Garlicky Shrimp & Cheesy Grits

With teaching on the weekends, I have had a lot of fun coming up with various brunch and dinner themes to focus my culinary classes on. Not too long ago I hosted a N'awlins Jazz Brunch class where the menu included New Orleans and southern inspired dishes. I knew with that specific theme, grits had to be on the menu. I ended up serving up grits with a variety of toppings but my favorite was this Garlicky Shrimp & Cheesy Grits. Creamy and cheesy grits are topped with succulent shrimp tossed with garlic and a splash of white wine...
When I served up grits in class, I loved the idea of giving folks options to customize them. The grits are plenty cheesy too with 2 kind of cheeses and is a great base for an assortment of toppings. Some toppings I provided for the 'grits bar' included BBQ pulled beef, chopped buffalo chicken, and this garlicky shrimp. It was a nice offering of different meats with their own distinct flavor. To keep things vegetarian friendly, I also offered caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms and garlic spinach with fresh tomatoes. Since I love cheese, I also offered more cheese for topping such as sharp cheddar, blue cheese crumbles and Parmesan. The TYO (top your own) Grits Bar was a hit and I highly recommend it if you're looking for a fun way to serve grits for a crowd. 

But by far, my favorite topping is shrimp over cheese grits. I'm a fan of garlic and the shrimp is sauteed with plenty. And if you're not a fan of grits, the shrimp is even good over rice and pasta!

Cheese Grits
recipe adapted from Alton Brown

2 cups heavy cream
2 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup coarse ground cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 ounces sharp Cheddar, shredded
4 ounces Parrano cheese or Parmesan, shredded

In a large dutch oven over medium high heat, combine the milk, water and salt. Bring to a boil and once boiling, gradually add the cornmeal while whisking. After all the cornmeal has been added, reduce the heat to low and cover. 

Cook the grits covered for 20-25 minutes or until mixture is creamy... being sure to check the grits and whisk frequently every 5 minutes to prevent sticking or forming lumps. 

Remove the grits off the heat and stir in the butter and cheeses.  

Garlicky Shrimp
recipe adapted from Cooking Light

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • chopped parsley for garnish
  1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic; sauté 30 seconds. 
Add shrimp and salt; sauté 3 minutes. Remove shrimp from skillet. 

To the now empty skillet, add wine, parsley, and thyme; bring to a boil, and cook until reduced to 1/4 cup (about 1 minute). 

Return shrimp to skillet; toss to coat. Spoon shrimp over grits and serve immediately. Garnish with parsley.


  1. OMG looks delicious! I love cheesy grits, must try!

  2. I have never had grits. This recipe makes me want to try this for our Friday dinner. I am going to the store tomorrow and I am going to get a box of grits and the shrimp for this. Recipe has been pinned!

  3. I love shrimp n Grits...have to make this soon!