Cheesy Shrimp and Grits

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A classic Southern dish you can make at home in minutes, Cheesy Shrimp and Grits is a creamy, comforting bowl of happy. Cheesy grits are topped with a healthy helping of tender shrimp swimming in a slightly spicy cream sauce that will keep you digging in for more.

Watch the video showing you how to make Cheesy Shrimp and Grits, then scroll to the bottom of this post and print out the recipe so you can make it at home!

overhead shot of shrimp and grits in a white bowl on a patterned napkin with a fork and two other partial views of shrimp and grits bowls

I spent years visiting Hilton Head, SC visiting my mother in law.  It was kind of a luxury having a relative that lived smack dab in the middle of  “low country.”  When I was a teenager, I had the chance to spend two weeks right outside Charleston and that’s when my love affair with the south began.  So, it had been almost 15 years before I was able to get down there again….but after that I was a frequent visitor biking along the coast while the Spanish moss blew in the breeze around me.

It’s a magical place with equally magical food, if you ever have the chance to visit…you must go.  One of my favorite things to eat every time I visited was Shrimp and Grits.  And everywhere you order it…it’s just a little bit different.

overhead shot of shrimp and grits in three white bowls with glasses and patterned napkin

Everyone has their own take on Shrimp and Grits.  Even me, I love my grits to be extra creamy and loaded with cheese….hence, Cheesy Shrimp and Grits. A lot of places skip the cheese and you can too, but try it with the cheese and I promise you you’ll love it.

The sauce is slightly creamy but not overly thick. It’s the perfect blanket for your shrimp, not too heavy….not too light.  Just right.  And I used yellow cornmeal grits….you can use white if you prefer but I love the vibrant yellow color it adds to the dish.  It’s like a bowl full of southern sunshine…but with shrimp and bacon and other goodness just ready for you to dig into. Drooling yet?

close up view of shrimp and grits in a bowl with a fork

Cheesy Shrimp and Grits couldn’t be easier to make.  I like to make the grits first so they’re perfect and smooth.  They take a few minutes of your attention at the beginning but the result is a velvety smooth bowl of heaven.

The shrimp and gravy comes together in about 15 minutes making this an easy weeknight dinner that will transport your tastebuds on a mini vacation.

shrimp and grits in three white bowls on a table setting with patterned napkin and a bottle of hot sauce

I can guarantee you’ll want to add this recipe to your weekly meal rotation.

shrimp and grits in a white bowl garnished with a lemon slice and served with wine

Here are a few more shrimp recipes you might enjoy:

overhead shot of shrimp and grits in a white bowl on a patterned napkin with a fork and two other partial views of shrimp and grits bowls
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4.91 from 32 votes

Cheesy Shrimp and Grits

The best Shrimp and Grits recipe- super creamy and cheesy!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 931kcal
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword grits, Shrimp, southern



  • 2 cups low fat milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal grits
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese


  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • pounds shrimp, peeled & de-veined
  • cups chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley



  • In a large pot over medium heat, add the milk, water and salt. Bring to a simmer.  Whisk in the grits and continue whisking until they begin to thicken. (This will help eliminate lumps.)  Continue to cook the grits for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened.  Stir in the butter and cheese. Cover and set aside.


  • In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel lined platter using a slotted spoon to drain.
  • Return the skillet to the heat and add the shrimp to the pan. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes on each side.  Transfer the shrimp to a platter and keep warm.
  • Add the onions to the skillet and cook until softened.  Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Sprinkle the cornstarch over the onions/garlic and cook for an additional minute.  Whisk in the chicken stock and cook until the sauce begins to thicken.  Whisk in the cream, butter, cayenne pepper, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Continue cooking until the sauce starts to thicken more.  Return the shrimp to the pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes- making sure not to overcook the shrimp.  Stir in the bacon, green onions and parsley.


  • Spoon about 1 cup grits onto a plate and top with 4 to 5 shrimp. Pour about 1 cup gravy over the shrimp. Repeat with remaining grits and shrimp.  Serve immediately.



Serving: 1serving | Calories: 931kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 56g | Fat: 54g | Saturated Fat: 30g | Cholesterol: 586mg | Sodium: 2735mg | Potassium: 708mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 2275IU | Vitamin C: 21.2mg | Calcium: 670mg | Iron: 5mg
More seafood recipes...
Kellie Hemmerly

Meet The Author: Kellie Hemmerly

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  • Gretchen wrote:

    Delicious recipe and easy to prepare. Got rave reviews! Thank you!

  • Wendy wrote:

    Amazing dish! My husband loved it.

  • carol s ecker wrote:

    love this! I did add a large pinch of old bay seasoing and a bag of baby spinach to shrimp mix after thickening,

  • Barbara wrote:

    I born and raised southern but I am not a fan of grits at all but i could eat this meal everyday! It is absolutely the best thing I have eaten in a very long time! My whole family is crazy about this recipe. Kellie, thank you so much for this wonderful recipe!

  • Matthew Deveau wrote:

    Amazing dish. So many great flavors coming together in this. I used yellow cornmeal for the grits. They came out thick and cheesy. This cream sauce with the shrimp would be great over pasta too. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  • Kathy wrote:

    This is excellent! I, nor my husband, are grits fans but this recipe changed our minds! We will definitely make this again! DELICIOUS!!!

  • Robin wrote:

    When you say yellow cornmeal grits do you mean yellow cornmeal or polenta? Or corn grits? Can’t find anything actually called yellow cornmeal grits. Can you please share the brand you use? Thank you.

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I don’t have a specific brand I use… but just make sure you’re buying corn grits.

  • Days wrote:

    My fiancé and I LOVED this recipe!! Thank you!

  • Alyssa wrote:

    Wow this was delicious. Has a nice kick to it but not super spicy by any means. My boyfriend couldn’t get enough of it. Yum!

  • Jill wrote:

    Holy moly this is amazing. My newest comfort food! The slight heat in the creamy sauce is perfect

  • Trish wrote:

    This is honestly one of the best things I’ve even eaten!

  • Ellison A wrote:

    Are the instructions correct to
    Pour one cup of sauce over a serving?
    Based on what I see it only makes about 2 and 1/2 cups of sauce. Am I just reading wrong?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      You can just divide the sauce between servings. You should have plenty.

  • gwenda crier wrote:

    I would like to be able to print it.

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      There is a big blue/green PRINT button in the recipe card at the end of the post.

  • Cleaver wrote:

    I made this for dinner tonight just as the recipe stated. It was absolutely delicious, and I’m not a fan of grits. This has been printed and saved as a favorite. Thanks for sharing!

  • Tammy wrote:

    I was not born in the South. I’m Canadian! We loved EVERY bite, and made the recipe as written. Will make again!

  • Elizabeth Sikora wrote:

    This was a huge hit!! Delicious!! Family loved it!!

  • Kathy Missel wrote:

    Instead of using chicken broth, use shrimp broth made by simmering the shells of the shrimp in water.

  • Dave Leresche wrote:

    Wonderful recipe Kellie! Thanks for sharing 🙂 Dave

  • Peggy wrote:

    I forgot to snap a photo- but really good ! I added 2x the hot sauce and cut the recipe in half.