Black Folks Southern Shrimp And Grits Recipe

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If you grew up on soul food cooking or grew up in the South, then you already know that grits are a staple in most Southern homes. 

And if you’re looking for a fantastic meal that boasts Southern comfort food with an extreme infusion of soul food flavors…

Then this Black folks Southern shrimp and grits recipe is what you’ve been searching for!

What Is Black Folks Southern Shrimp And Grits?

What is Black folks Southern shrimp and grits?

Southern shrimp and grits is an African-American dish that has all the creamy, saucy, and seafood goodness with the perfect Southern Creole seasoning to keep things interesting. 

It’s served over white corn grits laced with the perfect blend of mascarpone cheese. Followed by a creamy sauce infused with smoked paprika and chili powder, this Southern shrimp delicacy offers a variety of flavors that will leave your tastebuds amazed!

You’ll find this fluffy bed of grits with incredible seafood components and a flavorful sauce full of soul food deliciousness. 

Shrimp and grits is an enticing meal, whether it’s dinner, breakfast, brunch, or any time to eat throughout the day! 

Black Folks Southern Shrimp And Grits

What ethnicity is shrimp and grits?

Asked another way, what nationality is shrimp and grits?

Or Is shrimp and grits an African dish?

Shrimp and grit originated in Africa as a ground maize and shellfish dish. Then the dish migrated with enslaved Africans to Southern plantation kitchens in the American South.

Is shrimp and grits a Southern dish?

Essentially, shrimp and grits is an iconic Southern delicacy with West African influences. This iconic dish combines creamy grits under a delicious savory sauce topped with well-seasoned succulent shrimp. 

It’s an iconic Southern recipe served up all day for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

Is shrimp and grits considered soul food?

Absolutely! Shrimp and grits is a Southern recipe with African influences and one of the best classic soul food recipes!

Is soul food Black culture?

Food is vital in Black culture because it brings people around the table and puts a pause on fast-paced living and the constant oppression of our people. Replacing it with good times, comfort food, happiness, and laughs paired with Black folks’ comfort food recipes, also known as soul food.

What state is known for shrimp and grits?

Louisiana is the state known for its delicious seafood dish, shrimp and grits!

And if you didn’t know – you betta ask somebody!

Black folks shrimp and grits originated in South Carolina like many foods created by enslaved Black people, highlighted in the Netflix soul food docu-series High On The Hog.

Southern shrimp and grits then made its way to Louisiana. It’s a hearty meal easy to make and full of flavor.

Like gumbo, shrimp and grits is one of the most iconic dishes in Louisiana and New Orleans (aka, Nawlins) – The Big Easy.

How do you make Black folks Southern shrimp and grits?

The secret ingredient to Black folks shrimp and grits is the Southern Creole sauce! Typical to soul food and Black folks cooking, the seasonings make each recipe like none other. 

(It’s gotta be the sauce!)

Simply prepare jumbo shrimp, white-corn fluffy grits, and the cream-based, highly seasoned Creole sauce to make this classic dish. 

Use a cast-iron skillet to warm the shrimp and grits smothered in the decadence of the Creole sauce. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and serve right away.

How Do You Make Black Folks Southern Shrimp And Grits?

Kitchen equipment for Black folks’ shrimp and grits

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Black Folks Southern Shrimp And Grits Ingredients

Black folks Southern shrimp and grits recipe

Ingredients for the shrimp

  • 2 pounds of jumbo shrimp (frozen or thawed, peeled and deveined)
  • ½ cup of water 
  • ¼ teaspoon of avocado oil or spray
  • 1 tablespoon of butter, unsalted
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of black pepper
Instant Pot Shrimp And Grits

Ingredients for the grits

  • 1 cup of white corn grits
  • 2 ½ cups of chicken broth 
  • ½ cup of heavy whipping cream (and another ½ a cup on reserve in case it’s needed at the end)
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • ¼ cup of mascarpone cheese
  • 3 strips of crumbled bacon (optional to garnish the dish at the end)
Instant Pot Grits And Mascarpone Cheese

