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Hot and Spicy Shrimp and Grits

This Hot and Spicy Shrimp and Grits is a fusion of our Southern favorites: Nashville Hot Chicken and Lowcountry Shrimp and Grits. It features succulent shrimp cooked in a cayenne-infused cream sauce, served over buttery stone ground grits.

This Hot and Spicy Shrimp and Grits recipe is a twist on two Southern classics, Nashville Hot Chicken and Lowcountry Shrimp and Grits!

The idea for this dish was inspired by Chef Todd Richard’s recipe, Hot Chicken-Style Shrimp, which is paired with Fried Grits Croutons in his 2018 cookbook, Soul: A Chef’s Culinary Evolution in 150 Recipes.

Nashville hot chicken is a type of fried chicken that is marinated in buttermilk or heavy cream and coated in a cayenne pepper-based sauce made from lard or other types of cooking fat. This hot and spicy shrimp and grits recipe is prepared similarly.

We took shrimp and cooked it in a cayenne pepper sauce made with heavy cream, butter, and seasonings, then served it over piping hot creamy grits. It’s the perfect food fusion!

What you’ll love about this recipe:


  • FLAVOR – The combination of hot and spicy shrimp with creamy grits offers a bold and satisfying flavor experience.
  • SOUTHERN COMFORT – Shrimp and Grits captures the essence of Southern comfort food. Not to mention the Nashville Hot-inspired cream sauce.

Ingredients

  • Butter
  • Yellow onion
  • Dry white whine
  • Heavy cream
  • Hot sauce (preferably Crystal)
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • Old Bay
  • Raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Ground black pepper
  • Parsley, for garnish

Grits

  • Chicken broth
  • Stone ground grits
  • Heavy cream
  • Butter
  • Cheddar cheese (optional)

How to Make Hot and Spicy Shrimp and Grits

  1. In a pot, bring chicken broth to a boil over medium heat. Stir in grits, cover, and reduce heat to simmer for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. After 30 minutes, uncover grits and cook for 15 more minutes or until thick. Remove from heat and let stand for 5-7 minutes.
  2. After grits have been cooking for about 30 minutes, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan. Cook onions until softened (about 2 minutes). Pour in white wine and cook until reduced by half (1-2 minutes).
  3. Add 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, hot sauce, cayenne, salt, and seasoning. Simmer until reduced by half (about 10-15 minutes). Then, use an immersion blender to blend the sauce until smooth (You can skip this step if you don’t mind the diced onion pieces in your sauce).
  4. Next, heat 4 teaspoons of neutral cooking oil in a large skillet. Sear shrimp for 1 minute, then flip.
  5. Pour the prepared spicy cream sauce into the skillet with the shrimp and cook for an additional 1 minute. Cover, turn off the heat, and let shrimp sit on the warm stovetop until cooked through (about 5 minutes). Fully cooked shrimp should have a consistent pink hue with no gray areas.
  6. Finally, add 1/2 cup heavy cream and 3 tablespoons of butter to the cooked grits. If using cheese, add it now. Stir until fully incorporated.
  7. Ladle hot grits into bowls and top with hot and spicy shrimp and cream sauce. Garnish with chopped parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Recipe Tips & Tricks

  • Fresh Ingredients: Use fresh and high-quality shrimp for the best flavor.
  • Stone-Ground Grits: Stone-ground grits for a richer texture and flavor. They take a bit longer to cook but contribute to a more authentic and hearty dish.
  • Control the Spice: Adjust the amount of cayenne pepper and hot sauce based on your spice preference. Taste as you go and add gradually to achieve the desired level of heat.
  • Creamy Grits: Stirring the grits consistently while cooking helps prevent lumps and ensures a creamy texture. Adding a bit of extra cream or butter for richness at the end.
  • Fresh Herbs: Garnish the finished dish with fresh herbs like chopped parsley or green onions. This adds a pop of color and freshness to the plate.
  • Experiment with Cheese: If you enjoy cheese grits, try experimenting with different cheeses like sharp cheddar or pepper jack to add depth of flavor.

FAQ

How spicy is this recipe?

It all depends on personal tolerance for heat. Both cayenne pepper and hot sauce are used in this recipe. If you’re sensitive to heat, you may want to consider reducing the amounts of cayenne pepper and hot sauce to suit your taste preferences.

What’s the best type of grits to use?

Stone ground grits are the best to use because they have a richer flavor and a heartier texture. Also because they’re a Southern staple! Instant or quick-cooking grits are less flavorful and may lose their texture or become mushy if overcooked.

Do you recommend I put sugar in grits?

No. Some people like to put sugar in grits, but I would not recommend it with this hot and spicy shrimp and grits.

Summary

Enjoy our Hot and Spicy Shrimp and Grits recipe, inspired by Nashville Hot Chicken and featuring hot and spicy shrimp cooked in a cayenne cream sauce, served over buttery stone ground grits. It’s perfect for brunch or dinner!

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Hot and Spicy Shrimp and Grits

  • Author: cooks with soul
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: brunch, dinner
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: southern

Description

This Hot and Spicy Shrimp and Grits is a fusion of our Southern favorites: Nashville Hot Chicken and Lowcountry Shrimp and Grits. It features succulent shrimp cooked in a cayenne-infused cream sauce, served over buttery stone ground grits.


Ingredients

Scale

Grits

  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups uncooked stone ground grits
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Hot and Spicy Shrimp

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce (preferably Crystal)
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 1/2 pounds raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • fresh chopped parsley, for garnish


Instructions

  1. Bring chicken broth to a boil in a stockpot over medium heat.
  2. Add grits and stir. Cover and reduce heat to medium low. 
  3. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. After grits have been cooking for about 30 minutes, remove the lid and continue cooking for 15 minutes more, or until grits are thick. Then remove from heat and let stand for 5 to 7 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, while the grits are cooking, heat 2 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium heat. 
  6. Add onions and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. 
  7. Pour in white wine and cook until reduced by half, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  8. Add 1 1/2 cups cream, hot sauce, cayenne, salt, and Old Bay.
  9. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by half, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  10. Transfer mixture to a blender or use an immersion blender to blend until smooth, about 30 seconds. Set aside until ready to use.
  11. Next, heat 4 teaspoons neutral cooking oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  12. Arrange shrimp in skillet and sear for 1 minute. 
  13. Pour in prepared cream sauce and continue cooking for 1 minute more. 
  14. Cover, turn heat off, and let shrimp sit in skillet on warm stovetop until it is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  15. After cooked grits have set for 5 to 7 minutes (in step 4), fold in Cheddar cheese (if using), 1/2 cup heavy cream, and 3 tablespoons butter. 
  16. Ladle hot grits in bowls and top with hot and spicy shrimp and cream sauce. 
  17. Garnish with chopped parsley and season with salt and ground black pepper to finish.

Keywords: hot and spicy shrimp, nashville hot chicken, shrimp, grits, shrimp and grits, cream sauce

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