Cousin Rosie’s shrimp and grits with gravy is quick and easy! Creamy, cheesy grits are topped with succulent shrimp and a homemade white gravy seasoned to perfection.
Cousin Rosie is comin’ in hot with another quick and easy creamy grits recipe! This time, we’re making the ultimate Southern classic—shrimp and grits with gravy! I absolutely love this dish! It’s not made the traditional way–it’s definitely my own spin on a classic. My recipe is easy to follow, and you can serve it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!
Rosie’s Spin on Lowcountry Shrimp and Grits
Now, any Southern cook worth their weight in greens knows that Lowcountry shrimp and grits are a staple of the South. This classic Southern dish has creamy grits and savory additions like andouille sausage, tender shrimp, Cajun and Creole seasoning, and a rich brown gravy.
In the Cousin Rosie version, we keep a lot of that flavor by using juicy, perfectly seasoned shrimp, but swap out the classic brown gravy for a simple homemade white gravy. As a Southern girl at heart, it’s one of my favorite things to enjoy when I’m craving that down-home cooking.
So, enough blabbering! Let’s talk about what y’all need to make this tasty version of shrimp and grits.
Ingredients for Easy Shrimp and Grits with Gravy
When I tell y’all that the ingredients for this savory shrimp and grits recipe are simple, I ain’t lyin’! Y’all know I love simple ingredients, simple recipes – so below are the main ingredients you need! Check out the recipe card for the complete ingredient list and recipe directions.
- Shrimp: I use white tail shrimp that are shelled and deveined for ease, and I prefer using raw shrimp, so I don’t risk overcooking.
- Bacon: not only the perfect savory topping, but the bacon grease is key!
- Water & Heavy Cream: this mixture makes the creamiest grits, no questions asked.
- Grits: you can use any type of grits you want, but I prefer quick-cooking grits.
- Seasonings: we aren’t lacking in flavor in this recipe! I use salt, black pepper, Old Bay Seasoning, and red pepper flakes for savory shrimp and grits.
- Cheddar Cheese: shredded cheddar cheese makes the creamy grits perfectly cheesy, which pairs perfectly with the delicious flavors.
Shrimp and Grits Ingredient Substitutions and Variations
There are a ton of different ways to spice up a shrimp and grits recipe, and just about every Southern cook has a favorite way to prepare their grits. Here are some tasty ingredient substitutions and variations that might help inspire you to make shrimp and grits your own way!
- Explore the different types of grits. From instant grits to stone-ground grits, there are a variety of grits available at the grocery store. Instant grits are precooked and dehydrated; quick grits are the most finely ground type, making them the fastest cooking. Stone-ground grits are the most authentic. I prefer Quaker’s Quick Grits cause they’re reliable and always turn out great.
- Kick up the spices with a zesty Cajun seasoning, red pepper flakes, or cayenne pepper for heat.
- Swap out the water for chicken broth or stock for more flavor.
- Heavy cream is key for the creamy texture but can be swapped out for whole milk if you don’t have heavy cream on hand. Want cream-free grits? Try my recipe for classic grits with no milk!
- You can use either salted or unsalted butter in my recipe. If you’re watching your salt intake, go for unsalted (or try margarine)!
- Go wild on the toppings. Creamy shrimp pair perfectly with flavorful toppings like green onions, herbs like fresh thyme or parsley, a drizzle of Worcestershire sauce, or hot sauce.
- Don’t love regular bacon? Use turkey bacon! (You will need olive or another oil to make the gravy.)
How to Make Creamy Shrimp and Grits with Gravy
Are y’all ready to learn how to make this Southern Classic? It couldn’t be easier! If you’ve never cooked grits before, don’t fret—they’re simple to whip together and hard to mess up. You’ll need a medium saucepan to mix the grits and a large skillet for the gravy and shrimp.
Your first step is making the creamy, cheesy grits:
- Combine water, heavy cream, and butter in a pot on the stove over medium-high heat.
- Once the butter is melted, sprinkle in the grits. Make sure you’re whisking constantly so you don’t end up with clumpy grits!
- Turn the heat down to medium and stir the grits until they thicken. Once they’re to your desired thickness, toss in the shredded cheese and stir until combined.
Next, make the shrimp and grits gravy:
- In a large skillet, cook the diced-up bacon until it’s crispy. Remove the cooked bacon from the pan, but leave that bacon fat!
