Easy Shrimp and Grits

This easy shrimp and grits recipe is the best we’ve made! It is incredibly flavorful, the grits are outrageously creamy, and the shrimp sauce is out of this world.

Shrimp and Grits Recipe Video

This shrimp and grits recipe comes from our good friend Richard, who grew up in the South and has worked in Southern kitchens for most of his career.

Richard’s grits are perfectly creamy, and the shrimp sauce is unbelievably delicious. I can’t wait for you to try this incredible recipe.

Easy Shrimp and Grits with bacon

Key Ingredients

  • Shrimp: I use large or extra-large shrimp in this recipe, but medium shrimp are okay (they will just take less time to cook in the sauce). If you have frozen shrimp, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight and pat them dry before using them in the recipe.
  • Bacon: I love the smoky flavor bacon adds to our shrimp sauce. We cook it first to render the fat and then use that fat to cook the rest of the sauce ingredients. It’s delicious!
  • Green onions and garlic: These are the aromatics in our sauce, which add flavor and texture. You’ll use the white and light green parts of the green onion in the sauce, and then you can slice and sprinkle the green parts on top of it for serving.
  • Tomatoes: Fresh chopped tomatoes keep our shrimp sauce light and delicious (I love them). You can use canned diced tomatoes if needed, but I highly recommend fresh tomatoes for this recipe.
  • Creole seasoning: Store-bought Creole seasoning works nicely in this recipe. I’ve also used our homemade Cajun seasoning, and I loved it. Creole seasoning is usually more herbal than Cajun seasoning, but both are lovely in this recipe. 
  • White wine: A splash of wine brings our sauce together. Any dry white wine will do. You can substitute a light chicken broth or veggie broth.
  • Grits: We use our favorite grits recipe for the base of our shrimp sauce. We make it with stone-ground grits, stock, butter, cream, salt, and pepper. The recipe is included below.

How to Make Shrimp and Grits

Our family loves this easy shrimp and grits recipe. I start by cooking my grits, which, depending on the brand, takes between 20 and 40 minutes. I’ve used Bob’s Red Mill grits in the video, which take closer to 20 minutes.

To make the grits for shrimp and grits, bring stock to a boil and then stream in the grits while whisking at the same time. After 2 minutes, turn your heat to low, whisk in butter, cream, salt, and pepper, and allow them to cook until thick and creamy.

How to Make Shrimp and Grits: Making the grits

For the shrimp sauce, you’ll need a wide skillet. Cook your bacon first, then when it’s crisp, remove it, but leave the bacon fat in the skillet. We’ll use that to cook the rest of the sauce ingredients (yum).

Stir in garlic and green onion, then add flour, which will help thicken our sauce later. Add a splash of white wine, then add Creole seasoning, tomatoes, and any juices collected on the cutting board.

How to Make Shrimp and Grits: Adding the shrimp to the sauce.

Cook the tomatoes for 10 to 15 minutes or until they become a sauce. Season with salt, pepper, and some butter, then add your shrimp and let them poach in the sauce gently.

Serve the shrimp sauce on top of your grits and garnish with the reserved cooked bacon and sliced green onion. Delicious!

Delicious shrimp and grits with a sauce made with fresh tomatoes, Creole (or Cajun) seasoning, and bacon.

What to Serve with Shrimp and Grits

Shrimp and grits do well as a stand-alone dish, but you can always add a few more dishes to the table. I love adding some vegetables. Try collard greens, sautéed spinach, my favorite corn salad, or fried cabbage.

A fresh salad is nice, too. Toss your favorite salad ingredients into a bowl, and then top with balsamic vinaigrette, honey mustard dressing, or homemade ranch.

Homemade cornbread, fluffy biscuits, or these cheese drop biscuits are also lovely for sopping up any leftover sauce.

Easy Shrimp and Grits

  • PREP
  • COOK
  • TOTAL

I love this incredible shrimp and grits recipe with super creamy grits, smoky bacon, fresh tomato, and perfectly cooked shrimp. It’s hard not to go back for more of this classic Southern dish.

Serves 4

Watch Us Make the Recipe

You Will Need

Shrimp Sauce

1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and the tails removed

5 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped small (lardons)

1 bunch green onions, sliced, greens and whites separated

3 cloves garlic, sliced thin

1 heaping teaspoon flour

2 cups (400g) chopped tomatoes, 2 large tomatoes

1 ¼ teaspoon Creole seasoning or Cajun seasoning, see notes for adjusting for spice level

2 tablespoons white wine or chicken stock

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Pinch fresh ground black pepper

1 tablespoon butter

Creamy Grits

1 cup (165g) stone-ground grits

4 cups (945ml) chicken or vegetable stock, try homemade chicken stock or veggie stock

4 tablespoons (55g) butter

1/4 cup (60ml) cream

3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Directions

  • How to Make Grits
  • 1Bring the stock to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the grits, then keep whisking for 2 minutes to avoid clumping.

    2When they begin to thicken, reduce the heat to a low simmer (helps to prevent splattering). Whisk in the butter, cream, salt, and pepper.

    3Continue to cook at a very low simmer until thickened, whisking occasionally. Expect a cooking time of around 20 minutes, depending on the brand and how coarsely your grits are ground (see tips). Continue simmering on low if they need to thicken further. The longer you keep them on the heat, the more they thicken.

