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!
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.
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?
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.
I can guarantee you’ll want to add this recipe to your weekly meal rotation.
Here are a few more shrimp recipes you might enjoy:
- Crispy Baked Salsa Ranchera Shrimp
- Crispy Cajun Shrimp Fettuccine
- Alfredo Zoodles with Shrimp
- Easy Shrimp Fried Rice
- Grilled Cilantro Lime Shrimp
Cheesy Shrimp and Grits
- 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
SHRIMP & SAUCE:
- 4 slices bacon, chopped
- 1½ pounds shrimp, peeled & de-veined
- 1½ cups chopped onion
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1½ cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (use less if you don't like spicy)
- 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
PREPARE THE GRITS:
- 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.
PREPARE THE SHRIMP & SAUCE:
- 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.
Delicious meal! Will make a little more grits for us next time, and that will be soon. Thanks for sharing!
This was the BEST grits and shrimp recipe that I have tried. Thank you for sharing. God Bless You!
I’m from south Louisiana and this is the only recipe I use for Shrimp and Grits!! I did use smoked white cheddar which gives the grits a slightly smoked flavor. I made this last night with left over crawfish from our Good Friday boil and it was fabulous!!! Love your recipes!
I absolutely love shrimp and grits and have always been scared to make it thinking it either was to hard or wouldn’t taste good…so I found your recipe and it was easy to follow so I decided why not give it a try.. It was amazing ..and super easy.. I was so proud of myself that it turned out soo good and my husband enjoyed it so much he eat two plates … 😁😁 so thank you for sharing this wonderful southern low country favorite .. definitely will be fixing this again …
Great recipe! Made for Fat Tuesday dinner and got rave reviews from family! I used whole fat milk for the grits with no issues. Followed the shrimp and sauce directions exactly.
Made it tonight, it was so good my husband said it was a keeper! Thank you
I am looking forward to trying this recipe and I have enjoyed many of your posts. I am having a hard time finding yellow corn grits in my area. Would white corn work just as well? I am anxious to try these grits!
I made this for my parents last night. This is the first time ever they had shrimp and grits. Now it’s a keeper recipe. Thank you for sharing it!
Does this recipe freeze well?
I haven’t tried freezing this.
This was delicious. Husband isn’t fond of seafood but couldn’t stop raving to our friends about how good this was. Thank you for such a winner!
It was amazing! I also added sun dried tomatoes that was suggested in another recipe. I will certainly make again.
Please don’t use Instant Grits…. Invest in good old fashioned Stone Ground Grits. They are worth the extra time and effort !
This was delicious! Tweaked a little to make it my own as we are spicy food lovers! Also served with roast broccoli and garlic pita crisps which was great to dip in the cheesy grits!
No One can go wrong with shrimp and grits, but you have a couple of tweeks that move this fave dish to another level. I also love your writing style. Keep it up, you are very enjoyable to follow. Thanks
The video isn’t the same as the recipe. Recipe says put shrimp then gravy over that. Video shows it all mixed together the over grits. And do you cook the shrimp in the bacon grease?
Follow the instructions in the recipe 🙂
Omg! Yum! Seriously this was too easy to be so yummy!!!
I fell in love with shrimp and grits when I visited Charleston 10 years ago and ate at Magnolias. I have dreamed about them ever since. As soon as I saw this recipe I knew I needed to try. The cheesy grits are creamy deliciousness and a tad bit spicy. I could eat these multiple times a week. The quick prep is a plus. Make these and you’re sure to impress your family and friends.
I liked this recipe. My only complaint is that it’s too salty. I will be making it again but will not use any salt.
This is my go to shrimp and grits recipe! My entire family loves it.
Try it with low sodium bacon
The time is way off of prep and cook time for me. It is well worth preparing it takes me a lot longer to prep and cook. I’ve made this several times and it is as good as any we have had in Charleston SC. I use my own chicken broth, Bobs Red Mills grits, freshly grated cheese, our home grown garlic.
This was a delicious dish to make. I’ve made it twice this month. Once with the bacon and once without the bacon and it tasted good both times! It depends on your taste buds and what you’d enjoy. It’s also very filling. A great dish for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
I am making this for my book club next month so tonight was a trial run…success! So creamy, so flavorful. Adding this to my rotation!
Oh! Em! Gee!!
