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!

Lean Shrimp and Grits Recipe

How To Make Lean Shrimp and Grits

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: 10 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Total: 50 mins


For Grits:

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup grits, uncooked, quick-cooking or regular (not instant)
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • 3 tbsp unsalted light butter
  • ¼ cup green onions, chopped
  • salt and ground white pepper, to taste

For Shrimp:

  • 1 lb shrimp , peeled, deveined, and tails removed
  • oz yellow onions, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, bruised
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 6 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp hot sauce
  • salt and ground black pepper, to season and taste

For Garnish:

  • 1 tbsp cheddar cheese, grated, per serving
  • 1 tsp green onions, per serving, chopped



  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil.
  2. Add in your grits and bring this to a simmer.
  3. Reduce the heat to low and continue simmering, stirring constantly, until the grits thicken roughly 15 minutes.
  4. Once done, remove them from the heat. Stir in the butter, cheese, and green onions.
  5. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside in a warm area.


  1. In a mixing bowl, add the shrimps, paprika, and oregano.
  2. Season generously with salt and pepper, then toss to combine.
  3. Heat up half of your oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Add the shrimps and sear evenly on all sides, no more than 5 sides per side. Drain and set aside.
  5. Using the same skillet, heat up your remaining oil over medium heat. Add your onions and saute until translucent.
  6. Deglaze with white wine and reduce briefly.
  7. Add ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce. Saute briefly.
  8. Return the shrimps back and adjust the seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.
  9. Serve your grits in a bowl then place the shrimp on top. Garnish with green onions and grated cheese.


  • Sugar: 6g
  • :
  • Calcium: 264mg
  • Calories: 513kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 41g
  • Cholesterol: 34mg
  • Fat: 32g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Iron: 1mg
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 18g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g
  • Potassium: 247mg
  • Protein: 12g
  • Saturated Fat: 10g
  • Sodium: 370mg
  • Vitamin A: 592IU
  • Vitamin C: 8mg
Nutrition Disclaimer

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.

Lean Shrimp and Grits


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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