Shrimp and Grits (+ our holiday team dinner!)

If you’ve never had (or heard of) Shrimp and Grits, it’s one you’ve gotta try! It’s most definitely a southern dish that’s pretty common around here in the Carolinas, but what I’ve found is there are all different ways to make it. Some add flour and broth to the shrimp to make more of sauce, some add all sorts of accompaniments like bell peppers and mushrooms, and some kick things up a notch by using sausage instead of bacon. Now I’m not sure I’ve ever met a Shrimp & Grits dish I didn’t like, but inspired by my friend Valerie’s recipe and after some trial and error I’ve settled on this simple – yet delicious – version below. And by the way, we do think of this dish as a special meal at our house – last year I served it on Christmas Eve, and Valerie often serves it on New Year’s Eve. So hopefully you can find a way to add this recipe to your holiday table as well.

Shrimp and Grits on 100 Days of #RealFood

Holiday Team Dinner

Now, before I get into the details of the recipe, I have to share the reason I recently made Shrimp & Grits in the first place – for our Holiday Blog Team Dinner! We are fortunate enough to have the majority of our blogging team located right here in Charlotte. And we love to get together a couple times of year just for fun. So everyone came over last weekend and they brought both their spouse and a dish. Here’s a summary of what we had:

As you can see, it was quite the spread! And since a few in the group have issues with dairy I made a batch of dairy free grits with almond milk (thanks for the recommendation Carrie!). I must also share that while the dessert was absolutely delicious, after a couple Prosecco cocktails we thought the way Shawn made them kind of resembled a certain emoticon. Do you know the one? :) Ha ha – it gave us a good laugh!

100 Days of #RealFood Blog Team Holiday Dinner

Are Grits Whole Grain?

I want to quickly address a question that you may be wondering. A while ago I mentioned on Facebook that grits are not whole grain (which the USDA confirms), and many commenters basically said “say it ain’t so” or indicated they thought all grits were not created equal. BUT – and this is not a good “but” – I just got off the phone with Bob’s Red Mill to once and for all get the low down on grits. So, basically grits start out as whole pieces of corn then before it’s packaged the powder is sifted out just leaving you with particle sized pieces. So technically grits are only partially whole grain – not 100%. And that’s actually the difference between corn meal (which is usually 100% whole-grain) and grits. As you may know, corn meal includes the powder making it more of a flour product whereas grits are just the little pieces.

I personally use Bob’s “Coarse Ground Corn Meal” to make polenta and “Grits” to make, well, grits. The cooking process is very similar though, and I must say the outcome is rather similar as well so I think polenta could be used as a substitute for grits in some cases. So now I know for sure when I choose grits over polenta I am sacrificing a little bit of the whole grain, but I guess I’m willing to take that risk on occasion because Shrimp & Grits are oh-so-good together! :)

So without further ado, the recipe is below and from our families to yours …Happy Holidays!

100 Days of #RealFood Blogging Team
Happy Holidays from the team behind 100 Days of Real Food: Cori, Amy, Jason, Lisa, Shawn & Kiran

The Recipe

Shrimp and Grits on 100 Days of #RealFood

Shrimp and Grits

If you've never had (or heard of) Shrimp and Grits, it's one you've gotta try! It's most definitely a southern dish that's pretty common around here in the
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Print Recipe
Servings: 4 people


For the grits

  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups milk I used whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup grits (not the quick-cooking kind - I use Bob's Red Mill white corn grits which are non-GMO)
  • 1 1/4 cup cheddar cheese white, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons butter

For the shrimp

  • 1 pound shrimp
  • 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 3 pieces bacon
  • 1/3 cup green onions sliced, plus extra for garnish
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce or more if you like it hot!


  • Combine the water, milk, and salt in a medium saucepan over high heat. When the mixture comes to a light boil, gradually whisk in the grits, turn the heat down to low, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened. Be sure to whisk every few minutes otherwise it will stick to the bottom of the pan. Once done, stir in the cheese and butter.
  • Meanwhile, peel the shrimp and pat them dry. Sprinkle the flour on a plate and dredge the shrimp in the flour until evenly coated, then set aside.
  • Cook the bacon in a medium saute pan over medium heat until brown on both sides and cooked all the way through. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and crumble.
  • Remove all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease from the pan. With the heat still on medium throw in the green onions and cook while stirring for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add the flour-coated shrimp, minced garlic, and some salt and pepper to the pan and cook for a few more minutes until the shrimp is pink on both sides and cooked all the way through.
  • Add the broth, lemon, juice, hot sauce, and crumbled bacon to the pan and cook while stirring just until the sauce thickens (another couple minutes) and then turn off the heat.
  • Evenly divide and spoon the grits onto plates and top with the cooked shrimp and sauce. Garnish with fresh green onions if desired and serve warm.