Made this for the first time tonight…..my husband and I took our first bite at the same time and our eyes rolled back in our heads! We couldn’t even say words. Needless to say, this is going on our “all the time” menu! I also added some Smokey links and mushrooms and it was amazing! Thank you for sharing this recipe!
This is my go-to shrimp and grits recipe. Very delicious! Thanks for sharing!
Made this recipe this evening (third time making shrimp and grits) and this was the best recipe, loved all the flavor!
This is by far the most delicious recipe I have tried. I used smoked cheddar and it was fantastic!
I followed this recipe to a T and I’’m an experienced cook. My sauce was far creamier than. what is pictured here. Mine almost looks like a cream gravy. It was tasty enough, but very cream heavy. It was just really missing something if I were to make this agiain, I would probably add a little white wine in place of some of the cream or maybe use half cream and half milk or half and half. Maybe the addition of some andouille sausage wound pump up the flavor. It’s not bad, it’s close to being excellent, but something about the proportions is just off.
A friend shared this on Facebook. It is now a family favorite. My daughter requests this every time she comes for a visit and my sister makes sure she knows when my daughter comes so she can enjoy this dish also. It kind of brings the family together. One of the best shrimp dishes out there.
This recipe was superb. Easy to make. I added finely chopped bell pepper and celery. Just the right amount of spicy and very creamy. Yum.
A friend shared this recipe with me and boy am i glad he did! I am not a fan of grits (I know, I know, all southerners are suppose to like grits LOL) but I absolutely love anything shrimp though. I decided to give this a try not expecting much but Wow. I can’t get enough. I’ve made this dish for several people and they all love it! Thank you so much for this recipe!!!
A little bland and I am not into super spices. Seemed to lack something but not sure what.
Five star! My friend shared this recipe to me and I was hesitant to make it because would never pick this dish. She said it was so good. It was so good!!!!! I loved making it too!
The dish turned out perfect and was delicious. Like my dad use to say, “ Don’t get any on your eyebrows cause you’ll lick yourself to death trying to get it off”. Only reason I didn’t give five stars was that you said it took 15 minutes to prep and 35 total. I might have done it in that timeline if I had a full kitchen staff, lol. Great recipe and I will make many more times.
Not quite the flavor I was looking for, tastes like gravy and too spicy for my taste.
Best shrimp and cheesy grits ever! Have made it a few times now and LOVE it. Was planning to make and take to our daughter’s family, but some have a shrimp allergy… can you substitute scallops?
Interesting question- you can certainly try!
Can the cornmeal be course ground?
The best shrimp and grits I have ever had. My husband said they are better than the ones we had I. Charleston SC. Thank you for this recipe.
I’ve made this 3 times in the last few months and will make it again tonight. We absolutely LOVE this recipe! Thank you very much for sharing it with us!
This is amazing dish! I have made it several times. My family just loves it!
This recipe was so fire!!! Wouldn’t change a thing!
we love it so much. i made just the sauce and served it with linguine pasta.
This was a great recipe. Made regular grits for my fam and cauliflower grits for me. Very good!!
Ohhh, I’m going to have to try making cauliflower grits!
Made this tonight. It was okay. My grit were not smooth at all….this was my 1st time making them. not sure what I did wrong. I did sausage instead of bacon.
Could have been the type or brand of grits you used!
Pleasantly surprised, this was my 1st time making this dish and OMG I loved it ?
We live on Hilton head and you have nailed the style of shrimp and grits I like. Thanks for sharing.
I like to think I am a cheesy shrimp and grits connoisseur not measuring anything and adding what I like and it comes out good: however, This is the best by far recipe I have tried. ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!!!!!
Can I use frozen shrimp?
Yes, just make sure it’s thawed out and then proceed with the directions.
This was so rich and creamy. My family really enjoyed it and all went back for seconds. I found the seasoning to be pretty mild so I tripled the cayenne and added smoked paprika and extra garlic. I’m baffled by the other comments saying they used a smaller fraction of the spices in the recipe.
This is very good but I believe the tsp. Of cayenne pepper was way too much. I think it that was a typo.
It’s a spicy recipe! But I did add a note to use less cayenne if you don’t like spicy. Thanks for pointing it out 🙂
Delicious! We’re not used to spicy foods so it was a bit spicy, but still really tasty.
Excellent! Excellent! Excellent! Made it twice in one week. It was so easy and tasty I had to prepare it for a visit with my sister!
Wow, made this tonight! Added extra hot sauce and some red pepper, which was fantastic! Absolutely delicious, easy and can’t wait to make again!
