Skillet Shrimp and Grits

If you’ve been around these parts long enough you’ll know that I’m truly in love with breakfast.  And truth be told, I love it even more when I’m eating for other meals.  Like those gratin potatoes with spinach, kale, and a runny poached egg? 

That was my lunch one day over holiday break. It was spectacular! Well this shrimp and grits dish rates right up there.

Lord knows I’m not from the South but my great pal Josie sure is and she knows her grits. Creamy, cheesy, stick-to-your-ribs sort of good grits. Add some shrimp to a killer pan of grits and you’ve got a perfect pair.

And speaking of Josie, she’s having herself a perfect pair this week…in the form of twin boys! Josie and Joey are adding 2 more to their family and I knew this shrimp and grits dish would be an amazing way to help celebrate a little surprise shower a few of us decided to have for her.

Skillet Shrimp and Grits

Josie loves breakfast just as much as I do and she’s all over shrimp and grits. Being the Yankee that I am, I think this meal really does Southern comfort food justice, especially since I used the stone-ground white cornmeal Josie brought me from Atlanta in October. I know she would love it as much as Kyle and I did. 

Because you’ll bake the grits for a final 15 minutes, they aren’t quite as creamy as I would have liked for them to be but it’s a stellar recipe, nonetheless. The only thing that could possibly make this shrimp and grits any more awesome would be a poached egg. 

Surprised?  I know Josie would agree.

Here’s what we made for Josie’s shower:
Annie: paloma cocktail (Tequila & Lime)
Courtney: chocolate cake with coffee buttercream
Elly: sausage-cheese biscuits

Wouldn’t this menu would make for an amazing brunch?!

Skillet Shrimp and Cheese Grits

Skillet Shrimp and Cheese Grits

Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Skillet shrimp and cheese grits is an easy way to bring the South into your kitchen. Cooked in one pan, this is a traditional shrimp and cheese grits recipe that cooks quickly on the stove top and finishes baking in the oven.


  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1 tsp table salt
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 tsp)
  • 1 tsp ancho chile powder
  • 3 ½ cups water
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup old-fashioned grits (see note below)
  • 6 oz extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (1 ½ cups)
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 scallions, green and white parts, thinly sliced
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 lb extra-large shrimp (21 to 25 per pound), peeled and deveined


  1. Preheat oven to 450° F.
  2. Melt butter in a 12-inch oven safe skillet over medium heat. Add onions and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic and chile powder and stir for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Pour in the water and heavy cream and bring the liquid to a boil. Slowly whisk in the grits then reduce the heat to low. Cook the grits, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes until they are thick and creamy. Remove the skillet from the heat and quickly stir in ¾ of the cheese, eggs, scallions, and black pepper. Nestle the shrimp under the grits and smooth out the grits over the shrimp once all have been added. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top of the grits.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes until the cheese is bubbly. Serve hot.


Look for old-fashioned, coarse, or stone ground grits for this recipe as quick and instant grits will cook too quickly and the recipe needs extra time to bake in the oven to finish cooking.

adapted from The Best Skillet Recipes by America's Test Kitchen

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  • January 8, 2013 at 9:18 AM

    The only thing that could possibly make this any better (well other than a poached egg on top 😉 would be if we could all eat this meal together. Glad you are putting your grits to good use – I love you all SO much!!

  • January 8, 2013 at 10:06 AM

    Congrats to Josie (I follow her blog too)! These look delicious! Strangely, I’ve never actually had grits but I’m pretty sure cheese carbs are delicious.

  • January 8, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    Mmmmm, I am so hungry now. These look gooood.

  • January 8, 2013 at 11:11 AM

    Yum, this looks totally awesome. I’m a total grits novice, so I’m glad to have this recipe around for the next time I make them.

  • Marcia
    January 8, 2013 at 11:35 AM

    This dish looks delicious! I never ate grits in my life, until I started dating my husband. It took me a few years to really develop a taste for them, and learn how to cook them to creamy gooodness. Our kids were brought up eating them, and now I do my Southern Mom-In-Law proud!

  • January 8, 2013 at 2:33 PM

    This looks so awesome, Tara! Whenever you make southern food, I always think back to our first dinner together before BHF. 🙂 So glad that you got to use some of the grits from Josie – that’s just so perfect.

  • Beth
    January 9, 2013 at 12:02 AM

    After almost twenty years living in Florida I now live In Phoenix (it’s a dry heat).
    This recipe brought me back. I’ve never had shrimp and trots for breakfast though.
    Can’t. Wait to have this!

    • January 9, 2013 at 6:09 AM

      lol to “it’s a dry heat”! We had them for lunch this time but grains and a protein? Definitely ok for breakfast. 🙂

  • January 16, 2013 at 6:53 AM

    Hmmmm…this post really makes me miss New Orleans. Want some now!

  • January 16, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    This look so tasty!

  • […] My friend Josie is set to have her twins any day now, and our group of friends couldn’t let this occasion pass without a surprise for her. It was almost a year ago that these same friends surprised me with a baby shower, and I so wish we were all together again. Since we can’t be, we decided to throw a little virtual shower for Josie. Annie had the idea for us to incorporate foods that are perfect pairs to celebrate Josie’s two sweet boys, and I couldn’t resist doing something with chocolate and coffee (one of my favorite flavor combinations). I think Josie’s going to love the pairs that everyone chose. Annie used tequila and lime to make a Paloma cocktail, which is actually one of Eric’s favorite drinks. Elly put sausage and biscuits together into one perfect breakfast item, and Tara made the classic combination of shrimp and grits. […]

  • […] offering up a recipe involving a classic pairing:  Elly makes sausage-cheese biscuits, Tara makes shrimp and grits, and Courtney makes chocolate cake with coffee […]

  • […] – Paloma Cocktail Tara – Shrimp and Grits Courtney – Chocolate Cake with Coffee […]

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