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Saucy Shrimp and Grits

Smoky bacon, onion, and garlic jazz up a quick tomato sauce; the shrimp cook in the sauce, making a tempting Southern-style dish when ladled over creamy grits.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4
  • Yield: Serves 4
Saucy Shrimp and Grits

Source: Everyday Food, December 2008


  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 cup coarse grits (not quick-cooking)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, in juice
  • 1 pound large (31 to 35) peeled and deveined frozen shrimp, thawed
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce


  1. In a medium saucepan, bring 4 1/2 cups water to a boil over high; season with salt and pepper. Whisk in grits; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover, and cook, whisking occasionally, until grits are creamy and tender, about 30 minutes; stir in butter.

  2. After grits have cooked for 15 minutes, cook bacon in a large skillet over medium until browned, 4 to 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Add onion and garlic to fat in skillet; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is tender and browned, 8 to 10 minutes.

  3. To skillet, add tomatoes (with their juice) and 1/4 cup water; bring to a boil. Add shrimp; cook, stirring, until opaque throughout, 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in hot sauce. Serve over grits, sprinkled with bacon.

Reviews (13)

  • marlenebroady 16 Apr, 2013

    This was outrageously delicious. I added cheddar and American cheese to the grits once finished and I was more generous with the diced tomatoes and hot sauce for a little more kick. This dish doesn't reheat well so be sure you've got enough folks to eat it all in one night.

  • liz_alchemist 29 Apr, 2011

    Yum, yum, yum! Also being a Southern girl, I LOVE any combination of grits and bacon! I loved adding shrimp and the sauce. This dish had a lot of great flavors, and it's a great way to break up the monotony of weeknight dinners. The coarsest grits I found (in the all-natural section, unfortunately yellow grits, not my favorite white grits) cooked perfectly well within 30 minutes.

    Definitely making this again!

  • bobbyadams 9 Feb, 2011

    I am thinking that real, stoneground coarse grits would take longer to reach a palatable creamy consistency. Being a true Southern girl and using grits often, I would suggest whisking almost constantly until they start to thicken, and then stirring often to be sure they don't clump or burn on the bottom. And, I would expect to gently simmer them for more like an hour to get rid of the "grittiness"! :)

  • nickoal 8 Jan, 2011

    @IKelly: Hominy not like polenta or grits - it's dried corn/maize kernels. Grits and polenta are the same thing, except the former comes from white corn and the latter from yellow. I hope this helps, even if I'm not a granny cook. =)

  • IKelly 6 Oct, 2010

    Dear grannycooks, can you please tell me the difference between hominy and cornmeal? I understood this recipe described polenta. In Italy we prepare polenta (which is fine or medium grounded cornmeal) adding this nice yellow flour to hot boiling water, and stir it for about 1 hour. I searched on dictionaries and recipe sites, but with no success. Please help! :-)

  • grannycooks 25 Feb, 2010

    to WashingtonChef - actually grits or not Polenta. Polenta is made from cornmeal and is also called 'mush'. Grits is made from ground hominy. They are both made from corn, but from different processes.

  • mayers 25 Feb, 2010

    This is ultimate comfort food, great for a cold winter night. I added an 8 oz can of tomatoe sauce while the shrimp were cooking and shredded mexican cheese to the grits.

  • WashingtonChef 26 Jan, 2010

    Grits are basically Polenta.

  • retiredrosie 24 Dec, 2009

    as an australian i have no idea what grits are....
    please enlighten me, because this sounds like a nice recipe

  • fishface2 16 Mar, 2009

    Outstanding result. As a matter of taste I omitted hot sauce and served on a bed of egg noodles--made a fine company dish, though easy enough for every day. I also omitted the added water as not necessary.

  • FoXXXyBrown 15 Mar, 2009

    This dish was very good !!

  • indigo991 30 Jan, 2009

    This dish is excellent. Next time I'll try the cheese in the grits.

  • jhuggins5 8 Dec, 2008

    This recipe was a smash at my house. I added about 1/4 cup of white cheddar to the grits after they were finished cooking for a little extra zing and texture to the grits.

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