Share this post on:

If you’re from the south, I don’t need to explain how important food is to the culture. If you weren’t lucky enough to be raised on southern food, one meal is all it takes to understand – and ask for seconds.

One of my favorite memories from my first trip to Louisiana years ago is the first time I experienced shrimp & grits. Creamy and rich with just enough of a kick to keep a cold beer close… I was hooked for life. My version of that recipe is simple enough for a beginner to prepare and flavorful enough that no one would know. Best of all, it’s fast. I’ve been cooking for a long time and this spicy shrimp and grits recipe is the one I am most likely to be asked for after a meal.

I like it spicy, but if you want a little less heat, just use less of the pepper ingredients. It will be just as awesome, I swear.

Spicy Shrimp & Grits by Michael Nolan
Spicy Shrimp & Grits by Michael Nolan


For the grits:

  • 1 cup quick cooking grits
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

For the shrimp:

  • 1 lb. shrimp, cleaned and deveined
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1 large sweet onion, sliced thin
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • hot sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh chives, minced
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced at an angle
  • salt & pepper



For the grits:

1. Add butter and milk to a saucepan and bring to a low boil over medium heat.

2. Whisk in grits until smooth, reduce heat to low and cook for 4 minutes, until thickened.

3. Turn off heat and stir in Parmesan cheese until completely incorporated. Cover until ready to serve.

For the shrimp:

1. In a large skillet cook bacon over medium-high heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels and crumble.

2. Add shrimp to the bacon drippings and cook about 1 minute on each side. When they turn pink, they’re done and you don’t want to overcook them. Remove shrimp and set aside.

3. Sauté sliced onions and tomatoes in the bacon drippings until the onions are tender and translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add cayenne, pepper flakes, and a few dashes of hot sauce, and stir.

4. Reduce heat to low and stir in shrimp, bacon, and chives. Check for seasoning and add salt & pepper to taste.

5. Ladle grits into a bowl and top with shrimp mixture. Garnish with green onions and serve.

michael-nolanMichael Nolan is called The Garden Rockstar for his unconventional approach to teaching people about gardening and food. He is the author of I Garden: Urban Style and the new Food Camp: Kitchen Survival Skills Level 1 cookbook series for beginners. Follow Michael on Facebook and visit his website for more great recipes and more.

Share this post on:

Leave a Comment