Shrimp and Grits is an easy recipe to make at home in just 30 minutes! Stone ground grits cooked in milk and broth until creamy are topped with juicy pan-seared shrimp seasoned with Cajun seasoning. Serve this dish for a delicious Mardi Gras brunch or dinner any night of the week!

Creamy grits are served with cajun shrimp for this recipe.

Cajun blood courses through my veins, so anytime I see a New Orlean’s-style dish at a restaurant, you know that’s what I’ll be ordering!

From Sausage and Shrimp Gumbo or Chicken Jambalaya to Shrimp Creole… they’re always SO packed with flavor and never disappoint the taste buds!

But of ALL the Cajun dishes, one always stands out above the crowd… Shrimp and Grits!

There’s something about the creamy texture of slowly simmered grits served with pan-seared and blackened shrimp that just go so dang good together.

And while most restaurants make them extra decadent by mixing in a ton of cheese or heavy cream, there’s actually a way to make them a tad bit healthier, and even without dairy!

But don’t worry. If you still love your cheesy grits, then I’ve got a solution for you, too.

You can serve this classic Louisiana dish for your next Mardi Gras gathering, or on any ole’ weeknight since it takes less than 30 minutes to whip up!

Shrimp, grits, bacon, cheese, onion, bell pepper, cheese, broth, milk, butter, green onions, garlic, cajun seasoning

Ingredients

The simple ingredients you need to make this Shrimp and Grits recipe include:

  • Grits. Make sure to select stone ground grits which are different from regular or quick cooking. These still have the corn kernel pericarp and germ which gives them extra vitamins, minerals, and incredible texture. They do take longer to cook, but are totally worth the wait! You can also either choose to use white corn or yellow corn. They taste pretty similar so really it’s just a preference of color. (You can also use up extra grits to make these Grit Cakes!)
  • Broth. Some recipes cook grits with just water, but broth will give them even more rich flavor. Regular sodium was used but reduced can be subbed if needed, you just might need to adjust the amount of salt. Choose either chicken or vegetable broth.
  • Milk. The secret to making ultra creamy grits without the cheese! Regular or even heavy cream work well, but the best dairy-free alternative is full-fat oat milk. You can also try other plant-based milks such as almond, cashew, or soy.
  • Butter. This gives the best flavor, but you can substitute it for a vegan butter alternative or oil.
  • Cheese. You definitely don’t need this, but can add it in if you prefer. We did a blind taste test and both hubby and I preferred the grits without cheese.
  • Shrimp. Gather one pound, a 20/25 count per pound, of shrimp that have been peeled and deveined with the tails still on. If you like you can select shrimp with the tails removed to make it easier to eat. Larger or smaller will work as well, but you will need to adjust the cook time. You can also peel and devein them yourself, if you’d like.
  • Bacon. Just a few slices offers the perfect crispy texture. It is also highly recommended to cook the shrimp and veggies in the fat for even more of a rich flavor.
  • Cajun seasoning. Either buy it from the store or make it at home. Tony’s and Slap Yo’ Mama seasoning are some of the best store-bought options. For a more mild dish, swap it out for blackened seasoning instead.
  • Vegetables. You can leave these out, but onion and bell pepper add even more great taste and nutrition.

How to Make Shrimp and Grits

The basic steps for making Shrimp and Grits are simple to follow. Please see the recipe card below for more detailed ingredient amounts.

Cook the Grits

Pour the broth and milk into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add in the grits while stirring, then return to a boil before reducing the heat to medium-low. Cover the pot with a lid and simmer for 20-25 minutes.

Remove the lid every 5-10 minutes and give them a good stir. They will clump up if you don’t whisk them occasionally.

After they are done cooking, add in the butter, cheddar cheese (if using), salt and black pepper. Mix until everything is incorporated. You can leave out the cheese if don’t want extra dairy.

Cook the Bacon and Sauté

Cut the bacon into small pieces.

Place the chopped bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook bacon until the pieces are crispy, about 8-10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to carefully transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

Make sure to reserve some of the of bacon drippings to cook the veggies and shrimp.

Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease into the pan. Toss in the the onion and bell pepper and sauté for 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for one more minute.

Sear Shrimp

Move the vegetables to the sides of the pan. In the center of the skillet arrange the shrimp in a single layer. Dust the shrimp with the Cajun seasoning and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Be careful not to over-cook the shrimp. Look for the color to become opaque and the tails to begin to curl.

Pour in a few tablespoons of broth and scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze it. This releases all of those delicious bits and pieces that will give the dish a ton of flavor!

Return the bacon to the skillet so it can warm up again just before serving.

Serve and Enjoy!

Spoon the shrimp over the grits and garnish with green onions and chopped parsley. Add a squeeze of lemon juice, too, if you’d prefer. Enjoy!

Easy Cajun shrimp and grits is eaten with a spoon from a bowl.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • To Prep-Ahead: Cook the bacon and prepare the grits. Keep in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator.
  • To Store: Place the grits and shrimp mixture in separate airtight containers and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
  • To Freeze: You can also seal in individual freezer-safe airtight containers and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • To Reheat: The shrimp and grits can be warmed in the oven or in a pan on the stove. You may need to stir in extra broth, water, or milk to thin the girts back out.

FAQs

What goes well with shrimp and grits?

