Shrimp and Grits

Here it is, y’all! Martha’s beloved shrimp and grits recipe! If you have everything chopped and measured before you start cooking, it takes only about fifteen minutes to prepare. It’s perfect as a one-dish meal for family.–Paula Deen

LC Shrimp and Grits Hors d'Oeuvres Note

Should you prefer  shrimp and grits as an hors d’oeuvres or first course, simply spoon 1/4 cup grits onto a plate and top with 1/4 cup of the shrimp mixture. Strew some crisped bacon bits over the top. Or for a passed hors d’oeuvres, pull out some Chinese soup spoons and mound a very modest portion of grits and a single shrimp—maybe two.

Shrimp and Grits Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 30 M
  • Serves 8 as a starter or 4 as a main

Ingredients

  • 1 cup stone-ground grits
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined, left whole if small and roughly chopped if medium or large
  • 6 slices bacon, chopped into tiny pieces
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup thinly sliced green onions, white and green parts
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced

Directions

  • 1. To make the shrimp and grits recipe, bring 4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the grits and salt and pepper to taste. Stir well with a whisk. Reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting and cook the grits until all the water is absorbed, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the grits from the heat and stir in the butter and cheese. Keep covered until ready to serve.
  • 2. Rinse the shrimp and pat dry. Fry the bacon in a large skillet until browned and crisp, then drain on a paper towel. Add the shrimp to the bacon grease in the skillet and saute over medium heat just until they turn pink, about 3 minutes. Do not overcook! Immediately add the lemon juice, parsley, green onions, and garlic. Remove the skillet from the heat.
  • 3. Pour the grits into a serving bowl. Pour the shrimp mixture over the grits. Garnish with the bacon bits.
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Sofia Reino

May 08, 2010

Let me start by prefacing that my first experiences eating grits was not the best. Then I finally tried some at a small restaurant in North Carolina and realized that if the grits are properly cooked, they really could be amazing. So I finally decided to make grits at home. This recipe was my first try at making them and it could not be any easier to make. The grits came out wonderful—filled with strong cheese flavor yet not so overwhelming so that I couldn't enjoy the shrimp and bacon. This is extremely filling and better suited to lunch so you can enjoy a little nap afterwards.

Comments
Comments
  1. Donna Pearson says:

    This was great! I made this dish for a family of five, and there was not enough for seconds. I’ll have to double the recipe next time. Great combination, and better with a hint of cayenne pepper. Mmmm.

  2. Mike says:

    If one uses good stone ground grits, 10-15 minutes of cooking time isn’t enough. Use a combination of chicken broth and cream and let the grits cook slowly for about an hour. They will become very creamy and have a much better, almost silky, texture which is perfect for this dish. Skip the cheese. Very, very few low country cooks use cheese in shrimp and grits.

    • David Leite says:

      Hi Mike, it really depends upon how finely the grits are ground. Wades Mill recommends about 20 minutes in its recipes. Other producers call for 30 minutes or more, again depending upon how finely or coarsely the grits are ground.

      • Ed Clarke says:

        David, You’re right, it really depends upon how finely the grits are ground. But Mike did say “good stone ground grits” and finely ground grits do not make the best grits. You want them coarsely ground or medium ground at most to get the right combination of texture, creaminess, and flavor. Anson Mills recommends that their coarse ground grits be cooked for 90 minutes if unsoaked, 50 minutes if soaked. I personally find that 60 minutes is adequate for their unsoaked grits since I don’t have the patience to stir them for another 30 minutes!

        • David Leite says:

          Ed, thanks for the info and clarification. I think it’ll help readers better decide what kind of grits to buy and how long to cook them.

    • Jenny says:

      Who cares about being authentic when we know that adding cheese to anything can only make it that much better?! :)

    • Kim says:

      How much cream and broth?

  3. Erik says:

    I’m makin this for a cajun themed fathers day brunch for my dad and my six uncles any other suggestions?

