I have Midwestern roots, with family from Southern Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky so it isn’t too much of a surprise that I love southern foods. One of my absolute favorites is Southern Shrimp and Grits.
On a trip to Jacksonville, Florida, we headed out to one of the local restaurants for a meal. It took me about a minute perusing the menu to spy the shrimp and grits and I immediately knew what I was ordering.
When it arrived, it was everything I was hoping for, smooth and creamy grits smothered in a luscious sauce, and studded with perfectly cooked shrimp. Needless to say I cleaned my plate!
I order shrimp and grits whenever I see it on the menu and now I judge it against the dish I had in Jacksonville. Most of the time they don’t come close, but today’s recipe definitely measures up.
I was delighted with the flavors of the sauce, the cheesiness of the grits, and the perfectly cooked shrimp. It is very filling, so serve smaller servings than normal and let people go back for seconds if they want more.
These grits will thicken as they cool. Once the cheese is melted, you can whisk in another 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water or stock to thin them again.
I hope you enjoy these Southern Shrimp and Grits as much as I did and make them for your family or guests. If you have all the ingredients prepped in advance, the dish will come together easily.
Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a progressive dinner party where each course is held at a different home. With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out.
Each recipe in our menu this month features food from the South and our host is Karen who blogs at Karen’s Kitchen Stories. We have a great mix of recipes including cocktails, appetizers, sides, entrees, and desserts to host a classic southern feast! Come along and see all of the delicious dishes from the South!
If you use gluten-free grits, this dish is naturally gluten-free!
See the links below for more inspiration and great recipes!
Food from The South
- Sweet Tea Sangria – The Redheaded Baker
- Southern Pimento Cheese + Roasted Broccoli Bites – The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Southern Pecan Bread – Creative Culinary
- Spicy Sauteed Kale with Andouille Sausage – From A Chef’s Kitchen
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp kosher or fine sea salt
- 1 cup stone-ground grits (not instant grits)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese or white cheddar
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1-1/2 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 6 slices bacon, chopped
- 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 red or green bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1-1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 to 1 tsp hot sauce, optional
- 1 tsp thyme leaves
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley, divided
- 1 tbsp butter
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Cook the Grits: Bring water and stock to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the bay leaf and salt and pepper to taste. Slowly whisk in the grits to avoid getting any lumps, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the water is absorbed, 15 to 25 minutes, whisking occasionally. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Remove the grits from the heat and whisk in the butter and cheeses. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper if needed. Cover with a lid, keep warm over very low heat, and stir occasionally to keep them smooth and creamy. Whisk in a little water or stock if needed.
- While the grits are cooking, make the shrimp and sauce.
- Make the Shrimp and Sauce: Peel and devein the shrimp and rinse thoroughly in cold water. Pat dry with paper towels.
- In a large skillet, fry the chopped bacon over medium heat until browned; use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon on a paper towel-covered plate. When cool, crumble and set aside.
- Discard all but 3 tbsp of the drippings. Add the shrimp and cook until pink and no longer translucent, 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the shrimp to a plate and set aside.
- Add the onions and bell peppers to the same pan and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds, stirring. Sprinkle with the cornstarch and stir until the vegetables are evenly coated. Whisk in the stock, lemon juice, hot sauce (if using), thyme, half the parsley, and the butter. Bring to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes or until the butter is melted and the sauce is thickened and smooth, stirring often. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper if needed. Take the pan off the heat and return the shrimp to the sauce to reheat.
- To Serve: Spoon the grits into warmed serving bowls. Divide the shrimp and some of the sauce evenly in each bowl and sprinkle the tops with the crumbled bacon and a little parsley. Serve immediately. Pass hot sauce at the table if desired.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 705Total Fat: 37gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 452mgSodium: 3374mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gProtein: 64g
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