Shrimp and Grits is classic Southern comfort food. Spicy shrimp on a bed of creamy cheese grits topped with bacon — it’s the perfect combination of spicy, cheesy, and creamy. This is one of our favorite tried and true recipes for traditional Shrimp and Grits.
I am seriously in love with this shrimp and grits recipe. It’s packed with an unbelievably delicious combination of completely fantastic flavors. This cheese grits recipe is amazing! To put it simply, shrimp and grits are just plain awesome. This easy recipe is one of our favorites!
What Are Shrimp and Grits?
Shrimp and grits is traditionally a breakfast meal, but it is one of those fun meals you can have for breakfast, lunch or dinner! It originated in the South, and each region has their own version of this dish, so it’s something that can easily be customized if you want to try something different with it. When we travel, it’s something I look for so I can get a taste of the local cuisine.
Shrimp And Grits Recipe Ingredients
Quick grits are the best for this Shrimp and Grits recipe.
Normally you cook grits in water, but my secret to the best grits ever is to cook them in chicken broth instead. It makes the grits so much more rich and flavorful. I always keep chicken bouillon cubes or these bouillon granules in the pantry to make grits, just in case I don’t have any chicken broth on hand.
You’ll also need cajun seasoning for the shrimp. Don’t be shy with the seasoning here. The spiciness of the shrimp goes wonderfully with the coolness of the cheese grits.
And one of my favorite ingredients in this shrimp and grits recipe — Bacon! We love this thick-sliced bacon from Wright. Pick some up if you see it at the store next time, let me know how you like it! Here’s the quick and easy way I cook bacon in the oven.
After you cook the bacon, be sure to reserve a few tablespoons of the bacon grease to fry the shrimp in. You’ll be glad you did.
How to Make Shrimp and Grits
Making shrimp and grits can seem a little overwhelming at first, because it can seem like there’s a lot going on. Don’t let that deter you – most of these steps you can get done while the bacon and grits are cooking. You’ll get the hang of it in no time!
- Place your bacon on a metal cooling rack on a sheet pan in a cold oven. You want the sheet pan to have a lip on it because this will catch the bacon drippings. Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and cook the bacon for about 15 minutes on each side, or until it is crispy. Chop the bacon into bite-sized pieces and save the bacon grease to use later.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the water, bullion, butter and grits and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 7 minutes, or until the grits have thickened and are tender. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese.
- Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of the reserved bacon grease to a medium skillet and cook over medium high heat. Season the shrimp with plenty of Cajun seasoning. Add the shrimp to the skillet and cook until the shrimp turns pink, about 1 minute per side. Lower the heat to medium and add the bacon, scallions, garlic and lemon juice. Cook for another 1 to 2 minutes until the garlic and scallions have softened and the shrimp turns white.
- Serve the grits in a bowl and top with the shrimp. Enjoy!
Tips for the Best Shrimp and Grits
I’ve made this shrimp and grits so many times, it’s one of those meals I’ve mastered. Here are some tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way:
- Normally, grits are cooked in water, but my secret is to cook them in chicken broth or bouillon instead. This makes the grits much more rich and flavorful.
- Don’t be shy with the cajun seasoning. If you like more flavor, add it! Remember, it’s easier to add flavor than take it away.
- Purchasing your shrimp already peeled, deveined and without tails will save you a ton of time.
- If you aren’t a seafood cooking expert, get jumbo or giant shrimp. They are meatier so you won’t have to worry about overcooking them.
- Cheese can get a weird, grainy texture if it gets overheated. This is why we add the cheese to the grits last and remove it from the stove.
How to Serve Shrimp and Grits
Serve the cheesy grits in a shallow bowl, topped with the shrimp and bacon mixture. Garnish with leftover scallions if you’d like. If you are looking for something more to go with your meal, you can always add some toast or biscuits. Or, if you want something sweet, try these Easy Cinnamon Rolls.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
Store any leftovers in airtight containers in the refrigerator. I recommend storing the shrimp separate from the grits because when you reheat the grits, you don’t want to overcook the shrimp and make it rubbery, which is a sign that it’s overcooked. The shrimp is best reheated in the microwave for a few seconds, until it is warm. You’ll want to reheat the grits on the stovetop until warm, and add a little extra water or broth if it gets too thick.