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      What a lovely thought! Knowing guys’ appetites, clearly you’ll need ample amounts of food. Not knowing your preferences, I’d suggest having biscuits galore to go with—we have a nice recipe on the site for baking-powder biscuits. Maybe even something meat-minded as the centerpiece to go with the shrimp and grits, perhaps a ham? I realize there’s bacon in the grits, but is there ever any such thing as too much pork? And of course some Abita Amber would be nice if y’all are beer drinkers. That’s for starters. I’m going to continue to think about this, please let me know if you have any preferences.

    • Mike Shapiro says:

      For Cajun style, I recommend making a tasso cream sauce using sautéd leeks with green peppers, deglaze the pan with a little white wine, salt, and pepper. Add heavy cream and reduce, then finish with a little finely grated Parmesan cheese. Great flavor. I recommend Chef Adels’ tasso ham.

      • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

        We’re not going to argue with you, Mike! Not at all. Sounds Cajun-tastic…

  4. Sally says:

    I have made this three times recently. It is great! My husband has a new favorite.

  5. Michele says:

    What exactly is stone ground grits. Went to the supermarket, went to whole foods – no one was familiar with “stone ground” grits. Is it polenta? Please let me know, having a hard time finding it in New Jersey

    • Beth Price, LC Director of Recipe Testing says:

      Hi Michele,

      Stone ground grits are the heavier bits of corn that remain after the corn kernels are ground between granite stones in a grist mill. Anson Mills is probably the most familiar here in Charleston and you can buy on their website (www.ansonmills.com). Also, Ted and Matt Lee sell them on their site (www.boiledpeanuts.com) along with other Southern goodies. Shrimp and grits are my favorite- we eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

      • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

        I am so with you on shrimp and grits for breakfast, Beth. Do you do it with a fried egg on top in the a.m.?

        • Beth Price, LC Director of Recipe Testing says:

          No eggs, but we do vary the recipe depending on what’s on hand. Peppers, Vidalia onions, tomatoes, sausage… It’s all good!

          • Andrea says:

            Shrimp and grits for breakfast with Southern Fried Chicken and biscuits…ABSOLUTELY THE BEST!!!. Always bring back great memories of my grandmother, aunts and great-aunts who were originally from Columbia, South Carolina.

            • David Leite says:

              I remember vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard, as we did every year, and a bunch of us went to a resto in Oak Bluffs for an early lunch. The cook was from the South and made the best big old plate of shrimp and grits. Gosh, that was more than 12 years ago, and I can still remember where we sat, even the light as it slanted through the window. Food really is a powerful anchor for memory, isn’t it?

              • Beth Price, LC Director of Recipe Testing says:

                Shrimp and grits in Martha’s Vineyard? No way, honey. Come to Charleston and we will show you how it’s done.

                • David Leite says:

                  I swear! Best I ever had. But you’re on. I a-comin’ to Charleston.

                • Marianne Harner says:

                  Good food can be cooked anywhere in the world. It makes no difference where you are, or where the dish originated. I lived part-time in New Orleans and I have been known to make some of the best shrimp and grits ever, including of ALL the ones I have consumed in Charleston, New Orleans, and many other southern locations…and I do it right here in my Indiana kitchen. :)

  6. Michel says:

    Good good and good

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      Well put, Michel! Thanks for adding your approval to the chorus…

  7. don williams says:

    What are some suggestions for side dishes with shrimp and grits?

    • Beth Price, LC Director of Recipe Testing says:

      Hi Don,

      Coming from Charleston, South Carolina, the land of shrimp and grits, I would have a basket filled with biscuits. Here is a link to a fast and easy biscuit.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      Just to add to Beth’s suggestion–we’ve had raves galore on that biscuit recipe–our intrepid cook and recipe tester, Karen Depp, also chimed in. She hails from Louisiana and suggests a big green salad, unless the shrimp and grits is intended as a breakfast dish. She deviates from Beth’s approach, prefering a baguette to biscuits, but she says really, with grits, you don’t NEED bread or biscuits. (But when has that ever stopped us?!) And lots of beer, yes!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      One more thing from Karen in Louisiana, Don–she says milk punch is a nice touch for brunch or midnight. We just so happen to have a recipe right here….

