Shrimp and grits is a classic Southern dish that really puts the comfort in comfort food. I’ve been a big fan of shrimp and grits for years. For one thing, I’ve always thought grits were super underrated. Add sugar, cinnamon, and butter and you’ve got a sweet treat or breakfast dish, or add your favorite cheese (and more butter because it’s Southern cooking of course), and you have a delicious savory side dish!
The version I’m sharing with you today is what I like to think of as Seattle style shrimp and grits. In this take, the shrimp are spicy and garlicky, and the grits are filled with a generous amount of white cheddar cheese. I used Beecher’s Flagship Cheddar because it’s a local favorite in the Seattle area, but you can use your own favorite white cheddar!
If you’ve never had shrimp and grits before, I’d definitely recommend trying it! It might sound like a strange combo, but it works together so well that you might just find your favorite new dish. And if you have had shrimp and grits before, I hope you enjoy my take on it!
Spicy Shrimp and White Cheddar Grits
- 1 lb shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails removed
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp salt, divided
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup grits
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 2 cups white cheddar, shredded
- 1 tbsp fresh chives, chopped (optional)
- Bring water and 1/2 tsp salt to boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in grits. Cook grits until water is absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- While grits are cooking, toss shrimp in cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic powder, garlic, and 1/2 tsp salt.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook shrimp until pink and opaque, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from heat, and set aside.
- Once the grits are done cooking, remove grits from the heat and stir in butter and white cheddar until melted and smooth.
- To serve, top grits with shrimp and sprinkle with fresh chives. Enjoy warm.