Cajun Grilled Shrimp and Grits

The heat level of Cajun Grilled Shrimp and Grits is easily customizable by increasing or decreasing the cayenne pepper in both the shrimp marinade and scallion butter. We find the listed quantities give the dish a mild kick. Feel free to adjust to your preferences!

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Yield 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

For the Shrimp

  • 1-1/2 pounds large raw shrimp, shells on (about 28-30)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper

For the Grits

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup stone ground grits
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1-1/2 cups sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional to taste

For the Scallion Butter

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and kept warm
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup sliced scallions

Instructions

Marinate and Grill the Shrimp

  1. Devein shrimp: Using a paring knife or a pair of kitchen shears, make a shallow cut along the back of the shrimp (the curved side), in the middle, from the tip to where the tails begin. Use the tip of your knife or shears to remove the dark vein. Leave shells on the shrimp.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, herbs, and spices. Add shrimp and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate, refrigerated, 1 hour.

  3. Preheat grill over medium-high flame for about 15 minutes. Remove shrimp from marinade, shaking off excess, and thread onto skewers. Discard marinade. Oil grill grates and cook shrimp 2-3 minutes per side until grill marks appear and shrimp are just transparent. Do not overcook. 

  4. Peel shells from shrimp before serving.

Make the Grits

  1. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil with a 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Slowly whisk in grits. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 45-50 minutes, until tender and creamy, whisking often. Add additional water to the pan if the grits start getting too thick before they're tender.*

  2. Stir in unsalted butter and cheddar until melted and creamy. Season to taste with salt.

Make the scallion butter and serve

  1. Stir together 6 tablespoons melted butter, minced garlic, paprika, cayenne pepper, kosher salt, and sliced scallions.

  2. Ladle grits into serving bowls. Top each portion with shrimp and drizzle with the scallion butter. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

*If you're unable to find stone-ground grits, or if the package directions for the grits you're using differ significantly from those here, follow the brand's cooking recommendations for 1 cup of dry grits.