Greens and veggies make an excellent pairing with this dish. Try green beans, collard greens, spinach, okra, asparagus, or broccoli.

Where did shrimp and grits originate from?

A version of this recipe consisting of ground maize and shellfish originated in Africa. It was adapted to use the grits we’re familiar with today on plantations in the South by people who were enslaved. They were popularized and modern recipes began being printed in the 1980’s.

Are shrimp and grits gluten-free?

Yes, this recipe is naturally gluten-free. Grits should be gluten-free, but make sure to double-check the package to be certain.

Are shrimp and grits keto friendly?

No, cornmeal contains 125 grams of carbs per cup.

Is shrimp and grits for breakfast or dinner?

This started out as a breakfast dish, but now people enjoy it any time of day.

A spoon is used to eat traditional southern shrimp and grits.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Full-fat is best. For the creamiest texture select whole regular milk or a dairy-free alternative such as oat milk.
  • Remember to stir. The grits will clump, so make sure to mix them as they cook.
  • Tone it down. Use blackened seasoning in place of Cajun for a more mild taste.
  • Time it right. Don’t overcook the shrimp or else they’ll get rubbery. You want the tails to just begin to curl and the color to turn opaque.
  • Keep the grease. Cooking the veggies and shrimp in the bacon fat adds amazing flavor.

Make it a Meal

If you want a little something on the side there are a number of dishes you can pair with shrimp and grits. Any kinds of salad, greens, or veggies are a great option. Try some of these:

Collard Greens

Sautéed Spinach

Air Fryer Broccoli

Roasted Asparagus

Parsley and chopped green onions are put on top of these Cajun shrimp and grits.

More Cajun Recipes to Try

Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice

Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo

Instant Pot Jambalaya

Blackened Salmon

Shrimp Creole

Remoulade Sauce

Dirty Rice

Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

Blackened Fish Tacos

Blacked Shrimp Tacos

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 3 votes

Cajun Shrimp and Grits Recipe

Shrimp and Grits is an easy recipe to make ay home in just 30 minutes! Serve this dish for a delicious Mardi Gras brunch or dinner.
A spoon is shown with a big bowl of shrimp and grits.
Yield 4 servings
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 25 minutes
Total 30 minutes
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Ingredients 

Grits:

  • 3 cups chicken broth regular sodium
  • 1 cup milk regular or oat milk
  • 1 cup grits stone ground white
  • 3 Tbsp. butter or a vegan butter alternative
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese optional
  • 1 ¼ tsp. salt to taste
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper

Shrimp:

  • 4 oz. bacon chopped
  • 1 lb. shrimp 20/25 count, peeled, deveined, tails on
  • 1 ½ – 2 tsp. Cajun seasoning depending on spice preference
  • ½ cup sweet onion finely chopped
  • ½ cup red bell pepper finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic finely minced
  • ¼ – ½ tsp. salt to taste
  • ¼ cup chicken broth optional
  • ¼ cup green onions finely chopped
  • ¼ cup parsley finely chopped
  • Lemon juice optional

Instructions 

  • Add 3 cups broth and milk to a medium-sized pot and bring to a boil. Stir in grits and bring back to a boil. Once boiling, cover the pot with a lid and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes to prevent clumping.
    3 cups chicken broth, 1 cup milk, 1 cup grits
  • Once the grits are cooked, mix in butter, cheddar cheese, if desired, salt and black pepper, to taste.
    3 Tbsp. butter, ½ cup cheddar cheese, 1 ¼ tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • While the grits are cooking add chopped bacon to a large skillet over medium heat. Cook for 8-10 minutes, or until crispy. Remove bacon from the skillet using a slotted spoon and let drain on a paper towel lined plate. Reserve 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings.
    4 oz. bacon
  • Add chopped onion and bell pepper and cook for 3 minutes. Mix in garlic and continue sauteing for another minute.
    ½ cup sweet onion, ½ cup red bell pepper, 3 cloves garlic
  • Push vegetables to the side and add shrimp to the skillet in a single layer. Sprinkle Cajun seasoning over them. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the shrimp become opaque and their tails begin to curl.
    1 ¼ tsp. salt, 1 lb. shrimp
  • Pour in ¼ cup broth and scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze it. Add bacon back into the skillet for a minute or two to warm up.
    ¼ cup chicken broth
  • Serve 5-6 shrimp over grits with 1 tablespoon of green onions and 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, too, if you'd prefer. Enjoy!
    ¼ cup green onions, Lemon juice, ¼ cup parsley
Last step! If you make this, please leave a review letting us know how it was!

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 3 votes

Video

Notes

  • To Store: Place the grits and shrimp mixture in separate airtight containers and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
  • To Freeze: You can also seal in individual freezer-safe airtight containers and freeze for up to 2 months.

Nutrition

Calories: 545kcal, Carbohydrates: 40g, Protein: 36g, Fat: 28g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 9g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 240mg, Sodium: 1953mg, Potassium: 796mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 3604IU, Vitamin C: 46mg, Calcium: 222mg, Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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  1. Yummy I tried making this recipe today an I am really loving it a lot. You are really great thank you so much for making things so easy and simple for us. I have also shared it with my friends so that even they try this great recipe out.

    1. Yay! So happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe, Supriya! I am all about simple but good. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment!

    1. Yay! So happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe, Maria! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment and rating!