Spicy Southern Shrimp + Grits

February 28, 2022
Recipes - Dairy-Free - Gluten-Free - Main Meal - Weeknight Meals
These creamy Southern grits and cajun-spiced shrimp are full of flavor and full comfort in every bite.

Spicy Southern Shrimp + Grits

It’s hard to believe how comforting, creamy and flavorful these Spicy Southern Shrimp + Grits are. Topped with spicy sautéed shrimp and based with a beautifully creamy cheesy blanket of Southern grits, this easy meal is sure to please to be a major crowd-pleaser! Dairy-free + Gluten-free options available. 

Spicy Southern Shrimp + Grits

I can never eat Southern food and not include creamy grits in the mix, whether it be for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Grits are a staple at most Southern family tables and I remember vividly watching my aunt whip together the whole works for breakfast---including grits, eggs, bacon, sausage, and whatever else her hands could grab to make the meal that much more DELICIOUS!

While there are dozens of ways to cook grits, this Southern-style version is my family’s go-to. I think you’ll love it as much as I do and when topped with these spicy cajun shrimp, you'll be licking all ten fingers and toes. Haha.

How to Make Spicy Southern Shrimp + Grits

Start this recipe by making the simple Cajun seasoning. This is a spice blend you’ll want to keep on hand to season everything from One-Pot Cajun Pumpkin Alfredo Pasta to Cajun Veggie Pumpkin Pizza. The ingredients are simple and you probably already have them at home.

Spicy Southern Shrimp + Grits


To make your seasoning, combine:

  • Garlic powder
  • Italian seasoning
  • Smoked paprika
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • Cayenne
  • Dried thyme
  • Onion powder

Together, these herbs and spices strike the perfect balance of savory and fresh with a bit of smoky heat.

Spicy Southern Shrimp + Grits

My top Five Tips for Perfect Grits

#1: Heat + Soak Grits: Much like cashews, this allows grits to soften, cook faster, and become more creamy.

#2: Boil grits for 20-30 minutes uncovered, but make sure to stir regularly to avoid lumps.

#3: It’s all about adding milk, water, + heavy cream with cheese for the ultimate creaminess.

#4: Don’t be afraid to season your girts. It amplifies the flavors more.

#5: Low + slow is always best. This allows the grits to slowly release their starches for a decadent, silky texture.

Spicy Southern Shrimp + Grits

What You’ll Love About This Shrimp + Grits

It’s easy to make.

Full of flavor.

Ultra Creamy!

Minimal ingredients required.

Easy to store leftovers and re-purpose.

The epitome of comfort food for ANY season.

Did I mention absolutely delicious?!

Spicy Southern Shrimp + Grits

Adding Greens

If you want to add some greens to these shrimp + grits, you certainly can. My article, Our Top 12 Favorite Healthy Green Leafy Vegetables shares a list of great greens! Off the top—-kale, spinach, or collard greens make great additions. Also, roasted broccolini is one of my faves to add.

Storage Suggestions

Grits are at their best when they’re hot and soft. However, you can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. To serve, reheat the grits on the stove or in the microwave in 30-second intervals until soft. If necessary, add a dash more milk, cream, or water to help loosen them up. You can store leftover shrimp in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days.

More Cajun-inspired Recipes

Spicy Southern Shrimp + Grits


If you make these Spicy Southern Shrimp + Grits, tag @orchidsnsweettea_ on Instagram and hashtag it #orchidsandsweettea

Spicy Southern Shrimp + Grits

Spicy Southern Shrimp + Grits

5 from 1 vote
These creamy Southern grits and cajun-spiced shrimp are full of flavor and full comfort in every bite.
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Serves: 4 servings



  • 1 Creamy Southern Cheese Grits


  • 1 lb. wild-caught jumbo shrimp, deveined
  • 3 Tbsps unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-2 Tbsps cajun seasoning
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper, optional (You can also use habanero pepper)
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes


  • 2 Tbsps garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsps Italian seasoning
  • 2 Tbsps smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder



  • Mix all cajun seasoning ingredients together in a bowl and set aside until ready to use.



  • In a large 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat, add 2 Tbsps of butter until melted. Add in the minced garlic to sauté frequently about 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Next, add in the shrimp (seasoned w/ 2 Tbsps of cajun seasoning) and cook on both sides (about 3-4 minutes), until pink and cook through. Add remaining 1 tablespoon of butter (along with the 1 scotch bonnet) and let everything simmer for another minute until shrimp are coated with a light sauce/gravy from the butter and seasonings.
  • In serving bowls, spread the grits into the bottoms of the bowls and top with sautéed shrimp. Sprinkle red pepper flakes (optional) atop and serve immediately.
  • Bon Appétit!

Tips & Tricks

  • STORAGE: Leftovers can be kept in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Re-heat when ready to serve.
  • SPICES/HERBS: If desired, you can reduce the amounts slightly. Please know that this recipe is bold in flavor, so feel free to adjust based on your tastebuds.
  • CAJUN SEASONING (STORAGE): Any leftover cajun seasoning mix can be stored in a ziplock bag for later use or used as garnish. 
  • DAIRY-FREE OPTION:To make these shrimp + grits entirely dairy-free, just substitute the unsalted butter with vegan butter, the heavy cream with full-fat coconut cream/milk,  and the cheese with dairy-free shreds or nutritional yeast.


Calories: 243kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 165mg | Sodium: 647mg | Potassium: 211mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 0.4g | Vitamin A: 1352IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 1mg


Tag @orchidsnsweettea_ on Instagram and hashtag it #orchidsandsweettea

Spicy Southern Shrimp + Grits.


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