Quick and Easy Shrimp and Grits

Quick and Easy Shrimp and Grits are the iconic southern recipe, but simple enough to make at home during the week or share with friends around the table!

quick and easy shrimp and grits

Quick and Easy Shrimp and Grits is the weeknight meal you need in your recipe repertoire.

The shrimp recipe is a two-ingredient recipe — that’s right! Two ingredients, including the shrimp!

Use this grits recipe and be transported back to the shores of Charleston any night of the week. 

Quick & Easy Shrimp & Grits

Growing up in the south, I’ve had my fair share of shrimp and grits.

Traditional Shrimp and Grits are made with bacon, green onions, garlic, and red gravy with lots of red hot sauce and creamy grits that have no cheese in them. 

If you are wanting to enjoy a steaming bowl of grits with some shrimp this has become my go-to recipe.

It’s SUPER quick and easy — and if you’ve been here for a while, you know that’s a regular thing.

Shrimp and Grits in under half an hour

How to Make Quick and Easy Shrimp and Grits

What ingredients do you need for this recipe?


First, let’s chat about Grits…

I love love love love love grits.

They are my comfort food that is always nourishing.

You can find countless recipes for good grits on the internet, and my biggest tip is to cook them longer than the package says.

Grits are a grain that expands when cooking. And the longer you allow them to absorb as much liquid as possible, the less “gritty” their texture becomes.

If you tell me you don’t like grits because of their texture, then you haven’t had *good* grits. ?

Creamy grits

How to Make Creamy Grits from Scratch:

  1. The liquid ratio is 4 to 1, and I prefer making mine with 2 parts milk and 2 parts water.
  2. Be sure to salt your water 1/4 teaspoon for every cup of liquid you use.
  3. When adding your grits to the boiling liquid, use a large whisk to constantly separate each grain.
  4. Simmer low and slow. “Quick Cooking grits” are not a thing. 5-minute grits should take 20+ minutes.
  5. Butter is your best friend. And cream. >>> This isn’t dieting food, y’all.
  6. Freshly cracked pepper should be used liberally.

The best grits to use are stone-ground grits, and I prefer white over yellow. 

Easy Shrimp and Grits Recipe with Bacon

Alright, now let’s chat shrimp!

When you go to purchase your shrimp try to find wild-caught shrimp as opposed to farm-raised.

They not only taste better, but they are caught sustainably and follow strict guidelines as not to disrupt their natural environment.

I prefer using 31/35 Large Shrimp.

This means for every pound of shrimp you buy, there should be 31-35 shrimp, which comes out to about 8-9 shrimp per person.

Go for peeled and deveined, there is no need for you to do that if it’s available without the shell.

Can you use frozen shrimp for this recipe?

Yes!! In fact, most groceries thaw their frozen shrimp and put it in their fish display. A hot tip I learned from my fish guy at The Fresh Market.

Here’s How to Cook Shrimp in a Cast Iron Skillet:

In a bowl, add your shrimp and sprinkle Smokehouse Maple Seasoning overtop. 

Smokehouse Maple Seasoned Shrimp Marinade

Give it a good toss to make sure each shrimp is well coated.

You might notice I have the tails on these — do not be like me and leave them on.

It’s the biggest pain in the booty to maneuver eating tail-on shrimp with grits.

In a cast-iron skillet melt some ghee and olive oil over medium heat.

If you don’t have ghee, regular butter will work just fine!

Pan searing shrimp in a cast iron skillet

Wait until it starts to shimmer and then add your Smokehouse Maple Seasoned Shrimp, then turn the stove up to medium-high.

Smokehouse Maple Seasoning from Grillmates Shrimp

Wait until they begin to turn pink on the underside. 

You’ll notice to opacity on the sides.

Searing shrimp in a cast iron skillet

Flip them over and cook through on the other side.

This in total takes less than 5 minutes.

If you’re making a bunch, be sure to cook the shrimp in batches.

You’ll notice none of the shrimp are remotely close to each other — they all have room to cook without steaming.

If you do make this for a crowd, I suggest broiling your shrimp on a sheet pan. 

That way, they’re ready together, and you don’t have to worry about some shrimp being overcooked from carry over cooking.

Now! Let’s top the big bowl of grits!

Creamy grits

Ladle some grits into a shallow bowl.

grits with pan seared shrimp

Pick out your shrimp and add them to the top of the grits.

Simple Shrimp and Grits Recipe

You can spoon over some remaining butter and oil from the pan, to add a bit of decadence to the bowl.

Sprinkle parsley over top ((this was 2020 quarantine cooking, so I only had dried…)) and devour!

Quick and Easy Shrimp and Grits Recipe Idea

Can Shrimp and Grits be reheated?

Not well… So, try to eat it all up! 

Grits reheat well by adding to a pot and whisking some milk or cream into them over medium-low heat.

Traditional Southern Shrimp and Grits

Salads that pair well:

Creamy grits with Spicy Shrimp

Shrimp and Grits Recipes

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Quick and Easy Shrimp and Grits Recipe from Sweetpea Lifestyle

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Quick and Easy Shrimp and Grits Recipe Idea

Quick and Easy Shrimp and Grits

5 from 9 reviews
  • Author: Sweetpea
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: main dish
  • Method: stovetop cooking
  • Cuisine: southern


Quick and Easy Shrimp and Grits are the iconic southern recipe, but simple enough to make at home during the week or share with friends around the table!




  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup grits (stone ground is preferred)
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1/2 stick butter


  • 1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp (if frozen allow to thaw)
  • 1 tablespoon Smokehouse Maple Seasoning from Grillmates
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon Butter


For the Grits:

  1. Bring water, milk, and salt to a rolling boil (be watchful! Since you’re using milk, it can bubble over very quickly!).
  2. Carefully whisk in grits to the boiling liquid, and whisk, whisk, whisk so no lumps form.
  3. Once the grits have returned to a slow boil, turn the heat down to simmer, and simmer for 20+ minutes. Stirring often.
  4. When the grits have absorbed the liquid, add butter and half and half to them and stir well.


  1. In a bowl, toss shrimp with Smokehouse Maple Seasoning, and let sit while you preheat your skillet.
  2. Over medium-high heat, in a cast-iron skillet, melt butter and olive oil together until it shimmers.
  3. Gently lay the shrimp into the hot skillet in a single layer.
  4. Cook shrimp for 1-2 minutes per side, or until a bright pink color. 
  5. Ladle grits into a bowl, and top with shrimp!

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  1. This looks amazing. I’ve never tried grits before, but I really need to now. This is a great collection of grits recipes.

  2. I love shrimp and grits! It’s one of my favorite dishes to order when I see it on a menu. I can’t wait to try this homemade version.

  3. I confess that this is one of my fav dishes to order when dining out, but I had no idea it could be made so easily at home. I’m looking forward to trying your recipe and some of the variations you’ve included! Yum!

  4. I have never tried shrimp and grits before but this looks and sounds absolutely delicious – might have to give it a try!

  5. I’ve not had shrimp and grits in the longest time. This looks absolutely fantastic and your photography is beautiful! I’d love this for dinner tonight!

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