Ingredients for the creamy shrimp and grits sauce

  • 2 cups of heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon of chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper 
  • 1 teaspoon of chicken bouillon, granulated
  • ⅓ cup of fresh parsley, finely chopped 
Shrimp And Grits Creole Sauce

How to make Black folks shrimp and grits

Instructions for the shrimp

  1. Remove the Instant Pot lid and turn on the sauté setting for 5 minutes. (Although you will not use all of this time. I like to have the extra minutes for the time it takes for the sauté to become active.)
  2. With the lid off the pot, heat the water, avocado oil, and butter in the stainless-steel inner pot for up to 1 minute.
  3. Add the shrimp, garlic, salt, and pepper. 
  4. Cancel the sauté setting and close the Instant Pot lid.
  5. Close the Instant Pot lid (make sure the valve is up – in the position for sealing) and pressure cook on high for 1 minute.
  6. When the cooking time is finished, allow a natural pressure release for at least 2 minutes.
  7. To open the Instant Pot lid, move the valve to ‘venting’ and manually release any remaining pressure, if applicable.
  8. Use a colander to drain the liquid from the cooked shrimp and set the shrimp aside to add to the grits later.

To prepare shrimp on the stovetop – Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and sauté the shrimp with the seasoning ingredients for about 4 minutes until they turn pink.

Instructions for the grits

  1. Open the Instant Pot lid and add the chicken broth, grits, salt, and butter to the stainless-steel inner pot.
  2. Close the Instant Pot lid (make sure the valve is up – in the position for sealing) and pressure cook on high for 10 minutes.
  3. When the cooking time is finished, allow a natural pressure release for at least 5 minutes.
  4. To open the Instant Pot lid, move the valve to ‘venting’ and manually release any remaining pressure, if applicable.
  5. Pour in the heavy whipping cream.
  6. Stir the grits to combine the ingredients.
  7. Add the mascarpone cheese and continue stirring.
  8. Remove the stainless-steel inner pot with the grits inside so they don’t dry out.
  9. Cover the Instant Pot stainless steel inner pot with the Instant Pot lid to keep the grits warm while off of the Instant Pot burner.

Pro tip: When it’s time to add the grits to the skillet, you can mix in ¼ – ½ a cup of heavy whipping cream to loosen them.

Instructions for Southern grits on the stovetop 

  1. Bring the chicken broth, whipping cream, salt, and butter to a boil in a large saucepan, then stir in the grits. 
  2. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover, stirring occasionally.
  3. After 5 minutes, fold in the mascarpone cheese.
  4. Remove the saucepan from the heat.
  5. Set the cooked Southern grits aside and cover them to keep warm.
Southern Shrimp And Grits Creole Seasoning

Instructions for the Southern shrimp and grits sauce

  • You may need to transfer the grits to the skillet at this point if you only have one Instant Pot because you will need to use the stainless-steel inner pot for the sauce.
  1. Add the heavy whipping cream, smoked paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and chicken bouillon to the empty Instant Pot stainless steel inner pot. 
  2. Turn on the sauté setting for 10 minutes. (Although you will not use all of this time. I like to have the extra minutes for the time it takes for the sauté to become active.)
  3. Allow the sauté to come to a boil and let boil for about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Cancel the sauté setting and stir in the parsley. 
  5. Remove the shrimp and grits sauce in the stainless-steel inner pot from the Instant Pot burner.

Pro tip: While the sauce is boiling, keep watch of it and occasionally stir to avoid overcooking and burning.

Preparing the sauce on the stovetop – In a medium-sized saucepan, stir together the whipping cream and spices and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes.

Instructions for setting up Black folks’ Southern shrimp and grits

  1. Add the grits to a 10-inch cast-iron skillet.
  2. Optional: you can mix in ¼ – ½ a cup of heavy whipping cream to loosen the grits if needed.
  3. Place the cooked shrimp on the grits.
  4. Then pour the sauce over the shrimp and grits.
  5. Heat the skillet with the shrimp and grits in the Instant Pot Omni Plus oven on the ‘warm’ setting for 5-7 minutes or 5 minutes in the conventional oven on the ‘warm’ setting or 150 degrees F.
  6. Remove the skillet from the oven and optionally garnish the finished dish with crumbled bacon.
  7. Serve this Black folks’ Southern shrimp and grits recipe right away, and enjoy!

