December 6, 2022

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Delicious food

Shrimp and Grits Recipe | Spoon Fork Bacon

Our Shrimp and Grits Recipe has perfectly creamy grits topped with buttery shrimp and spicy andouille sausage. The perfect comfort food!

Bowls of shrimp and grits.

Today we have a super yummy and easy Shrimp and Grits Recipe for you all! I love the different layers and textures within this meal, from the smoky shrimp, salty andouille to the extra creamy, buttery and cheesy grits. 

The first time I heard of the dish I knew I was going to love it. It reminded me of other similar type dishes I grew up eating like jook and congee (which are asian-style rice porridges that have a texture reminiscent of corn grits). This shrimp and grits recipe really hits all the cozy, comfort dish points and we love it so much. 

What are Shrimp and Grits?

It’s a traditional southern comfort food dish consisting of creamy, buttery cooked cornmeal (similar to polenta) topped with butter sautéed shrimp.

Our version takes this dish over the top by including caramelized bits of andouille sausage with the shrimp and stirring and melting shredded cheese into the buttery grits. 

History of Shrimp and Grits

It’s always nice knowing the background behind such iconic American dishes and this one has a pretty rich history. Grits are said to be one of America’s first foods, as Native Americans have been known to eat a dish made of soft, ground corn for countless generations.

Alternatively shrimp and grits has long been a popular dish in the ‘low country’ of South Carolina. It was a simple and casual breakfast dish for fisherman and their families, especially during shrimp season. It wasn’t until the mid 80’s when the dish became elevated and popularized at a Chapel Hill restaurant named Crook’s Corner.

Although it was “fancied up” ’80’s, people who grew up eating shrimp and grits will always remember it in a more simple form. To them it’s a comforting, low maintenance breakfast that reminds them of their childhood. That sentiment resonates with us so well and we created our recipe to reflect the cozy, comfort vibe.

How to Make Our Shrimp and Grits Recipe

Ingredients for Shrimp and Grits in a kitchen.

Process

GRITS

  1. Bring water to a boil in a pot. Generously salt water and stir in grits. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer mixture, stirring frequently, until mixture is thick and creamy.
Grits cooking in a pot to make shrimp and grits.
  1. Remove from heat and add shredded cheese and butter.
  2. Stir in cheese and butter until fully incorporated and melted. Season with salt and pepper.

SHRIMP AND SAUSAGE

  1. Place shrimp, lemon juice, smoked paprika, salt, cumin, pepper, cayenne, and garlic into a mixing bowl.
  2. Toss together. Set aside.
  1. Melt butter into a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add sausage and brown.
A pot with bacon cooking in it.
  1. Remove sausage from skillet and set aside. Add shrimp to skillet and sauté for a few minutes on each side. Deglaze pan with chicken stock (or water) and cover.
  2. Add sausage back to skillet and stir together.
  1. Remove shrimp and sausage mixture from heat and divide over each bowl of grits. Garnish with sliced green onions and serve.
Bowls of shrimp and grits with spoons.

Tools You Will Need

Tips and Tricks for Success

For the Grits

  1. Make sure to salt the water before adding grits because cooked grits don’t absorb anymore salt.
  2. It’s important that grits are made low and slow to ensure the starches are released and you get a creamy and smooth texture.
  3. For an extra creamy texture, finish grits with a little bit of heavy cream when stirring in the cheese and butter. This step is totally optional and not included in our recipe below but is nice when you really want an over the top grits situation.

For the Shrimp Mixture

  1. Adding stock or water to the skillet with the shrimp and covering it with a lid for a minute will allow the shrimp to steam and nicely cook through to the center. Without allowing the shrimp to steam, you run the risk of overcooking the outside, while the center may stay raw. – and no one wants that!

Make Ahead and Reheating

Although we think shrimp and grits is a dish that’s best made fresh, you can make it ahead of time with great results.

Make Ahead Shrimp and Grits

To make ahead, make both the grits and shrimp mixture according to the recipe instructions. Cool each component separately and store each separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator. The grits can be made and stored up to 5 days ahead of time. The shrimp mixture can be made and stored up to 2 days ahead of time.

Reheating Grits

To reheat grits, pour a small amount of milk and butter or stock into a saucepan (about 1/4 cup milk and 1/2 tablespoon butter, for every 1 cup of cooked grits) and simmer over medium-low heat. Add cooked grits and whisk together until grits begin to loosen up, meld together with the extra liquid and butter and heat through. Season with salt and pepper as needed and remove from heat.

Reheating Shrimp Mixture

To reheat shrimp mixture, place a skillet over medium-low heat and add a small amount of oil. Add shrimp mixture to skillet and sauté for 1 minute. Add a couple tablespoons of water to skillet and cover for 1 minute, or until shrimp mixture has heated through and liquid has evaporated. Season with a little salt and pepper as needed.

How to make Shrimp and Grits recipe.

Check out our Shrimp and Grits web story!

More Delicious Shrimp Recipes You Will Love

Check out our Best Shrimp Recipes roundup post!

Shrimp and Grits recipe in a bowl.

Shrimp and Grits Recipe

Our Shrimp and Grits Recipe has perfectly creamy grits topped with buttery shrimp and spicy andouille sausage. The perfect comfort food!

PRINT RECIPE

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 38 mins

Total Time: 48 mins

Servings: 4

  INSTRUCTIONS  

Grits

  • Bring 4 cups water to a boil. Generously salt water and stir in grits. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer mixture for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring frequently, until mixture is thick and creamy.

  • Remove from heat and stir in cheese and butter until fully incorporated and melted. Season with salt and pepper.

Shrimp and Sausage

  • Place shrimp, lemon juice, smoked paprika, salt, cumin, pepper, cayenne, and garlic into a mixing bowl and toss together. Set aside.

  • Melt butter into a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add sausage and brown for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove sausage from skillet and set aside.

  • Add shrimp to skillet and sauté for about 3 minutes on each side. Deglaze pan with chicken stock (or water) and cover for 1 minute.

  • Add sausage back to skillet and stir together.

  • Remove shrimp and sausage mixture from heat and divide over each bowl of grits. Garnish with sliced green onions and serve.

  NOTES  

Tips and Tricks for Success For the Grits
  1. Make sure to salt the water before adding grits because cooked grits don’t absorb anymore salt.
  2. It’s important that grits are made low and slow to ensure the starches are released and you get a creamy and smooth texture.
  3. For an extra creamy texture, finish grits with a little bit of heavy cream when stirring in the cheese and butter. This step is totally optional and not included in our recipe below but is nice when you really want an over the top grits situation.
For the Shrimp Mixture
  1. Adding stock or water to the skillet with the shrimp and covering it with a lid for a minute will allow the shrimp to steam and nicely cook through to the center. Without allowing the shrimp to steam, you run the risk of overcooking the outside, while the center may stay raw. – and no one wants that!
 

Calories: 481kcal Carbohydrates: 36g Protein: 19g Fat: 29g Saturated Fat: 17g Trans Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 127mg Sodium: 1072mg Potassium: 257mg Fiber: 2g Sugar: 2g Vitamin A: 1427IU Vitamin C: 17mg Calcium: 258mg Iron: 2mg

CUISINE: American

KEYWORD: grits, shrimp, shrimp and grits, spicy

COURSE: Breakfast, lunch, Main Course