Old-Fashioned Shrimp And Grits Recipe

If you're not from the South, the idea of pairing shrimp and grits might seem like an odd one. Seafood plus a breakfast cereal — what's next? Crab with cream of wheat? Oysters with oatmeal? Lobster with Lucky Charms? It might help if you think of grits as the American answer to polenta, a type of Italian cornmeal mush that is typically combined with savory items rather than served up with milk and sugar at the breakfast table. Many chefs will pair polenta with vegetables, but Ina Garten prefers hers with Parmesan.

Recipe developer Christina Musgrave likes to take a savory approach with her grits, and believe it or not, shrimp and grits is actually a match made in heaven. She describes this shrimp and grits recipe as "easy and so delicious," and feels that the ingredient that really makes it pop (besides the shrimp, of course) is the sharp cheddar. This cheese, she tells us, lends the grits their "cheesy and creamy texture" as well as some much-needed flavor. (Grits on their own can be quite bland.) As a bonus, the addition of cheese and shrimp to the grits ensures that they lose much of their breakfast cereal-like quality.

Assemble the ingredients for these old-fashioned shrimp and grits

To make this dish, you will need both shrimp and grits, of course, plus the aforementioned sharp cheddar cheese. You'll also be using salt, pepper, olive oil, and, for flavoring, some garlic and lemon juice. If you want to garnish your completed creation, Musgrave suggests using green onions.

Cook the grits and add cheese

Boil the water, then add the grits to the pot. Turn the heat down to low and cook the cereal for 10 minutes or so until all of the water has been absorbed. At this point, take the pan off the heat.

If you're using block cheese rather than pre-shredded, get out the grater, as a chunk of cheese isn't going to melt into the grits too well. Stir the grated cheddar into the grits along with the salt and pepper. Once the cheese is melted, your cheesy grits are good to go, and all that's left to do is add the shrimp.

Cook the shrimp

Heat a frying pan on a medium burner, then add the butter, oil, and shrimp. Cook the shrimp on one side for 3 minutes, then turn them over. Add the garlic and lemon juice, then cook the shrimp for another 3 minutes or until they are pink all over. Put the shrimp on the grits, and voila! You have shrimp and grits. If you want to add some extra color and flavor, sliced green onions make a great topping.

Serve your old-fashioned shrimp and grits

As Musgrave describes the finished dish, "The cheesy grits are delicious with buttery shrimp" and are something that makes for "a meal in itself." She does say, though, that you could add a salad and/or some vegetables if you want to stretch it out a bit. If you have leftovers, she says to store the grits and shrimp separately. Use a microwave to reheat the grits, but heat the shrimp on the stove top.

Old-Fashioned Shrimp And Grits Recipe
4.9 from 21 ratings
This savory and cheesy shrimp and grits dish is perfect for brunch.
Prep Time
Cook Time
shrimp on plate of grits
Total time: 16 minutes
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup grits
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and de-veined
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Optional Ingredients
  • Sliced green onion, for serving
  1. Bring the water to a boil.
  2. Add the grits to the water and reduce the heat to low.
  3. Cook the grits for 10 minutes or until the water is absorbed.
  4. Remove the grits from the heat and stir in the cheese, salt, and pepper.
  5. Heat a frying pan over medium heat.
  6. Add the olive oil, butter, and shrimp to the hot pan.
  7. Cook the shrimp for 3 minutes on one side.
  8. Turn the shrimp over and add the garlic and lemon juice to the pan.
  9. Cook the shrimp for another 3 minutes or until they are pink all over.
  10. Serve the shrimp over the grits, garnishing with green onions if desired.
Calories per Serving 385
Total Fat 22.2 g
Saturated Fat 11.6 g
Trans Fat 0.7 g
Cholesterol 150.3 mg
Total Carbohydrates 22.5 g
Dietary Fiber 1.3 g
Total Sugars 0.3 g
Sodium 731.1 mg
Protein 23.0 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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