These New Orleans-style BBQ Shrimp and Grits don’t involve barbecue sauce…but this recipe is a New Orleans classic for a reason! Talk about delicious comfort food!
It’s no secret that I love New Orleans. We all have our favorite cities, right? It might be the city where you grew up. Or it might be a small town where you spent summers visiting grandparents. I definitely have several towns and cities that I count among my favorites, and New Orleans is right up there near the top of the list. I didn’t grow up in New Orleans. Heck, I didn’t even grow up in Louisiana. However, I did grow up in the southeast, and I did move to Louisiana shortly after college. From the football to the general Southern charm to even the ghost stories, I love everything about south Louisiana. Oh, and I haven’t even mentioned the food yet!
When I was down in NOLA earlier this year, I noticed a number of famous quotes posted around the city. One of my favorites is from Bob Dylan:
And Tennessee Williams sums it up nicely with this one. (No offense to Cleveland here. I actually like Cleveland…but it’s not New Orleans!)
Another favorite (although I can’t seem to find this photo in my iPhone folder) is from Mark Twain:
“New Orleans food is as delicious as the less criminal forms of sin.” ~Mark Twain
I couldn’t agree more, Mr. Twain. I couldn’t agree more.
BBQ Shrimp and Grits
Speaking of New Orleans food, this recipe for BBQ Shrimp and Grits is a keeper! This is quintessential New Orleans food at its best, and you don’t even have to travel to NOLA to get it. (Although I do highly recommend traveling to NOLA!) There are several thoughts that come to mind with BBQ Shrimp and Grits. First, BBQ sauce. Nope, no BBQ sauce in this recipe. Next, grilled. Nope, this recipe is made entirely on the stovetop. BBQ Shrimp and Grits actually has nothing to do with barbecue, but it is a New Orleans favorite!
BBQ Shrimp and Grits involves shrimp sauteed in a Worcestershire sauce and then served over a pile of cheesy grits. This recipe is comfort food at its finest! BBQ Shrimp is often served by itself or perhaps with a side of rice. I opted for grits here because they’re (1) delicious and (2) the perfect way to catch all of that delicious sauce that comes with the shrimp.
Grits sometimes get a bad rap. I get it. I’ve had some bad grits before. But to say you don’t like grits is like taking a bite of powdered eggs and proclaiming you don’t like scrambled eggs. One bite of good grits, and you’ll understand why they’re a staple in so many Southern recipes.
For these BBQ Shrimp and Grits, I used my go-to grits recipe that involves jalapenos and shredded cheese. (Sometimes I add bacon, but I omitted it this time since the shrimp have so much flavor. But I doubt anyone would complain if you add some bacon to these grits!) I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. Whenever I’m craving some good Creole food, this recipe is near the top of the list. Enjoy!
Did you make this BBQ Shrimp and Grits recipe at home? Leave a comment. Or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog)!
Looking for more classic Cajun and Creole recipes? Check out these other favorites:
BBQ Shrimp and Grits
For the Grits
- 2 jalapenos ribs and seeds removed, diced
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1½ cups quick-cooking grits
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 2 cups hot water
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
For the Shrimp
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- ½ cup diced yellow onion
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- 1 Tbsp Cajun seasoning
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- ½ cup Worcestershire sauce
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1½ pounds large raw shrimp peeled and deveined
- chopped green onions
For the Grits
- Using a large saucepan with a lid, add olive oil and place over medium-high heat. Once hot, add diced jalapenos. Sauté, stirring occasionally, for 5-6 minutes, or until jalapenos have softened.
- Add grits, salt, chicken stock and hot water; stir until well combined. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in cream and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 16-18 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until grits are tender and have thickened. Remove from heat, cover and keep warm. (Note: Cheese will be added later.)
For the Shrimp
- Using a medium saucepan, add olive oil and place over medium-high heat. Once hot, add onion, garlic, Cajun seasoning and smoked paprika. Sauté, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes.
- Add lemon juice, chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper; stir until well combined. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking for 30 minutes.
- Transfer mixture into a large skillet and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 12-15 minutes, or until mixture reduces to ~¼ cup of sauce.
- Add heavy cream and bring mixture to a simmer.
- Once simmering, add shrimp and cook for 6-8 minutes, or until fully cooked.
- Meanwhile, add shredded cheese to grits and stir until cheese has fully melted. (Note: If necessary, add a splash of water to the grits to loosen them up.)
- To serve, divide grits onto plates. Use a slotted spoon to transfer shrimp onto grits. Top shrimp with several spoonfuls of sauce. Garnish with chopped green onions before serving.