  • How to Make the Shrimp Sauce
  • 1While the grits cook, prepare the shrimp and sauce. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy. Use a slotted spoon to remove them, and place them onto a paper towel. Keep the bacon fat in the skillet.

    2Add the garlic and sliced whites of the green onions to the hot bacon fat. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until it becomes fragrant.

    3Stir in the flour and mix it well to remove any lumps, then immediately add the wine and stir until smooth.

    4Add the tomatoes, with any juices, and the Creole seasoning. Cook over medium-low heat until the tomatoes break down and you have a more uniform sauce, 10 to 15 minutes.

    5Season the sauce with salt and pepper and melt in the butter. When the butter melts, add the shrimp, spacing them evenly and gently pushing down into the sauce. Poach the shrimp until opaque, 3 to 5 minutes.

    6Serve the shrimp with the sauce over grits and top with bacon and reserved sliced green onion.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Seasoning: Creole and Cajun seasonings can vary in spice level. Give yours a taste and adjust the amount you add to the sauce for your preferred heat. Our homemade Cajun seasoning offers a sweet and balanced heat. Store-bought Creole seasonings tend to be more savory.
  • Grits cook time varies by brand: We used Bob’s Red Mill in the photos and video, and they took 20 minutes. Larger ground grits, like Anson Mills will need longer to cook, same with Marsh Hen Mill, formerly Geechie Boy Mill. Watch for them to be cooked and tender with some structure left, if they are mushy, you’ve cooked them too long.
  • Cheese grits: Stir 1/2 cup to 1 cup cheddar cheese into the grits just before serving.
  • The nutrition facts provided below are estimates.
Nutrition Per Serving Serving Size 1/4 of the recipe / Calories 527 / Total Fat 24.8g / Saturated Fat 13.1g / Cholesterol 243.3mg / Sodium 1039.2mg / Carbohydrate 39.2g / Dietary Fiber 1.7g / Total Sugars 2.8g / Protein 37.2g
AUTHOR:  Adam and Joanne Gallagher
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13 comments… Leave a Review
  • Al Blackburn July 8, 2024, 5:57 pm

    Cooking dinner for a 50th birthday celebration. BD boy was from southern most Alabama and said he loved shrimp and grits sooo I got your recipe for shrimp and grits and followed each step. The shrimp in the sauce were oooh!! awesome and you were spot on about the grits—the best ever. 5 star rating from me. More importantly, 5 stars from the BD boy and family. I’m retired, 80 , and lovin my new hobby cookin !!!

    Reply
    • Adam July 8, 2024, 6:12 pm

      What a great review! You made our day with this one 🙂

      Reply
  • Barbara March 24, 2024, 3:52 am

    I have not made this yet but will this week. Is there any chance it can be made with a white sauce instead of a tomato sauce? Thanks, Barbara

    Reply
    • Joanne May 7, 2024, 12:33 pm

      Hi Barbara, We only have a recipe for the tomato-based shrimp sauce (I love it and hope you give it a try).

      Reply
  • Kim March 11, 2024, 10:49 pm

    I’d like to try this. Looks good!

    Reply
    • Adam March 12, 2024, 12:01 am

      You won’t regret it 🙂

      Reply
  • ASF March 7, 2024, 4:35 pm

    I have collected shrimp&grits recipes for 50+ years. They are all good, but not one of them was good enough to be the ONLY ONE. I finally tried this recipe and I am archiving every other s&g recipe. Stacey’s recipe is so good I ate it cold for breakfast (just a few spoonsfull). And truly the best grits recipe ever! Thank for a winning s&g recipe. I am going to stock shrimp in my freezer to make this frequently.

    Reply
  • Regina Michel February 28, 2024, 5:09 pm

    Hi from Germany! I made this recipe for dinner tonight, and it was sooo yummy! I had polenta and some left over pearl couscous as this is easier to find in the stores in this country. My husband loved the polenta, I do love both 🙂 I wanted to try this southern recipe for a long time. Yours sounded just right, and it is! The recipe steps (both written and video) are so easy to follow. Everything just turned out sooo well. I have been making Creole Seasoning for the past 25 years, so used mine for saving time. Will try yours as well. Definitely fresh tomatoes are the first choice, I used fresh oxheart and marinda tomatoes. Keep up your great work!

    Reply
    • Adam March 1, 2024, 4:25 pm

      You have made our day with this comment! This would be delicious with polenta 🙂

      Reply
  • Jan February 27, 2024, 6:04 pm

    What exactly are grits as I am not American

    Reply
    • Joanne February 27, 2024, 11:31 pm

      Hi Jan, We talk more about grits in this grits recipe, but grits are similar to polenta or porridge and are made from coarsely ground corn (often dried hominy). They are a classic Southern dish with a creamy texture and a mild corn flavor.

      Reply
  • PAM February 27, 2024, 2:03 pm

    WOW !!! made today for lunch , perfect blend of flavors. husband hates shrimp so made a batch using pork loin cut in cubes and sauted with onion and garlic. made for one happy husband . did add chopped bell pepper to mix , just because , and this recipe will be added to our rotation .

    Reply
    • Joanne February 27, 2024, 3:19 pm

      This is amazing, Pam! We are thrilled that you enjoyed the recipe so much.

      Reply

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