Breakfast/Brunch Dinner Featured Recipe Seafood

Cajun Shrimp and Grits with a Creamy Tomato Sauce

Make a big bowl of creamy, dreamy Cajun Shrimp & Grits for your next brunch experience at home! The tomato cream sauce takes it to the next level; I promise there won’t be leftovers!

A closeup shot of a bowl of shrimp and grits with a creamy tomato sauce in a white bowl.

Please try these Cajun Shrimp and Grits and elevate your home breakfast, brunch, brinner – whatever. I eat this any time of the day, honestly. This is also one of the most popular posts on Coined Cuisine, for a great reason!


Ingredients

  • Quick Grits Most people’s grits experience starts and stops with the little packets; but don’t worry, grab a box of the quick grits for this recipe. I promise it’s easier than you think!
  • Heavy Cream – We’re not going to use flour or a roux to get this beautiful tomato-cream sauce… heavy cream is going to be the star.
  • Large Shrimp Shrimp is obviously going to be our seafood of choice LOL. Be sure to get large/jumbo uncooked shrimp, and don’t forget to clean them before cooking!
  • Tomato Paste – Tomato paste has a super concentrated flavor that works so well in this recipe. Even my mom, who is a notorious tomato-hater, loves this sauce!
  • Cajun Seasoning – Cajun seasoning is going to go into the sauce as well as on the shrimp. I love to use Tony’s no-salt Cajun, and I’ve heard Slap Ya Mama is amazing as well!

How to Make Creamy Grits for Shrimp & Grits

Shrimp & grits may look fancy or complicated, but this is so easy to put together.

  1. The key to the creamiest grits lies in the preparation. We’re going to use a combination of heavy cream and seafood broth (or water) as our liquids.
  2. Heat that up to a nice boil, then whisk in the grits as well as any seasonings.
  3. Cut the heat to low, then cover the pot and simmer until all of the liquid is absorbed. You get foolproof results every time!

I didn’t this time because it honestly didn’t even need any, but you can stir in your favorite cheese (gouda, fresh mozzarella, etc.) to the grits at the end of cooking for an even richer taste. Adding cheese is truly the southern way to make grits anyway!

  1. While those grits are cooking, we’re going to create the tomato cream sauce.
  2. You’ll bloom your aromatics, then add in tomato paste and heavy cream and broth.
  3. Let that cook for a few minutes until the sauce thickens. Don’t forget about the main protein – since shrimp cooks so fast, we basically poach them in the cream sauce so they soak up all the juiciness and Cajun seasonings.

Everything is going to finish cooking at the same time if you follow my timing below, so you can create your perfect bowl in about 20 minutes time.

Two bowls of shrimp and grits with a creamy tomato sauce and freshly chopped parsley on top.

FAQs

Can shrimp & grits be made ahead of time?

For large groups, I like to make the grits and then set them in the oven on warm, stirring occasionally to ensure they don’t dry out. You can also make the sauce in advance. When you’re ready to serve, reheat the sauce (if needed) and serve the shrimp freshly cooked.

What variations do you suggest for this dish?

You can also sear smoked sausage rounds and add them to these shrimp and grits. Many New Orleans restaurants serve it like this!

How do you store leftover shrimp and grits?

I suggest to store the grits separately from the shrimp and sauce, then assemble before reheating and serving.

More Breakfast/Brunch Favorites!

Easy Greek Yogurt Parfait

Peanut Butter & Jelly Baked Oatmeal

Cast-Iron Veggie Frittata

Easy Breakfast Tacos

Fried Green Tomato BLT

Baked French Toast Sticks (Freezable!)

 
A closeup shot of a bowl of shrimp and grits with a creamy tomato sauce in a white bowl.

Cajun Shrimp and Grits with a Creamy Tomato Sauce

Shani W.
Take a trip down to NOLA and try this super easy shrimp & grits recipe. It’s so tasty and the perfect way to brunch from home!
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Breakfast, Brunch
Servings 4 bowls

Ingredients
  

For the grits:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 ½ cups seafood broth (or water)
  • ¾ cups quick grits
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • ½ tsp. smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp. Italian seasoning
  • ½ tsp. salt plus more, to taste
  • Gouda cheese (optional)

For the sauce & shrimp:

  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • cup seafood broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 12.5 lbs. shrimp peeled and deveined, with tails on
  • 2 tsp. Cajun seasoning

Instructions
 

For the grits:

  • Add the heavy cream and broth to a pot and whisk together until combined. Heat on medium heat until liquid begins to boil.
  • Pour in grits and seasonings and let the pot begin to boil again.
  • Turn the heat down to a simmer, cover, and let the grits cook for about 8-10 minutes until all liquid is absorbed.
  • Stir, and let cook for another 5 minutes uncovered if you like them thicker.

For the sauce:

  • While the grits are cooking, take a large saucepan/skillet and add the minced garlic, red pepper flakes, oregano, and butter.
  • Cook on medium heat until the spices are fragrant. Make sure the butter doesn't burn.
  • Add the tomato paste to your pan and stir with a wooden spoon until fully incorporated, for about 2 minutes.
  • Pour in the seafood broth and heavy cream and cook on medium heat until the sauce is bubbly and thick.
  • Season the shrimp with Cajun seasoning.
  • Add your shrimp to the saucepan and baste them in the sauce.
  • Cook the shrimp for about 4-5 minutes, until they turn pink.
  • Add creamy grits to a bowl or shallow plate. Top with the cooked shrimp and the sauce. Garnish with diced tomatoes and sliced green onions or freshly chopped parsley. Enjoy!
Keyword Brunch, Seafood, Shrimp & Grits

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Two bowls of shrimp and grits with a creamy tomato sauce and freshly chopped parsley on top.

The Coined Breakdown

  • Total Cost per bowl: $3.35
  • Total Cost (about 2 bowls): $6.71
  • Those Other Guys: $14.00 a serving

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