Blackened Shrimp and Grits

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The grits in this Blackened Shrimp and Grits recipe is creamy and cheesy, a delicious dinner for any night of the week.

Blackened Shrimp and Cheesy Grits
Blackened Shrimp and Cheesy Grits

I just got back from a girls trip to Anna Maria Islands in Florida, and I ate my weight in blackened fish tacos and all the seafood I could get my hands on. Blackened shrimp and grits were popular there, and after tasting my friend’s dish in one of our stops, which came with the cheesiest, creamiest grits, I knew I had to recreate them, only a bit lighter. Not to worry, these don’t taste light, they came out great! More favorite shrimp recipes you might like is this zesty lime and avocado shrimp salad, shrimp scampi tacos and this easy shrimp pasta dish with asparagus.

Blackened Shrimp and Cheesy Grits

A few weeks ago, I went to the Florida Keys and shared this Blackened Fish recipe, so I modified that recipe using the blackened spice mix for my shrimp and modified my grits from my original cookbook by using sharp cheddar. I loved how it turned out!

What does blackened seasoning taste like?

Blackened seasoning is savory with a bit of a kick. There’s something so good about how dried oregano and thyme combine with cayenne, paprika, and garlic powder to flavor the shrimp. It’s a true taste of the Gulf Coast and one I can’t get enough of. You can adjust to heat to your liking, I make it on the milder side for my family.

How to Make Blackened Shrimp and Grits

This healthy shrimp and grits recipe takes about 30 minutes to cook. While the grits are simmering, you can make the shrimp.

  • Season the shrimp: Combine the blackened spices, spritz the shrimp with oil, and coat with the spice mixture.
  • Cook the grits: Bring two cups of chicken broth, milk, water, and salt to a boil. Slowly stir in the grits and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to lower, cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the butter, cheddar cheese, and parmesan.
  • Cook the shrimp: Add the shrimp to a cast-iron skillet on medium-high. Cook for about two minutes on each side until the spices are darkened and aromatic.
  • Make the pan sauce: Remove the shrimp from the pan and some broth or wine to deglaze it. Cook for a minute until it reduces by half, and drizzle over the shrimp and grits.

What to Serve with Blackened Shrimp and Grits

This is extremely filling, but if you want something green to round out your meal, you could serve blackened shrimp and grits with wilted spinach with garlic or green beans.

Blackened ShrimpBlackened Shrimp and GritsBlackened Shrimp and Grits

More Shrimp Recipes You’ll Love:

Blackened Shrimp and Cheesy Grits
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5 from 23 votes
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Blackened Shrimp and Grits

349 Cals 32.5 Protein 35.5 Carbs 8 Fats
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 55 mins
Yield: 4 servings
COURSE: Dinner
CUISINE: American
The grits in this Blackened Shrimp and Grits recipe is creamy and cheesy, inspired by my trip to Florida's Gulf Coast.


  • 2 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 1 1/4 cups fat free milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup quick cooking grits, not instant
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1 1/2 oz sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated, divided
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

For the Shrimp:

  • 1/2 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • olive oil spray
  • 24 Jumbo shrimp, about 1 lb cleaned and deviened
  • 3 tablespoons scallions, sliced
  • lime wedges, for serving


  • In a small bowl, combine the paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, thyme, oregano, salt, black pepper and mix to blend.
  • Spritz the shrimp with oil on both sides and rub all over.
  • Coat the shrimp with the spice mix.
  • In a medium size pot, bring 2 cups of chicken broth, milk, water and salt to a boil, careful it doesn't boil over. Slowly stir in the grits and stir continuously until the grits are well mixed.
  • Bring the pot to a boil, reduce heat to the lowest setting, cover with a fitted lid and simmer for approximately 28 to 30 minutes, stirring after the first 5 minutes then again occasionally to prevent the grits from sticking on the bottom; adding more water if necessary.
  • The grits should have a smooth consistency similar to cream of wheat.
  • Stir in the butter and 1 ounce of the cheddar and the Parmesan cheese, remove the grits from the heat and keep warm.
    cheesy grits
  • Just before the grits are done, heat a large cast-iron skillet with the olive oil over medium-high.
  • Add the shrimp, and cook until the spices are darkened and aromatic, and the shrimp is opaque, about 2 minutes per side.
  • Divide the grits among 4 plates and top with remaining cheddar cheese, then nestle the shrimp on top.
  • Add the remaining 1/2 cup broth to the skillet to deglaze the pan and cook about 1 minute over medium heat until it reduces by half, drizzle over each plate.
  • Garnish the whole dish with the scallions. Serve immediately with lime wedges for serving.


Serving: 6shrimp with 1 cup grits, Calories: 349kcal, Carbohydrates: 35.5g, Protein: 32.5g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 4.5g, Cholesterol: 184mg, Sodium: 694mg, Fiber: 2.5g, Sugar: 5g

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  1. We really liked this and my husband doesn’t normally like shrimp unless it’s fried but he really liked this. Will definitely make again.

