Cheesy Shrimp and Grits combines succulent tender shrimp cooked to perfection in a tangy spicy sauce over creamy cheesy polenta.
This classic Southern recipe is an easy and tasty way to put a quick dinner on the table. Not only is this a feel good comfort food kind of meal, but paired with a nice green salad it makes for an easy dinner your seafood loving family will love!
Why this recipe works:
Cheesy Shrimp and Grits is one of those recipes you might not often think of as a dinner option. Perhaps if you're from the South, it is. But I'm a West Coast native, and shrimp and grits isn't a meal that often lands on our dinner table.
Now that I know how easy it is to make and how satisfying it is to my taste buds, I make it on a regular occurrence.
There are a ton of options to vary this recipe to your liking as well, including adding more vegetables for texture and taste and also increasing or varying the sauce.
Are grits and polenta the same?
Grits and polenta are extremely similar, but not exactly the same. They are both made from ground corn, but they vary slightly.
Polenta is more typically found in Italian cuisine. It is made from ground yellow corn. The texture of polenta is often more coarse than that of grits. My favorite way to enjoy polenta is actually mixed with goat cheese and topped with ratatouille!
Grits are also made from ground corn, but grits are from white corn instead of yellow corn. Like I said above, grits have a finer texture than polenta making the finished cooked product more smooth.
What goes with shrimp and grits?
If you don't mind your meals consisting of a protein and a starch, no other food is necessary. But, if you're like me and need a nice green vegetable to round out your meal, there are tons of options.
You can never go wrong with serving a nice green salad alongside any meal, let alone shrimp and grits.
Love shrimp recipes? You'll have to try these:
- Shrimp Stir Fry
- Cajun Shrimp Pasta
- Shrimp Zucchini Boats
- Shrimp Salad
- Grilled Chipotle Shrimp Skewers
Cheesy Shrimp and Grits
- 15 ounces seafood stock
- ½ cup white wine
- ½ cup water
- ½ 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)
- ¼ 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)
- In a medium saucepan, bring the stock, white wine, water, and salt to a boil.
- Whisk in the 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 cream, butter and cheese and gently stir. Cover and remove from heat. Set aside.
- To cook the shrimp, heat oil (or bacon grease if available) in a large skillet over medium high heat. Coat shrimp with black pepper and cook in skillet, turning only once after it starts to turn golden brown. Stir in remaining ingredients to create a sauce.
- To serve, spoon the warm cheesy grits into a bowl and top with shrimp with a bit of sauce. Serve hot and enjoy!