🎙 Listen to The Soul Food Pod episode: Black Folks Southern Shrimp And Grits Recipe

Southern Shrimp And Grits

What do you serve with Black folks Southern shrimp and grits?

From Mardi Gras to Christmas brunch, or New Year’s dinner, shrimp and grits is a classic Southern dish that holds its own.

When paired, it’s usually served with bread like Black folks homemade cornbread or a light vegetable side dish to balance this hearty, saucy meal. 

What is a good side dish for shrimp and grits?

For an authentic taste of the South, consider serving your shrimp and grits with vegetables that work well as side dishes, like  Southern green beansSouthern creamed corn, Soul food Southern collard greens, or Black folks Southern fried cabbage

Many Black folks add hot sauce as a condiment for added heat.

And for dessert?

Homemade Southern bread pudding!

Black folks Southern shrimp and grits FAQs

Is shrimp and grits healthy to eat?

The original African dish of shrimp and maize (shrimp and grits) is good for you!

Shrimp are packed with protein, and grits are whole grains. 

What is the best shrimp to use?

Need to know what type of shrimp to use?

When purchasing shrimp to make shrimp and grits, choose jumbo-sized ones because the shrimp are the shining stars on top of this creamy, fluffy dish!

Can you use frozen shrimp for this Southern shrimp and grits recipe?

Yes, you can use frozen shrimp, fresh shrimp, or raw shrimp already thawed.

It’s best if the shrimp are not pre-cooked.

How do you peel and devein shrimp?

It’s not the most glamorous task, but it sure is satisfying once you get through all those pesky shells. Peeling and deveining shrimp is not as hard as it might seem. You will need a small, sharp knife or kitchen shears to cut the shell off of the shrimp’s back, then make a shallow incision along the inside curve of the shrimp’s outer edge. 

You can also buy shrimp that’s already peeled and deveined like I did to avoid this pesky task!

What is Creole sauce?

Creole sauce is used in Black folks shrimp and grits. It’s a type of creamy sauce that originated from Black folks in Louisiana. 

It’s made with Caribbean spices, Cajun seasoning, and chicken bouillon. Some folks include a tomato base.

Creole sauce can also include butter, bacon fat, or andouille sausage for added flavor. 

Consider also serving Creole sauce as a savory accompaniment over rice or as a dipping sauce for seafood.

Southern Grits For Shrimp And Grits

Are grits an African American food?

Medium.com explains, “No matter how you dress them, grits are quite literally a part of the fabric of America.” Because American interpretations are a mixture of Native American, West African, and African American versions of the dish.

What do grits taste like?

This recipe is made with 100% white ground corn. It’s similar to the taste of cornmeal that’s been cooked just right to get the most creamy grits with a soft texture. 

Grits are often served with butter, cheese, and salt for breakfast or with seafood for dinner. Of course, grits can be eaten by themselves as well (i.e., cheesy grits).

The best grits are not hard on the outside – but not mushy either! Instant Pot pressure cooking makes fluffy grits possible with ease.

What are grits made of?

Grits are made from corn that has been soaked in water and then ground into a coarse meal. 

Next, the grits are pressure-cooked with boiling water or chicken broth until they reach a soft and fluffy consistency. 

Grits can be served alone or mixed with other ingredients, such as butter, cheese, bacon, eggs, and green onions. 

Can you use quick-cooking grits for this Southern shrimp and grits recipe?

Need to know what type of grits to use?

Yes, but the best grits that are both soft and fluffy are 100% white corn or yellow corn grits

This recipe calls for white corn grits.

How do you thicken grits?

The best way to thicken grits is to simply learn the precise timing and temperature needed to cook them. You want grits to thicken up on their own without any outside help. 

How do you make creamy grits?

I like using an Instant Pot when cooking this shrimp and grits recipe because it makes the cooking time and temperature for rice, grains, porridge, and grits easy and effortless. It’s just a drop in the pot for soft fluffy grits every time!

