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Southern Shrimp and Grits

A southern specialty, sometimes called breakfast shrimp, this dish tastes great for brunch or dinner, and anytime company’s coming. It’s down-home comfort food at its finest. —Mandy Rivers, Lexington, South Carolina
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. Cook: 20 min.
  • Makes
    4 servings


  • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 1/3 cup butter, cubed
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 cup uncooked old-fashioned grits
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 8 thick-sliced bacon strips, chopped
  • 1 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun or blackened seasoning
  • 4 green onions, chopped


  • In a large saucepan, bring the broth, milk, butter, salt and pepper to a boil. Slowly stir in grits. Reduce heat. Cover and cook for 12-14 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Stir in cheese until melted. Set aside and keep warm.
  • In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove to paper towels with a slotted spoon; drain, reserving 4 teaspoons drippings. Saute the shrimp, garlic and seasoning in drippings until shrimp turn pink. Serve with grits and sprinkle with onions.

Shrimp and Grits Tips

How do you peel and devein shrimp?

To peel shrimp, cut and pull the head (if it’s still attached) and legs off. Using your thumb, release the shell from the meat by pulling the shell, starting where the legs were attached to the tail. You can leave the last segment of the shell on the tail end for presentation purposes. To devein shrimp, use your paring knife to make a shallow incision down the back of the shrimp to expose the dark-colored string. Use the tip of your knife to slowly lift it up and release it from the meat and discard. Follow this shrimp cleaning guide for more tips!

What do grits taste like?

Grits have a subtle corn flavor and tend to have a neutral taste, which makes them a wonderful base. If you have any grits left over, use them up in these tasty grits recipes.

Are grits and polenta the same?

Although they have similar properties, grits and polenta are not the same. Polenta is typically made from yellow corn and tends to be coarser, while grits usually come from white corn and tends to be smoother.

Are grits gluten-free?

Yes, grits are gluten-free. Raw grits are naturally gluten-free because they derive from corn. Follow our gluten-free guide to learn more about gluten-free foods (it even includes a free printable!).
Nutrition Facts
1 cup grits with 1/2 cup shrimp mixture: 674 calories, 42g fat (22g saturated fat), 241mg cholesterol, 1845mg sodium, 33g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 1g fiber), 41g protein.


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  • Melissa
    Oct 3, 2020

    Why do the recipes for grits say milk? How much, how do you alternate the ratio for milk and water?

  • Natasha
    Sep 20, 2020

    This was really easy to make and was definitely a hit with my family. I ended up using 2 lbs of shrimp because it this is A LOT of grits and 1 lb didn't seem to be quite enough. I'd definitely say go with 2lbs of shrimp so there's a good shrimp to grits ratio. I'd also suggest cutting down or even eliminating the salt as it's just a bit on the salty side. Not enough to destroy the dish, but noticeable if you are someone who has to watch their salt intake and doesn't use a lot of salt on the regular. The broth, bacon, and old bay will give you all the seasoning you need for the dish to be flavorful. Outside of those tweaks this is a really really good dish and it will definitely be going into the Sunday game day rotation.

  • Carol
    Aug 19, 2020

    No comment left

  • Cindy
    Aug 7, 2020

    I have tried many variations of shrimp and grits recipes, and this one is by far a favorite! The only addition I make is to add some fresh parsley, green onions and a little bell pepper. It’s delicious!

  • Michael
    Jul 31, 2020

    I had to modify the recipe for one person. You may want to consider this since there are so many singles today. Half the population of NYC is single. I would have added more garlic (fresh and powdered) less milk and higher percentage of chicken broth. Good place to start! Grits absorb moisture massively, quickly, best to have enough liquid to avoid burning grits.

  • Michele
    Jul 30, 2020

    I think you could go with 2 slices less bacon and it would be perfect. I see several have said it doesn't tell you what to do with the bacon, but I watched the recipe video and it showed the bacon being added to the cooked shrimp and stirred together & then put on top of the grits. Pretty much the same as using for garnish, though a it more incorporated into the shrimp and perhaps picking up a little of the cajun seasoning. I'm a huge fan of cheese grits so this recipe was right up my alley.

  • Lynda
    Jul 26, 2020

    This was absolutely delicious! I doubled the shrimp because we love shrimp and I had extra! I made a cucumber and tomato salad to go with it.

  • Joe Ann
    Jul 22, 2020

    I haven’t made yet but was wondering what to serve with dish? Can I serve biscuits or just a green salad?

  • Joy
    Jul 6, 2020

    I have not tried this yet but is it ok to use shrimp that is already deveined and peeled?

  • Rhiannon
    Jun 24, 2020

    This recipe is so good and pretty easy. If you're serving 4 people, I would say double the shrimp part. There's enough grits though. I wouldn't double the bacon, because as others have said, there is plenty of bacon with 8 pieces. And yeah, it doesn't say what to do with the bacon after it's cooked, so like the others, I use it as a garnish and sprinkle over the plated dishes. Yummy!