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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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Average Rating:
  • leebick
    Feb 13, 2021

    I wanted to love this recipe. As a New England girl I am "new" to grits, but had an amazing shrimp and grits dish at a Disney restaurant so was excited to try this recipe. Being as I live in Maine, the "cajun seasoning" wasn't available in the store, but I have "Joe's Stuff" from the NOLA Cooking School so I substituted that (only 1/2 tsp), and after reading here, I used only 4 slices of bacon. Unfortunately, the overriding flavor of the shrimp part of the dish was just salt- neither my husband nor I enjoyed this (I rinsed the shrimp in broth and then quick seared in olive oil w/Joe's Stuff to make them edible). The grits (Trader Joe's brand) were fine, although I cut back on the salt for them (basically followed the proportions on the bag: 1.5c water, 1/2 c. grits. 1T butter, shake of salt, shake of pepper, simmer 20 mins, add 1/4 c milk and simmer 10 mins more or until liquid absorbs- then added cheese). The grits were pretty good, and I'll try making them again, but this is not the shrimp recipe for us.

  • Michele
    Feb 10, 2021

    My son and I ate this dish for super. It was delicious. I would make it again.

  • Erin
    Feb 5, 2021

    Just made this tonight for my family! We added pepper flakes for an extra kick and it was a success! Will always refer to this recipe from now on.

  • Lisa
    Feb 4, 2021

    This recipe was soooo delicious. Made it to the T and it's now going to be a staple in my house. Never made grits this way and YUM! So easy to do and not many ingredients just like I like. Thanks for the recipe!!

  • Lora
    Jan 23, 2021

    Very salty. I think next time I will cut the salt that was added to the grits. That said, the flavor was definitely there and I enjoyed it!

  • Harmony
    Nov 19, 2020

    This was delish! Made it last night and my husband wants it again tonight! We added asiago chees with the cheddar and also added some cooked kale in the grits. Collards would be good in them also. Grits tasted h ood enough to eat even without the shrimp. This recipe definitely a keeper!

  • Lisa
    Nov 11, 2020

    We loved it! I just sprinkled a little bit of salt and pepper and went with the suggestion of using Old Bay to season shrimp along with garlic powder and fresh garlic! I will definitely make it again! Thank you!

  • 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