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How to Make Healthy Shrimp and Grits

There is nothing better than healthy shrimp and grits. This Southern staple is simple, yet delicious and sure to be your go-to recipe when a craving hits!

Categories Dinner
Difficulty American
Keyword grits diet plan, low calorie shrimp and grits, simple shrimp and grits
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 634 kcal
Author A Sweet Pea Chef


  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 tsp plus 1 1/2 tsp plus more to taste, kosher salt, divided
  • 1 cup coarse ground cornmeal polenta
  • 1/4 tsp plus 1/4 tsp. pepper plus more to taste, divided
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 4 tbsp plus 1 tbsp unsalted butter divided
  • 4 oz sharp cheddar cheese shredded
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 shallots finely chopped
  • 1 lb large shrimp de-veined and de-shelled
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 squeeze of lemon roughly 1 tsp
  • 2 green onions optional, finely sliced


  1. Heat the milk, water and 1 1/2 tsp. salt in a deep, medium sized pot over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently to keep the milk from burning the bottom of the pan.
  2. Once boiling, slowly add the cornmeal, stirring or whisking constantly to avoid causing clumps. Once all the cornmeal is mixed in, decrease the heat, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the grits are creamy, stirring frequently.
  3. While the grits are cooking, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large sauce or saute pan. Once hot, add the shallots and cook 1-2 minutes or until the shallots begin to sweat. Add the shrimp to the pan along with 1/4 tsp. kosher salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Stir to coat the shrimp. Cook the shrimp, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes or until the shrimp begins to turn opaque (whitish).
  4. Tend to the grits for a quick sec. (See No. 5)
  5. Remove the grits from heat and add the pepper, garlic powder and butter. Once mixed through, slowly add the cheese, stirring to incorporate. Cover and keep the grits warm so they do not harden as you will want to serve them as soon as the shrimp has been cooked.
  6. To finish the shrimp, add the balsamic vinegar, squeeze of lemon and remaining 1 tbsp. butter. Stir to incorporate and remove from heat.
  7. To serve, place a healthy serving of the creamy, cheesy grits into a bowl and top with your desired amount of shrimp (I use about 5-6 per serving). Garnish with sliced green onions if desired.
Nutrition Facts
How to Make Healthy Shrimp and Grits
Amount Per Serving
Calories 634 Calories from Fat 329
% Daily Value*
Fat 36.6g56%
Saturated Fat 18.2g91%
Cholesterol 222.2mg74%
Sodium 1146mg48%
Carbohydrates 45.7g15%
Fiber 2.8g11%
Sugar 10.6g12%
Protein 30g60%
Vitamin A 1800IU36%
Vitamin C 5.8mg7%
Calcium 420mg42%
Iron 2.7mg15%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.