- Next, sprinkle in some diced onion and let them for about two minutes. At that point, you can leave them in the pan or remove them. I keep them in the pan to flavor my gravy.
- Next, sprinkle in the all-purpose flour, stirring until combined. Add the cream and water into the skillet and stir until creamy and combined.
Finally, let’s cook the shrimp:
- Season the raw shrimp with Old Bay seasoning and red pepper flakes, making sure they’re well-coated.
- Toss the shrimp into the skillet with the gravy—we’re cooking the shrimp right in that creamy white sauce! Cook the shrimp until they turn pink. It will only take about 2-4 minutes at most to cook your shrimp.
You’ve just made the creamiest grits with savory shrimp and gravy – a true Southern classic! I think shrimp and grits are great for an easy lunch or dinner, although I ain’t ever going to stop y’all from enjoying shrimp and grits for brunch!
Creamy Shrimp and Grits with Gravy and Bacon Video Tutorial
Want to watch me make my take on Lowcountry shrimp and grits? Watch the video below! Be sure to subscribe to I Heart Recipes on YouTube if you want more easy-to-follow Southern and Soul Food recipe videos!
What to Serve with Shrimp and Grits
This quick and easy shrimp and grits recipe is a meal all on its own. You’ve got the filling grits, tender shrimp, and savory sauce. But if you’re achin’ for some Southern sides to pair with the dish, here are some of my go-to suggestions.
- Tasty vegetables like green beans, asparagus, carrots, skillet cabbage, or collard greens go with a bowl of shrimp and grits.
- Cornbread is the perfect starch. Try a classic Southern-style cornbread, spicy jalapeno cornbread, or a tasty cornbread casserole.
- Serve grits with soft dinner rolls or crusty toasted bread.
The next time you’re craving shrimp and grits, try this recipe! A quick and easy shrimp and grits recipe can transport you right into the heart of Southern cooking—from South Carolina to New Orleans; the South is really doing it right!
More Southern Soul Food Recipes to Try
- Southern Smothered Chicken Recipe
- Slow Cooker Smothered Pork Chops and Gravy
- Loaded Cajun Fried Cabbage
- Sheet Pan Shrimp Boil Recipe
- Shrimp & Sausage Creole
- Cajun Crawfish Mac and Cheese
Loved this recipe? Let me know in the comments! Don’t forget to tag and follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, subscribe to I Heart Recipes on YouTube, and check out all my cookbooks! My brand-new Cousin Rosie Holiday Cookbook is available now!
Shrimp and Grits with Gravy Recipe
White Gravy Recipe:
Make the Cheesy Grits:
- In a medium-sized pot, pour 1 cup water and 3/4 cup heavy cream. Now add in the butter or margarine and sprinkle in the salt and black pepper. Place the pot on the stovetop and turn the heat to high. Once the liquid starts to boil, immediately turn the heat down to medium.3/4 cup heavy cream, 1 cup water, 3 tbsp butter or margarine, 1/4 tsp ground black pepper, 1 tsp salt
- Stir the liquid, and gradually sprinkle in the grits. Let the grits cook until they thicken, and be sure to stir occasionally.3/4 cup quick grits
- Once the grits are done, add in the shredded cheese, stir, and turn the heat down to low.2/3 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Make the White Gravy:
- Place a skillet on the stovetop, and add in the bacon. Cook the bacon until it's crisp and the fat is rendered. Remove the crisp bacon from the skillet but leave the fat. Sprinkle in the onions and let them cook for 2 minutes on medium heat. Remove the onions OR leave them in the pan.1 tbsp diced yellow onion, 1/4 lb bacon, reserved bacon grease
- Next, sprinkle in the all purpose flour, and stir. Let cook for 3 minutes.2 tbsp all purpose flour
- Pour 1/4 cup heavy cream and 1/4 cup water along with the flour and bacon fat. Mix until it’s creamy then toss is the shrimp.1/4 cup heavy cream, 1/4 cup water
Cook the Shrimp:
- Season the shrimp with the old bay seasoning and red pepper flakes.1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning, 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, 1 lb white tail shrimp
- Cook the shrimp in the white gravy for 2-4 minutes (the heat should still be on medium).
- Place the grits in a bowl, then add the shrimp on top with a little of the white gravy. Sprinkle the crisp bacon on top of the shrimp (and parsley flakes if you choose), and serve!