These Shrimp and Corn Grits are full of flavor with the addition of salsa and extra sharp cheddar. And you can have this delicious dish on the table in under 40 minutes, which makes it a great weeknight meal!

shrimp and corn with cheese grits in a bowl with a spoon and a glass of beer in front

Why We Love This Recipe For Corn Grits

This recipe is a little bit Texas and a little bit Vermont. Growing up in a house with a mom from Texas and a Dad from New York, it was just as likely that we’d have grits for breakfast, as it was to have oatmeal. That sort of explains a lot about why I think this recipe makes total sense as a pairing. It’s like corn two ways or something.

I made these cheese grits with spicy salsa and cilantro. Usually in Texas you’d likely see Colby Jack as the featured cheese, but I used extra-sharp Vermont Cheddar. Using a really sharp cheese means you can get away with using less of it, saving on saturated fat and calories.

Then I whipped up a sweet corn sauté with local Vermont organic sweet corn cut off the cob, gorgeous garden fresh scallions and tasty little shrimp from Maine (they were frozen and thawed) taking this dish to the next level and making it a complete meal!

If you love this recipe, this Spicy Shrimp and Cheese Grits with Tomatoes recipe is fabulous as well! It is so fast, delicious and healthy.

shrimp and corn with cheese grits in a bowl with a spoon and a glass of beer and a bowl of parsley in the background

Key Ingredients For This Shrimp And Corn Grits Recipe

Grits

Grits are made from ground corn and can be made from either yellow or white corn. The grind is coarser than corn meal. They are a traditional Southern dish and can be served for breakfast, as a side dish or an entree with the addition of shrimp or other protein.

Extra-Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Extra-sharp cheddar adds so much flavor to this dish and because it has such a strong flavor profile a little will go a long way and save on fat and calories.

Salsa

Adding salsa is a quick and easy way to add a ton of flavor to the grits. The acidity in the tomatoes pairs perfectly with the slightly sweet grits.

Sweet Corn

Sweet corn is a specific variety of corn and has a higher sugar content than other varieties. It adds a great fresh sweetness and wonderful chewy texture to this dish.

Shrimp

I used small (51-60 shrimp per pound) frozen and thawed wild shrimp from Maine. Frozen wild shrimp is a great option and is usually very easy to find. Shrimp and grits are a very popular combination because their flavor profiles pair perfectly.

Other Ingredients For This Recipe

  • 2 2/3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced, ¼ cup sliced greens separated
  • 1/3 cup salsa
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro
  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • pinch ground chipotle or cayenne pepper
  • 1 small tomato, diced
shrimp and corn with cheese grits in a bowl with a spoon and a glass of beer in front and another glass of beer and a bowl of parsley in the background

Step By Step Instructions For Shrimp And Corn Grits

Step 1: Prepare the cheese grits.

Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Gradually sprinkle in grits and ½ teaspoon salt, return to a simmer, stirring often. Cover, reduce heat to low or to maintain a gentle simmer, and cook stirring occasionally until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in ¼ cup sliced scallion greens, cheese, salsa and cilantro.

Step 2: Prepare the shrimp and corn.

Meanwhile, prepare shrimp and corn: Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add corn, the remaining scallions, chipotle or cayenne and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally until the corn is piping hot all the way through and the scallions are wilted, about 5 minutes. Stir in shrimp and cook, stirring often until the shrimp are opaque and just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in tomatoes.

Step 3: Serve.

Serve the grits with the shrimp and corn.

FAQs and Expert Tips

What goes well with shrimp and grits?

You can serve them with a simple green salad, sauteed greens, or cornbread.

Are grits the same as corn meal?

Both grits and corn meal are made from ground corn, but grits are a much coarser grind.

Can you reheat leftover grits?

Yes, add them to a pot over low heat and gradually add water until you get the consistency you want. Do not heat them for more than 2-3 minutes to avoid burning them.

Additional Shrimp Recipes To Try:

This recipe for gluten-free sweet potato noodles topped with shrimp, cilantro pesto and peas is a clean eating weeknight meal ready in under 45 minutes!

This Mexican jicama shrimp salad with jicama, avocado and grapefruit is the perfect light meal and the left-overs will make a stellar healthy lunch too! 

This recipe is an easy, healthy 20-minute entrée: Shrimp in Garlic Lemon Sauce.

Nothing says summer like these Shrimp Kabobs

This Sheet Pan Shrimp and Sausage Dinner recipe is a super simple one pan meal perfect for weeknight dinners. 

Thanks so much for reading. If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my free weekly email newsletter where I share weeknight meal plans delivered right to your inbox. Or follow me on Instagram. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It is very appreciated. Happy Cooking! ~Katie

Print
shrimp and corn grits

Shrimp And Corn With Cheese Grits

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: entree
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These Shrimp and Corn Grits are full of flavor with the addition of salsa and extra sharp cheddar. And you can have them on the table in under 40 minutes, which makes them a great weeknight meal!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 2/3 cups water
  • 2/3 cup grits, such as arrowhead mills organic yellow grits
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced, ¼ cup sliced greens separated
  • ¾ cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese, 3 ounces
  • 1/3 cup salsa
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro
  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kernels from 6 ears sweet corn, about 4 cups
  • pinch ground chipotle or cayenne pepper
  • 12 ounces small peeled and de-veined shrimp, such as frozen thawed wild Maine
  • 1 small tomato, diced

Instructions

  1. Prepare cheese grits: Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Gradually sprinkle in grits and ½ teaspoon salt, return to a simmer, stirring often. Cover, reduce heat to low or to maintain a gentle simmer, and cook stirring occasionally until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in ¼ cup sliced scallion greens, cheese, salsa and cilantro.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare shrimp and corn: Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add corn, the remaining scallions, chipotle or cayenne and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally until the corn is piping hot all the way through and the scallions are wilted, about 5 minutes. Stir in shrimp and cook, stirring often until the shrimp are opaque and just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in tomatoes.
  3. Serve the grits with the shrimp and corn.

Notes

How to reheat leftover grits:

Add them to a pot over low heat and gradually add water until you get the consistency you want. Do not heat for more than 2-3 minutes to avoid burning them.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 3/4 cup grits and 1 1/2 cups shrimp and corn
  • Calories: 313
  • Fat: 9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 43 g
  • Protein: 20 g