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Creamy Garlic and Tomato Shrimp and Fontina Grits

Not too many people breathing free oxygen dislike shrimp and grits. If there’s anyone out there who doesn’t love this southern classic (for reasons other than allergies, and even then, I’m still skeptical), I want nothing to do with them. Shrimp and grits just go so well together. I’m not a fan of bland grits, or bland anything — so both components need to be good AF. If you’ve made anything of mine in the past, you know I’m big on flavor. The control is yours, though. I encourage everyone to TASTE AS YOU GO! You should never just follow a recipe and wait to taste it at the very end. No, that’s not how you cook. Hook it up to your liking.

I cook a lot. Almost every day…on Instagram. I had no intention of sharing this recipe, just with those who may happen to catch it on Instagram. But after talking to my boyfriend, we decided it’s time I start transferring those recipes to my blog. Today I whipped up some shrimp and grits. To be more specific: creamy, garlicky, tomato-based sauce with poached jumbo shrimp and poured that sexy stuff all over some insanely well-seasoned, super creamy fontina grits. Whew!! The only thing you’ll need after you eat this, is a nap.

My IG stories are like a little mini-vault of culinary joys and free knowledge. I’ve decided to start posting some of those videos here. Especially the meals that make it to my IG page. I’ll still utilize my IG Highlights for meals that don’t make it here. Now, I must warn you, I film my IG stories very candidly — there may or may not be some mild adult language. Anyway, let’s get into this recipe. I made this on a whim and did not write anything down, just whipped it up. I cook from the heart, as you will see in future videos. For this recipe, I’m gonna provide you guys with “starting-point-measurements”, because I think it’s important to learn your own palate by seasoning and tasting as you go. That’s one of the main ways I’ve learned how to cook, so that’s your homework. Trust me when I say, you’re going to love this super easy, super quick and hella flavorful shrimp and grits recipe.

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Shrimp and Grits Shrimp and Grits Shrimp and Grits

Watch the IG Story Clip

This recipe is super flavorful, and you won’t believe how fast it comes together. It tastes as if you’d been simmering it all day long, but I whipped it up in 10 minutes. You’d be a fool not to try this one.

Also, I kinda do this shrimp and grits thing quite well. Be sure to check out my other variations of it! Also, make sure you follow me on IG. I mostly share photos and videos of my food, my baby boy, products I love, and myself.

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Creamy Tomato Shrimp and Fontina Grits

Creamy Garlic and Tomato Shrimp and Fontina Grits


Ingredients

Units

For the shrimp

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon herbes de provence
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup sweet red pepper, diced
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • cayenne pepper, to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and de-veined SEE NOTE BELOW
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • fresh basil, for garnish (optional)
  • squeeze of fresh lemon juice

For the grits

  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, or water
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup coarse grits, or quick-grits (SEE NOTE BELOW)
  • pinch of baking powder (SEE NOTE BELOW)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon herbes de provence
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • cayenne pepper, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • 1/3 cup shredded fontina cheese (can use cheddar)

Instructions

For the grits

  1. In a medium-sized pot, bring the broth (or water, if using), heavy cream, butter, onion powder, garlic powder, herbes de provence, smoked paprika, cayenne, black pepper, pinch of salt (you’ll add more later), and olive oil to a boil over high heat. If using coarse grits, add a super tiny pinch of baking powder. If using quick-grits, don’t add the baking powder. Whisk until combined, and immediately add the grits. Reduce heat to low, and whisk for 1 full minute. Cover and allow them to cook, stirring occasionally, until creamy and tender — about 10-15 minutes. If your grits need another tiny splash of cream, add it. Taste them and adjust the salt levels to your liking. Add a little more seasoning if needed. Once they’re perfect, turn the heat off and stir in the cheese. Cover and set aside.

