This Spicy Shrimp and Cheese Grits with Tomatoes recipe is the best! It is so fast, delicious and healthy. I could barely wait to share it with you. 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!
DISCLOSURE: I created this Spicy Shrimp and Cheese Grits with Tomatoes recipe for the dairy farm families of New England as part of an ongoing partnership. I was compensated for this post and all opinions are my own.
You know that feeling when you know that something really exciting is about to happen? Well that’s the feeling I’m having as I am about to hit publish on this Spicy Shrimp and Cheese Grits with Tomatoes recipe you guys! I have been dying to share it since I know you’re going to love it as much as I do.
When I was in magazine publishing, I never really got used to working so far in advance, 3, 6 even 9 months in advance, for styling, testing and developing. Imagine preparing Thanksgiving dinner in the middle of August heat. It’s not ideal. Not to mention the inability to get ingredients in season.
Here on the blog it is so much more mellow. I work much closer to real time. That said, so that I can stay organized and sane I keep a rolling editorial calendar planned out a couple months ahead. I usually work on my hypothesis drafts of recipes starting up to a month in advance and sometimes more than that. So sometimes by the time the recipe is ready for launch day, I am mentally two weeks in the future working on another recipe all together.
Some times the anticipation of a recipe particularly gets to me. Like I know I have a big winner that you guys are going to love as much as I do. It happened with this Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore big time. And it happened again with this Spicy Shrimp and Cheese Grits with Tomatoes recipe.
Guys, it felt like an eternity to wait for the publish date. I am so exited for you to try it! It is totally on the Best of Healthy Seasonal Recipes. No question!
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 roasty sear of sweet shrimp is a match made in heaven. There are all different variations of 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!
I used a ton of garlic and the simplicity of canned diced tomatoes to sauce up the shrimp. They’re spooned over creamy cheesy grits. I used pepper jack cheese to add a little kick, 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.
I tested this with crushed pepper at first, but I ended up changing the recipe to use hot sauce. Not only is that more authentic, I find it is easier to tell how hot you’re making the sauce. Red pepper flake can have that creeper effect and wind up making things too spicy before you know it. And then there’s no going back!
So 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!
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!
- 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 (41-50 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Serve the grits hot with the shrimp and tomato sauce on top. Garnish with parsley if desired.