Spicy Squid and Grits

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This spicy squid and grits recipe is loaded with fresh, late summer tomatoes, crushed red pepper, and lots of fresh basil. We pile it on top of creamy grits for a comforting, filling dinner that you can make in about 30 minutes!

Spicy Squid and Grits Recipe_MidPage

I love shrimp and grits, but this week my CSA sent us fresh squid to use up. I decided that I wanted to try out a squid and grits recipe. In this recipe, I used loads of cherry tomatoes and chopped Roma tomatoes along with minced garlic and chili peppers to create a rich, sweet, and spicy sauce that worked perfectly with the squid.

How to make this Spicy Squid and Grits Recipe:

This squid and grits recipe is really easy to whip up.

You’ll start with the sauce. First, you’ll sauté an onion, add garlic, and then add minced red Fresno chili peppers. You can replace with crushed red pepper if you don’t have whole chili peppers.

After they aromatics are softened, melt a bit of butter into the pot and add the tomatoes. In this recipe, I used chopped Roma and whole cherry tomatoes, but you can use any combination of tomatoes you like. A simple can of diced tomatoes works well here too!

Add some stock and bring it to a boil. From here, it’s just a matter of letting the broth reduce down a bit.

While the sauce simmers, prepare the grits and set them aside to keep warm.

The final step of the sauce is just stirring in fresh basil leaves. Next, arrange the squid on top and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Transfer to the broiler and cook for about 7-10 minutes or until the squid is opaque and begins to char in places.

To serve, throw a splash of lemon juice on the squid and pile it on top of the grits! Yum!

Looking for more pescatarian recipes? Check my archives!

If you made this recipe, please rate the recipe below and leave a comment to tell me how you liked it! If you take a picture of it, please tag me on Instagram so I can feature you in my feed!

Spicy Squid and Grits Recipe_MidPage

Spicy Squid and Grits

This spicy squid and grits recipe is loaded with fresh, late summer tomatoes, crushed red pepper, and lots of fresh basil.
4 from 3 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 503kcal




  • 2 teaspoons neutral cooking oil
  • 1 yellow onion peeled and diced
  • 5 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 2 red Fresno chili peppers trimmed and minced; or use crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 Roma tomatoes chopped
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes left whole
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves a few leaves reserved for garnish
  • 1 pound squid cleaned; tentacles left whole, tubes cut into rings
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ lemon juiced
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • 1 cup yellow corn grits
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup whole milk or ½ cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Salt, pepper, and paprika to taste


Cook the Sauce Aromatics:

  • Heat 2 teaspoons neutral cooking oil in a wide pot. Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and minced chili pepper and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.

Cook Tomatoes:

  • Melt the butter into the aromatics and add the chopped and whole tomatoes. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the tomatoes begin to break down a bit. Season with salt and pepper.

Simmer the Sauce:

  • Pour in the stock and bring to a bowl. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer over a very, very low boil for 10-12 minutes until the broth is thickened and reduced. Taste and season again to your preferences, adding more crushed red pepper if a spicier sauce is wanted.
  • After the sauce has simmered, tear the basil leaves in half and stir into the sauce.

Prepare the Grits:

  • While the sauce is simmering, cook the grits. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a medium pot. Stir in the grits and whisk constantly until they begin to thicken, about 5-10 minutes, reducing heat as necessary to keep the grits from bubbling over too much.
  • Whisk in the butter and milk or cream and reduce heat to low, simmering for 10 minutes and whisking occasionally. Season with salt, pepper, and paprika to taste. Keep warm.

Cook the Squid:

  • As the grits finish simmering, cook the squid. Turn to the broiler on high. Pat the squid dry and arrange in an oven layer on top of the tomatoes. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.
  • Transfer to the pot to the broiler for 7-9 minutes, checking the squid occasionally, until the squid is opaque and cooked through. Don't overcook the squid.

Finish the Squid:

  • Transfer the pot back to the stove and add the lemon juice.

To Serve:

  • Divide the grits between shallow bowls and pile the squid and tomato sauce on top. Garnish with lemon slices (if desired) and reserved fresh basil leaves. Enjoy!


Calories: 503kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 23g | Sodium: 229mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin C: 52mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @triedandtruerecipes or tag #triedandtruerecipes so I can feature you in my feed!

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