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shrimp and grits in grey bowl

Cajun Shrimp and Grits

With rich and creamy cheese grits and spiced shrimp, once you make these Cajun shrimp and grits, it will be the only version you make ever again.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6
Calories 715kcal
Author Ryan Beck


Cream Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ¾ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon hot sauce

Cheese Grits

  • 3 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3 cups shrimp stock (can also use chicken stock)
  • 1 ½ cups quick-cooking grits (not instant)
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 1 ½ cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cups water
  • kosher salt


  • 4 slices bacon, cut into ½" pieces
  • 1 lb medium to large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning (I use Emeril's Essence)
  • 2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoon bacon fat


Cream Sauce

  • Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat, and stir in flour. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon for about 8 minutes or until it's medium brown. Slowly whisk in the stock and heavy cream.
  • Bring to a boil, whisking, and cook until the sauce has thickened and can coat the back of the spoon. Should take about 10 minutes. Whisk in Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. Season to taste and keep warm.

Cheese Grits

  • Combine the butter and stock in a medium saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat. Slowly whisk in grits and simmer, whisking frequently, for about 5 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to low and add ½ cup heavy cream and ½ cup Parmesan cheese. Whisk and cook for about 10 minutes. Add another ½ cup of heavy cream and Parmesan cheese. Whisk and cook for about another 10 minutes. Add final ½ cup heavy cream and Parmesan cheese. Whisk and cook for 10 minutes.
  • At this point, you'll want to taste and see consistency. You might need to add some water if you want it a little more creamy. Just add in ½ cup increments and cook for an additional minute or two. Salt to taste although you might not need any as the Parmesan cheese is salty. Keep warm.


  • With about 15 minutes left before grits are done, heat large skillet over medium heat and cook bacon until crisp. Should take about 10 minutes. Remove bacon and set on paper towel-lined plate. Reserve 2 tablespoon bacon fat.
  • Mix Cajun seasoning, paprika, Italian seasoning, black pepper and garlic together and mix with shrimp in medium bowl. Bring large skillet back to medium heat with 2 tablespoon bacon fat.
  • Add the shrimp and cook until just cooked through. Should be about 1 ½ minutes per side. Transfer the shrimp to a plate
  • Mix the leftover drippings from cooking the shrimp into the cream sauce that has been staying warm. To serve, place a few heaping spoons of grits in a bowl. Top with several shrimp and drizzle the sauce over top. Sprinkle some of the bacon on top and serve immediately.


  • Don't skip on constantly whisking your grits as that is key to getting creamy grits.
  • You can replace the cream with whole milk for the grits if you want less fat.
  • Use wild shrimp when possible. It is healthier for you and just tastes better. Frozen shrimp works fine too but just make sure they're thawed before cooking.
  • If you use pre-cooked shrimp, you want to cook just 30 seconds per side so they don't get overcooked.
  • Shrimp cook quickly so cook two minutes per side or until pink and opaque. If you cook too long, shrimp will be tough.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 715kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 49g | Saturated Fat: 25g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 149mg | Sodium: 904mg | Potassium: 167mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g