Cajun shrimp and grits is a delicious southern dish that is perfect for Mardi Gras or any time.
This coming weekend starts all the fun Mardi Gras festivities. I thought it would be the perfect time to share this classic recipe with y’all – cajun shrimp and grits. 🙌🏻
All of the big names have their own version of shrimp and grits: Paula Deen, Emeril, Bobby Flay, Pioneer Woman, etc. And I am sure they are all great!
I make my shrimp and grits New Orleans style, with a little creole twist by adding some red pepper, andouille sausage and cajun seasonings. Some people prefer more of a casserole style shrimp and grits. My method is a bit simpler, and I do everything right on the stove top. And it is so delicious!
My grits are the old fashioned kind.
My Cousin Vinny reference👆🏻👆🏻👆🏻 – If you have never seen that movie, do it. It’s hilarious. And grits are a hug part of the plot.
Okay, back to my garlic parmesan cheese grits! I add in some milk, butter, garlic, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Ohhhh my goodness y’all, these get rave reviews every time I make them.
There are fussier ways to make grits, but these are made on the stovetop and are actually pretty simple. I always start by making the grits first, and then let them sit with a lid on while I prepare the shrimp mixture. Shrimp cook pretty quickly, so it all works out beautifully. 😍 👌🏻
What type of shrimp to use
And now a word on the quality of your shrimp. I like to check as many of the following boxes as possible.
- Wild caught
- Gulf of Mexico shrimp
- Peeled and deveined (You will have to do this yourself in this recipe if you don’t buy them already done for you.)
- Never frozen
Now that I live in Birmingham (5 hour drive from the gulf coast), if is hard to check ALL of those boxes. But don’t worry, they will still be good!
What to serve with shrimp and grits
I usually just serve this with some crusty French bread and call it a day. It is a complete meal in and of itself. But if you want something else to round it out, here are a few suggestions.
Since you already have a protein (shrimp) and a carb (grits), I think a nice green salad would round things out.
- Spinach salad with mandarin oranges, avocado and pine nuts
- Summer salad with berries, goat cheese and pine nuts
- Traditional Greek salad
- Pear, goat cheese and walnut salad
- Strawberry avocado salad
Alternatively, you could do a non-starchy vegetable as a side. Here are some of my favorites.
- Roasted green beans with shallot
- Lemon garlic roasted Brussels sprouts
- Roasted broccoli and mushrooms
- Roasted thyme carrots
- Rainbow roasted veggies
- Roasted asparagus with orange vinaigrette
I hope y’all enjoy this recipe, friends! It’s a classic. Let me know if you make it.
Tools used to make shrimp and grits
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- Measuring cups and spoons
- Knife and cutting board
- Large non-stick skillet for the shrimp mixture
- Medium to large pot with lid for the grits
- Wooden spoons
- Zester for the lemon
- Citrus juicer is helpful for the lemon juice, but not required
Cajun Shrimp and Grits Recipe (with Andouille Sausage)
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Cajun Shrimp and Grits (with Andouille Sausage)
Cajun shrimp and grits is a delicious southern dish that is perfect for Mardi Gras or any time. Shrimp, andouille sausage, garlic, lemon and red pepper served over garlic parmesan cheese grits.
For the cajun shrimp and sausage
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 red bell pepper diced
- 12 ounces andouille sausage** (I used Aidele's which is fully cooked.*)
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 pound raw shrimp peeled and deveined
- juice of one large lemon
- zest of half the lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon Tony Chacherie's cajun seasoning (or cajun seasoning mix of your choice)
For the garlic parmesan cheese grits
- 3 1/2 cups water
- 3 cups milk (I am using 2%, but any kind works)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt (more or less, to taste)
- 1/3 teaspoon pepper (more or less, to taste)
- 1 1/2 cup Old fashioned uncooked grits (not the instant ones)
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 1/4 Tablespoon butter (more or less, to taste)
- 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- fresh parsley or chives for garnish (optional)
For the garlic parmesan cheese grits
Bring the milk and water to a boil.
Whisk in the grits, and return to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium-low to maintain a simmer.
Add in salt, pepper and garlic powder, stirring to incoporate.
Cook for 15 minutes partially covered on a low simmer, stirring frequently. As the grits thicken, they will start to spatter at you. Even if it is before the 15 minutes, you can go ahead and move to the next step. The grits will continue to cook, even when you turn the heat off.
Stir in the butter and parmesan until melted and incorporated.
Turn off the heat, place on the lid and let rest until the shrimp mixture is ready (up to 20 minutes, if you need it).
Melt the butter over medium-low heat with the olive oil.
Add pepper, and cook 5 minutes.
Add sausage and cook 3 minutes more.
Add garlic and cook one minute, being careful not to burn it.
Add shrimp, lemon juice and zest, cajun seasoning; stir to combine
Place a lid or tin foil on top to cover, and cook until shrimp turn pink, about 5 minutes (Note: Time may vary based on the size of your shrimp).
Serve the shrimp mixture over the grits. I like to add a spoon full of the pan juices too. Garnish with fresh parsley or chives, if desired.
*If you are using uncooked andouille sausage, brown it first. The remove it from the pan using a slotted spoon. Use the fat in the pan to cook the pepper in. Add it back to the pan at the end, stirring in with the cooked shrimp.
** Chicken andouille sausage is also fabulous in this recipe, if you are avoiding pork. Amylu's and Trader Joe's brands are both great.
Nutritional information is approximate and was calculated using a recipe nutrition label generator.