Cajun Shrimp and Grits is a classic Southern comfort food that's easy to make from scratch. Creamy, buttery grits are topped with cajun seasoned shrimp - ready in 30 minutes.
With a handful of easy-to-find ingredients (that you may already have on hand), cajun shrimp and grits can be on your dinner table tonight.
The grits are creamy, buttery, and flavorful. Shrimp is seasoned with cajun seasoning, then pan-fried and ready in minutes.
You'll be making this recipe on repeat! It's perfect for a quick and comforting weeknight meal.
Ingredients and substitutions
I use homemade Cajun Seasoning for this recipe, but you can also use any store bought cajun seasoning you already have on hand.
I recommend using medium or large shrimp that have been peeled and deveined. If you're like me, go ahead and remove the tails so that you don't have to bother with them while you're enjoying dinner.
You'll need stone ground grits for this recipe, not instant grits.
Milk can be whole, 2%, 1%, or skim - any milk you have on hand will work. Whole milk will make your grits much creamier and richer.
Chicken broth can be substituted with vegetable broth.
Grits tips and tricks
While making your grits, keep a close eye on them and whisk frequently.
If your grits begin to stick to the bottom of the pan or look dry, add a splash of water and turn down the heat slightly.
You'll know your grits are ready when they look creamy and thick, and no longer have a gritty texture.
Shrimp cook very quickly, and should only need about 2 minutes per side, depending on the size of your shrimp.
Once your shrimp turn pink and start to curl up slightly, you'll know they're done.
Overcooking shrimp will cause them to be rubbery and tough - don't walk away while your shrimp are cooking!
What to serve with shrimp and grits
Shrimp and grits are quite hearty, and can be a served as a meal on their own. But if you'd like to add something a little extra, like veggies or a side of bread, I've got a few ideas for you!
- Green Beans and Onions
- Buttermilk Cornbread Muffins
- Crusty sliced bread
- Kale Cranberry Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
- Roasted Zucchini and Squash
- Collard greens
Cajun Shrimp and Grits
- 16 ounces milk
- 16 ounces chicken broth
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup stone ground grits
- 2 cloves garlic
- ¼ cup butter
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons cajun seasoning
- In a saucepan over medium heat, add milk, chicken broth, and salt. Bring to a boil, then slowly whisk in the grits and minced garlic.
- Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for about 20 minutes, whisking frequently. If grits begin to stick to pan, reduce heat. Grits should be creamy and tender when cooked through.
- Remove from heat and add pepper and butter. Stir to combine. Cover and set aside.
- Season shrimp with cajun seasoning and toss to evenly coat.
- In a skillet over medium heat, add butter. When hot, add shrimp to pan and arrange in a single layer. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then flip and cook for 1 additional minute. Shrimp are ready when pink and tails have curled up slightly. Remove from heat.
- Spoon grits into a bowl, then top with shrimp and any remaining butter in pan. Optionally, top with chopped parsley as a garnish. Serve immediately.
- 2 teaspoons of cajun seasoning will give you a medium amount of heat. For a lighter flavor, use one teaspoon.
- If you're plating to impress, feel free to leave the tails on your shrimp. Leaving the tails on can make your plate look more attractive and the shrimp look larger.