This Spicy Shrimp and Cheese Grits with Tomatoes recipe is fast, delicious and healthy. The shrimp are sauced in spicy tomatoes with garlic and spooned over creamy cheesy grits. The best part is, it’s ready in 17 minutes flat!

Spicy Shrimp and Cheese Grits in a bowl on a orange linen with a fork in the bowl

Why We Love This Recipe For Tomato Shrimp And Grits

The combo of shrimp and grits is a classic for a reason. They just go together so well. The taste of the sweet toasty grits and the roast-y sear of sweet shrimp is a match made in heaven. There are many different ways to prepare shrimp and grits, sometimes they’re saucy, sometimes they’re simple, sometimes they’re barbecued. This version is super fast, easy and healthy and ready in under 20 minutes making it a great weeknight meal option!

Shrimp is a great way to get dinner on the table in a flash because it cooks so quickly. Don’t miss this Shrimp in Garlic Lemon Sauce. It comes together in minutes and goes great with pasta topped with parsley. These Shrimp and Corn Grits are full of flavor with the addition of salsa and extra sharp cheddar and ready in under 40 minutes. And definitely don’t miss these 18 Healthy Shrimp Recipes!

I am so exited for you to try it! It is totally on the Best of Healthy Seasonal Recipes. And once you’ve devoured this recipe make sure and check out this super yummy fan favorite Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore.

Two bowls of Spicy Shrimp and Cheese Grits on a blue surface next to a bottle of hot sauce and a bowl of grits on a cutting board with parsely

Key Ingredients For Tomato Shrimp and Grits

Corn Grits

Corn meal is made from dried and ground corn. Grits are similar, but they are usually made from hominy and are a courser grind. Hominy comes from yellow or white maize, also known as field corn and once dried the kernels are soaked in an alkali solution of lye or slaked lime which removes the hull and germ. This process makes the corn easier to grind and cook. Grits have a mild flavor that creates a great base for many other more dominant flavors.

Pepper Jack Cheese and Half & Half

I used pepper jack cheese to add a little kick and add to the creamy texture, and a couple tablespoons of half and half to make them a little richer tasting. The creamy dairy in the grits contrasts beautifully with the bright acidity of the tomatoes and the sweet shrimp.

Shrimp

Shrimp are slightly sweet and salty. Their firm texture plays well with the creaminess of the grits. They are high in protein, but low in calories, carbs and fat.

Diced Tomatoes and Tomato Paste

Tomatoes are a little sweet, but also tangy and acidic. The tomato paste is just a concentrated version of that flavor profile and adds a nice body to the sauce. The tomatoes complement the sweetness of the shrimp.

Hot Sauce

As with most spicy recipes, I create here, I like to leave the level of heat up to you. I can handle a lot of heat, but I tend to err on the side of mellow so that my whole family can enjoy it. I really love the Goya hot sauce. I love that it adds a bit of tang from the vinegar in it. It is really similar to Frank’s if you happen to have that in your fridge. Cholula would also work well.

If you’re using Tabasco brand, just go easy and add more to taste, as that is more concentrated than these other more vinegary hot sauces. I added more hot sauce on top of mine to give it more kick! Yehaw!

Other Ingredients For This Recipe

  • 3 cups chicken broth, vegetable broth or water
  • pinch garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish, optional
Two bowls of Spicy Shrimp and Cheese Grits on a blue surface next to a bottle of hot sauce

Step By Step Instructions For Tomato-Based Shrimp And Grits

Step 1: Prepare the grits.

Bring broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan over high heat. Gradually whisk in corn grits. Bring to a simmer, whisking often. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer stirring with a silicone spatula until the mixture is very thick, 4 to 6 minutes.

Step 2: Add the cheese, half and half and seasoning.

Remove from the heat and stir in Pepper jack cheese until melted. Add half and half, garlic powder and ½ teaspoon salt. Cover and keep warm.

