Shrimp and Grits

Shrimp and grits is an iconic Southern dish and easy to make at home. Grits topped with shrimp, onions, peppers and bacon come together for this classic dish with great flavor.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup stone-ground white grits
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 thick slices bacon
  • 1 cup chopped white or yellow onion
  • 1 cup chopped green pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 3 green onions, chopped (white and light green parts only)
  • 2 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • Juice of a lemon, about 1-2 Tbsp

Method

1 Sauté bacon, render fat: Fry the bacon in a large sauté pan on medium heat until crispy. Remove the bacon and chop. Pour off all but about 3 tablespoons of the fat. Turn off the heat.

2 Boil the grits: Bring the water to a boil in a medium pot. Add the salt. Slowly pour the grits into the boiling water while you stir with a wooden spoon. Stir and pour gradually so you don't get any lumps. When all the grits are incorporated, turn the heat down to a low simmer and cook the grits, stirring often, for 35 minutes.

making the grits in pot stirring grits in pot

3 Chop the shrimp: Reserve about 1/3 of the shrimp whole and cut the rest into 3-4 pieces each. Set aside.

4 Sauté onions, peppers, bacon, garlic, shrimp: When the grits have cooked for 30 minutes, heat the sauté pan on medium high. When the bacon fat is hot, sauté the onion and green pepper over medium-high heat until soft, about 4 minutes.

sauteed vegetables for shrimp and grits adding shrimp to sauteed vegetables

Add the bacon, garlic cloves and shrimp and toss to combine. Let this cook another minute.

5 Add stock, let boil to reduce: Add the chicken stock and let this boil down for 5 minutes.

adding stock to shrimp in pan

6 Add cheese and butter to grits: Meanwhile, stir the cheddar cheese and butter into the grits. The dish might not need any more salt, but add some if you'd like.

adding cheese to shrimp and grits recipe

7 Serve: To serve, spoon out some grits in individual bowls. Add to the shrimp the green onions, parsley and lemon juice to taste. Add salt if it needs it. Spoon some shrimp over the grits and make sure at least one whole shrimp is on everyone's plate. Serve at once.