December 8, 2022

Canadiannpizza

Cooking Is My World

Shrimp and Grits – Tastes Better From Scratch


This delicious homemade Shrimp and Grits recipe starts with perfectly creamy and flavorful grits topped with fresh shrimp and a delicious sauce. It’s the epitome of comfort food!

Looking for more seafood recipes? Try this Poke Bowl, Cioppino, Pad Thai, or Easy Homemade Crab Cakes!

A bowl filled with cheesy Shrimp and Grits and topped with green onions.

When I think of comfort food, a perfectly cooked and bold flavored Shrimp and Grits recipe is my ultimate craving. I love southern cooking (Gumbo has been my favorite food since I was a child!) and I’ve taken great care in testing my own shrimp and grits recipe that reminds me of the high quality versions I’ve enjoyed in the South. Perfectly tender, soft and creamy grits with flavorful shrimp and a little gravy sauce. YUM!

What are Grits?

Grits are a popular southern porridge made from cooking ground corn in water or broth until thick and smooth. There are a few different kinds, and they’re served in a variety of ways, including for breakfast, as a side dish, a main dish topped with shrimp or meat, or used in casseroles.

Let’s break down the different types of Grits:

  • Stone Ground Grits are the best, old-fashioned type of grits to use when making southern grits. They’re made from grinding the whole corn kernel, so the result is less processed, a richer flavor, speckled appearance, and they take slightly longer to cook. If you don’t live in the south, stone-ground may be hard to find at a local grocery store, but here’s a great option from Amazon.
  • Hominy Grits (aka Regular Grits) are most commonly found at nationwide supermarkets and will work for this recipe, but they don’t have as rich of a corn flavor as stone and the outer shell of the corn was removed. They are finer ground so keep in mind they will take less time to cook.
  • Instant Grits: These have the finest texture and have been precooked and dehydrated, so all you need to add is boiling water (similar to instant oatmeal). They have the weakest flavor and are not traditionally used in shrimp and grits.

Grits, Polenta and Cornmeal—What’s the Difference?

  • Grits are a staple in the Southern US and made from ground white or yellow corn.
  • Polenta is popular in Northern Italy and made from a different kind of yellow corn. It’s a good substitute for grits and some people even prefer to use polenta when making grits.
  • Cornmeal is very fine ground corn used for breading, or in baking cornbreads and muffins.

How to make Shrimp and Grits:

Cook Grits: Bring broth to a boil then whisk broth as you slowly pour the grits in, to prevent clumping. Return to a boil, then stir, reduce heat to low, cover with a lid and cook for 20-30 minutes, stirring every few minutes to make sure they’re not sticking to the bottom of the pot, until water is absorbed. They will be thickened, soft, smooth, and tender (you don’t want them overly thick/pasty).

A pot of cooked stone ground grits to make Shrimp and Grits.

Finish Grits: Stir in butter, then add cheese, or heavy cream. Taste and season with salt, if needed.

Cooked stone ground grits with cheddar cheese, heavy cream, and butter being added to it.

Cook Bacon: While grits are cooking, add bacon slices to a skillet. Turn heat to medium and cook for several minutes, stirring often, until fat is rendered and bacon is crispy. Remove bacon to a plate.

A cast iron pan with hot, crispy bacon to make Shrimp and Grits.

Prepare Shrimp: Turn heat to medium high and add shrimp to the pan with bacon grease. Cook for 1-2 minutes, just until the bottoms start to turn pink, then flip to the other side and cook an additional 1-2 minutes (don’t overcook the shrimp). Remove shrimp to a plate and cover to keep warm.

A cast iron pan with shrimp, being cooked for Shrimp and Grits.

Sauté Vegetables: Reduce heat to medium and add 1 tablespoon butter to the pan. Once butter is melted, add chopped onion, bell pepper, and garlic to the pan and sauté for 2 minutes, until tender.

A cast iron pan with diced onion and green pepper being sautéed in butter.

Make Gravy: Whisk in flour and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Slowly stir in 1 ½ cups chicken broth then add Cajun seasoning, Old Bay seasoning, and cayenne pepper. Cook until sauce is thickened to gravy consistency. Taste and add salt or other seasonings if needed, to taste. Remove from heat and add shrimp and bacon back to the pan.

The gravy for Shrimp and Grits in a cast iron pan, filled with bacon, shrimp, and sautéed vegetables.

Serve: Place a large spoonful of grits (about ¾ cup) onto a plate, smoothing into an even layer. Add a spoonful of shrimp and gravy on top. Garnish with green onions, fresh parsley, and squeeze a little lemon juice on top.

A close-up picture of homemade  Shrimp and Grits topped with green onions, fresh parsley, and a squeeze of lemon.

Storage Instructions:

To Store: Leftover grits will keep for 5 days stored in the fridge. Enjoy leftover shrimp within 2 days.

Recipe Variations:

  • Grits: For instant/quick grits, follow cooking instructions on package.
  • Cheese: Use freshly shredded cheese, not pre-shredded/packaged, and allow it to come to room temperature before adding.
  • Slow Cooker Grits: Spray slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray then add broth and grits to the pot. Cook on low for 6-7 hours. Stir in butter and cream or cheese.

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Recipe

  • Cook Grits: Bring broth to a boil. Once boiling, whisk the broth as you slowly pour the grits in, to prevent clumping. Return to a boil, then stir, reduce heat to low, cover with a lid and cook for 20-30 minutes, stirring every few minutes to make sure they’re not sticking to the bottom of the pot, until water is absorbed. They will be thickened, soft, smooth, and tender (you don’t want them overly thick/pasty).

  • Season Grits: Stir in butter until melted. Stir in cheese, or heavy cream. Taste and season with salt, if needed.

  • Cook Bacon: While grits are cooking, add bacon slices to a skillet. Turn heat to medium and cook for several minutes, stirring often, until fat is rendered and bacon is crispy. Remove bacon to a plate.

  • Cook Shrimp: Turn heat to medium high and add shrimp to the pan with bacon grease. Cook for 1-2 minutes, just until the bottoms start to turn pink, then flip to the other side and cook an additional 1-2 minutes (don’t overcook the shrimp). Remove shrimp to a plate and cover to keep warm.

  • Cook Gravy sauce: Reduce heat to medium. Add 1 tablespoon butter to the pan. Once butter is melted, add chopped onion, bell pepper and garlic to the pan and sauté for 2 minutes, until tender. Whisk in flour and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Slowly stir in 1 ½ cups chicken broth. Add Cajun seasoning, old bay seasoning, and cayenne pepper. Cook until sauce is thickened to gravy consistency. Taste and add salt or other seasonings if needed, to taste.

  • Remove from heat and add shrimp and bacon back to the pan.

  • Serve: Place a large spoonful of grits (about ¾ cup) onto a plate, smoothing into an even layer. Add a spoonful of shrimp and gravy on top. Garnish with green onions, fresh parsley, and squeeze a little lemon juice on top.

Cheese: Use freshly shredded cheese, if using any, (not pre-shredded/packaged), and allow it to come to room temperature before adding. Grits: for instant/quick grits, follow cooking instructions on package. Slow Cooker Grits: Spray slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Add broth and grits to the pot. Cook on low for 6-7 hours. Stir in butter and cream or cheese. Storing Instructions: Leftover grits will keep for 5 days stored in the fridge. Leftover shrimp should be enjoyed within 2 days.

Calories: 566kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 19gFat: 39gSaturated Fat: 19gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 85mgSodium: 601mgPotassium: 466mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 1430IUVitamin C: 18mgCalcium: 200mgIron: 2mg

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