Crispy bacon and some added veggies give these Southern Inspired Lightened Up Shrimp and Grits tons of flavor and nutrition while still maintaining some of the classic dish’s flair. Don’t be intimidated by the ingredients, either.
It took me forever to even find grits at my Supermarket (more my fault than the ingredient’s, though) and I still had a delicious meal ready in less than 30 minutes on my first go. So, novice or expert, you have to give these Southern Inspired Lightened Up Shrimp and Grits a try.
Southern Inspired Lightened up Shrimp and Grits
- ½ cup skim milk
- ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
- ¼ cup old fashioned grits
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¾ teaspoon creole seasoning divided (optional)
- Dash cayenne pepper optional
- 2 tablespoons reduced-fat cheddar cheese
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 1 slice center-cut bacon
- 4 oz shrimp
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 cup baby spinach
- ¼ cup tomato chopped
- Squeeze lemon juice
- Step 1 In a small pot, combine milk and broth and bring to a boil
- Step 2 Reduce heat to low and add grits, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, ½ teaspoon creole seasoning, and cayenne pepper
- Step 3 Simmer on low according to package directions or until liquid is absorbed and grits reach desired consistency, stirring regularly. For me this was about 10 minutes
- Step 4 Remove grits from heat. Add cheese and butter and stir until fully melted, cover and set aside
- Step 5 In a small skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Set aside but leave grease in the pan
- Step 6 Add shrimp, garlic, spinach and tomato to the skillet. Season with remaining ¼ teaspoon of creole seasoning (or more to taste), another dash of cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper and stir to combine
- Step 7 Cook over medium heat until shrimp are fully pink and translucent, about 3 minutes per side
- Step 8 Squeeze lemon over entire skillet
- Step 9 Top prepared grits with cooked shrimp and vegetable mixture and sprinkle bacon over entire dish
Save yourself the time it took me to find grits! At least at my store, they’re kept near the oatmeal. I used stone ground for this recipe but you can replace it with quick grits if you’re more comfortable
The bacon adds so much flavor and texture but if you’re looking for a pescatarian version, feel free to leave it out. You can also adapt these Southern Inspired Lightened Up Shrimp and Grits by switching up the veggies! I have also made them with zucchini and it was delicious.
Keep a close eye on your grits as they cook. You want to make sure you’re stirring regularly enough and for the right amount of time, otherwise they can harden. You also want to keep them covered once they’re done so they stay warm and don’t dry out while you cook the shrimp
I always keep a bag of frozen, uncooked shrimp so that I have safe, clean shrimp whenever I need it! They’re also often on sale at my store making them an affordable way to eat seafood. Though I used relatively small ones in these photos (again, I go where the sales do!), these Southern Inspired Lightened Up Shrimp and Grits would taste even more decadent with nice, big shrimp.