Fifteen Spatulas

Shrimp and Grits

southern shrimp and grits recipe

Shrimp and grits. Fried green tomatoes. Biscuits. Southern fried chicken. Pralines.

As I pack up my dishes, pots and pans, in preparation to move North, I can’t help but think about all the quintessential Southern dishes that I’ve come to love during my time here.

And my favorite dish hands down is shrimp and grits.

I think the reason shrimp and grits is so popular down here is because it’s the perfect way to show off all the local, wild shrimp.

The shrimp are everywhere.

Sure, you can drive to the grocery store and find local shrimp for sale at their seafood counter, but on your drive there you’ll see people selling them on the side of the road, freshly caught from their boats.

jumbo shrimp and grits recipe

This classic Southern dish has got some simple flavors to it, but those simple flavors enhance the shrimp while still letting it shine.

For my rendition, I use scallions, bacon, garlic, lemon, and just a little hint of Tabasco.

shrimp and grits with scallions, garlic, bacon, lemon

The one thing I’ll say though is to make sure you’re using wild shrimp for this dish. The problem with farmed shrimp is that they don’t have much flavor. This is a dish where you want to get the big, wild ones that taste of the sea.

sauteed shrimp and grits southern recipe

Shrimp and Grits

Yield: Serves 2-3


For the grits:
1 cup yellow grits
4 cups water
pinch of salt
1/2 cup asiago or cheddar cheese
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
For the shrimp:
5 strips thick cut bacon, sliced or chopped into small pieces
1 lb wild shrimp (21/25 shrimp), peeled and deveined
4 scallions, sliced
1 tbsp minced garlic (3 large cloves)
freshly squeezed juice from half a lemon
2 dashes of tabasco


To make the grits, I use a rice cooker. I put the grits and water in the rice cooker with a pinch of salt, and push the button. If you don't have a rice cooker, bring the water to a boil in a saucepan and add the grits. Turn the heat down to medium, stir the grits around and add a pinch of salt, then let them cook, stirring occassionally, for about 20 minutes until the water is absorbed.

Once the grits are cooked, season to taste with more salt and pepper, and stir in the cheese, butter, and heavy cream. Keep the grits warm in the rice cooker or the pan.

Place the bacon in a cold skillet, and turn the heat to medium. Render out the fat and cook the bacon until crisp, then use a slotted spoon to scoop out the bacon bits (but leave the grease there). Toss the shrimp with salt and pepper, then add them in a single layer to the pan. Cook on one side for about 60-90 seconds, then flip the shrimp over and add the scallions, garlic, lemon juice, tabasco, and the reserved crisped bacon. Let the shrimp cook for another minute or two until cooked through (once they turn pink, they are done. Take care not to overcook).

To serve, place the grits on the bottom of a bowl and scoop the shrimp on top. They taste best eaten together. Enjoy!

25 comments on “Shrimp and Grits

  1. I had never made shrimp & grits! But your tasty recipe and photos have me intrigued! A seductive post.

  2. Y’all – Joanne speaks the TRUTH! There’s nothing like it! Another amazing dish, girlfriend! I’m gonna miss you being down here in The South!

  3. Lovely dish and good luck on your move….Can’t wait to hear all about it.

  4. I love (love love) shrimp & grits. I even had it at my favorite restaurant this weekend! They also put bacon on theirs. Great stuff. Gorgeous shrimp.

  5. Amazing, you just can’t go wrong with this dish and great presentation!

  6. Mmm…this looks SO good. I will have to try it! I don’t cook seafood of any variety too often though…will be new for me!

  7. Good morning Joanne! I have featured this recipe on my blog today for my weekly seafood round-up and have linked this recipe to your original post so that my readers will be forwarded to your site. Thank you for allowing me to share! Here is the link:

    • Hi Carrie, thanks so much! Would you please do you me a favor? I left a comment on the post but it didn’t appear. Lately it seems when I leave blogger comments, it doesn’t post, but maybe you just have to moderate it. If you don’t get anything please let me know =) Anyway, thanks so much for including me in the round-up!!!

  8. Those look amazing. I took a snap of a plate they served at The Metro Diner because they looked to wonderful. Yours tops them by far!!

  9. I’ve had shrimp and grits on the brain since returning from the Outer Banks last month. Adding this to next weeks menu! Thanks :)

  10. Tried this tonight, very yummy! I was leery of making the grits in my rice cooker due to a recent rice cooker disaster, but it worked like a charm! Thanks for the great tip and delicious recipe!!

  11. Love your shrimp & grits recipe. I saw it on RecipeNewz. Would love for you to share on Thursdays Treasures

  12. YUMMY! I’ve never had shrimp and grits but this sure makes me want to make some. Thanks for sharing!

  13. honestly, it was easy and delicious. my entire family, including 7yr son, LOVED it.
    thank you!

  14. Good Afternoon Joanne,

    Where can I find yellow grits? I have access to the instant and 5 min variety found in every supermarket. Thank you.

    • Hi Volina, Do they have Bob’s Red Mill products? They definitely have grits at Whole Foods and Bob’s Red Mill is sold at quite a few groceries. In my experience the instant kind tastes pretty bad. Haven’t tried the 5 minute one, but it might be better.

  15. I need to make this for around 20 girls at a bridal shower this Sat. Can you tell me how to multiply these ingredients?

  16. Oh how I love shrimp & grits! One of my favorite dishes. I’d have to say the best I’ve had were at a little restaurant in Mount Pleasant, SC. So good and creamy. But yours look SO good so I’ll have to give them a try!

  17. Can you tell me how to print out a recipe? I would love to try your shrimp and grits recipe, but can’t find where to print it out. Thanks Debra

    • Hi Debra, in the recipe box, do you see the little printer icon in the upper right corner? If you click that it will automatically open a print page. Let me know if you have trouble!

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