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Tow bowls of Southern style shrimp and grits.

Southern Style Shrimp and Grits

When I'm in the mood for comfort food, shrimp and grits is one of my favorite go to's. This southern style recipe is creamy and rich, and ticks all of the right boxes.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword grits with shrimp, homemade shrimp and grits, how to make grits from scratch
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 1175kcal
Author Tanya


For the grits

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cup water
  • 1 cup stone ground grits
  • 2 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt or to taste

For the shrimp

  • 1 lb medium sized shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 4 pieces of bacon chopped
  • ½ of a sweet onion chopped, about ½ cup
  • ½ of a green bell pepper chopped, about ½ cup
  • 1 15 oz can of fire roasted diced tomatoes undrained
  • 1 Tablespoon sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper or to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 green onion chopped


Make the grits:

  • Add heavy cream, water, grits, butter, and salt to a medium sized heavy bottom pot, over medium-high heat, and whisk to combine.
  • Once the mixture begins to boil, reduce the heat to low and cover with a tight fitting lid.
  • Continue cooking over low heat for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. The grits are done when the majority of liquid has been absorbed and the grits are nice and creamy.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the shredded cheese. Set aside.

For the shrimp:

  • While grits are cooking, season the shrimp with a little salt and pepper (about 1 tsp kosher salt and ¼ tsp black pepper) and set aside.
  • Place bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook bacon until it becomes crispy, flipping halfway. Remove bacon from skillet. Drain the bacon drippings from the skillet, leaving behind about 1 Tbsp of bacon drippings in the pan. Return the pan to the heat.
  • Add onion and bell pepper and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until the onions have softened. Add the fire roasted tomatoes, sour cream, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and red pepper flakes and stir to combine.
  • Add shrimp to skillet in the sauce, in a single layer, and cook for 3 minutes per side, until shrimp is pink and cooked through. Remove from heat.

To plate:

  • In each bowl, place grits in the bottom of the bowl. Top with the shrimp mixture, then top with bacon and chopped green onions. Serve and enjoy.


  • If planning ahead, you can soak the grits in the water overnight. Don't drain them, just pop the pot right on the stove and the released starch gets them extra creamy. They also cook a little quicker too using this method.
  • These grits are Southern style because of the added cheese and bacon. You don't have to add the cheese or the bacon, but it really does elevate them.
  • Take care not to overcook the shrimp, they only need a few minutes each side to cook through.
  • For creamier and richer grits, use 3 cups heavy cream and 1 cup water in grits recipe. 


Calories: 1175kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 93g | Saturated Fat: 54g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 27g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 591mg | Sodium: 2340mg | Potassium: 430mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 3779IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 536mg | Iron: 4mg