Lean Shrimp and Grits Recipe

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Recipes.net Team Published: September 18, 2020 Modified: October 26, 2020
Lean Shrimp and Grits Recipe

Shrimp and Grits is a vibrant dish originating from the South or so most people think. Shrimp and Grits was said to be first cooked by Native Americans in Oklahoma as well as African Americans. But the widely known story of its origin was from a restaurant called Crook’s Corner, where a chef combined grits with cheese, shrimp, mushrooms, and bacon. But that doesn’t stop us from cooking our own version of the dish. Our Lean Shrimp and Grits recipe carries a perfectly seasoned catfish you shouldn’t miss out on! 

Grits are made of dried corn crushed into fine or coarse granules. They’re cooked in a boiling pot of water or milk until they reached a creamy and mushy consistency. Although we highly recommend using grits alone, you can substitute them with polenta. But of course, there’s more to this dish apart from the grits. With a cheddar and parmesan cheese combo, you got yourself a thick and creamy base. On the other hand, the perfectly seasoned shrimp adds a vibrant element into the bowl. Lastly, we’re loading our catfish with spices which gives the dish an amazing mix of flavors.

Make this an entire Southern buffet by trying our Mom’s Rice Cooker Jambalaya recipe. You can easily make both of these in a jiff or even at the same time. You can never go wrong with any dish coming from New Orleans. They always come out delicious and evenly seasoned. So, it’s worth giving this seafood recipe a shot!


How To Make Lean Shrimp and Grits

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Have a hand at a New Orleans tradition with this Lean Shrimp and Grits recipe! Make a hearty bowl of creamy grits and seasoned seafood in less than an hour.

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 50 mins
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For Grits:

  • 3 ½ cup water
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 cup grits, uncooked, quick-cooking or regular (not instant)
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter , light butter with canola oil is best
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ cup white cheddar cheese, grated
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated plus more to taste
  • ¼ cup green onions, chopped

For Shrimp:

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ¾ tsp garlic salt
  • tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp oregano
  • 1 lb medium shrimp , peeled and deveined and with tails

For Catfish:

  • 4 fillet catfish
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp garlic salt
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper , as the desired spiciness
  • 1 ½ tsp paprika



  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. Combine the catfish, garlic salt, onion powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, and olive oil in a small bowl.

  3. Break out a baking dish and cover with a non-stick spray or more olive oil.

  4. Place the catfish on the baking dish and bake for 15 minutes until the fish is flakey.


  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil.

  2. Sprinkle in salt, then slowly pour in your grits, stirring constantly.

  3. Reduce the heat to low and allow your grits to simmer.

  4. Stir your grits occasionally for about 5 minutes, until the grits thicken.

  5. Once done, remove them from the heat.

  6. Stir in the butter and cheese. Then add the green onions and pepper.


  1. In a large bowl, mix the olive oil, garlic salt, paprika, oregano, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.

  2. Add the shrimp and toss until they’re evenly seasoned.

  3. Spread the shrimp onto a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.

  4. Roast the shrimp in the oven for 5 to 6 minutes or until it looks opaque and cooked.

  5. Serve catfish on top of the grits.

  6. Add your shrimp and garnish with green onions. Enjoy a hearty bowl of a Low Country favorite!

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Commonly Asked Questions

What can I serve with shrimp and grits?

Shrimp and grits aren’t usually paired with sides. It’s eaten as is for breakfast or dinner, however, collards or slaw are great side options. You can give our Oven Roasted Collard Greens and Bacon recipe or Golden Gate Coleslaw a try!

What can I add to grits for more flavor?

You can always add lemon juice to help offset the rich flavors forming in the dish. If you want to opt-out of the cheese, you can use milk or heavy cream to maintain that creamy consistency. For a meaty addition or you want to omit the catfish, you can use bacon or andouille sausage. If you happen to be grit-less, polenta is a finer substitute for grits, although we don’t recommend substituting the grits at all.


This Southern staple is a great way to spice up your seafood recipes. Made out of a bowl of creamy grit topped with a perfectly seasoned catfish and shrimp, this shrimp and grit recipe is bursting with flavors.

In fact, this doesn’t come out fishy at all but if catfish isn’t to your liking, you can omit it entirely. It would take a bit of time and effort to make this recipe, but it will surely be worth it! This recipe, if not close, is an authentic New Orleans dish that you’ll want and love.

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