Grits are a staple of Southern cuisine! Have you ever had grits? It’s basically just like polenta. They’re both made from dried corn. Polenta is ground a bit more coarse, while grits are ground more fine. You can use either in this recipe. Don’t forget the cheese — these creamy cheese grits are the best!Print
The Best Shrimp and Grits Recipe
- Prep Time: 30
- Cook Time: 15
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Cuisine: Seafood
Classic southern shrimp and grits recipe.
- 2 cups water
- 2 chicken bouillon cubes or 2 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup quick grits
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
FOR THE SHRIMP
- 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined, without tails
- cajun seasoning
- 4 slices thick cut bacon
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Arrange bacon on a metal cooling rack (like for cookies) and set the rack on a sheet pan (something with a lip all the way around). Place the bacon in a cold oven, then turn the oven on to 400 degrees F. Cook the bacon for about 15 mins on each side, or until crispy. Chop 4 slices into bite-sized pieces and reserve the bacon grease from the bottom of the pan.
FOR THE GRITS
- In a medium saucepan, bring water, bouillon, butter and grits to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 7 mins, until grits and thickened and tender. Remove from heat and stir in cheese.
- Meanwhile, add 1-2 tablespoons of the bacon grease to a medium skillet over medium high heat. Season the shrimp with plenty of cajun seasoning. Add the shrimp to the skillet and cook until the shrimp turn pink, about 1 minute per side. Lower the heat to medium and add the bacon scallions, garlic, and squeeze in some lemon juice. Cook for another 1-2 minutes until the garlic and scallions are softened and the shrimp turn white.
- Serve the grits in bowl and top with the shrimp. Enjoy!
Keywords: grits, shrimp and grits recipe, grits recipe, cheese grits, cheesy grits, shrimp & grits
Prepared this recipe. Turned out delicious. The results were incredible.
This has been one of my favorite go-to recipes for years…it’s quick, delicious and even my picky eaters clean their plates. With the cold winds starting to blow up here in Wisconsin, it’s what’s for dinner tonight!
I’m from Baltimore and I’ve had grits once before at a restaurant and was surprised that I liked them. When I can across this recipe I had to give it a try. This dish is amazing!! My husband loved it too! Very easy and it is so good! I couldn’t find Zatarains Creole Seasoning at my grocery store they had Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning.
I know this was posted a LONG time ago, but I just found this recipe on Pinterest recently and made it for our Oscar night. SO delicious. We’re northerners living in NC, and we love us some shrimp & grits. I’ve had a lot of bad luck with stone ground, so I’m glad to say that your recipe using quick grits was divine. I almost wished it hadn’t worked out so well (we usually try and eat pretty healthily), since now I’m going to want to make this all the time. THANK YOU!
My husband absolutely LOVED this!! I followed directions exactly…but I got a little zealous with the creole seasoning and add quite a bit and let it sit as I started the bacon. Shrimp turned out salty (not familiar with creole seasoning). Next time I will season right before cooking, and I’ll probably add some cayenne to give it more heat without the saltiness. I used uncured apple smoked bacon from Trader Joe’s. I promised to make it again.
Thank you for posting!
War Eagle! Oh good lord….bacon and Jim Dandy grits….I love you. Thanks for the recipe. I’ll be following this blog.
Love the recipe! However, as someone from Charleston, SC and a seller of Grits, it is a crime to use quick grits! I would highly recommend using stone ground grits. The difference is that in order to have a longer shelf life, quick grits manufacturers remove the center of the kernel (heart) that contains many of the essential oils of the kernel. Stone Ground grits are whole kernels (nothing removed) ground at a slow rate between two granite stones. This slow grind process, using the whole kernel, results is a much tastier product. The downside is that it has a much shorter shelf life, but will last a while in the freezer. Give it a try, you won’t regret it!
Just made this and enjoying with a crisp white wine!
Really great recipe!
Awesome! I am from South Louisiana and this dish was delicious! We added some onions to the mix, too. It will be a meal we make regularly!
Fantastic recipe – I just made it and I am in hog heaven – thanks so much for sharing!
