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Shrimp and Grits are a classic in the South and they are so easy to make. Creamy, cheesy grits are topped with shrimp and bacon to make a comforting dinner. New to making grits? It’s super simple!
This easy shrimp and grits recipe uses just 6 ingredients plus spices and takes only a couple quick steps. The result is a creamy, comforting, and rich dinner that will become a new favorite!
A little lemon juice and sprinkle of parsley adds the right amount of freshness and color to round out the dish. Serve shrimp and grits on their own or pair with some steamed or roasted vegetables.
Looking for other classic Southern recipes? Homemade Sausage Gravy is a weekend breakfast staple and you can’t go wrong with this Southern Potato Salad for your next cookout. Don’t forget dessert and make this Southern Pecan Pie or Mississippi Mud Cake.
Ingredients for Southern Style Shrimp and Grits
You only need 6 simple ingredients (plus a few staple spices) to make this creamy and easy shrimp and grits.
- Old Fashioned Grits – you can find grits at most grocery stores in the breakfast aisle near the oatmeal.
- Shredded Parmesan Cheese – freshly shredded is best!
- Bacon – you can use your favorite – regular, thick cut, etc.
- Large Shrimp – peeled and deveined with the tails left on.
- Spices – salt, pepper, and paprika
- Lemon Juice – fresh lemon juice is best, but you can use the kind in a bottle if it’s all you have.
Step by Step Instructions
This shrimp and grits recipe is so quick and easy to make! See the simple steps below:
- Cook the Grits – Start by boiling water in a large pot then add the grits. Cook until the grits start to thicken then remove the pot from the heat and stir in the parmesan cheese, butter, salt, and peper.
- Fry Bacon – Meanwhile, you can fry up the bacon in a skillet over medium. Cook the bacon until it is crispy then remove and set aside. Don’t forget to leave the bacon grease in the pan!
- Cook Shrimp – Add the shrimp, salt, pepper, and paprika to the same skillet with the bacon grease and cook until the shrimp are just cooked through (pink, opaque, and just starting to curl). Add the lemon juice and cook for 2-3 more minutes then remove the pan from the heat and add the cooked bacon.
- Serve – Serve by spooning some of the grits into a bowl and top with some of the bacon shrimp. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and enjoy!
Storage and Reheating Tips
The grits are best eaten the day they are made. However, the shrimp and bacon will keep fresh for up to three days. Store the shrimp in an airtight container in the fridge.
What are grits?
If you grew up in the South, then you are probably very familiar with grits! But outside of the South, grits are less common. Grits are made from ground corn and become smooth and creamy when cooked. Grits can be prepared and eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!
How do you know when shrimp is cooked?
While raw shrimp is gray and translucent, its color changes when cooked. Cooked shrimp is opaque and pink. The shrimp will also start to curl when it is cooked. Shrimp cooks very quickly (just a couple of minutes), so keep a close eye on it so you don’t accidentally overcook it.
Expert Tips and FAQs
- Great shrimp alternatives for your grits – Shrimp is a classic pairing, but you could swap in another seafood such as scallops or even a different protein such as chicken or sausage.
- Don’t overcook the shrimp – Shrimp cooks very quickly and overcooked shrimp can be tough and rubbery.
- Frozen shrimp is okay – Unless you live on the coast, you may need to use frozen shrimp for this recipe. Frozen shrimp is totally okay, just make sure to thaw it first and don’t use precooked shrimp.
- Use large shrimp – I prefer using large shrimp because they take a little longer to cook so they don’t overcook as easily.
More Shrimp Recipes You’ll Love
- BBQ Bacon Wrapped Shrimp
- Air Fryer Shrimp
- Cajun Shrimp Pasta
- Shrimp Cocktail Recipe
- Creamy Shrimp Alfredo Pasta
Shrimp and Grits
- 6 cups water
- 1 ½ cups old fashioned grits
- 1 cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese
- 4 tablespoons butter (¼ cup)
- 1 teaspoon salt divided
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper divided
- 6 slices bacon chopped into small pieces
- 16 ounces large shrimp peeled and deveined, tail on
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Boil water in a 3 quart pot over high heat then stir in the grits. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until the grits begin to thicken, then remove from the heat.
- Stir in parmesan cheese, butter, ½ teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper.
- While the grits are cooking, fry the bacon in a skillet over medium heat. Cook until crispy then remove the bacon from the pan and set aside for later. Do not clean out the grease.
- Add the shrimp, remaining salt and pepper and paprika to the pan then cook for about 3 minutes or until the shrimp are pink throughout and just beginning to curl.
- Pour in the lemon juice and cook for another 2-3 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat and stir in the bacon.
- Spoon some grits into a serving bowl and top with some shrimp. Garnish freshly chopped parsley if desired.