This recipe is outstanding! I have made it three times. I still haven’t added the bacon yet but instead used smoked sausage/andouille sausage. It was delicious. I eat this with grits cooked similar to your recipe but used Sharp cheddar cheese while my kids and husband like the sauce/shrimp mixture with a penne pasta noodle. This is one of my new favorite’s within the last month. Thank you for a divine recipe!!!
Good place to start… but be warned a full teaspoon of cayenne pepper and also a full teaspoon of hot sauce is too much. Fortunately I realized that before adding them. I used 1/2 teaspoon of each and it was delicious, to me… still probably too spicy for a lot of people. Next time it’ll get 1/4 teaspoon of each.
Absolutely amazing! My family is from Louisiana and we made this today for breakfast! Rather simple to make and oh so good!
This was delicious!! I loved it. I will definitely make again. I used regular sharp cheddar cheese. Next time I would like to add some peppers (red, yellow or green). I would also like to add some corn too. The sauce was delicious too and had some kick. I used andouille sausage instead of bacon and it was great. Thank you!!!
Delicious recipe and easy to prepare. Got rave reviews! Thank you!
Amazing dish! My husband loved it.
love this! I did add a large pinch of old bay seasoing and a bag of baby spinach to shrimp mix after thickening,
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!
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.
This is excellent! I, nor my husband, are grits fans but this recipe changed our minds! We will definitely make this again! DELICIOUS!!!
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.
I don’t have a specific brand I use… but just make sure you’re buying corn grits.
My fiancé and I LOVED this recipe!! Thank you!
I couldn’t find yellow corn meal other than baking cornmeal, is it the same?? Can instant grits be used?
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!
Holy moly this is amazing. My newest comfort food! The slight heat in the creamy sauce is perfect
This is honestly one of the best things I’ve even eaten!
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?
You can just divide the sauce between servings. You should have plenty.
I would like to be able to print it.
There is a big blue/green PRINT button in the recipe card at the end of the post.
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!
I was not born in the South. I’m Canadian! We loved EVERY bite, and made the recipe as written. Will make again!
This was a huge hit!! Delicious!! Family loved it!!
Instead of using chicken broth, use shrimp broth made by simmering the shells of the shrimp in water.
Wonderful recipe Kellie! Thanks for sharing 🙂 Dave
I forgot to snap a photo- but really good ! I added 2x the hot sauce and cut the recipe in half.
This recipe looks amazing….the problem is neither my husband or myself likes grits! Sorry….but have you tried it with rice..we both love rice!!
This recipe was the bomb! I replaced the cheese with smoked cheddar cheese absolutely a game changer! Will definitely make this often.
My family and friends love this recipe I will make this recipe again
Wow! This is fabulous. Will definitely be making this the next time I want to impress company. Only thing I would change is to have some additional bacon and green onion to sprinkle on top.
Not the shrimp and grits recipe I was looking for, to rich with the cream. Sorry
I made this last night and it was amazing! My store didn’t carry yellow grits, so I tried white. It turned out great in case anyone else can’t find yellow grits.
So do you leave the bacon grease in the pan and cook everything in it?
i will be using this recipe from now on, so delicious!! perfect recipe very flavorful!
I did everything to a tee and it was amazing! Thank you!
I did make one very small change where I added saute andoullie sausage. WHOA!
Amazing! Thank you again!
Absolutely, perfect! Creamy and delicious, favorite version to date!
This one ranks right up there as one of my top all time favorites! I substituted Jimmy Deans Pork Sausage for the bacon, halved the pepper and hot sauce, and combined the shrimp and sausage with the other goodies in the pan. I’m making this one again!!
Shrimp and Grits have always intimidated me, I love how they taste, but I haven’t made them yet. I am going to try them now!
It looks really good!
I love shrimp and grits and the cheese puts this over the top in the best possible way!!
This is exactly how shrimp and grits should be. So good!
My southern friends agree, this recipe is for keeps!! Thank you for a great recipe.
This is one of Jeff’s absolute favorite meals! We can never get enough shrimp and grits!!!
love this recipe!
A staple in my kitchen!
Love shrimp and grits any time of day!
Congratulaions !! I saw your magazine at the grocery check out !
What magazine are you referring to?
Oh! Good Lord!! This IS a WINNER WINNER! the shrimp and cheesy grits I have been making cannot come close to this. The cream sauce takes this to a whole ‘notha level ? Thank you so much for sharing!
