Cheesy Grits and Shrimp is the cuddle food of your dreams. Cream cheese, bacon and cheddar, oh my. Easy southern 20 minute dinner.
Cheesy grits and shrimp recipe
If you’ve never had grits before, let this be the beginning of a lovely relationship. I didn’t grow up with grits, I was raised having cream of wheat or corn meal mush for breakfast. I’ve learned that grits are the norm in the chilly midwest and southern states.
There’s a few differences between corn meal and grits. Grits are a type of porridge made from coarsely ground corn kernels, bigger pieces than corn meal. Grits take about the same amount of time to cook, 5-7 minutes on the stovetop.
Disclaimer: Traditional midwestern grits are plain with salt and maybe some butter. I’m making them with cheese BECAUSE CHEESE. They’re better that way. There, I said it. Grits are more of a breakfast food in the midwest, but I made this southern style grits recipe with shrimp and cheese and alllll the bacon. And hey, a fried egg on top is all you need to have a lovely lil’ shrimp and grits breakfast.
Ingredients needed for cheesy grits and shrimp-
- Shrimp – raw, peeled, deveined, and tail off or on as preferred.
- Chicken broth – can substitute low sodium or vegetable broth but the flavor will be different.
- Quick 5 Minute Grits – found in the breakfast isle.
- Cream Cheese – full fat is preferable, but may substitute 1/3 fat or fat free.
- Cheese – colby jack or cheddar
How to make Southern Cheesy Shrimp and Grits
- Cook grits on the stovetop for 5-7 minutes, with chicken broth in place of water. SO much more flavor. Stir in cream cheese and grated cheddar cheese (or another equally delicious cheese such as gouda or gruyere). And for the love DO NOT use the pre-shredded cheese. Many brands have anti-caking additives that can make the grits grainy tasting.
- While the grits are cooking, fry up some shrimp with slightly caramelized onions, it’s worth the extra time and butter.
- Also fry up some bacon.
- Layer the grits on the bottom, the shrimp/onions/bacon on top. If you want, add more cheese because you can.
What to serve with cheesy grits and shrimp-
Cheesy Grits and Shrimp
For the Grits:
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup quick grits
- 4 oz cream cheese (may use full fat or 1/3 fat)
- 1 cup grated colby jack or cheddar cheese see note
For the Bacon and Shrimp:
- 6-8 slices bacon
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon minced garlic (2-3 cloves)
- 1 lb raw shrimp, rinsed and patted dry. (peeled,deveined) tail off optional
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- optional, fresh ground pepper to taste
For the Grits
- In a pot, bring chicken broth to a boil. Stir in quick grits, reduce heat and simmer until water is absorbed and grits are soft and cooked, about 5-7 minutes. Add cream cheese and grated sharp cheddar cheese, stir until combined.
For the Bacon and Shrimp:
- In a skillet, fry bacon until crispy, turning occasionally until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Drain slices on paper towels. Chop into bite sized pieces.
- Clean skillet and melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and minced garlic, cooking until soft and beginning to brown, 5-7 minutes. Add shrimp and cayenne pepper and cook until pink and opaque, 3-4 minutes.
- In a large serving dish or individually, layer grits, then shrimp and onion mixture, and sprinkle with chopped bacon. Add fresh ground pepper to taste.
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