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
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!
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