Creole Shrimp and Grits

Happy Mardi Gras! Ah, the last big feast before the Lenten season of sacrifice begins. I don’t need many excuses to whip up decadent food, but Mardi Gras is definitely as good a reason as any. I kicked things off on Friday with Bourbon Bread Pudding (it’s now gone and I would like to have it magically appear right this instant) and then followed up with another sweet treat yesterday – New Orleans Beignets. Since today is the day to celebrate, I wanted to share with you a great option for your dinner tonight if you feel like being festive and whipping up some authentic Louisiana Creole fare. Nothing says South quite like shrimp and grits, right? A couple of summers ago my Chief Culinary Consultant and I went to the Outer Banks for a long weekend and I think we ordered shrimp and grits twice while we were there. So incredibly delicious, and I’ve been wanting to recreate it at home ever since. For Mardi Gras, however, I wanted to find a recipe that had a New Orleans flair to it, and this one definitely fit the bill.

I went completely authentic and made a homemade shrimp broth using the peels from the shrimp. While it adds a little bit of time to the recipe (about 20 minutes or so) I think it was definitely worth it – the flavor of the final dish was fabulous, clean, and of course, I knew exactly what was in it, which is always a plus in my book.

Once the shrimp broth is done, you make a roux with butter and flour, let it caramelize, then saute your vegetables. Throw in all your seasonings, tomato paste, and then slowly add the shrimp broth to create a wonderfully thick sauce that you let simmer for a little while. All the flavors meld together and it becomes a perfect little bed in which to cook the shrimp. You can thin it out at the end with a little more shrimp broth if you’d like. Served over grits, the dish is absolutely bursting flavor thanks to a wonderful combination of simple ingredients and seasonings.

After eating and realizing that I was successful at my first attempt at shrimp and grits, I declared to my Chief Culinary Consultant that I could, in fact, be a Southern belle. What would be a good follow-up recipe to the shrimp and grits?

Are you doing anything to celebrate Mardi Gras today or tonight?

If you observe Lent, are you giving anything up this year?

One year ago: Blueberry Bagels

Creole Shrimp & Grits

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes


For the Creole Shrimp:
2 pounds unpeeled, medium-size raw shrimp (26/30 count)
4 cups water
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1½ teaspoons Creole seasoning
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 bay leaf

For the Grits:
2½ cups milk
2½ cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1½ cups uncooked quick-cooking grits


1. Peel shrimp, reserving shells; devein shrimp, if desired. Bring shells and water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; reduce heat to low, and cook 20 minutes. Pour shrimp broth through a colander over a large bowl, pressing shells with back of a spoon; discard shells.

2. Heat butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat; stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly until flour is caramel colored (about 8 to 10 minutes). Add onion, celery, green pepper, and garlic, and cook, stirring often, 5 to 7 minutes or until tender. Stir in Creole seasoning, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce. Add the tomato paste and stir until it is evenly coating all of the vegetables. Slowly add 2 cups shrimp broth, stirring constantly to create a thick sauce. Add the bay leaf, reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes. Add the shrimp, and cook 10 minutes, stirring in ¼ to ½ cup remaining shrimp broth to reach desired consistency.

3. Meanwhile, bring milk, water, and salt to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Gradually stir in grits. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes or until thickened. Serve Creole Shrimp over grits. Sprinkle with chopped parsley, if desired.

Note: I found Creole seasoning at my local grocery store in the International aisle, in the Cajun section.

(Recipe adapted from Southern Living)


39 Responses to “Creole Shrimp and Grits”

  1. what katie's baking on February 21, 2012 at 12:18 am

    this seriously looks like the best way to celebrate mardi gras… holy yum


  2. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga on February 21, 2012 at 12:33 am

    I just made shrimp tonite! For the first time in…YEARS! I am allergic to it but my family loves it so I made it. Yours looks amazing!


  3. Kiri W. on February 21, 2012 at 6:21 am

    I am dying to try shrimp and grits, if only I had any clue about how to cook creole food! Looks fantastic 😉


  4. Tabitha (From Single to Married) on February 21, 2012 at 6:46 am

    mmm… that looks so good! You just reminded me how I haven’t had shrimp in way too long.


  5. Penny Wolf on February 21, 2012 at 6:46 am

    This year we are going the pancake route. Corncakes, as I know them, with my stash of local maple syrup and (Almost time for the new syrup) a nice sage sausage


  6. Erin @ Brownie Bites on February 21, 2012 at 7:33 am

    Delicious. I’ve never made a broth using shrimp peels, but I bet that adds an explosion of flavor!


  7. MaryBeth on February 21, 2012 at 9:29 am

    You are killing me with these recipes. First the biegnets, now this!! I was in New Orleans a few months ago and while I didn’t really like the city, the food was amazing. I’d love to see you take on jumbalaya. For lent, we usually have pasta with seafood (shrimp or scallops or both) for the grown ups and the kids will east theirs with butter and Parmesan cheese. Still can’t get them to eat seafood unless it’s in fish stick form. I’ll keep trying 🙂


  8. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers on February 21, 2012 at 9:52 am

    This sounds amazing. I need to make this and your photos look gorgeous!!


  9. Maria on February 21, 2012 at 10:04 am

    I haven’t had grits since I was a kiddo. I think I need to try them again!


