These Southern Shrimp and Grits are out of this world flavorful! The cheesy grits are so creamy and they’re the perfect little bed for the saucy shrimp cooked with bacon and red wine! This dish is definitely restaurant quality and only takes about 30 minutes to make! It’s my go-to “impress-company-at-my-house” meal!
How to make Southern Shrimp and Grits
- Step one is to PREP your ingredients. This dish comes together so quickly so it’s best to prep everything before you start. So that includes dicing the onions, pepper, and garlic. Cutting the bacon into small strips and dicing the ham if you didn’t buy it pre-cut. You’ll also want to make sure that your shrimp are de-veined and peeled. I also take the tails off so the dish is easier to eat but that’s a personal preference.
- Now you can start with the grits. I just find this easier so I can finish them then set them aside while I make the shrimp. They start by bringing cream and chicken broth to a boil. We won’t be using any water in these because we want maximum flavor!
- Once boiling, you’ll reduce the heat and add in the grits. Stir and simmer them for 5 minutes until they thicken up.
- Next comes the butter, cheese, and salt! I use the sharpest cheddar I can find and shred it fresh off the block. Stir everything to combine then you can cover the pot and set this aside while you make the shrimp.
- Now for the shrimp and sauce! Start by adding your butter and bacon to a large pot and cooking until the bacon begins to crisp. You can then remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set it aside. Leave the drippings in the pot.
- Then you can add in the ham, onions, and green pepper and cook until softened. Add in the garlic for just the last 2 minutes of cooking time since garlic can burn easily.
- After adding in the garlic, you’ll want to add in the wine, tomatoes, and water. Bring this to a boil and cook for 10 minutes. If you are making this ahead of time…this is where you’ll stop. You don’t want to cook the shrimp until you are ready to serve.
- Add in the shrimp and the cooked bacon to the pot. Cover the pot and cook just until the shrimp are pink. You might have to stir them around in the sauce to cover them all.
- To serve, add a heaping spoonful of the grits to a shallow bowl then top with a spoonful of the shrimp and the sauce. Top with chives if you’d like a little more color and flavor!
This is honestly one of my favorite dishes ever! It’s a southern classic and there are so many ways that you can make this your own. You can change up the cheese you use in the grits. Maybe try a parmesan or a smokey cheese for a change! You can also try adding different flavors like hot sauce or sausages. The possibilities are endless!
Southern Shrimp and Grits
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup quick cooking grits
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1 cup diced green bell pepper
- 6 slices bacon cut into small 1/2" pieces
- 6 ounces diced ham
- 4 large cloves of garlic (minced)
- 1 -14.5 ounce can of petite diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1/2 cup water
- 2-3 pounds shrimp (peeled and deveined)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives for garnish (optional)
- This recipe may have a good bit of ingredients but once prepped, the dish moves along very quickly. I would suggest prepping all of your ingredients before you start cooking to make things much easier.
- On a large cutting board, dice your pepper and onion, mince the garlic, and cut the bacon into small strips. If you purchased a ham steak, dice that into small 1/4" pieces.
Making the grits
- Add your chicken broth and cream to a medium sized pot and heat over medium high heat until boiling.
- Once boiling, add in the grits, lower the heat to medium, and stir for 5 minutes until thickened.
- Add in the cheddar cheese, and 1 tablespoon of butter and salt. Stir, remove from heat, cover the pot, and set aside.
Making the shrimp
- In a large high-sided skillet or a wide pot, add in 1 tablespoon of butter and melt over medium high heat.
- Add in the bacon, and sauté until the it starts to brown. Use a slotted spoon and remove the bacon from the pan and set aside. Leave the oil in the pan.
- Add the ham, onion, and bell pepper to the pan and sauté in the bacon drippings until the veggies soften. This will take about 10 minutes as you stir occasionally.
- Add in the garlic and cook for just 2 more minutes.
- Stir in the wine, the can of diced tomatoes, and the water. Bring to a boil and continue to boil for 10 minutes.
- Add the cooked bacon, shrimp and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Continue to simmer and stir until the shrimp are pink throughout.
- To serve, spoon a ladle full of the cheesy grits into a shallow bowl then top with the shrimp/sauce mixture. Sprinkle with chives for a little brightness!