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Shrimp and Grits is a delicious Southern meal that’s full of flavor and easy to make! Boil the grits while the shrimp is cooking for a fast dinner that’s ready in less than 30 minutes. Everyone who tries this dish loves it!

Top view of yellow grits in a round white plate topped with sautéed shrimp.
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Enjoy the flavor of the South with this Easy Shrimp and Grits recipe! It is one of my favorite meals to make. Creamy grits are topped with seasoned succulent shrimp, garlic, and parsley for a comforting meal that takes very little hands-on time. A warm and comforting dish that will wow your guests and keep you satisfied.

Don’t like grits? I think you will like my shrimp risotto recipe instead.

Summary

  • Quick and easy to make: The grits require very little hands-on time, and you can cook the shrimp quickly while the grits are simmering.
  • Simple ingredients: This shrimp and grits recipe uses minimal ingredients, but still has a really big flavor.
  • So tasty: Perfectly cooked shrimp is sautéed with garlic and spices. Then, it’s served over warm and comforting grits for a meal that the whole family will devour!
Closeup view of Shrimp and Grits garnished with fresh parsley.

Ingredients needed

This shrimp and grits recipe only requires a handful of simple ingredients. Here’s is a note on everything you’ll need:

  • Milk: Adds creaminess to the grits.
  • Vegetable stock: For cooking the grits and ensuring lots of delicious flavor. You can sub with chicken broth or stock if that’s what you have.
  • Grits: Use quick-cooking grits (yellow or white) for wonderful texture and flavor while still being quick and easy to cook!
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper: To enhance all of the delicious flavors!
  • Olive oil: For sautéing the garlic and shrimp.
  • Garlic: For a savory kick of flavor!
  • Seasonings: A simple mix of Italian seasoning and smoked paprika to season the shrimp.
  • Lemon: The juice of 1 large lemon will add a bright, vibrant flavor to the dish.
  • Shrimp: Raw, peeled & deveined. Use 1 1/2 pounds of fresh large-size shrimp found at the seafood counter in your local grocery stores.
  • Fresh parsley: Adds color and freshness.
ingredients for shrimp and grits laid out on a flat surface

How to make it

  1. Cook the grits: Place the milk and stock in a medium pot and bring to a bubble. Once it starts to boil, reduce the heat to a low and stir in the grits. Cook according to package timing, then season with salt and pepper to your taste and set aside.
  2. Sauté garlic: Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large heavy-bottom pan over medium heat. Sauté the garlic for 1 minute. Stir in the shrimp and sprinkle with Italian seasoning and paprika.
  1. Cook shrimp: Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 4 minutes, or until pink and curled. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the lemon juice and the parsley.
  1. Serve: Divide the warm grits among your plates and top with the shrimp.
Shrimp and grits near fresh lemon and parsley.

helpful NOtes

  • Shrimp: You can use frozen shrimp, just be sure to thaw first. To save time, purchase it already peeled and deveined with the tails removed.
  • Thawing frozen shrimp: If your shrimp is frozen, thaw it by placing it in a bowl of cool water for a few minutes.
  • Use a hot skillet: The best type of skillet to use for cooking shrimp is a heavy-bottomed or cast iron skillet for an even distribution of heat. The shrimp will cook best if the pan is hot when you add the shrimp to it.
  • Don’t move the shrimp: Be patient and allow the shrimp to cook for two minutes on the first side, then flip and let it cook for another two minutes. Try not to flip back and forth.
  • Don’t overcook: Watch the shrimp closely, as it cooks very quickly. You do not want to overcook it or it will turn out tough and rubbery.

Frequently asked questions

What type of grits to use for this recipe?

There are three types of grits – quick-cooking grits, instant grits and stone-ground grits. This recipe uses quick grits. They take about 10 minutes to cook and have a slightly coarser texture compared to instant grits. They also have more of the natural, rich corn flavor and have a heartier consistency.
Instant grits are fully precooked and then dehydrated, allowing them to cook almost instantly with the addition of hot water or milk. They cook in just a couple of minutes, but don’t have much flavor or texture.
Stone-ground grits take much longer to cook and have a coarser texture.

