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Shrimp & Grits


I have a running tally in my head of all the recipes I want to make…some day. Shrimp and grits is was one of these recipes.

What surprises a lot of people about me is my memory. It’s non-existent, really. If I didn’t use post-its and email myself like it’s my job, I’d be in trouble. I even have electronic post-its on my computer. Currently, there are 4 notes…just on my home computer. I also have no less than 20 tabs open on my browser at all times. No joke. This is because I would forget tomorrow that I’m currently head over heels for Pinterest.

Some might argue that Pinterest then may not be that important. And while it probably isn’t, I do tend to forget things like… birthdays, anniversaries, etc. Perhaps that’s why my mom texted me this week, “May 13th is Mother’s Day…I’m free.” 😉


I digress.

Shrimp and Grits – it was on my Bucket List of foods to make. For future reference, baklava, BBQ pork buns, and pumpkin pecan pie are, too. The fact that none of these recipes offer up any sort of healthfulness could be why they remain on my bucket list and not semi-permanently planted on my hips and thighs.

My favorite restaurant in Columbus, which ironically, is north of Columbus (I think the best of the best is often never where all the people are!), serves up some killer shrimp and grits. When I order it, I like to pretend I don’t taste the butter and heavy creamy. Of course, I know that’s what makes them the best. Unfortunate, but true.


Recently, I was killing time waiting for a meeting and somewhere found a Bon Appetit from last year. I started flipping through the pages and this recipe immediately jumped out at me. Not only was it unique (an egg!), but it seemed like a recipe I could “work with” in terms of lightening it up some.

I opted to use Cabot’s 50% reduced fat white cheddar and less fat in the recipe. I also used the only grits I could find – Quaker’s 5-minute grits. I adapted the recipe accordingly, and personally, I think they turned out great. Of course, I’m no grits connoisseur — I’d have to venture down to Oklahoma and ask my pals down there what they think 😉


I’m not sure what I love more about this recipe – the fact that it is ready in about 20 minutes, the fact that it’s almost as tasty as my favorite shrimp and grits, or the fact that I am capable of making it at home with far fewer calories and saturated fat.

I can cross this one off the bucket list – success! Plus, I don’t have to feel guilty about eating it on a somewhat regular basis 😉



Shrimp & Grits adapted from Bon Appetit

1 cup 5-minute grits
1 cup (5 oz) 50% reduced fat sharp white cheddar, shredded
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 jalapeno, seeded, diced
1/4 cup half and half
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

1 tsp olive oil
6 oz (~2 links) andouille sausage, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup beer
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken stock
4 large eggs
1 Tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped (optional)


Bring 3 1/2 cups water and a pinch of salt to a simmer in a large saucepan. Gradually whisk in grits. Turn heat to low; gently simmer until grits begin to thicken, about 5 minutes. Stir in cheese, butter, and jalapeno, and half and half. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add sausage and saute about 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and 1 tablespoon butter; stir until butter melts. Add shrimp. When garlic begins to brown, add beer and chicken stock. Simmer until shrimp is cooked through, about 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat; set aside.

Spray the same large nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray and rewarm over medium heat. Crack eggs into pan and cook until whites are just set but yolks are still runny, about 3 minutes.

Divide grits among bowls, forming a well in center. Spoon shrimp mixture into center of grits. Top with egg. Sprinkle tarragon over.

Yield: 4 servings (about 1 cup grits, 1 1/2 ounces sausage, and about 5-6 shrimp)

Nutrition Information (per serving): 575 calories; 26.8 g. fat; 384 mg. cholesterol; 785 mg. sodium; 32.3 g. carbohydrate; 2 g. fiber; 50 g. protein

Result: Lightened up shrimp and grits with an egg surprise…what’s not to love? This comes together quickly and is packed with protein – 50 grams! Though the broth isn’t “pretty”, the beer and broth sauce really makes this dish. Be sure not to over-cook the sausage or shrimp…the cooking time is very minimal. Enjoy!


 This has been a crazy work week…teaching then meetings. I hope my run tonight doesn’t kick my butt as badly yesterday and the day before…

Be well,

Share With Your Friends!


  1. May 3, 2012 / 7:17 am

    Shrimp and Grits are on my foodie Bucket List, too! They’re just so freaking delicious. When my family goes on vacation to South Carolina I order Shrimp and Grits almost every night. They’re on every restaurant menu down there!

