Shrimp and Grits is an iconic southern delicacy. Creamy, cheesy grits are topped with the most delicious shrimp, and can be served up for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!
Shrimp and grits is an iconic, Southern breakfast food. Picture New Orleans or Charleston, and we know your mouth is already watering from the mere thought of it. While these U.S. cities are synonymous with shrimp and grits, the history of it shows a blend of European, African, and Indigenous cultures, and is deeply rooted in oppression. The history of some of our favorite southern foods can be uncomfortable, and The Stay At Home Chef has so much love and respect for the cultures who contributed so much to the cuisine of the south. We are grateful to celebrate these cultures through food, especially when the food tastes as good as this!
What are grits?
Grits are simply coarsely ground corn — and sometimes hominy. You can find both yellow and white corn grits in your local grocery store. Keep an eye on the packaging, because you will find a few different varieties of grits. If you prefer to go the “quick” grits way, you always can. Be sure to follow package instructions if using “quick” grits.
Can I make shrimp and grits without cheese?
You absolutely can. We love cheesey grits, but it is perfectly acceptable to have grits without cheese.
You have a few options to choose from when it comes to shrimp. There are different sizes, frozen or fresh, veined or deveined, peeled or whole, and all of them work! For a timesaving option, we prefer to cook with already peeled and deveined shrimp. If you use frozen, be sure to run under cool water until thawed.
You can make shrimp and grits as mild or spicy as you like. Simply add to taste. Feel free to leave out the hot sauce if you do not tolerate spice well.
A common problem we’ve seen with grits is that it can really clump, and nobody wants that. To avoid clumping, be sure to stir immediately after adding to the boiling water, and then continue to give an occasional stir.
We kept this recipe simple, but a tasty addition is to substitute 1 cup of heavy cream for 1 cup of water.
Storage and Reheating Instructions:
Shrimp and grits is best served fresh. You can store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave in 30 second increments until warmed through. Add a scant amount of water to the grits to thin out as needed.
If you like this recipe, you may be interested in these other delicious shrimp recipes:
Watch the video below where Caytlin will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.
Southern Style Shrimp and Grits
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup white grits
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- 4 slices bacon cubed
- 2 tablespoons garlic minced, about 2-3 cloves
- 1 pound shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 bunch green onions chopped, divided
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice juice from 1 small lemon
- Hot sauce to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
TO COOK THE GRITS:
- Bring water and chicken broth to a boil. Add in uncooked grits and kosher salt. Stir immediately to ensure grits do not lump and are evenly dispersed in the water. Turn the heat to low and simmer grits, stirring occasionally, for 30-35 minutes.
- Once the grits are cooked, remove from heat and add in butter and shredded cheese. Salt to taste.
TO COOK THE SHRIMP:
- When there is about 15 minutes left for the grits to cook, cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Remove bacon from the pan, and leave about 2 tablespoons of bacon grease.
- Sauté garlic, green onions, and shrimp in bacon grease until shrimp is pink and fully cooked, about 5-6 minutes depending on the size of shrimp.
- Drizzle with lemon juice and hot sauce to your liking. Stir to ensure all is coated.
- Plate shrimp ontop of the cheesy grits and sprinkle bacon crumbles and other half of the green onions on top. Enjoy!