Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Lindsey Lower, Claire Spollen
Hands-on Time
24 Mins
Total Time
24 Mins
Serves 4

This classic Carolina combo makes for a flavorful and fast dinner--quick-cooking grits come together in about 5 minutes.

How to Make It

Step 1

Cook bacon over medium-high heat until crisp. Add onion, thyme, mushrooms, and garlic; sauté 6 minutes or until onions and mushrooms are golden brown. Add 1 1/4 cups chicken stock, coffee, next 4 ingredients (through red pepper), and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 4 minutes. Add cornstarch, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Add shrimp; simmer 4 minutes or until shrimp are done.

Step 2

Bring remaining 2 cups stock, remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, and milk to a boil in a medium saucepan; add grits, stirring with a whisk. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes, stirring frequently with a whisk.

Step 3

Place 1/2 cup grits in each of 4 shallow bowls; top each serving with 1 cup shrimp mixture. Sprinkle each serving with 2 tablespoons tomato and about 1 tablespoon green onions.

Ratings & Reviews

August 16, 2015
I have to agree completely. Grits cannot be fast cooking, or instant. And for properly cooked grits for this recipe the grits MUST be creamy. This includes using heavy cream. I love Cooking Light and Im all for using less calories, but for true Lowcountry Shrimp and Grits, you have to just suck it up and take the calories, because nothing else will do.

These people are not southerners...could be awesome if...

April 27, 2015
First of all I should have known (may have to revoke my southern girl card) that 4 cups of liquid to 1 cup of grits was not right but I trusted the Cooking Light people.  Grits super soupy (3 cups of liquid to 1 cup of grits is the standard).  Actually, this dish would be awesome served over rice with some Okra thrown in for good measure.  Adding the cornstarch directly to the "roux" was a mistake-wound up with clumps of cornstarch.  Next time will mix the cornstarch in a little of the liquid to make sure it disperses.  We will do this again because it TASTED great but will do it right.

Fantstic Flavor!

July 10, 2015
This is fantastic!  Yes, it takes a little longer than 24 minutes to prepare, but well worth the time. I didn't have whole milk so combined 1 C nonfat and 1 C half and half - the grits were smooth and creamy.  The cornstarch was sprinkled into the sauce and stirred with no problems. If you don't like spicy just reduce the ground red pepper.  I'm planning to make this for our gourmet group of friends next.... 


May 08, 2015
Delicious! I added another strip of bacon, a little more salt and  chicken broth instead of stock. My whole family loved it.  Will definitely make this again.


April 25, 2015
I was very excited to make this recipe after seeing it in the 2015-May issue of C.L.  My family loves shrimp and grits, and I loved that the prep was 24 minutes.  The prep time was a little longer than stated, which wasn't a big problem, probably 35 or 40 minutes, but that may have just been me.  The dish was absolutely beautiful, just like the picture.  The unfortunate fact was that other than the shrimp, it had very little taste.  The only changes I made were to grill the shrimp and then add them to the sauce to simmer, and I used skim milk instead of whole for the grits, which might make them less creamy, but doesn't change the flavor.  For everything else, I  measured and followed the directions to the letter.  We all agreed that the dish wasn't bad, just tasteless.  It had plenty of heat from the red pepper, but no depth in the sauce.  I was so surprised that I went back and re-read the recipe after dinner to make sure that I didn't omit something!  I have made 100s of CL recipes, and I rely on the reader comments to help me adjust ingredients…or steer me to a better version of the recipe. Maybe chicken broth instead of chicken stock would add a savory flavor.  Sadly, in this case, I think there are better recipes than this one.   I hope others have better success than I did.