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!
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!
Not to be super boastful, but I really outdid myself with these Cajun Shrimp & Grits this time.
So normally, I reserve ordering shrimp & grits for really nice brunch outings with my girlfriends, cute outfits, and one too many glasses of bottomless mimosas…
I’ve actually never made it at home before now; was it out of laziness? Some dumb fear it won’t taste as good? I really don’t know. But last Sunday I attempted to try to make it since I had all the ingredients… and OMG.
During the cooking process, I was tasting and seasoning at each stop (like they do on my favorite show Chopped), and every time I would do a dance out of joy. Like “Girl, does it really taste this good??” I was kind of in disbelief. This was probably the quickest food photoshoot I did because I truly could not wait to dig into a bowl.
Anyway, I’m giving it all this praise because it really is that damn good. And I couldn’t wait to share the recipe with my Coined Crew!
- 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.
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. Heat that up to a nice boil, then whisk in the grits as well as any seasonings. 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!
While those grits are cooking, we’re going to create the tomato cream sauce. 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-inspired 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!
More Breakfast/Brunch Favorites!
Cajun Shrimp and Grits with a Creamy Tomato Sauce
For the grits:
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1 ½ cup seafood broth (or water)
- ⅔ cup quick grits
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- ½ tsp. salt more, to taste, if you used water instead of broth
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- ½ tsp. smoked paprika
- Gouda cheese (optional)
For the sauce & shrimp:
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste
- ⅔ cup seafood broth
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 14 shrimp large
- 1 tsp. Cajun seasoning
For the grits:
- Add 1/4 cup of heavy cream and broth/water 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. Feel free to add any additional seasonings/cheese to your taste preference.
For the sauce:
- While the grits are cooking, take a large saucepan/skillet and add the garlic cloves, red pepper flakes, olive oil, and butter.
- Cook on medium heat until the garlic & peppers are fragrant. Let the butter get nice and bubbly, but don't let it brown.
- 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 all ingredients are fully mixed. The sauce will thicken slightly but you can add water to thin it out if you prefer that consistency.
- Peel and devein shrimp; add to the saucepan and baste them in the sauce. Cook the shrimp for about 4-5 minutes, until they turn pink. Season both the sauce & shrimp with a bit of Cajun seasoning.
- 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. Enjoy!
The Coined Breakdown
- Total Cost per bowl: $3.35
- Total Cost (about 2 bowls): $6.71
- Those Other Guys: $14.00 a serving