This was OMG delish! The Cheese Grits alone were divine ( did use 1 can of evaporated milk and enough water to make 2 cups instead of plain water). I am so enjoying trying your recipes…thanks for sharing with the rest of us.
when reading the comments above, it sure is not hard to tell who is from the South and who is not…….gonna have Shrimp & Grits tonight using this recipe
I’m an Idaho girl who fell in love with grits on a trip to North Carolina. However, my family has not been so fond of them… until now! We all gobbled this up! I’m pretty sure it had everything to do with the cheese & bacon! LOL! Thanks for a great recipe, Amanda!
Looks dreamy.. makes me wish I was in New Orleans right now!!! That and a good ole bloody Mary… Good to GO! Thanks for the recipe!
try making the grits with milk or part milk/water – also try using cornmeal making what we used to call ‘mush’ and now is polenta. Yummmm
I had Shrimp and Grits several years ago in a seafood restaurant and loved it. I have wanted to try making it since that time but was a bit apprehensive. After my daughter shared your site with me today, I decided it was time to take a chance. I’m so glad I did! I will definitely be making this for my family again!
Just wanted to let you know I made this dish last week, and my husband loved it. He was VERY doubtful about the grits beforehand, but he ate it all. I made it pretty spicy, and it was so good with the cheesy grits. YUM!
That looks very yummy…and might I mention, Pro! Most of us out here in Utah don’t even know or even heard of grits. But now I’m about to have my boys try this dish! :)
I’ve never had shrimp and grits before because it never looked appetizing to me….until now! Looks incredible!
I love shrimp and grits! Yours looks perfect!
We love shrimp and grits.Southern folks are blessed to have the best food in the world and I’ll be making these monkeys this weekend.Thank you!
This recipe looks delicious, more’s the pity I haven’t got a clue what grits are and you sure as heck can’t buy them in the UK which is where I am.. can you explain ?? is it fried bacon ?? It looks so mouthwatering good I’d love to know!!!
Grits = Polenta. Do you guys have polenta? :)
Mmmmmmmmmmmm Shrimp and Grits. Love Em! Can’t get them anywhere near where we live, so my husband and I always make it a point to stop at Pueleo’s on our way to visit our daughter and son-in-law. We split the Shrimp and Grits and Fried Green Tomatoes on a bed of grits and gravy. OMG my mouth is watering! They have the best we have ever tasted! I have tried making them from several different recipes, but never get that taste I am looking for. Gonna give your recipe a try this weekend.
oh goodness…this looks delicious! love the new look of the site!!
I love shrimp and grits! Adding a chipotle pepper in adobo to the shrimp while cooking adds a nice spice! Thanks for sharing!
I love shrimp and grits! My hubby doesn’t like grits so we rarely have it, but I should totally make it for myself for lunch this week. Thanks for the inspiration! :-)
I had never had grits until moving to the South 5 years ago. I actually do not like them UNLESS they are with shrimp! I cook our grits with milk, it gives them a nice creamy taste! :-)
I’ve never ever had grits! This looks lovely. I’m allergic to shrimp – found out the hard way – I love it though, so it’s so fun to look at recipe photos like these and dream about it. :)
Thank you for posting this. I have had some instant grits on my shelf for a couple of years. (I guess I should check the expiration date!!) Every time I try to fix them for breakfast my husband doesn’t want them. Fixing them for dinner is a novel idea!
Errr … what are grits??? Is it like polenta? The shrimps look delicious, I’ll definitely be trying them.
This looks soooo good. I can’t wait to try it!
I’m a huge grits fan and love shrimp and grits, but have never tried making it myself. This looks like a simple recipe with divine results!
Looks and sounds amazing. Can’t wait to try it. Thanks for sharing Amanda.
Amanda, I NEVER had grits, but I am going to try this recipe for sure1 It looks and sounds “delish”!! :o)
Love your version. The shrimp & grits I ordered in Savannah (at Uncle Bubba’s restaurant) was so rich and creamy that I was only able to take a few bites. This looks way more appetizing!
Ohhhhh, gonna try this with cut up chicken breast. We have a seafood allergy in our house, but I must try this!
Bring on the shrimp and grits! I am a huge grit fan!! YUM!
I think I’ve only had grits once in my life. I need to change that!
Spicy, salt, cheesy – it just doesn’t get any better than that. Great dish, Amanda!
Huge grits fan, huge shrimp fan…I see something yummy in my future :) Thanks for the great recipe!
Looks yummy and I have never been a grits fan!