Shrimp and Grits

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shrimp and grits

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This easy shrimp and grits recipe incorporates bacon, which gives the dish a nice smoky undertone — and there’s plenty of silky gravy for spooning over the grits.

Having received many recipe requests for shrimp and grits over the years, I decided to do some “research” over winter break since we were vacationing on the Southern coast. I tasted shrimp and grits everywhere, from humble seafood shacks to trendy hot spots. What I learned is that no two shrimp and grits dishes are the same. To quote Daniel Gritzer from Serious Eats: “Shrimp and grits is a dish with so many renditions, the only thing you can really count on is that it contains shrimp…and grits.”

What I love about this version is that it incorporates bacon, which gives the dish a nice smoky undertone, and plenty of sauce for spooning over the grits. I cheat and use quick-cooking grits, which I know is sacrilege in the South but they cook in 5 minutes and, most nights, babysitting a pot of grits for 30 minutes is just not in the cards. If you want to take the dish up a notch, use stone-ground grits. Or, better yet, save the shrimp peels and simmer them, covered, in the chicken broth for 15 minutes, and then strain; this will infuse the broth with the taste of the sea and enhance the flavor of the dish.

What you’ll need To Make Shrimp and Grits

how to make shrimp and grits

How To Make Shrimp and Grits

To begin, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and add the bacon.

how to make shrimp and grits

Cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 7 minutes.

how to make shrimp and grits

Add the shrimp to the skillet and sprinkle with the Cajun seasoning and salt.

how to make shrimp and grits

Increase the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are mostly pink but not quite cooked through, about 2 minutes.

how to make shrimp and grits

Transfer the shrimp and bacon mixture to a bowl and set aside. Place the skillet back on the heat (do not wash) and melt the butter.

how to make shrimp and grits

Add the light green scallions, celery, bell pepper, and garlic.

how to make shrimp and grits

Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften, about 4 minutes.

how to make shrimp and grits

Sprinkle in the flour.

how to make shrimp and grits

Mix until well incorporated.

how to make shrimp and grits

Whisk in the chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce and bring to a boil.

how to make shrimp and grits

Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until slightly thickened, 5 to 7 minutes.

how to make shrimp and grits

Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside while you make the grits. In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, combine the milk and salt.

how to make shrimp and grits

Bring to a boil and then, whisking constantly, slowly pour the grits into the bubbling broth.

how to make shrimp and grits

Reduce the heat to low and simmer, whisking often, until the grits become thick and creamy, about 5 minutes. Stir continuously to prevent sputtering.

how to make shrimp and grits

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cheese.

how to make shrimp and gritsTaste and adjust the salt, if necessary. Remove the pan from the heat and cover with a lid to keep warm until ready to serve. Place the veggie/sauce mixture back on the stove.

how to make shrimp and grits

Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Return the shrimp and bacon, along with any juices that collected in the bowl, to the skillet and mix well.

how to make shrimp and grits

Cook, stirring frequently, until the shrimp are cooked through, a few minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle a small handful of the dark green scallions over the shrimp (you may not need all of them).

how to make shrimp and gritsDivide the grits among serving bowls. Spoon the shrimp and sauce over the grits and serve. Pass the hot sauce, if desired.

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Shrimp and Grits

This easy shrimp and grits recipe incorporates bacon, which gives the dish a nice smoky undertone — and there’s plenty of silky gravy for spooning over the grits.

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 35 Minutes
Total Time: 50 Minutes

Ingredients

For the Shrimp

  • 4 slices bacon, cut into ½-in dice
  • 1½ lbs jumbo (21/25 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined, thawed if frozen
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning, such as Emeril's
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced, light and dark green parts divided
  • 1 large stalk celery, finely diced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon hot sauce, such as Tabasco

For the Grits

  • 4 cups whole or 2% milk
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup quick-cooking grits
  • ¾ cup (2 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Start the shrimp: Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 7 minutes. Add the shrimp to the skillet and sprinkle with the Cajun seasoning and salt. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are mostly pink but not quite cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer the shrimp and bacon mixture to a bowl and set aside; place the skillet back on the heat (do not wash).
  2. Melt the butter in the skillet. Add the light green scallions, celery, bell pepper, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and mix until incorporated. Whisk in the chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until slightly thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside while you make the grits.
  3. For the grits: In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, bring the milk and salt to a boil. Whisking constantly, slowly pour the grits into the bubbling milk. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, whisking often, until the grits become thick and creamy, about 5 minutes. (Stir continuously to prevent sputtering.) Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cheese. Taste and adjust the salt, if necessary. Remove the pan from the heat and cover with a lid to keep warm until ready to serve.
  4. Place the skillet with the vegetable/sauce mixture back on the stove and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Return the shrimp and bacon, along with any juices that collected in the bowl, to the skillet and mix well. Cook, stirring frequently, until the shrimp are cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle a small handful of the dark green scallions over the shrimp (you may not need all of them).
  5. Divide the grits among serving bowls. Spoon the shrimp and sauce over the grits and serve. Pass the hot sauce, if desired.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (4 servings)
  • Calories: 731
  • Fat: 34 g
  • Saturated fat: 16 g
  • Carbohydrates: 59 g
  • Sugar: 17 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 46 g
  • Sodium: 1625 mg
  • Cholesterol: 291 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Comments

  • Made this last night. So good!!!!!!!!!!

    • — Stephanie Waite on March 7, 2022
    • Reply
  • Outstanding, milk sensitive for the grits I used 2 cups of water, 2 cups of milk. Otherwise followed exactly.

    • — Scott on February 9, 2022
    • Reply
  • Can I use vegetable broth, instead of chicken broth?

    • — Scott on February 8, 2022
    • Reply
    • Sure!

      • — Jenn on February 9, 2022
      • Reply
  • We have made this several times. Quick and easy. First time made the grits with milk, as listed. Seemed to cause some tummy issues. Next time made the grits with water (Quaker brand lists water anyway) and no issues. Have since found out I am for sure lactose sensitive. Cheese is ok though. A good work around if people cannot tolerate much dairy.

    • — Melissa on January 30, 2022
    • Reply

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