Creamy Shrimp and Grits (Gluten Free)

Creamy shrimp and grits is a classic Southern dish. Rich and full of flavor but quick enough to make for an easy weeknight meal. Simple but comforting and tasty enough to impress company. This dish is perfect for a date night in.

Creamy shrimp and grits in a black bowl

Valentine’s Day is approaching and I’ve been thinking about date night dinners. With a newborn, date night often has to happen at home. Really though, a home cooked meal is sometimes the coziest way to enjoy a night with your special someone. When cooking at home for a date, I want to relax with a glass of wine and spend time with the hubs, so an overly complex recipe isn’t on the menu.

To add a some lightness to the meal, I pair it with a simple kale salad. If you’ve ever had Whole Foods pre-made salad bar, this kale salad is similar to theirs– so yummy!

Ingredients to make the recipe

How to make Creamy Shrimp and Grits

  1. Remove kale from stem and rip into small pieces. Pour oil over and massage until completely covered, set aside.
  2. Combine grits, stock, salt, garlic, and butter in a saucepan over med-high heat and bring to a low boil. Allow to boil for 2-3 minutes stirring frequently, then cover and simmer on low for 20 minutes. Stirring on occasion so the grits don’t stick.
  3. While grits simmer, cook chopped bacon on med until crispy, place on paper towel. Using the same pan with bacon grease, add shrimp on med-low season with chili powder, cumin, paprika, plus a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until opaque, then set aside.
  4. To finish salad, add cranberries, goat cheese, almonds, vinegar, salt and pepper to kale and mix well. Store in fridge until ready to serve.
  5. Once timer goes off for the grits, add milk and cheese, then cook for 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Portion grits in bowls top with bacon, shrimp, green onion, and sprinkle with parsley.

What to serve with shrimp and grits?

This kale salad really is the perfect side to serve with shrimp and grits, the vinegar in it balances the grits out so well.  You could also serve it with sauteed kale or collard greens if you prefer a hot side.

Ingredients to make the kale salad

What are the best grits to use?

Stone-ground grits are one of the keys to really good shrimp and grits in my opinion. They are coarser than other types of grits. These course grits are produced the old-fashioned way, by grinding with a water-turned stone. Personally, I really enjoy the texture of these grits. However, they can be more difficult to find.

You can sub in regular grits (also known as polenta) for this recipe if you’d like. Either way, if you’ve never been a grits fan or only enjoyed them for breakfast, I think it’d be worth giving this recipe a try. I just might get you hooked on this easy, delicious dish.

A traditional and comforting dish

This recipe for shrimp and grits is a favorite in our house. It’s rich, creamy, and perfectly balanced with just a hint of smoky spice. It’s so easy to put together, honestly, you couldn’t ask for anything more from a dinner!

Shrimp cooking in a skillet

Top Tips To Make Creamy Shrimp and Grits

  • Different brands of stone-ground grits have different cooking times, some taking up to 60 minutes so I would double check the cooking time on the package directions to ensure the alloted 30 minutes in my recipe will be enough.  *If using regular grits, cook time can be reduced by 5-7 minutes, stone ground take a bit longer.
  • To make dairy free, omit cheddar cheese (or replace with a non-dairy substitute, I recommend this brand), also omit butter and reduce stock/water to 2 ¼ cups.

Be sure to check out these other main meals:

I love hearing from you! If you have tried this creamy shrimp and grits recipe be sure to leave me a comment and a star rating down below!

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Easy Date Night Shrimp & Grits

Gluten Free Creamy Shrimp & Grits (with Kale Salad)

  • Author: Lauren Daniel
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 2-4 Servings 1x
  • Category: Main meal
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This recipe for shrimp and grits is a favorite in our house. It’s rich, creamy, and perfectly balanced with just a hint of smoky spice. To add a some lightness to the meal, pair it with a simple kale salad.


Scale

Ingredients

Shrimp & Grits:

  • 1 c stone ground white corn grits, I use trader joe’s brand^ (Regular grits* will work fine too)
  • 2 ½ c chicken or vegetable stock (water can be used if you don’t have stock)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp grassfed butter
  • ¾ c milk of choice (I use almond milk)
  • c organic white cheddar, shredded
  • 34 slices of bacon, chopped into small pieces
  • ½ lb raw shrimp, peeled, deveined
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • Green onion, garnish
  • Dried parsley, garnish

Kale Salad:

  • 1 kale bunch
  • ¼ c dried cranberries
  • 3 tbsp crumbled goat cheese
  • ¼ c slivered almonds
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil (or olive oil)
  • 1 tbsp balsamic Vinegar
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Remove kale from stem and rip into small pieces. Pour oil over and massage until completely covered, set aside.
  2. Combine grits, stock, salt, garlic, and butter in a saucepan over med-high heat and bring to a low boil. Allow to boil for 2-3 minutes stirring frequently, then cover and simmer on low for 20 minutes. Stirring on occasion so the grits don’t stick.
  3. While grits simmer, cook chopped bacon on med until crispy, place on paper towel. Using the same pan with bacon grease, add shrimp on med-low season with chili powder, cumin, paprika, plus a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until opaque, then set aside.  
  4. To finish salad, add cranberries, goat cheese, almonds, vinegar, salt and pepper to kale and mix well. Store in fridge until ready to serve.  
  5. Once timer goes off for the grits, add milk and cheese, then cook for 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Portion grits in bowls top with bacon, shrimp, green onion, and sprinkle with parsley.

Notes

^Different brands of stone-ground grits have different cooking times, some taking up to 60 minutes so I would double check the cooking time on the package directions to ensure the alloted 30 minutes in my recipe will be enough.  *If using regular grits, cook time can be reduced by 5-7 minutes, stone ground take a bit longer.  

To make dairy free, omit cheddar cheese (or replace with a non-dairy substitute, I recommend this brand), also omit butter and reduce stock/water to 2 ¼ cups.

Keywords: Shrimp and grits recipe, creamy shrimp and grits, easy shrimp and grits

Shrimp and grits served in a bowl at a table

photography by Chase Daniel

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  1. This looks so good!!

    Jennifer
    Effortlessly Sophisticated

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