  2. May 3, 2012 / 7:58 am

    I love shrimp and grits! I typically make a recipe I found a couple of years ago on cooking light’s website.

    This looks like another great recipe though – thank you for posting!

  3. May 3, 2012 / 9:00 am

    Can I just say, I totally agree with you about the best of the best never being somewhere convenient?

    You know Kuma’s that I talk about? It sucks because you often have to wait at least 30 minutes… but there is NOTHING to do in the area. I swear it’s in the only half-deserted area of the city…

  4. May 3, 2012 / 9:54 am

    BEST shrimp and grits I have ever had is in a restaurant in Charleston, SC…82 Queen…IDK what it is…( well, yes I do, it’s the butter and cream) but OH MY WORD…I dream about this dish from time to time. Luckily, it’s only accessible to me once a year.

    I will have to give your lightened up version a try…just so happens I have two packages of cheese and garlic grits ( I picked up in Charleston last trip there) I could use! Yum, yum, yum!

  5. christie
    May 3, 2012 / 10:16 am

    I’m curious- what’s your favorite restaurant in Columbus? I’m always looking for new places to try!

    • Nicole, RD
      May 3, 2012 / 10:43 am

      It’s called 1808 up in Delaware!

      • christie
        May 3, 2012 / 10:46 am

        Oh wow- I know one of the chefs there, actually. I haven’t been there, but I’ve been meaning to get up there and try it!

  6. May 3, 2012 / 10:26 am

    I have to say I am not sure I’ve ever had grits, although my mom is from Virginia and I know she made them growing up – I probably just snubbed my nose at them like 95% of the other food she made – I was so picky back then!

  7. May 3, 2012 / 10:28 am

    I’ve never tried grits before but the husband loves them. I think I’m going to give this recipe a try!

  8. May 3, 2012 / 10:40 am

    You know this southern girl loves grits any which way ๐Ÿ™‚ This looks awesome!

  9. May 3, 2012 / 10:41 am

    I’ve never seen shrimp and grits with a fried egg before but anything topped with a fried egg is awesome in my book. Looks great!

  10. May 3, 2012 / 11:49 am

    What a unique recipe, especially with the egg! You know, I have never had grits before. This recipe sounds amazing!

  11. May 3, 2012 / 1:31 pm

    Brings me back to my Southern roots ๐Ÿ™‚ Although, I hear ya on using what you can find, you’ve got to try real grits one day. So much better slow cooked!

  12. May 3, 2012 / 4:21 pm

    I love to have this dish to greet me in the morning. Eating healthy at the start of the day.. =)

  13. May 3, 2012 / 9:53 pm

    Hi Nicole. I’ve never tasted grits. That is on my food bucket list for sure. Hope your run went well tonight and that your Friday is a good one.

  14. May 4, 2012 / 3:27 am

    This looks so good. I love grits. I can see why this was on your list of things to make. I am forgetful too, but I think it is because I have so much going on. If it isn’t on my daily list, I probably won’t be doing whatever it is. I rely heavily (probably too heavily!) on my daily planner. Have a great Friday! (PS- make sure to check out my blog…I’m having a giveaway for an awesome cookbook)

  15. Jan
    May 4, 2012 / 7:15 am

    This really looks good with the egg. I am a GRITS (girl raised in the south) and live about 35 mins form Downtown Charleston, SC . I have had Shrimps and Grits 100 different ways .. all good but never with an egg.I really like the idea of that . I would suggest cooking those 5 minute grits for about 20 mins Though ….thats how its done here.

  16. Athena R
    May 4, 2012 / 7:59 am

    I live in SC where shrimp and grits is a staple..lol. I never thought to include an egg, but I like that idea. I’ll have to try to remember that next time I make them. I usually make slow cooked cooked grits that take an hour to cook and make them extra creamy by adding some light cream cheese and some shredded cheese to them instead of half-n-half. Scallions are also very good sprinkled on top.

  17. May 4, 2012 / 4:17 pm

    Shrimp and grits is one of my favorite dishes, I don’t know why I don’t make it more often. The egg is different, but I think it looks delish! And being a Southern girl, I LOVE grits ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. May 5, 2012 / 12:08 am

    I used to use post-its all the time – everywhere. Back when I had my own computer. Now it would be weird.

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