  10. Mary @ Bake Break on February 21, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Shrimp and grits are one of my favorite things to eat – but something I’ve never imagined trying to cook myself! This recipe looks great – especially the tip on the shrimp broth (I didn’t even know such thing existed).


  11. Stefanie on February 21, 2012 at 10:28 am

    This looks wonderful. In the South, though, tonight it’s pancakes!


  12. Karen on February 21, 2012 at 10:38 am

    Have wanted to make this for years but never trusted the recipes I found. Hey, could you put a ‘PINIT” button from Pinterest on this and all your stuff? I would like to pin your recipes!


    • Michelle on February 21st, 2012 at 12:04 pm

      Hi Karen, It is being implemented as we speak! In the meantime, you could install the “Pin It” button to your browser toolbar and Pin anything from all over the web (I currently use this):


  13. Valerie on February 21, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Yesterday I made two of your king cakes – one went to my daughter’s preschool (it got rave reviews!) and the other is for us to eat tonight.


  14. Emilie @ Emilie's Enjoyables on February 21, 2012 at 11:12 am

    You always have the best “themed” posts. Love it!


  15. Heather on February 21, 2012 at 11:40 am

    My fiance does not like grits at all, but will eat the oat bran cereal that you find in the same aisle. They have somewhat of the same texture, so do you think I could substitute the oat bran for the grits, or would it just not mesh well together? I have all of the ingredients at home, but would like it if he’d try this so I’m not eating it alone! What do you think?


    • Michelle on February 21st, 2012 at 12:05 pm

      Hi Heather, I have never eaten oat bran as a hot cereal, but I definitely think it will be different than grits. What about making a small pot of rice for your fiance and the grits for yourself?


      • Heather on February 21st, 2012 at 1:53 pm

        That’s actually a much better idea, I didn’t even think of that. Thank you! 🙂


  16. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes on February 21, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    Oh I love grits! Had them for the first time when I went down south last year. YUM!


  17. Mireia on February 21, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    I’m going to pin this straight away, it looks fantastic, what a shame we don’t have Mardi Gras in Spain!


  18. tom@morethanpepper on February 21, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    I have never had grits, but this makes me wanna give’m a try


  19. Kris on February 21, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    I made my own creole seasoning this year and it was so easy! I’d love to try it out with your shrimp and grits recipe. Every recipe of yours I have tried has been magnificent! I shared this post with my readers today in a Mardi Gras roundup. 😀


  20. Kevin (Closet Cooking) on February 22, 2012 at 7:27 am

    That shrimp and grits looks good!


  21. Bryan on February 22, 2012 at 8:31 am

    Well, I’m about to have some shrimps! This is looking good.


  22. Tonya on February 22, 2012 at 9:11 am

    THANK YOU! I forwarded this recipe to my husband yesterday when he told me he was making shrimp and grits for dinner. He made your recipe instead. YUM YUM! He will be making this again.

    Thanks again!


  23. Sarah on February 22, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    I made this last night & it was a hit! Loved it! I used frozen shrimp that were already shelled, so I used chicken bouillon instead of shrimp broth. I may try this again as a gluten free dish with a different flour. Just a quick note though… in the steps, it says to heat oil in the Dutch oven, but I think it should say butter. 🙂


  24. Hayley on February 22, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    Looks delicious! I’m excited to make my own broth using the shells (I love not wasting and getting the most out of my food!)

    Quick question – in step 2 where it says oil, do you mean butter? Thanks!


    • Michelle on February 22nd, 2012 at 5:48 pm

      Yes, my mistake! I just fixed it 🙂


  25. Javelin Warrior on February 24, 2012 at 9:44 am

    Michelle, the color of the shrimp with the contrast against the potatoes! I have NEVER wanted shrimp more in my life =) I have featured this post in today’s Friday Food Fetish roundup. Let me know if you have any objections and thanks as ever for the inspiration…


    • Michelle on February 24th, 2012 at 10:16 pm

      Thank you so much for featuring the recipe! No objections whatsoever 🙂


  26. Dina on February 27, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    sounds good!


  27. chelsea on March 15, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    i am new to the blogging world and made this the other night and we LOVED it!! so delicious and full of flavor! thanks for the yummy recipe 🙂


  28. Tammi on March 18, 2012 at 10:07 am

    I’m from Louisiana,and I can’t wait to wow my friends with this recipe!


  29. Patreese on September 30, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    This is sooooooooooo good! (Emphasis on good! ) I loved it my sister loved it! Definitely a winner! Thanks!


  30. Carrie's Experimental Kitchen on January 11, 2013 at 6:43 am

    I have featured this recipe on my blog for my weekly seafood round-up and have also linked this recipe to your original post so that my readers will be forwarded to your site. Thank you for allowing me to share! Here is the link:


  31. Kkristmas on March 19, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    Has anyone actually tried this? I’m reading through the comments, but it doesn’t seem like there is any good information regarding how this actually tastes…


  32. avictoria on August 26, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    I made this tonight for my boyfriend and I. It was quick and easy, and most importantly delicious!!! Thanks for posting this recipe.


  33. Michael R. on February 27, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    Am helping out at my church for our annual Shrove Tuesday pancake supper, then coming home and having the jambalaya, I GARRONTEE!!!


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