I tried this recipe for breakfast my second time making it, this time I shared with my husband he loved it to.
Thanks for sharing with us, this is one that I will make many times in the future.
My wife loves shrimp and grits and a friend recommended this to me. I made it for her tonight and she absolutely loved it! Thanks for helpin make me the #1 husband tonight.
yahoo- glad you enjoyed!
I made this recipe last night and it came out awesome!!!! It was my first time cooking shrimp and grits and I’m so glad that I stumbled across this one!!! Wish I could post a picture of my dish!!!???? thanks for sharing!! Oh and I fried a few pieces of Swai on the side
I want to make this for Valentine’s Day – regular grits or quick-cooking??
Made shrimp/grits last night. Fabulous!
One question-because of the cream the sauce is more of a white sauce. What did u do to have a clear sauce in ur picture so all the colors come through
Kellie Girl, this recipe is ALL THAT! These are the best shrimp and grits I’ve ever eaten. I only made one slight variation, I used cream cheese in my grits instead of cheddar cheese. I can’t say enough about how tasty and comforting this meal is. You have outdone yourself with this homerun! It was easy to make, excited my tastebuds and pleased my guests. I would be happy to serve this meal to anyone. Thank you so much for sharing the secrets in your kitchen to mine!
I made this for supper tonight and it was a HUGE hit! And my husband is a shrimp and grits snob! I am so excited to have found this easy but delish recipe and can’t wait to make it for my daughter who will be coming home tomorrow from school in Charleston! She loves shrimp and grits too. Thanks for sharing your recipes!
I made this for Friday night dinner. It was DELICIOUS. I couldn’t find yellow cornmeal grits so I used 3/4C white grits and 1/4C yellow corn meal. It turned out GREAT. I used homemade shrimp stock instead of chicken broth. I ended backing-off using a whole TSP of cayenne pepper. I like spicy, but my family not so much. I probably used abt 1/8Tsp. It ended up being just right. My wife is the “grits aficionado” in our home and she was pleased with what I had created. I ended up using extra warmed milk to get a creamy (looser) consistency as the grits sat and cooled. I will be making this again…maybe for a get-together at the homestead.
Happy to hear!
Love this recipe! I used 1/2 the cayenne and thick bacon slices. My Husband thinks it taste better the next day!
I have been trying different receipts for shrimp and grits. This by far is the best. I did cut down the cayenne to 1/2 tsp. Still pretty hot but not too hot.
Made this last night for dinner, and because I live alone, I halved the recipe, It was a little time consuming, but worth every minute! The shrimp and sauce were perfectly seasoned, the grits could use a little more cheese, but otherwise were good. I took the leftovers to my son who is my best critic, and he really liked it. I did use half and half because I had it in the house, it worked well.
Made this last night. Fabulous. Added a few things had leftover corn and ham steak. Seasoned my shrimp with a bourbon bacon flavored seasoning. Topped with fresh chopped tomatoes and the green onions. Everyone loved it
I’m getting ready to double this for Father’s Day dinner. I’ve made it 2 other times and my husband says it’s his favorite, better than a good steak on the grill! My dad and his are over tonight to enjoy this. I hope it doubles easy. I can’t lie that I’m not. Ervous. He’s built it up a lot. Lol. Thanks for the great recipe!
This was just awesome!
And, where did you get the hot sauce “caddie” in your pics? Does it have a specific name?
This has become one of my favorite recipes! Absolutely delicious!!
Why the cornstarch? I freak out when a ‘roux” is involved.
I made this recipe for my family last night. I made a Bacon and Brussels Sprouts Gratin as a side dish, along with cheesy garlic biscuits (like they serve at Red Lobster). It was in my top 5 meals of all time. That sauce was incredible. While making it I was afraid it would be too spicy for my youngest daughter, but it was perfect!
Happy to hear!!
Fantastic! My first time making grits.
Easy and completely yummy!
I’m so glad you liked it! It’s one of our favorites.
This looks so delicious! I cannot wait to try it. So are you leaving all the bacon grease in the pan and using that in the gravy?
Yes, Sarah! Leave the bacon grease in the pan (there shouldn’t be “too” much) and use that for the gravy. If you feel there’s just a bit more bacon fat than you’d like, feel free to drain and add about 2 tablespoons back to the pan to finish your dish. Thanks!