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When it comes to comfort food that warms the heart and delights the palate, few dishes can rival the classic Southern charm of Cheesy Shrimp and Grits.

This iconic dish has its roots deeply embedded in the American South, capturing the essence of its culinary traditions and blending them into a harmonious and flavorful concoction.

close up of cajun shrimp over grits
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If you’re seeking a delightful gastronomic adventure that marries creamy grits, succulent shrimp, and bold creole seasoning and flavors, then this dish is a must-try.

If you love the flavors of this recipe, I’m confident you’ll love my Cajun Shrimp Pasta, Blackened Salmon, and Instant Pot Jambalaya too!

Why You Should Make It

  • Rich Southern Cajon flavors that are downright delicious.
  • Customize it to your liking by adjusting the spice level or adding other ingredients like andouille sausage or bacon for an extra layer of depth.
  • Quick and easy to make!
close up of cajun shrimp over cheese grits

Ingredients Needed

Exact quantities are listed in the recipe card below, but here is a summary.

  • For the cheese grits: Seafood stock, white wine, water, salt, grits, heavy cream, butter, sharp cheddar cheese. 
  • For the shrimp: large uncooked shrimp, olive oil, pepper, garlic, parsley, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, lemon juice
ingredients needed to make shrimp and cheesy grits

How to make Shrimp and Cheese Grits

Detailed step by step instructions are listed in the recipe card below, but here is a summary.

Cook the grits

Heat liquid: Combine seafood stock, wine, water, and salt in a medium saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil.

Add grits: Whisk in the grits and continue to stir as they cook.

Cook the grits over medium-high heat. Continue to stir them periodically until they have thickened and the grits are tender- about 5-10 minutes total.

Add the heavy cream and cheddar cheese: Once the grits are done, add the heavy cream and grated sharp cheddar, stir the mixture well, cover with a lid, and remove the pan from the heat.

Cook the shrimp

Heat pan: Add oil to large sauté pan and add the shrimp in a single layer.

Cook shrimp: Cook until they start to turn golden brown, about 3 minutes, then turn and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

Create sauce: Add remaining ingredients to shrimp, stir, and remove from heat.

To serve, spoon shrimp with sauce over warm cheese grits.

Cooking Tip When Making Shrimp and Grits

Prep the ingredients: Since both shrimp and grits are quick to cook, be sure to prepare and measure all of the ingredients before cooking.

Shrimp and shrimp Grits

Shrimp and grits only need a nice green vegetable to round out the meal. If you want to add a nice Southern flare, you can’t beat Collard Greens with Bacon.  Wilted Garlic Spinach or Creamed Spinach are a nice addition. A simple green salad always works too.

Reheating and Storage

Shrimp are best if eaten when cooked. If there are leftovers, store in an air tight container and consume within a few days.

To reheat, do so gently. You will only want to warm the leftover shrimp and not cook it, so low power in the microwave in 1-minute increments should do the trick.


What is the best shrimp for this dish?

Wild caught, uncooked, fresh (or frozen and thawed), deveined, and peeled shrimp work well. Medium to large sizes are commonly used for shrimp and grits.

Can I add additional ingredients to the dish?

Absolutely. Sausage, bacon, mushrooms, bell pepper, and green onions are common additions that can enhance the flavor.

Can I make this dish ahead of time?

While the grits are best made fresh, you can prep the shrimp and other components ahead of time and assemble just before serving.

What’s the best way to serve shrimp and grits?

Serve the creamy grits on a plate or bowl and top them with the cooked shrimp. Garnish with chopped herbs, like parsley or green onions.

bowl of shrimp and grits

If you tried this Shrimp & Grits recipe or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the 📝 comments below. Thanks for visiting!

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Shrimp and Grits Recipe

Prep15 minutes
Cook20 minutes
Total35 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Cheesy Shrimp and Grits combines succulent tender shrimp cooked to perfection in a tangy spicy sauce over creamy cheesy polenta. YUM!



  • 15 ounces seafood stock
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 cup grits I use Bob’s Red Mill
  • 3 tbsp heavy cream
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese shredded


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil or bacon grease
  • 1 lb shrimp shelled and deveined large raw shrimp
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves minced, should be a heaping teaspoon
  • 1 tbsp flat-leaf parsley chopped
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 dashes hot sauce i.e. Tabasco
  • 4 tsp lemon juice usually equivalent to the juice of 1 whole lemon
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  • Heat liquid for grits: In a medium saucepan, bring the 15 ounces seafood stock, 1/2 cup white wine, 1/2 cup water, and 1/2 tsp Kosher salt to a boil.
  • Cook grits: Whisk in the 1 cup grits and cook over moderately high heat. Continue to stir periodically until thickened and the grits are tender- about 5-10 minutes total. Add the 3 tbsp heavy cream, 3 tbsp unsalted butter, and 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese and gently stir. Cover and remove from heat. Set aside.
  • Cook shrimp: To cook the 1 lb shrimp, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil (or bacon grease if available) in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat shrimp with 1/4 tsp black pepper and cook in skillet until they start to turn golden brown for approximately 3 minutes. Once turned, stir in remaining ingredients (3 garlic cloves , 1 tbsp flat-leaf parsley , 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce, 2 dashes hot sauce , 4 tsp lemon juice) to create a sauce and cook for an additional 2 minutes or until they are fully cooked.
  • To serve, spoon the warm cheesy grits into a bowl and top with shrimp with a bit of sauce. Serve hot and enjoy!


Nutrition info based on four large servings.


Calories: 711kcal, Carbohydrates: 35g, Protein: 43g, Fat: 41g, Saturated Fat: 21g, Cholesterol: 383mg, Sodium: 1886mg, Potassium: 344mg, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 1325IU, Vitamin C: 7.3mg, Calcium: 620mg, Iron: 3.7mg

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

Did you make this? Leave me a comment below

This recipe was originally published in May 2019 and has been updated with helpful information, ingredient and process photos, as well as recipe tips. Don’t worry – the recipe hasn’t changed!

Hi! I’m Krissy.

I love to create the BEST versions of your favorite recipes. If you love to cook, love to eat, or just have a deep appreciation for good food, you're in the right place! Stick around... I have hundreds of recipes for you to make.

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  1. 5 stars
    Made this for company and it was a huge hit! Made it just as the recipe calls for, and wouldn’t change a thing.