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The best shrimp and grits recipe, made with smoky cajun shrimp, served on a bowl of cheddar cheese grits.

Shrimp and Grits

With rich, creamy cheddar cheese grits and smoky Cajun-style shrimp, this Shrimp and Grits recipe has a lot of flavor for such little effort. There's nothing complicated about this classic comfort food, but I'm gonna show you a few tricks to make this good dish even better.
Course Brunch, Entree
Cuisine American, Best
Keyword comfort food, shrimp
Level Beginner
Main Ingredient Shellfish
Diet Gluten-Free, Low Sugar
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Calories 978kcal


shrimp marinade

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 14 grams garlic (2 large cloves, finely minced)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 300 grams shrimp (peeled and deveined)

cheddar grits

  • 1 ½ cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 1 ½ cup whole milk
  • 85 grams grits (~1/2 cup)
  • 80 grams cheddar cheese (~1 cup grated)
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Cajun shrimp

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 90 grams Tasso ham (or bacon, cut into 1/3-inch cubes)
  • 90 grams onion (1/2 small onion, diced)
  • 65 grams red bell pepper (1/2 red bell pepper, diced)
  • ½ Lemon (to taste)
  • Flat-leaf parsley (for garnish)


  • Make the marinade for the shrimp by stirring together the olive oil, garlic, smoked paprika, salt, and black pepper. Add the shrimp and toss to coat evenly.
    1 tablespoon olive oil, 14 grams garlic, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, 300 grams shrimp
    Marinating shrimp in garlic, smoked paprika, salt and pepper.
  • To cook the grits, add the chicken stock and milk to a pot and bring the mixture to a boil.
    1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken stock, 1 1/2 cup whole milk
  • Add the grits, and quickly stir them into the milk and stock. Continue stirring the mixture until it starts to thicken slightly (about a minute).
    85 grams grits
    Stirring grits into a pot of milk and chicken stock.
  • Turn the heat down all the way and cover the pot with a lid. Let this simmer for 10 minutes, being sure to stir it every 3 minutes or so to keep it from burning.
    Covered pot of grits and milk simmering.
  • When the 10 minutes are up, give it one last stir, cover it with the lid, and remove the pan from the heat. Let this steam without opening the lid while you prepare the shrimp.
    Stirring grits in a large pot.
  • For the shrimp, heat a frying pan over medium high heat until hot. Add the olive oil and ham(or bacon) and fry it until it starts to brown.
    1 tablespoon olive oil, 90 grams Tasso ham
    Frying Tasso ham in a frying pan.
  • Add the onions and bell peppers and saute the mixture until the onions are soft and translucent.
    90 grams onion, 65 grams red bell pepper
    Sautéing onions and red bell peppers in a frying pan.
  • Add the shrimp mixture along with any remaining marinade and spread the shrimp in a single layer in the pan.
    Marinated shrimp added to a frying pan with onions and red bell peppers.
  • When the shrimp is half cooked, toss the shrimp to flip them over and then flip over any shrimp that got missed.
    Tossing Cajun shrimp in a frying pan.
  • Let these fry until the shrimp is cooked through and the onions have started to brown.
    Smoky Cajun-style shrimp.
  • To finish the grits, turn the heat back on and then add the grated cheese in 3 additions, stirring until the cheese is fully incorporated after each addition.
    80 grams cheddar cheese
    Melting cheese into a pot of grits.
  • When the cheese is incorporated, stir in the butter.
    1 tablespoon butter
    Melting butter into a pot of grits.
  • Serve the shrimp and grits in a bowl and then garnish with chopped parsley or scallions and a squeeze of lemon.
    1/2 Lemon, Flat-leaf parsley
    Squeezing a half lemon onto a bowl of shrimp and grits.


Calories: 978kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 66g | Fat: 52g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Cholesterol: 487mg | Sodium: 2631mg | Potassium: 999mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 2473IU | Vitamin C: 67mg | Calcium: 748mg | Iron: 5mg