I am fascinated by how the popularity of grits tends to be tied to geography in America. Since I grew up in Maine, I never tasted grits until I went to Charleston when I was in grad school. It took me a while to taste grits, but once I did, I was hooked.
Usually, when I think of grits I think of breakfast. Grits, hot sauce, bacon, and a runny egg is an ideal breakfast. After eating that breakfast on repeat, I wanted to find a way to incorporate grits into a meal that could be served for dinner. It’s a combination that I discovered in Santa Fe, and I enjoyed it so much that it inspired me to start making grits at home.
My love of grits became well documented, and the owners of Farm + Table, my favorite shop in my hometown noticed and sent me their favorite grits, and it inspired this Buffalo Chicken Grits Bowl. First I made the cheesy grits. They take about 30 minutes to prepare, so get the grits cooking first. Meanwhile, cook the bacon, corn, and spinach. Then shred a rotisserie chicken and add buffalo sauce.
Once the grits have cooked, assemble the grits bowl by adding the buffalo chicken, corn, spinach, and bacon on top of the grits. There is something about the combination of cheesy grits and spicy sauces that I love. The buffalo sauce soaked shredded chicken is a perfect pairing for the grits. The corn and bacon add a bit of crunch and the spinach lends another vegetable to the mix.
I love this meal because it is a perfect way to meal prep dinner. Just assemble the grits bowls in an oven-safe container. Reheat in the oven before serving.
Buffalo Chicken Grits Bowl Recipe:
- 1 1/2 cups of Water
- 1 1/2 cups of Half and Half
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1 cup of Grits (also called Polenta)
- 2 tablespoons, plus 2 teaspoons Butter
- 1/4 cup Heavy Cream
- 1/2 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- 4 slices of Bacon
- 1 1/2 cups of Shredded Chicken
- about 1/3 cup Buffalo Sauce
- 2 ears of Corn
- 4 cups of Spinach
First, you want to get the grits going. They are going to take about 30 minutes to cook. Combine the water, half and half, and salt in a large pot. Bring to a steady simmer and then add the grits. Whisk to combine.
Let the grits slowly simmer over low heat for about 25, until they are very thick. Whisk periodically, this is the trick to getting smooth creamy grits.
While your grits are cooking, get to work on everything else. Place the bacon on a baking sheet (line it with parchment for easy clean up) and roast in the oven for 12-15 minutes at 375 degrees, until it is as crispy as you like it. Then place on a paper towel to cool, the paper towel will absorb any excess grease.
Meanwhile, add the buffalo sauce to the shredded chicken, you can add as little or as much as you like. To cook the corn, first use a sharp knife to cut the corn off the cob. Melt 1 teaspoon butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Once melted, add the corn and sprinkle with salt. Let the corn cook for about 3 minutes, until tender. Remove from the skillet and set aside. Use the same skillet to cook the spinach (no need to wash the skillet). Melt the remaining butter over medium heat, add the spinach, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Use tongs to stir and flip the spinach, evenly coating it in the butter. Cook until just wilted, and then set aside.
Once the grits have cooked for 25 minutes, add 2 tablespoons butter, the cream, and 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese. Stir to combine.
To assemble the grits bowls start by placing a couple of big spoonfuls of grits into four bowls (or an oven safe storage containers). Top with the buffalo chicken, corn, spinach, bacon, and remaining cheese. Either eat right away for store for later. If you are storing for later, I recommend reheating the grits bowls in the oven for 20 minutes at 300 degrees. You might have leftover grits, but that's a good thing.