A Modified Version of Shrimp and Grits

As you may, or may not know, I looooooooove shrimp and grits! While my earlier recipe on here is one of my all-time favorites, this one is simply delicious. I was watching The Chew on Friday, and Carla Hall made a dish called “Swamp Thing”, which was her healthier version of shrimp and grits. Once I saw it was loaded with vegetables, I was sold, and knew I had to try it, which I did later that day with a few small modifications. This recipe does take a little effort, as the grits need to be made about an hour beforehand, and there’s a decent amount of veggie chopping, but trust me when I say, it’s worth it! Thanks Carla!!!



  • 1 cup Quick Grits
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup Half & Half (or milk)
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese (optional)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • Olive oil (for frying grits)

Shrimp Stew

  • 1/2 pound shrimp (peeled and deveined)
  • 3 cloves garlic (thinly sliced)
  • 1/2 onion (medium diced)
  • 1 large carrot (medium diced)
  • 1/4 cup corn
  • Half of a 14.5-ounce can whole plum tomatoes (crushed)
  • 2 cups collard greens (ribboned*)
  • 1 cup sweet potatoes (peeled and diced, or canned)
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 parsnip (peeled and diced)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 1 quart (4 cups) chicken stock/broth
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil plus more for pan
  • salt and pepper to taste



  1. In a medium saucepan, bring water, Half & Half, and corn to a boil.
  2. Slowly whisk in grits, avoiding lumps and cook according to package directions.
  3. Once cooked, whisk in butter and cheese (if using).
  4. Pour into greased baking dish, allow to cool, then place in refrigerator for an hour.
  5. At this point, you can start on the stew if you want & come back to step 6.
  6. Remove grits from fridge and cut into 3 inch squares (or desired size).
  7. Heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat with olive oil.  Fry grits in hot oil until golden on all sides. Remove from pan.

Shrimp Stew

  1. In a heavy bottomed pot, over high heat, add olive oil. Toss in the onions and garlic and cook for about 3 minutes.
  2. Toss in all the other vegetables except for the collard greens and crushed tomatoes, and add olive oil if it seems dry. Coat all the vegetables in oil and continue to cook over high heat, just slightly browning everything.
  3. Sprinkle flour over the vegetables and stir. Deglaze with the chicken stock. Add the collard greens, thyme, bay leaf and cayenne, and stir.
  4. Add in the tomatoes and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are cooked through, about 25 minutes.
  6. Right before serving, toss in the shrimp and simmer for 2-3 minutes, or until the shrimp is just cooked through.
  7. Plate in a soup bowl on top of fried grits.  Season to taste.  Serve immediately.

* To ribbon the collard greens, take some leaves, place them on top of each other, roll them up long-way, and cut small pieces off of the ends. This will form long, thin pieces known as ribbons.

Note: If you don’t do shrimp/shellfish, you can definitely leave it out. Also, feel free to substitute vegetable broth in place of chicken broth. 

Top ↑

Shrimp and Grits

This has quickly become one of my favorite southern dishes, as the combination of flavors mesh so amazingly well together. It is pure southern comfort on a plate! If you like shrimp, you will thoroughly enjoy this!

Pictured here with the addition of scallops


  • 2 bacon slices
  • 1 pound peeled, deveined, medium-size shrimp
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 2 tsp canola or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp hot sauce
  • Cheese Grits


  1. Cook bacon in a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat for 10 minutes or until crisp.
  2. Remove bacon, and drain on paper towels, reserving 1 tsp. drippings in skillet.
  3. Crumble bacon into small pieces and set aside.
  4. Sprinkle shrimp with salt & pepper; dredge through flour.
  5. Sauté mushrooms in hot drippings with oil in skillet for 5 minutes or until tender.
  6. Add green onions, and sauté for 2 minutes.
  7. Add shrimp and garlic, sauté for 2 minutes or until shrimp are lightly browned.
  8. Stir in chicken broth, lemon juice and hot sauce. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until broth is thickened a bit, stirring to loosen particles on bottom of skillet.
  9. Spoon shrimp mixture over hot Cheese Grits & sprinkle with crumbled bacon pieces.

Recipe adapted from Bill Smith, Executive Chef at Crook’s Corner, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Creamy Cheese Grits

If you’re from the South, then you know ALL about grits. If you’re not familiar with them, they are a staple in every Southerner’s kitchen and can be found on practically every restaurant menu in the Southern states. They mainly consist of hominy (dried maize kernels which have been treated with an alkali) and are similar to polenta. Grits can be served hot or cold and as a base for a multitude of dishes from breakfast to dessert, depending on the additives. Shrimp with grits is a very common dish on the east or Gulf coast. It is also common for people from above the Mason-Dixon line to have sugar with their grits. So, now that you got the low-down on grits, I suggest you try out this recipe and enjoy a good ol’ Southern dish.


  • 1 cup (8 oz.) chicken broth
  • 2 cups low-fat or fat-free milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream (see below for healthier/lighter options)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup uncooked quick-cooking grits
  • 3/4 cup shredded 2% reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp hot sauce
  • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper


  1. Place a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the broth, milk, cream & salt. Slowly whisk in the grits.
  2. When grits begin to bubble, turn heat down to medium low and simmer, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon.
  3. Allow to cook about 10 minutes or until thickened and smooth.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in cheeses, hot sauce & pepper. Thin out with a little extra milk, if desired.

* To make this lighter/reduce calories, you can omit the cream altogether & substitute water or increase the chicken broth or milk. Ratio is 1 cup grits to 4 cups liquid.