The brand of grits I like to use and recommend is Bob’s Red Mill white corn grits/polenta.

Adding other ingredients such as milk or flour in an attempt to thicken grits takes away from the taste and quality necessary when making this Southern signature dish. 

Adding an egg to grits will also give them a thicker texture in no time – but is only recommended when serving breakfast grits and not shrimp and grits.

Black Folks Southern Shrimp And Grits Recipe

What do you think of this Blak folks Southern shrimp and grits recipe?

This recipe will leave everyone happy at any dinner table. Plus, it’s pretty straightforward and simple to make.

Don’t hesitate to give this Southern Creole soul food recipe a try!

And if you like this recipe, you’ll love these best Southern soul food cornbread recipe roundup ideas HERE.

Have you had it?

Would you make it? 

Comment below and lemme know. 

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More Black folks recipes to love:

The Ultimate Soul Food Recipes Guide
The Ultimate Soul Food Recipes Guide
What is soul food? Soul food recipes are African-American recipes full of flavor! A legacy of Southern cooking the Black way. Check out this collection of the best soul food recipes!
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Black Folks Southern Shrimp And Grits Recipe
What Is Black Folks Southern Shrimp And Grits?

Black Folks Southern Shrimp And Grits Recipe

The secret ingredient to Black folks shrimp and grits is the Southern Creole sauce!
Typical to soul food and Black folks cooking, the seasonings make each recipe like none other. 
It's all about the spices and the special sauce.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Pressure Release Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 37 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Soul Food, Southern Food
Servings: 6
Calories: 508kcal

Equipment

  • Instant Pot electric pressure cooker (optional)
  • Instant Pot Omni Plus oven
  • 10-inch cast iron skillet

Ingredients

Ingredients for the shrimp

  • 2 pounds shrimp jumbo, frozen or thawed, peeled and deveined
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon avocado oil or cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon butter unsalted
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Ingredients for the grits

  • 1 cup corn grits white
  • 2 ½ cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream and another ½ a cup on reserve in case it’s needed at the end
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup mascarpone cheese
  • 3 strips crumbled bacon (Optional to garnish the dish at the end)

Ingredients for the creamy shrimp and grits Creole sauce

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granulated
  • cup fresh parsley finely chopped

Instructions

Instructions for the shrimp

  • Remove the Instant Pot lid and turn on the sauté setting for 5 minutes. (Although you will not use all of this time. I like to have the extra minutes for the time it takes for the sauté to become active.)
  • With the lid off the pot, heat the water, avocado oil, and butter in the stainless-steel inner pot for up to 1 minute.
  • Add the shrimp, garlic, salt, and pepper.
    Add the shrimp, garlic, salt, and pepper.
  • Cancel the sauté setting and close the Instant Pot lid.
  • Close the Instant Pot lid (make sure the valve is up – in the position for sealing) and pressure cook on high for 1 minute.
  • When the cooking time is finished, allow a natural pressure release for at least 2 minutes.
  • To open the Instant Pot lid, move the valve to ‘venting’ and manually release any remaining pressure, if applicable.
  • Use a colander to drain the liquid from the cooked shrimp and set the shrimp aside to add to the grits later.
  • *To prepare shrimp on the stovetop – Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and sauté the shrimp with the seasoning ingredients for about 4 minutes until they turn pink.

Instructions for the grits

  • Open the Instant Pot lid and add the chicken broth, grits, salt, and butter to the stainless-steel inner pot.
  • Close the Instant Pot lid (make sure the valve is up – in the position for sealing) and pressure cook on high for 10 minutes.
  • When the cooking time is finished, allow a natural pressure release for at least 5 minutes.
  • To open the Instant Pot lid, move the valve to ‘venting’ and manually release any remaining pressure, if applicable.
  • Pour in the heavy whipping cream.
  • Stir the grits to combine the ingredients.
    Stir the grits to combine the ingredients.
  • Add the mascarpone cheese and continue stirring.
    Add the mascarpone cheese and continue stirring.
  • Remove the stainless-steel inner pot with the grits inside so they don’t dry out.
  • Cover the Instant Pot stainless steel inner pot with the Instant Pot lid to keep the grits warm while off of the Instant Pot burner.
  • (When it’s time to add the grits to the skillet, mix in ¼ – ½ a cup of heavy whipping cream to loosen them as needed.)
  • *See the notes below for how to prepare grits on the stovetop.

