Grit Crusted Gator Nuggets

Wow…the year has flown by so far. I can’t believe it’s already Independence Day, and we are more than halfway through 2023. However, given that it’s July 4th, we figured it was the perfect day to post a dish with an intensely American flare. Fried Grit Crusted Gator seemed to fit the bill just about perfectly…especially with our New Orleans style dipping sauce.

When we cooked this, we didn’t have access to all purpose flour, so we coated our gator directly with instant grits, and it worked surprisingly well. That said, to get the grits to adhere and coat a little better, we suggest tossing your gator in flour, coating in egg, and then crusting with your grits…but using our result as proof, you can skip the flour and egg step on this one if you like! The grits formed a really nice and unique crust for our nuggets, and everything paired really well with our Remoulade.

We served our gator as an entree over a bed of rice pilaf and sautéed spinach and onion. However, these morsels would also be a great hors d’oeuvre.

Time: 30 Minutes


  • For your Nuggets:
    • Gator Meat
    • Instant Grits
    • Garlic Powder
    • Salt
  • For your Dipping Sauce:
    • Mayonnaise
    • Garlic Powder
    • Cayenne
    • Sweet Relish
    • Optional: Horseradish


  • Cut your meat into chunks, and give them a garlic powder and salt sprinkle. Then, transfer them to a bowl.
  • Pour in some instant grits over your gator meat, and toss to coat. You’ll need more grits than you think. **We went directly to grits coating since we didn’t have all purpose flour available. If you have flour and want slightly better adherence, toss your meat in flour first…then coat in egg before grit encrusting.
  • Melt some butter and olive oil together in a pan, and when it’s hot, arrange your gator nuggets in a single layer in the pan.
  • Fry for about 5 minutes until the bottoms are golden brown and crispy. Then, carefully flip, and cook the other side until your gator meat becomes firm and reaches a minimum internal cook temp of 165 degrees F. (Don’t worry…the coating and butter will prevent drying out).
  • As your meat cooks, combine your dipping sauce ingredients into a small bowl, and stir to combine.
  • When your gator is ready, plate, devour, and enjoy!

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