We recommend organic ingredients when feasible. Cooking times will increase if you double or triple this recipe.
Nutrition Facts
Nutrition Facts
Shrimp and Grits
Amount Per Serving
Calories 665 Calories from Fat 288
% Daily Value*
Fat 32g49%
Saturated Fat 17g106%
Cholesterol 367mg122%
Sodium 2153mg94%
Potassium 523mg15%
Carbohydrates 47g16%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 45g90%
Vitamin A 990IU20%
Vitamin C 12.2mg15%
Calcium 649mg65%
Iron 3.6mg20%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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25 thoughts on “Shrimp and Grits (+ our holiday team dinner!)”

  1. 5 stars
    My husband made this tonight-it was SO delicious. It would be the most comforting winter meal. My store only had organic turkey bacon which didn’t produce any grease, so we added more butter to make up and it was delicious!

  2. 5 stars
    Made this for my family tonight. I was out of milk so I used 3 C water 2 C chicken stock and then at the very end mixed 1/2c stock with 1/2 c greek yogurt. It turned out amazing. My husband and 2 little kids LOVED it. This is a keeper and a great option for entertaining!!! Thanks so much for the recipe and the awesome site!!

  3. What a fun evening! I’m delighted to see that you all shared my kale salad. Can’t believe I didn’t see this sooner! Thank you for the link love!

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      You have some great recipes. I’m trying out your sweet potato, red pepper, and feta frittata this weekend. ;) ~Amy

  4. Amy, looks like a great recipe…I’m going to make it 1 night this week. By any chance, do you know the calories. Thanks so much.

  5. Made this tonight minus the bacon. I sautéed thinly sliced sausage to use instead if bacon. It was delicious Lisa!! Keep up the good work!! :)

  6. Any tips on reheating grits? I was thinking of making this for our party that is a county away but I’ve never had much luck getting grits to taste as good as they do right of the stovetop. Thank you for sharing. Merry Christmas to you, your team, and your family!!

  7. I was so excited to see this! I live in PA now but grew up in NC. I am serving shrimp and grits to my husband’s side of the family tomorrow night. I am using my base recipe but having a toppings bar so everyone can kinda make their own. Have you ever seen the Shrimp and Grits cookbook? You would love it. I got a bunch of my toppings ideas from there.

  8. Can 6 cups of liquid (milk and water) really be the right proportions for 1 cup of uncooked grits? My package of Bob Mill’s Grits says 6 cups liquid to 2 cups uncooked grits.

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Rosie. This recipe has a really creamy result. If you use less liquid, the texture of the grits will be more solid.

  9. I have made so many of your recipes and love all of them! Right now we just had shrimp and grits for dinner and they were perfect. I have never had grits before so it was a very good experience.:) The only substitutionz I made were gluten-free oat flour in place of the wheat flour and I used turkey bacon. It was awesome!! Thanks!

  10. I had Shrimp and Grits for the first time this fall on a trip to Charleston. I’ve wanted to make it for my family. I know my husband will love it. I’m hoping my kids will like it too. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Hello,

    I have looked at several grocers in Charlotte for Bob’s Red Mill. I know that the Teeter varies products by store, but I am curious as to where you find the Bob’s products in our area.

    Thank you!


  12. Looks great!! Think I will make this over the holidays. My husband’s from the South, so he will love this one! Thanks for all the great recipes!

  13. I know you probably hate these questions, but…if I don’t eat wheat or gluten, what would you suggest as a sub for the flour? I could guess, but it probably wouldn’t turn out well :-)

    1. Well, you could skip the flour, but the sauce wouldn’t thicken (so you’d want to cut back on the broth) or I actually used corn starch instead since some of my guests couldn’t eat gluten, but I honestly didn’t love it as much as when I use flour!

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