Instructions for the Southern shrimp and grits sauce

  • (You may need to transfer the grits to the skillet at this point if you only have one Instant Pot because you will need to use the stainless-steel inner pot for the sauce.)
  • Add the heavy whipping cream, smoked paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and chicken bouillon to the empty Instant Pot stainless steel inner pot.
  • Turn on the sauté setting for 10 minutes. (Although you will not use all of this time. I like to have the extra minutes for the time it takes for the sauté to become active.)
  • Allow the sauté to come to a boil and let boil for about 3-5 minutes.
  • While the sauce is boiling, keep watch of it and occasionally stir to avoid overcooking and burning.
  • Cancel the sauté setting and stir in the parsley.
  • Remove the shrimp and grits sauce in the stainless-steel inner pot from the Instant Pot burner.
    Remove the shrimp and grits sauce in the stainless-steel inner pot from the Instant Pot burner.
  • *Preparing the sauce on the stovetop – In a medium-sized saucepan, stir together the whipping cream and spices and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes.

Instructions for setting up Black folks’ Southern shrimp and grits

  • Add the grits to a 10-inch cast-iron skillet.
  • Optional: you can mix in 1/4 – 1/2 a cup of heavy whipping cream to loosen the grits if needed.
  • Place the cooked shrimp on the grits.
  • Then pour the sauce over the shrimp and grits.
  • Heat the skillet with the shrimp and grits in the Instant Pot Omni Plus oven on the ‘warm’ setting for 5-7 minutes or 5 minutes in the conventional oven on the ‘warm’ setting or 150 degrees F.
    Heat the skillet with the shrimp and grits in the oven.
  • Remove the skillet from the oven and optionally garnish the finished dish with crumbled bacon.
    Remove the skillet from the oven and optionally garnish the finished dish with crumbled bacon.
  • Serve this Black folks' Southern shrimp and grits recipe right away, and enjoy!

Video

Notes

Instructions for Southern grits on the stovetop 
  1. Bring the chicken broth, whipping cream, salt, and butter to a boil in a large saucepan, then stir in the grits. 
  2. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover, stirring occasionally.
  3. After 5 minutes, fold in the mascarpone cheese.
  4. Remove the saucepan from the heat.
  5. Set the cooked Southern grits aside and cover them to keep warm.
Black Folks Southern Shrimp And Grits Recipe Card

Nutrition

Calories: 508kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 26g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 146mg | Sodium: 1023mg | Potassium: 295mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 2949IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 111mg | Iron: 1mg
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48 Comments

  1. Debbie L Perkins says:

    5 stars
    Cannot wait to make this.

  2. 5 stars
    It looks really good. Thank you for sharing the recipe

  3. DaShea Franklin says:

    5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe, it turned out delicious.

  4. Lindy Rogers says:

    5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe! SPECTACULAR ❤️

  5. Cheryl Rakes says:

    5 stars
    I favorite in this house

  6. Robin Armstrong says:

    5 stars
    Thank You for this Recipe!

  7. Michele Jennings says:

    5 stars
    Awesome recipe full of flavor. I’m not a fan of cheese so I just omitted the cheese.

  8. Melinda Worsham says:

    5 stars
    As southern as it gets. Thanks for the recipe! So good.

  9. 5 stars
    That looks very appetizing. I have never eaten grits with shrimp before. We could not afford shrimp in my moms house. I am hooked on the old school style of making grits. Butter and salt and it still taste great.

  10. Stacee Nelms says:

    5 stars
    This is now my go to recipe 🍴

  11. Elizabeth says:

    5 stars
    Another great recipe!

  12. 5 stars
    Yummy love shrimp and grits.

  13. Rita Malone says:

    5 stars
    this is will be the family favorite for sure