Shrimp and Cheesy Grits

shrimp and grits

Shrimp and Grits comes from African and African-American roots. It’s often made with bacon, but I omitted it since I’m not eating pork these days. I used a few dashes of smoked paprika for a smoky flavor. I made the Cheesy grits with a broth made from shrimp shells. If I’m making shrimp for other reasons or I have a salmon skin leftover from making salmon, I freeze them and add them to the shrimp broth. You can make the broth a few hours ahead of time.

Ingredients: Serves 3

Shrimp Broth

3 1/4 cups water

Shrimp shells

3 green onions or 1/2 yellow onion

celery tops

6 peppercorns

1 bay leaf

Shrimp stir fry:

9 oz shrimp (I used 24 medium shrimp, size 41/50)

1 Tb olive oil

1/2 yellow onion, chopped

3/4 cup sliced bell peppers (if I don’t have fresh one on hand I use frozen ones from Trader Joe’s)

3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

3/4 tsp dried oregano

Pinch of red pepper flakes

Dash of smoked paprika

A few grinds of black pepper

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 lemon, juiced

Cheesy Grits:

3 cups shrimp broth

1/4 tsp sea salt

3/4 cup quick cooking hominy grits

3/4 cup (2 oz) grated sharp cheddar cheese


Defrost shrimp in refrigerator overnight. If you didn’t do that, set it in a colander in the sink and let cold water run over it for 6- 8 minutes until it is soft enough to peel.


Peel the shrimp and put the shells in a small saucepan. Set the shrimp aside in a container in the refrigerator. Pour a little over 3 cups of water in the saucepan and bring it to a boil. Add some celery tops and green or yellow onion, peppercorns and a bay leaf. Let it simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.

While broth is cooking, heat oil in a large frying pan until it shimmers. Add onion and turn heat down. Cook 6 to 8 minutes until the onion is soft. Stir in garlic, bell peppers, salt and spices.


Strain broth into a medium saucepan. You should have 3 cups.

Heat the shrimp broth to boiling. Slowly whisk in grits. Turn burner to low, cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

cooked shrimp

Add the shrimp to the skillet and stir fry until it is tightly curled and a bit brown, about 4-5 minutes. Squeeze the lemon juice over the shrimp mixture and use a metal spatula to scrape the browned bits into it.


Stir the cheese into the cooked grits until it melts.

Pour the grits into serving bowls and spread the shrimp mixture over it.