  2. Better than what I’ve had in restaurants. One of my favorite Skinnytaste recipes!

  3. Seriously so good and easy. Just what this southern girl needed!!!

  4. Gina, I made this tonight for dinner and omg it was delicious! My husband must have said 5 or 6 times how delicious it was. Can’t wait to make it again. So happy there are leftovers for lunch tomorrow! Thank you for the recipe! 

  5. This is absolutely delicious! Thank you for creating such wonderful, healthy recipes!

  6. Can I leave out the milk and just increase the stock? I assume it maybe a little less creamy but will it have other negative consequences?

  7. This is my favorite Skinnytaste recipe! My family loved it. Easy and delicious. 

  8. Hi, first time cooking grits. My store didn’t have quick cooking grits, it just had quick 5 mins grits. Will this work?

  9. Made this tonight- it was soooooo good!! We loved it and definitely making it again soon

  10. Oh my. This is SO GOOD!!! And easy.

  11. My family went bonkers for this one! Thank you for making healthy, GOOD tasting food. Also I love that you’re posting the macros in and easy to read format. Helps with my macro tracking. 

  12. I made this exactly as written and my husband and I loved it!  Will share with everyone and definitely make this again!
    Thank you!

  13. Made this tonight and it was awesome! The blackened seasoning paired perfectly with the creamy/cheesy grits. Do you have a preferred type of grits you use? I found Bobs Red Mill yellow corn grits, so that’s what I used.

    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe and all of your recipes! I have all of your cookbooks and make your recipes daily! 

  14. This was very good!!! My family loved it! I didn’t have grated cheddar cheese so my sauce could have been better- it was lumpy, but tasted good

    • I modified this recipe quite a bit. I had corn grits. Made them in the instant pot using the liquids and seasoning in the recipe. I got lazy and used Cajun seasoning for the shrimp. Cooked the shrimp as prescribed. 10 minutes in the instant pot with natural release.
      Unbelievable good. You will not be disappointed.

  15. This was absolutely delicious. We love shrimp and grits and admittedly have not made it in a while. Love the blackened shrimp version.

    I did have a question, though, Is there supposed to be olive oil listed in the ingredients? In step #8 it says to “heat a large cast iron skillet with the olive oil over medium high heat.” Or were we to use more spray oil? I used about 1/2T as I only cooked half the shrimp.

  16. I made it and it was delicious!!! 😋 I love so many of your recipes and share them with friends all of the time. Thanks so much for all you do! 😍

  17. Delicious. I made this tonight and it is a great meal. Quick, easy and great flavor.

  18. This absolutely delicious. Thank you for a great Lenten Friday dinner. 

  19. This was so good and will be a new favorite. I halved the recipe but ate all the shrimp (so yummy) and saved the other half of the grits for lunch. 

  20. The recipe calls for 1.5 oz of cheddar divided. I see where you use 1 oz but not the remaining .5 oz. I have read it a few times. Is my brain just missing it?

    • #10 Divide the grits among 4 plates and top with remaining cheddar cheese, then nestle the shrimp on top. 🙂 Hope you enjoy!

  21. This was a fantastic and easy meal!

  22. Made this for a quick dinner tonight. So gooood!!

  23. The blacken shrimp are great on the grill , 2-3 minutes on each side. Other than that I followed the recipe as written. Grilling over charcoal gives an extra depth of flavor.

  24. I LOVE Anna Maria Island!!!! We’re going there next week! LOVE your blog Gina! Can’t wait to try this!

  25. Can you use Polenta instead of grits. Someone earlier had asked and I dont see a response. I have polenta too I would like to use.

  26. Hi,

    The timing of this recipe is perfect; I was looking up Shrimp and grits recipes all last week.
    Question: can I use polenta instead of grits. I know they are similar, but wasn’t sure if the substitution was acceptable. I have a bag of polenta that I’d rather not waste if it can be used in this recipe.
    Thank you for all the wonderful and healthier recipes.

  27. When you write medium pot, what quart pot might that be?
    When you write 1 1/2 Oz of cheese, what cup size might that be?
    Recipe looks yummy. 

  28. I live in Bradenton and head to AMI for the sun and fun (and food!) too. I’m glad things worked out well for you. Sometimes restaurants can be hit or miss , post-Covid. You should have tried The Tide Tables restaurant for the best grouper ever. My personal fav!

  29. Do you think this would still be tasty with the cayenne? My husband cannot handle heat at all.

  30. This is exactly the inspiration I needed today Gina! And Glad you enjoyed FLA time!

  31. Made this last night. It was fabulous. Thank you for all your recipes!

  32. Should the shrimp be thawed if using frozen shrip?

  33. I don’t know how you did this. I love your recipes and use your meal plans a lot. Every other Weds my husband has a commitment and I am on my own for dinner. He is pretty easy to feed but there are some things he doesn’t care for. Last weekend I asked what he thought about shrimp and grits and learned that this would be a good thing to make when he is not here, tonight. I looked at your page after work today and here is this recipe! Looking forward to it.