An easy recipe for a Southern classic: barbecue sauce shrimp served on top of creamy, flavorful smoked Gouda grits.
Shrimp and grits are a staple in the South where I live. Most Nashville Southern restaurants offer a take on the classic comfort food and I’m always tempted to order it, but rarely can. The issue I run into is that most versions incorporate ham or bacon in some way. I eat seafood, but I don’t eat meat, so I wanted to come up with a way to cook this classic at home for both the meat eaters and the pescatarians in my household to enjoy.
In this take on shrimp and grits, the grits are a co-star, equally good on their own. To achieve a rich flavor and creamy texture in the grits I melt smoked Gouda in at the end. For the shrimp, I’ve experimented with different spices and preparations over the years, but my favorite and the simplest one is pan-cooked shrimp with barbecue sauce.
How to Make Easy Shrimp and Grits
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Start with the grits. Add the grits and water to a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat. Stir often with a fork to stop the grits from getting lumpy. Once the mixture starts boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low, cover the saucepan, and cook for 6 minutes. Then remove from the heat, add the cheese and salt, and stir. Cover and set aside while you prepare your shrimp, stirring every few minutes.
For the shrimp heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and then the shrimp in a single layer. Cover and cook for about 4 minutes. Remove the cover, stir the shrimp, cover and cook for another minute or until the shrimp is almost cooked. Add the barbecue sauce to the shrimp and heat through. Stir the grits again before serving and plate with the shrimp and green onions.
Looking for more shrimp recipes? Try Thai shrimp curry, curry Singapore noodles, or Instant Pot shrimp risotto. If you try this recipe for easy shrimp and grits, leave a comment and review below and let me know what you think!
Easy Shrimp and Grits
- 1 cup grits
- 4 cups water
- 4 oz smoked Gouda cut into chunks
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 16 oz large shrimp thawed, peeled and deveined
- 1/2 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
- green onions for serving
- Add grits and water to a medium saucepan with a lid and heat over medium heat, stirring frequently with a fork to prevent clumps. Once the mixture starts to boil, turn the heat to medium-low, add a cover to the pan, and cook for 6 minutes. Then remove from heat, add the cheese and salt, stir, and cover. Continue to stir every couple of minutes while you prepare your shrimp.
- For the shrimp, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and then the shrimp in a single layer. Cover and cook for 4 minutes. Then remove the cover, stir the shrimp, cover and cook for another minute or until shrimp is almost cooked. Add the barbecue sauce to the shrimp and heat through, about another minute.
- Stir the grits again before serving, ensuring that all of the cheese is mixed through. Then serve with the shrimp and green onions.