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black folks shrimp and grits on a plate with bacon
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5 from 1 vote

Black Folks Shrimp and Grits

This Black Folks Shrimp and Grits recipe is made with fluffy, creamy stone ground grits and served with Southern Creole seasoned gravy. Pair this soul food staple with any of your favorite seafood or shellfish.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 405kcal
Author Brandi Crawford



  • 2 ¼ cup chicken broth You can also substitute water. See notes.
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup stone ground grits
  • 1 cup milk Any milk will work. See notes.
  • 1/2 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan reggiano cheese

Shrimp and Sauce/Gravy

  • 1 pound raw shrimp Peeled and deveined.
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 slices bacon Diced into small pieces 1/4inch thick.
  • 1/2 cup chopped white onions
  • 3 garlic cloves Minced
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon Creole Seasoning Start with ¼ teaspoon. Taste repeatedly and adjust to taste as needed.
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice



  • In a large pot combine the broth, butter, and salt. Bring to a boil.
  • Gradually stir in the grits. Lower the heat to Low and continue to stir the grits frequently for 15-20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Stirring is essential. If you don’t constantly stir the grits they will be lumpy.
  • Once the liquid has been absorbed, remove the pot from heat and add the milk and shredded cheese. Stir until thick and creamy.
  • Allow the grits to thicken for at least 10 minutes.

Shrimp and Sauce/Gravy

  • Heat a skillet on medium-high heat and fry the bacon on both sides until crisp. Remove the bacon and set aside.
  • Reserve the bacon grease in the skillet to make the gravy. Use your judgment and drain any excess grease if you feel the need to.
  • Add the shrimp to the pan with the bacon grease on medium heat. Season the shrimp with the Old Bay Seasoning. Cook both sides of the shrimp for 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove the shrimp and set aside.
  • Add the chopped onions and garlic to the skillet on medium heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes until translucent and fragrant.
  • Add the broth to the skillet. Deglaze the pan by using a wooden spoon or spatula to scoop up any brown bits in the pan.
  • Add in the Creole seasoning and lemon juice. Stir. Crumble the bacon and sprinkle it into the skillet. See notes for how to thicken the gravy if you like it thick.
  • Serve on plates or in bowls. Add the grits topped with shrimp. Drizzle gravy and bacon throughout.



  • If you use Instant Grits or Quick Grits refer to your packaging for instructions on how to cook them.
  • You can substitute bacon for turkey bacon, sausage, turkey sausage, etc. The bacon is used in the recipe for additional flavor. You can also simply omit it if you wish.
  • I love to cook grits in broth because it gives them a rich flavor. You can use water if you prefer.
  • The thicker the milk you use, the creamier your grits will be. Keep this in mind if you plan to use low-fat skim milk or plant-based milk.
  • Feel free to substitute any cheese you like.
  • If you like a thick gravy you can combine 1 tablespoon of water along with 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour in a bowl. Mix well and add it to the gravy. Stir continuously until thick. Since the grits are already thick, the dish is often served with a thin sauce. If you like it thick, this will thicken it up.
  • If your shrimp is dry, rubbery, or mushy, you cooked it too long.  The key is to remove them from the heat right when the flesh is uniformly pink. Watch shrimp closely as it cooks, do not wander away, especially if you are cooking it in a pan and searing it on the stove.
  • If you find your grits are runny you can drain any excess water/broth to help with thickening.
  •  If your grits are lumpy it’s because they weren’t whisked and stirred often enough.
  • You can make full proof grits using an Instant Pot or pressure cooker. Cook for 10 minutes with 15 minutes of release of natural steam.


Calories: 405kcal