  8. Janet says:

    I made this for Valentines Day Dinner for my boyfriend…and he said it was the BEST he’s ever had. I wish I could comment, but my aversion to seafood kept me at bay. But he ate the WHOLE thing (and wasn’t this supposed to feed 4? :) )

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      Janet, I try to be objective, but I have to say that this may be my very favorite reader comment ever! I’m sorry to hear that you weren’t able to enjoy the dish, although it sounds as though your boyfriend reveled in it for both of you–and then some. Here’s hoping he knows how lucky he is…

  9. Darlene says:

    Is it possible to make this in a crockpot?

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      Darlene, we’ve heard of folks making grits in a slow-cooker. Although we haven’t tried it ourselves, we’ll tentatively say yes to that part of the recipe. As for the shrimp, we fear they’d turn quite mushy. But the shrimp and sausage comes together so quickly, you could easily toss it together at the last minute, especially with the time you saved not stirring the grits…

  10. David P. says:

    Took the advice above and used 2 cups chicken stock and 1 cup cream to cook the grits. I also added just under a tablespoon of tomato paste to give the grits a bit of acid and tomato flavor…..I think it was a good call! Cut the sharp cheddar in half…..used only 1 cup. Still plenty “cheesy”. Finally, after cooking the shrimp, they still tasted like they needed something. I sprinkled the pile of cooked shrimp with the low sodium Old Bay Seasoning. Not too much, but enough to give it that good seafood flavor.

    • Karen says:

      Hi David,
      Here at home there are as many different versions of this recipe as there are grits! Another suggestion to bump up the flavor level of your shrimp is to put a few drops of the liquid Shrimp and Crab boil in there (just a FEW drops unless you really like this flavor) and this will give it some zing. Some of the original recipes around here (South Louisiana) rely on grits cooked plain with some cheddar and butter stirred in at the end until cheese melts. We used to be able to buy Garlic Cheese (the old kind in the plastic tube) that we would stir in instead of cheddar. The shrimp were cooked in a saute pan in butter and seasoned with parsley, garlic, green onion, cayenne, paprika and some lemon juice. Sounds as if your Old Bay is a good suggestion! Crab Boil and Old Bay seem to always be in a contest around here – Old Bay being too sweet for the taste buds around here that have been raised on HOT sauce over ice cream. And of course, the Louisiana Gold Hot Sauce bottle is always on the table!
      Karen

  11. brittany says:

    So amazing! Very good. I omitted the bacon for sodium reasons (used evoo instead), but it still turned out great.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Terrific, Brittany! We are all about the bacon, but we can (almost) understand why you opted to ignore it. Lovely to hear it was still phenomenal. Thank you for letting us know….

  12. Melissa says:

    Great recipe..I used mike’s suggestion of coarse grits and it really made a difference.

  13. Cis says:

    I live less than an hour from Charleston, SC and for years now have cooked Shrimp and Grits on several occasions. If you live near Charleston, Shrimp and Grits is a must! I add water, milk, cream cheese and cheddar cheese with a little garlic when cooking my grits. I cook it for a couple of hours(stirring often) until it reaches that rich, creamy taste. When cooking my shrimp, I cook my bacon first. I then saute diced onions and bell peppers in the bacon grease. After draining the rest of the bacon grease I then add my shrimp(don’t cook too long!). Next I add one can of Campbell’s Shrimp Soup and cook for approximately 2 min. Ladle this on the top of your grits and then sprinkle with crumble bacon and diced green onion tops. YUMMY!!!

