Southern BBQ Shrimp and Cheese Grits is the third installment in my Simple Summer Supper series. One taste of this divine combination of creamy parmesan cheese grits and succulent, briny, gulf shrimp sautéed in a bold and spicy BBQ sauce, and you will be transported to the French Quarter in New Orleans! Laissez le bon temps rouler!
My Simple Summer Supper series includes light summer meals that are quick, easy and made with readily available fresh ingredients. Southern BBQ Shrimp and Cheese Grits only takes minutes to prepare and is an easy summer dinner recipe the entire family will enjoy.
With a blog name of Grits and Pinecones, I feel a special responsibility to ensure all of my recipes featuring grits are extraordinary, and this quick, easy and flavorful shrimp and grits recipe is that and much more!
In this recipe for Southern BBQ Shrimp and Cheese Grits, BBQ shrimp are cooked New Orleans style, and not cooked on a grill at all. Instead, they are sautéed in a robust BBQ sauce made with lemon juice, Creole seasoning, and tangy Worcestershire sauce. And, the parmesan cheese grits, well if you have never had them you are in for a treat!
Cheddar and gruyere cheese are the likely suspects in most cheese grits recipes, but in this case, the smooth nutty taste of parmesan cheese in the grits balances out the spiciness of the BBQ shrimp and it’s a marriage made in heaven.
What are grits?
In case you aren’t from the South, you may be wondering what exactly are grits? Very simply, grits are dried corn kernels that have been ground into a coarse meal.
There are three basic types of grits: coarse or stone ground grits, which take from 30-60 minutes to cook; “quick” grits, which are finer ground grits and cook in 7 minutes; and “instant” grits, which only take a minute or two to cook in the microwave.
I usually use “quick” grits in most of my recipes, which is what I used in this one. But when I have a little extra time, I like to use Bumpy Road Farm’s stone-ground grits, which can be found at our farmers’ markets and are grown and ground locally.
Stone ground grits can also be cooked overnight in the Crockpot, and in the next few weeks, I will be sharing my easy Overnight Crockpot Grits Recipe.
What’s the difference in grits, cornmeal, and polenta?
Grits, cornmeal, and polenta are all ground up corn kernels. Polenta is made with a specific kind of corn, and cornmeal is just a finer grind. They all have a mild corn flavor and, in some recipes, you can substitute polenta for grits and cornmeal for polenta.
What can I serve with BBQ Shrimp and Cheese Grits?
Southern BBQ Shrimp and Cheese Grits is a stand-alone entrée, but if you would like to include some veggies with your meal, you could certainly add a small, simple salad or perhaps some freshly sliced tomatoes.
If you like grits, you might also enjoy these popular recipes on my blog, which feature grits: Southern Cheese Grits Casserole, Easy Cheesy Parmesan Shrimp and Grits, Southern Spicy Tomato-Cheese Grits, and Make-Ahead Sausage and Grits Casserole.
How to make Southern BBQ Shrimp
Gather your ingredients. Combine the lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, creole seasoning and garlic in a large skillet placed over medium-high heat.
When the sauce comes to a boil, add the shrimp, and cook until they turn pink and opaque which should take about 2 minutes. (If your shrimp are larger or smaller than what’s called for in this recipe, adjust the cooking time accordingly. Do not cook the shrimp too long, or they will be tough.)
Use a slotted spoon to remove the cooked shrimp from the pan. Set the shrimp aside and cover to keep warm.
Reduce the heat under the sauce to medium, and add the butter, a few cubes at a time whisking constantly. Continue whisking and add the rest of the butter, a few cubes at a time, and wait for the butter in the sauce to melt before you add additional butter.
When all the butter has been added and has melted, and the sauce is smooth and creamy remove from the heat and cover to keep warm. Set aside.
How to make Parmesan Cheese Grits
Bring 5 cups of water in a large saucepan to a boil over high heat. When the water comes to a boil, add the grits and salt. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook for seven minutes, whisking every minute or so to prevent lumps.
Stir in the pepper, butter, and cream (if using) and mix well. Remove from the heat and add the parmesan cheese. Stir until the cheese has melted.
How to serve Southern BBQ Shrimp and Cheese Grits
Add the shrimp to the BBQ sauce and stir to coat.
Divide the grits into four bowls and top with equal amounts of the BBQ shrimp and sauce.
If desired, garnish with parsley. Serve immediately.
If you make this recipe, please be sure to rate it and leave a comment below. I love hearing from you!
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