Shrimp and grits are down-home Southern comfort food. Cheesy grits with colorful shrimp gravy and topped with honey-roasted peanuts. Easy recipe and good for the soul.
- 3 1/2 cups of water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup white corn grits or 1 cup yellow corn grits (aka polenta); Quick 5-Minute NOT 1 Minute instant grits*
- 6–oz cheddar cheese, grated – white cheddar cheese if using white grits**
- 4 green onions, trimmed and thinly sliced; half used in grits and half used as a garnish
- 1 Tablespoons butter, preferably salt-free
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1 pound raw (uncooked) shrimp, medium size (approximately 40 ) peeled and deveined*** see note below on frozen uncooked shrimp
- 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil for cooking shrimp
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil for cooking mushrooms
- 8 ounces white mushrooms, quartered
- 6 ounces roasted red peppers, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 11–oz vegetable juice (V-8 Juice); preferably low sodium or tomato juice
- 4 Tablespoons honey-roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
- Cook Grits. In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add salt and slowly whisk in grits. Reduce heat to low and constantly whisk, ensuring the grits are smooth. Stir for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in cheese, and half the green onion, butter, and pepper. Cover and set aside. If grits get too thick, add hot water, 1 Tablespoon at a time.
- Cook Shrimp. If using frozen shrimp, follow the directions to thaw. Pat shrimp dry with paper towels and season with 1 teaspoon (half) of the Cajun seasoning. Place a medium skillet over high heat and add 1 Tablespoon of olive oil. Add half the shrimp to the pan and sear on one side for 2 – 3 minutes; flip and cook an additional 1 – 2 minutes. Set aside by placing it on a plate or serving dish. Repeat with remaining shrimp. Cook shrimp until the color is uniform white with some pink and red accents and no translucent gray remains.
- Add Vegetables. In the same skillet (do not clean), add 1 Tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms to the hot pan and occasionally stir until browned, about 5 – 6 minutes. Add vegetable juice, red peppers, and the remaining Cajun seasoning (to taste) and cook for 1 – 2 minutes.
- Add Shrimp. Stir in remaining butter and shrimp, and heat ingredients for a minute.
- Plate. Scoop 1/4 grits into a pasta bowl and top with 1/4 the shrimp gravy.
- Garnish with green onion and peanuts.
This recipe is inspired by Home Chef, a wonderful meal kit delivery service.
*I do not recommend using instant grits that cook in 1 minute. Do not substitute cornmeal or cornflour for the grits.
** If using white grits, it’s nice to use a white cheddar
***Frozen raw (uncooked) shrimp is a great option if you cannot get fresh. Look for wild-caught American Shrimp. It will come from the coastal regions from which this recipe began – NC, SC, GA, FL, LA. Some packages will request thawing overnight and some will have quick thaw directions by placing shrimp in a colander and running cold water. If you cannot find an affordable price for wild-caught American shrimp, look for sustainable farm-raised.
Equipment needed: medium saucepan for grits; medium skillet for shrimp sauce.
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 20
- Category: Fish & Seafood
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Southern American
Keywords: cheesy corn grits, polenta, easy weeknight dinner, Easter dinner side dish, holiday dinner side dish, lenten meal