    • Beth Price, LC Director of Recipe Testing says:

      Oh Cis, you are talking to me! I live in Charleston and just finished a huge meal of shrimp and grits. I learned a new trick today from Rebecca Lang to make your grits extra creamy—condensed milk. Wow.

  14. Allison says:

    I made this last night. It was fantastic, I used 1.5lbs of shrimp and 4 andouille sausages. It barely fed 4 adults and 3 kids. Definitely doubling this recipe or tripling it for left overs

    • Beth Price says:

      Allison, you found one of my favorite dishes- shrimp and grits. We eat them morning, noon and night!

      • Fran Calarco says:

        We love to have a big mess of collards and biscuits with our shrimp and grits. You do need to double the recipe for a family with good appetites.

  15. Ron Carr says:

    You guys are terrific. I read it all and then improvised. Just me and Charleston Favorites, Southern Stone Ground Grits is the name – food for the Southern Soul twas said on the bag they came in . Expensive and freeze what you don’t use ’cause there are no preservatives. I used one cup, and one cup of Swanson’t Chicken Broth and one cup 1/2 and 1/2. Added a little more broth near the end of the 40 minutes I cooked them. Added 2/3 cup of shredded sharp cheddar near the end also. Oh,yes, about 4 or 5 tbsp of butter. I just played with it. Destin shrimp were only hours old and did them just a few minutes in the bacon grease, 1/2 tsp. of Old Bay seafood seasoning, some crushed garlic and 2 tsps of lemon juice. Lord have mercy on my soul! I can see where you can play around with different add – ins, like andouille sausage or Smithfield ham………you name it. I don’t think you can mess it up as long as you keep stirring the grits, don’t overcook the shrimp and make sure that you use bacon. I have two Yorkies that are the smartest dogs in the world and when I start yelling; BACON, BACON, BACON!, they come running from wherever they were soundly sleeping. Yorkies Rule and they know bacon.

    • Beth Price says:

      Well howdy, Ron! Being from the fair city of Charleston, I can’t argue with grits or bacon, or adding everything but the kitchen sink to your shrimp and grits. It sounds like you have taken the recipe and definitely made it your own. So glad that you found it (and us)!

  16. John says:

    Okay, don’t blast me immediately, but hear me out. I can just imagine what you grit aficionados are going to think. Anyway, growing up in Chicago, I never heard of a grit until I played college baseball in the North and we went to the University of Southern Mississippi and Jackson State and stayed in the dorms and ate at the cafeterias. Grits was the only thing that kept me going…and I’ve learned to love them. But…I don’t have time to cook them for 30 minutes, so I’ve eaten the Quaker instant grits often…and love them…so I tried this recipe with them. Well, it was great! I like being able to control the consistency of the grits by adding more boiling water (I like ‘em soupy), and I added a couple of diced shallots to the bacon oil and Old Bay Seasoning. Be gentle with me…

    • David Leite says:

      John, if that’s the way you likes ‘em, that’s the way you likes ‘em. We’re a Certified No-Judgment Zone® here at LC. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.

    • Beth Price says:

      Well John, I’m just pleased as punch that non-Southerner loves grits. And I’ve been known to pull out those instant grits in a pinch. Especially on school days when we are all running late. Signed grits (girl raised in the South)

      • john says:

        Thanks to Beth and David for letting me off the hook for doing it my way. Made them again this week and this time added Nigerian Cayenne, which I had in the spice rack. Extra spicy!

        • David Leite says:

          John, so glad you liked this. I made it again on Saturday (seems I can’t get enough of it). They sure are tasty. And if Beth, our GRITS (Girl Raise In The South), gives her nod of approval, you’re all set.

        • Beth Price says:

          Sounds amazing, John. Love the heat!

  17. Katie Short says:

    Oh, sure, it looks like a great recipe for shrimp and grits. Fine. But the real thing y’all have is the recipe for an awesome blog with some of the absolute best comments I have ever read on a foodie site! This rocks! Maybe I’ll even make something ;)

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