You don’t have to be in New Orleans to enjoy part of The Big Easy when you have a bowl full of this Easy Cajun Shrimp and Grits. This recipe is super flavorful, gluten-free and on the table in 40 minutes, making it perfect for any night of the week.
With Mardis Gras coming to a celebratory end next week on Fat Tuesday, I’ve been thinking about some of my favorite Cajun and Creole recipes. The classic – shrimp and grits – never disappoints and is so easy to whip up. Not only is it a delicious way to get into the Mardis Gras spirit, it’s a recipe you’ll want on repeat throughout the year.
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How to Make Easy Cajun Shrimp and Grits
You need just one heavy, large skillet to turn this Cajun Shrimp and Grits recipe into reality. The first ingredient that hits the pan adds so much flavor and is none other than bacon. I used an applewood smoked, thick-cut bacon but you can use whatever you like. The fat that’s rendered from the bacon is used to sear the Cajun-seasoned shrimp. I added paprika, too, for more flavor and color.
After you have beautifully bright and plump shrimp, shallots, bell pepper, green onion and lots of garlic get their turn in the skillet. Once caramelized and fragrant, a couple splashes of dry white wine deglazes the bottom to pick up more flavor. The bacon and shrimp go back in the skillet to warm up and nestle in with the veggies.
Now, when it comes to the grits you can use white or yellow, quick or regular, or even instant if you’re in a hurry. I used regular white grits which have a milder taste than yellow, and when they were thick and creamy I added two cups of smoked jack cheese for some ooey gooey deliciousness.
When ready pull out some shallow bowls, divide up the grits and top with the Cajun Shrimp. The grits soften the spice of the shrimp and makes for another of those culinary matches made in heaven. Hope you enjoy and cheers to Mardis Gras!!
Mardis Gras Party Food
Check out these mouthwatering recipes to round out your Mardis Gras Party menu and bring a little Bourbon Street right into your home!😉
- Slow Cooker Shrimp Jambalaya
- Crab and Avocado Remoulade
- Seared Shrimp Po’ Boys with Creole Slaw
- Creole Rice and Beans by Kitchen Confession
- Chicken Andouille Sausage Gumbo by Jessica Gavin
- Crawfish Etouffee by Emeril Lagasse
- Mardis Gras King Cake by Tori Avey
- Hurricane Cocktail by Delish.com
More Shrimp Recipes
If you love shrimp as much as we do, here are more tasty ideas!
- Tequila Lime Shrimp Tacos with Pineapple Poblano Salsa
- Paella Stuffed Zucchini with Shrimp and Chorizo
- Lobster and Shrimp Mac and Cheese
- Linguine with Shrimp and Arugula
- Grilled Shrimp Garden Salad with Sesame Lime Dressing
- Prosciutto Wrapped Marsala Glazed Shrimp
- Grilled Shrimp and Chicken Skewers with Honey Sesame Glaze
- Shrimp Risotto with Spinach and Corn
Easy Cajun Shrimp and Grits
- Cast iron skillet
- 1 ½ pounds large shrimp (21-25 count), peeled and deveined
- 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 6 ounces thick bacon slices, chopped
- ¾ cup red bell pepper, diced
- ½ cup shallots, diced
- 1 lemon, halved
- ¾ cup green onions, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped, plus extra for garnish
- Salt and pepper
- 6 cups water
- 1 ½ cups white grits
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups smoked jack or creamy jack cheese
- Salt and pepper
- Pat shrimp dry and place in a medium bowl. Sprinkle shrimp with Cajun seasoning and paprika; toss to coat. Set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté bacon until brown and crisp, about 7 minutes.
- Transfer bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Pour all but 1 tablespoon of bacon fat into a mug or ramekin.
- Sauté shrimp in 2 batches, cooking about 1 ½ minutes per side. Add more bacon fat if needed for second batch. Keep shrimp in a clean bowl or plate tented with foil to stay warm.
- Add bell pepper, shallots, and lemon halves cut side down to skillet. Season pepper and shallots with salt and pepper. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Remove lemon halves from skillet and add ½ cup green onion and garlic. Cook 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
- Pour wine into skillet to deglaze the pan and scrape up brownings with a wooden spoon. Cook 2 minutes.
- Stir the bacon and shrimp into the vegetable mixture and let heat through for a minute or two. Remove skillet from heat and squeeze in juice from seared lemon halves.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle remaining green onion slices on top and garnish with extra parsley.
- Serve hot over cooked grits. Enjoy!
- Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan.
- Slowly stir the grits and salt into the boiling water.
- Reduce heat to low, cover saucepan, and cook 15-20 minutes until thickened, stirring occasionally.
- Remove pan from heat and stir in butter 1 tablespoon at a time.
- Stir in cheese 1 cup at a time until melted and smooth.
- Serve grits in shallow bowls topped with Cajun Shrimp.
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