For the shrimp:

  1. Meanwhile, in a medium-skillet, melt the butter over medium-heat. Add the crushed red pepper flakes, and herbes de provence. When the butter is hot and foamy, but not browning at all, add the diced sweet red pepper and garlic. Cook for about 2-3 minutes, and add the olive oil. Add the tomato paste, and cook until it deepens in color just slightly, about 3 to 4 minutes. Pour in the chicken broth and scrape any bits that might have accumulated on the bottom of the pan. Allow the broth to reduce for about 30 seconds, then pour in the heavy cream. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and allow the mixture to simmer for about 5 minutes. If the mixture is getting too thick (and it shouldn’t be thick at all), add more broth to thin it out. Taste and adjust seasoning as you see fit. Once it’s perfect, reduce the heat to low and add the raw shrimp. Allow the shrimp to poach until it’s pink and fully cooked, which will depend on the size shrimp you use. Once the shrimp turns pink on all sides, turn off the heat. Freshen it up with lemon juice. Plate your creamy grits and pour the shrimp mixture on top. Garnish with fresh thyme, fresh basil, and maybe another squeeze of lemon juice.
  2. Serve immediately, and enjoy!

Notes

If using smaller shrimp, adjust poaching time accordingly.

Baking powder helps soften the outer husk of the coarse grits/polenta (which are usually yellow), which helps it cook a LOT faster. If using quick-grits (they’re usually white), you won’t need to add the baking powder.

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
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Recipe rating

  1. Brenna says:

    I love this dish and make it all the time now!
    One tip: I suggest mincing your red pepper into little pieces. It really releases the flavors more into the sauce as it stews. I also like to add minced onion and fresh tomato if I have some on hand.

    Enjoy your shrimp and grits!!

  2. Greg says:

    This meal is GREAT!!! I have never commented on a recipe until this one. It is exactly what I pictured. My mouth was watering just smelling it cook. Eating it was a delight.
    I was trying to recreate the Shrimp & Grits at Island Grill in the Florida Keys. This was even better.

  3. Tolulope says:

    In the past month I have made this recipe three times and it doesn’t disappoint. It’s amazing and fairly straight forward. I was always intimidated at thought of making shrimp and grits but I’m glad I tried it and this was the perfect one. I’ll be recommending it to my family and friends.

  4. Nydia says:

    I am not big on shrimp but this recipe is so good! The seasonings are a great combination. I didn’t have heavy cream so I used half & half. Also, I didn’t have tomato paste so I used tomato sauce, which is probably why it was not as thick as it could have been. Other than that it was really an amazing amount of flavor.

  5. Caleb says:

    This is one of my favorite recipes of all time – I’ve made it at least a couple times a month since I discovered it a little while ago. YOU DID THE DAMN THING. THANK YOU!!

  6. Jamaica says:

    OMDelicious! This was so amazingly tasty a d easy. We will definitely be making this recipe again and again! Don’t look any further for a better shrimp and grits recipe – it doesn’t exist!

  7. trina says:

    amazing recipe! i tripled the grits recipe to make enough for 5 (lots of leftover grits for eggs in the morning) and added another half pound of shrimp to feed everyone. i only had enough sweet peppers for the original recipe so i added some chopped fresh tomatoes to supplement. everything else i kept the same in terms of the shrimp part of the recipe. plenty of sauce, so much flavor, such a great meal!! thank you, this will be one we return to, i’m sure!

  8. Genise says:

    Is the sweet red pepper the same as a red bell pepper?

  9. Mary Thomas says:

    Bravo!! Superb! Absolutely divine. This is an excellent shrimp and grits recipe I will stick to this and make it for my family on a regular basis.

  10. Julia Rose says:

    This shrimp and grits is taken to the next level with herbes de Provence. My fam loves this dish, and it’s super fast and easy! I spend more time shelling shrimp then ai do in front of the stove.

  11. Joanna Baltes says:

    this was absolutely amazing! Perfect balance of spicy and acidity in the shrimp and creamy flavor in the grits. Thank you!