How to know when shrimp is done cooking?

Shrimp are done cooking when they are no longer pink in color and have more of an opaque white color. They cook quickly, and you do not want them to overcook, so be sure to keep an eye on them while cooking.

What is shrimp and grits?

Shrimp and grits are a traditional staple in great Southern coastal cuisine. Grits are similar to polenta, and are a rich and creamy ground corn porridge first introduced by Native Americans in the 1500s. The dish is served with the creamy grits plated in a shallow bowl and the sautéed shrimp added on top.

top view of a white bowl with yellow looking grits topped with shrimp

Variations

I love this creamy grits recipe with shrimp as written, but you can easily customize your dish with these simple additions!

  • Heavy cream: For extra richness, stir a splash of heavy cream into the cooked grits.
  • Add bacon: Crisp, salty bacon is a common ingredient in shrimp and grits. If you’d like to add some in, we suggest 5 slices of bacon, sliced or chopped and cooked until crispy. Add this to the cooked grits along with the shrimp.
  • Andouille sausage: For a cajun version, instead of adding bacon, try adding sliced and cooked andouille sausage over the grits with the shrimp.
  • Cheese: To give the grits some cheesiness, consider stirring in about 1 cup shredded medium cheddar cheese and about 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese.

Serving suggestions

Shrimp and grits make a wonderful meal itself, but it’s also great served with other Southern staples like cheesy creamed corn, healthy coleslaw, collard greens, crispy sweet potato fries, sautéed green beans, and/or hushpuppies.

Storage recommendations

Shrimp and grits taste best when it’s eaten immediately. However, you can store leftovers for a quick meal to enjoy later.

  • Storing leftovers: Place in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the fridge.
  • Freezing: You can freeze for up to 2 months in an airtight container. However, the grits will not be as creamy when reheated after being frozen.
  • Reheating: Microwave servings of grits in 30 second intervals at 60% power until warmed through. It’s a good idea to stir often as the grits cook. The shrimp will only need to cook for a few seconds.
Closeup view of Shrimp and Grits garnished with fresh parsley.

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Shrimp and Grits

By: Rena
Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
0 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
top view of yellow grits in a round white plate topped with sautéed shrimp
Shrimp and Grits is a delicious Southern meal that's full of flavor and easy to make! Boil the grits while the shrimp is cooking for a fast dinner that's ready in less than 30 minutes. Everyone that tries this dish absolutely loves it!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups milk of choice
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup quick-cooking grits, yellow or white
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 large lemon, juiced
  • 1 1/2 lb large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped

Instructions

  • Place the milk and stock in a medium pot and bring to a bubble. Once it starts to boil, reduce the heat to a low and stir in the grits. Cook according to package timing, then season with salt and pepper to your taste and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large heavy-bottom pan over medium heat. Sauté the garlic for 1 minute. Stir in the shrimp and sprinkle with Italian seasoning and paprika.
  • Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 4 minutes, or until pink and curled. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the lemon juice and the parsley.
  • Divide the warm grits among your plates and top with the shrimp.

Notes

Shrimp and grits tastes best when it’s eaten immediately. However, you can store leftovers for a quick meal to enjoy later.
  • Storing leftovers: Place in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the fridge.
  • Freezing: You can freeze for up to 2 months in an airtight container. However, the grits will not be as creamy when reheated after being frozen.
  • Reheating: Microwave servings of grits in 30 second intervals at 60% power until warmed through. It’s a good idea to stir often as the grits cook. The shrimp will only need to cook for a few seconds.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 375kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 31gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 220mgSodium: 1481mgPotassium: 468mgFiber: 2gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 1043IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 256mgIron: 2mg

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

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @healthyfitnessmeals or tag #healthyfitnessmeals!

Author

About Rena Awada

Hi, I’m Rena! I am here to help you prepare delicious, light, fresh meals that your whole family will love!

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