Step 3: Cook the shrimp.

Meanwhile, heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add shrimp in a single layer, and cook, undisturbed until seared and bright pink on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Turn shrimp over and let cook on the other side until the shrimp is just cooked through, about 2 minutes longer. Remove shrimp to a plate and cover with foil.

Step 4: Make the sauce and add the shrimp.

Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the skillet, and reduce heat to medium-low. Add garlic and cook, stirring until the garlic is fragrant. Immediately add diced tomatoes, and cook, scraping up browned bits from the skillet until the mixture simmers. Stir in tomato paste, hot sauce and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt until the tomato paste is no longer clumpy. Stir in the cooked shrimp and any accumulated juices from the plate. Heat shrimp through and remove from the heat.

Step 5: Garnish and serve.

Serve the grits hot with the shrimp and tomato sauce on top. Garnish with parsley if desired.

Two bowls of Spicy Shrimp and Cheese Grits on a blue surface with a linen and a fork

FAQ’s and Expert Tips

What goes well with shrimp and grits?

A simple asparagus dish like Roasted Asparagus or Grilled Asparagus would be great. Or sautéed greens like Sautéed kale with apple cider vinegar or Simple Sautéed Chard are a great choices. These Simple Skillet Green Beans or Green Beans and Corn would also be awesome.

What is the difference between polenta and grits?

Grits and polenta are both made from ground corn. Polenta is made from yellow corn and grits are normally made from white corn.

Are corn meal and grits the same?

Corn meal can be made from many types of corn and comes including white, yellow, red and blue. Grits can look similar to coarse corn meal, but are traditionally made from hominy instead of just dried corn.

More Of Our Favorite Shrimp Recipes

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

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Spicy Shrimp and Cheese Grits with Tomato | Gluten Free | Entree | 20 minutes or less | Healthy Seasonal Recipes | Katie Webster

Spicy Shrimp And Cheese Grits With Tomato

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Prep Time: 17 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 17 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These Spicy Shrimp and Cheese Grits with Tomatoes are a fast, delicious and healthy weeknight dinner. The shrimp are sauced in spicy tomatoes with garlic and spooned over creamy cheesy grits. It’s naturally gluten-free and ready in 17 minutes flat!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 3 cups chicken broth, vegetable broth or water
  • 1 cup Corn Grits
  • 1 cup shredded Pepper jack cheese
  • 2 tablespoons half and half
  • pinch garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 8 ounces peeled and deveined raw shrimp, tails removed if desired (4150 ct)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, preferably fire roasted
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce, such as Goya or Franks, or to taste
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish, optional

Instructions

  1. Bring broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan over high heat. Gradually whisk in corn grits. Bring to a simmer, whisking often. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer stirring with a silicone spatula until the mixture is very thick, 4 to 6 minutes.
  2. Remove from the heat and stir in Pepper jack cheese until melted. Add half and half, garlic powder and ½ teaspoon salt. Cover and keep warm.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add shrimp in a single layer, and cook, undisturbed until seared and bright pink on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Turn shrimp over and let cook on the other side until the shrimp is just cooked through, about 2 minutes longer. Remove shrimp to a plate and cover with foil.
  4. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the skillet, and reduce heat to medium-low. Add garlic and cook, stirring until the garlic is fragrant. Immediately add diced tomatoes, and cook, scraping up browned bits from the skillet until the mixture simmers. Stir in tomato paste, hot sauce and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt until the tomato paste is no longer clumpy. Stir in the cooked shrimp and any accumulated juices from the plate. Heat shrimp through and remove from the heat.
  5. Serve the grits hot with the shrimp and tomato sauce on top. Garnish with parsley if desired.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/4th batch
  • Calories: 412
  • Sugar: 4 g
  • Sodium: 1180 mg
  • Fat: 23 g
  • Saturated Fat: 11 g
  • Carbohydrates: 16 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 32 g