Fried Tilapia over Tomato, Jalapeno and White Cheddar Grits

Don’t judge a girl because you saw the word “Fried”. Just keep scrolling.

You know I won’t let you down.

IMGP5360 copy

Do you see how snuggly those little fried fish nuggets look all comfy in their bed of grits?  I want to be that comfortable every time I go to bed.

Just throwing that out there. We all have to have deep fried goodness every now and then. As long as it doesn’t lead to full on gluttony like inhaling an entire fried chicken in one sitting.

Moderation, kids. Moderation.


This dish lends itself to perfection in many ways. It’s perfect for a Sunday brunch with mimosas, but will work equally as well for a weeknight dinner.


Ok, so this was basically one of those dishes created out of pure crave. I’ve had cheese grits on the mind for a week or so, and this ended up being a jackpot recipe based on what I had in mind.

IMGP5365 1

It doesn’t always happen that way…but it makes me so damn excited when it does.


Sometimes my foodie mind gets going, something sparks a beautiful idea and before I know it I’m pulling things out of the fridge and pantry, feeling ON FIRE – because that’s what happens when shit gets real, right?

But – there definitely are times that I’m thinking YES!  

Shit’s getting real!!

Then, it’s all too obvious –  it was a false alarm. See, this is where you very quickly figure out that it won’t work…that shit – in fact – just isn’t getting real.

Like, there’s not even the slightest tiny remnant of a shit attempting to get its act together and get real. Multiple aspects could be the reason- it’s as if the food is being spiteful. I hate those moments.  #foodblogger problems

Luckily, this was one of the many times that shit did, in fact, get real. Makes me so happy…

Here’s your printable-

Fried Tilapia over Tomato, Jalapeno and White Cheddar Grits

Fried Tilapia over Tomato, Jalapeno and White Cheddar Grits


    For the Grits
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup pickled jalapenos, diced
  • 1 cup Quick Cooking Grits
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. pepper
  • 2 tbsp. whole cream (this not necessary if you don't have it on hand)
  • 6 oz. Cabot Farmhouse Reserve White Cheddar, shredded
  • For the Tilapia:
  • 1 lb. Tilapia, cut into quarters
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups canola oil


  • Bring the water, tomatoes and jalapenos to a boil; add grits and whisk to combine. Turn the heat down to low and cover.
  • Cook about 5 minutes, adding a little water at a time if it starts to scorch.
  • Stir in whole cream, salt pepper and cheese, continue stirring until cheese has melted.
  • Remove from heat and cover.
  • Tilapia:
  • Combine flour, cornmeal, salt, pepper and cayenne.
  • Whisk the egg and milk together in a separate bowl.
  • Heat the oil over medium-high heat (to about 375 degrees).
  • Dip fish pieces in flour mixture, then egg mixture, then flour mixture again.
  • Add fish a few pieces at a time, about 1-2 minutes each side until golden brown.
  • Serve over grits.
  • [xyz-ihs snippet="Swoop"]


  • Shea

    Shea Goldstein is a writer and the voice behind Dixie Chik Cooks. She's also a recipe developer and brand ambassador. She has been published in several media platforms such as Redbook, Parade, Food Blogger Magazine and more. She has been developing recipes and writing since 2009. Shea is a Southern Belle Who's Thinking About What's For Dinner While Eating Lunch

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. That looks like some serious yumminess there! I love Southern food! And I like fried food…not judging you one bit. I want this for lunch.

    1. Shea

      Thanks so much Michelle!

  2. Carolyn @ Cabot Cheese

    I can’t even with this recipe…I need this NOW for lunch!~Carolyn @ Cabot

    1. Shea

      Carolyn – YES you can!! lol

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.