Anytime I hear shrimp and grits, my stomach does the happy dance and patiently wait till it is filled with this delight. Shrimp and grits is said to originate from South Carolina and I'm so happy someone thought to put these two together because it is such a perfect duo.
I know lots of people love a quick and easy recipe. This falls right into that category. Now, we tend to eat this for breakfast but you can definitely make this for lunch and/or dinner. It's good at any time of the day. This version calls for cheese because…I love cheese, especially in my grits. It's just something about sharp cheddar cheese mixed in grits that make me do the happy dance.
What you'll need to make shrimp and cheesy grits
For a complete list of ingredients and instructions, please scroll down to the recipe at the end of this page.
Here are a list of ingredients that was used to make these shrimp and cheesy grits.
- Cheddar Cheese
- Mozzarella Cheese (I'll explain later)
- Paprika (not shown)
- Creole Seasoning (not shown)
- Green Onions
How to make these shrimp and cheesy grits
The first thing I do is make the bacon. Now, I'm that person that don't like frying bacon on the stove as I hate getting popped by grease. I cook my bacon in the oven and as that is cooking, I get everything else cut, chopped, and shredded.
Once the bacon is done, place bacon on a paper towel lined plate to help drain the grease off the bacon. I like to use the bacon grease so I will pour the bacon grease from pan into the skillet for the shrimp. The bacon grease gives it extra flavor.
For this particular day, I used sharp cheddar cheese and mozzarella. It's what I had on hand. You can definitely play around with the different cheeses to see what your family likes. Typically, sharp cheddar is one of the best to add to grits just because of the bold flavor it gives. I would love to know what cheeses you have used in your cheesy grits.
The type of grits you use is really your decision. In this household, we have the 5-minute grits and the original grits. It doesn't matter which one you use, as it will still be good. Follow the directions on the container, but if you want it extra thick and creamy, cook it a bit longer. Just make sure you continue to stir every now and then.
At the end of the cooking is when you add the cheese to the grits and stir. As you stir, the cheese will melt and become one with the grits. Ahhh…match made in heaven. It's so good. Now, make sure you are adding in some salt & pepper and tasting as you go. We want those grits to be smackin' good now.
On to the shrimp….YUMMMMM!!!!
Make sure the shrimp is cleaned and deveined. You can leave the tails on or off. It depends on how I'm feeling. Some days I'm okay and other days I'm like “I ain't got time for this”. LOL! Once you have them ready, dry them off and let's add some flava! Add a pinch of salt, creole seasoning, paprika and a pinch of pepper. The creole seasoning has salt in it so you want to be careful on how much of the actual salt you use. You can also eliminate using the salt all together. Here's where you can also get creative. Some other seasonings you can use to flavor your shrimp are:
- Cajun seasoning
- Chili powder
- Cumin powder
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- …get creative
The one note is to use in moderation. Try one out this time and something different the next time. This is how you learn to know the difference in taste and what you and your family love the most.
Turn your stove to medium heat, add the bacon grease to the pan or if you opted out of using bacon, add about 1 tbsp of olive oil. Once it's hot, add the shrimp. Cook the shrimp for about 3 minutes on one side, flip and cook 3 minutes on the other side.
Shrimp will tell you when it's done. It turns pick and then it'll curl up. Try not to let it curl too tight as then you are close to overcooking your shrimp. Then, it's rubbery. We don't want that. The paprika just make it looks so darn pretty.
When it's done, take it out the skillet and put it on a plate or if you already put your cheesy grits into a bowl, place the shrimp right on top. If you're lucky to have some juice (that's what we call it when the liquid from the shrimp releases and some of the oil is still left in the pan), you can pour that onto the grits as well. Then top it with your crumbled bacon and green onions and Voila! Shrimp and cheesy grits!!!
Shrimp and Cheesy Grits
- 4-6 slices Bacon crumbled afterwards
- 4 servings Grits follow directions on container
- 1 lb Shrimp
- 2 cups Sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup Mozzarella Optional
- Pinch Salt
- Pinch Pepper
- 1 tbsp Creole seasoning
- 1 tsp Paprika
- 2-3 Green onions chopped
- Cook bacon either on the stove or in the oven. Whichever you prefer.
- When bacon is done, remove and set aside. If you intend to use the bacon grease as your oil to cook shrimp, pour into skillet.
- In the meantime, shred your cheese (omit if using pre-shredded), cut the green onions, and season the shrimp with salt, pepper, creole seasoning, and paprika (Read. above for alternative spices).
- Cook grits according to package.
- When grits are done, mix in cheese. Add salt & pepper to taste.
- Put skillet on stove over medium heat. If you omitted the bacon grease, pour in 1 tbsp olive oil.
- Add seasoned shrimp to pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes, turn over and cook another 3 minutes or until done. Do not overcook your shrimp.
- Place cheesy grits into a bowl, place shrimp on top. Then add crumbled bacon and chopped green onions.