Easy barbecue shrimp and grits are sure to be a family favorite – seasoned shrimp are served over a bed of creamy corn grits.
Every year, my family and I make a trek to the Alabama Gulf coast for a few days of R&R. Before we leave to head home, we make a pit stop to purchase as many pounds of fresh shrimp as our budget will allow. There is definitely a distinct flavor difference between fresh-caught Gulf shrimp and the frozen farm-raised stuff that comes in a bag from the grocery store.
When we get home, I divide our shrimp out into one-pound quantities, vacuum seal them, then freeze. Over the next 12 months, I dole them out for use in our favorite shrimp dishes, such as shrimp and crawfish étouffée, easy shrimp scampi, grilled shrimp salad with hot bacon dressing, and barbecue shrimp and grits.
Make the Grits
The grits need longer to cook, so get those simmering first. Skip the quick-cooking grits this time. I prefer stone ground yellow corn grits. They take a little longer to prepare, but the flavor and texture is worth it.
Bring two cups of chicken stock to a boil over medium high heat. Once the pot comes to a boil, add one cup of heavy cream and one cup of yellow stone ground corn grits. Stir to combine, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for about 12 minutes, stirring every few minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed and the grits are tender.
Remove the pan from the heat. Add two tablespoons of butter to the grits and stir until the butter is melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If the grits should become too thick, stir in a little more chicken broth or milk to thin them out. If they are too watery, continue to cook a little longer.
Prepare the Barbecue Shrimp
While the grits are cooking, prepare the shrimp. You’ll want to peel and devein the shrimp ahead of time. This means removing the outer shell and running a knife down the back of the shrimp, but not all the way through, and removing the long sand vein. It won’t hurt you to eat the sand vein, but it can create some grit. Nobody likes grit. If you’re unsure how to devein a shrimp, check out my video on how to peel and devein shrimp.
I left the tails on just for the sake of photos. Aesthetically, it looks better. Functionally, it’s a pain in the butt to have to pull the tails off as you’re eating. Had I not been planning to photograph these shrimp, I would have peeled the tails off too. Save those shrimp shells! They’re great for homemade shrimp stock.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place one stick of unsalted butter in an 8 x 8-inch casserole dish. Pour ¼ cup of vegetable oil and two tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce over the top. Add two cloves of crushed garlic and ½ teaspoon of salt. If you like your shrimp with a little heat, add some Cajun seasoning to taste.
Place the casserole dish in the oven and let the butter melt. This should take about 5-10 minutes. Once the butter has melted, add the peeled and deveined shrimp and return it to the oven. Bake until the shrimp are pink and opaque, meaning you can’t see through them anymore, about 10 more minutes.
Ladle a heaping pile of hot grits onto a plate or in a bowl. Spoon the shrimp over the top of the grits. Be sure to spoon any gravy from the bottom of the dish over top. Garnish with sliced green onions.
Storage, Freezing and Reheating
Storage. Store the shrimp and the grits separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator.
Freezing. I do not recommend freezing this dish. Freezing and thawing previously cooked shrimp can cause the texture to become tough and rubbery.
Reheating. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the shrimp in an oven-safe dish and cook until just heated through, about 5-10 minutes. Do not overcook the shrip. To reheat the grits, place them in a saucepan with 1/2 cup of chicken broth. Simmer the grits, stirring occasionally in a covered saucepan over medium-low heat until they are smooth again. Add additional chicken broth if needed to thin the consistency of the grits out.
You Might Also Like:
- Shrimp and Crawfish Étouffée
- 10-Minute Easy Shrimp Scampi
- Grilled Shrimp Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing
- Shrimp Creole
- More fish and seafood recipes
Barbecue Shrimp and Grits
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning to taste
- 1 pound medium shrimp peeled and deveined
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup heavy cream or whole milk
- 1 cup stone ground yellow corn grits
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the shrimp:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine the butter, Worcestershire, oil, garlic and Cajun seasoning in an 8 x 8 x 2-inch casserole dish.
- Place dish in the oven just until the butter melts, about 5-10 minutes.
- Add shrimp and toss to coat shrimp with the butter mixture.
- Return dish to the oven and bake just until shrimp turn pink and opaque, about 10 minutes.
For the grits:
- In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a boil over medium high heat.
- Add the grits and heavy cream or whole milk. Return to a boil.
- Cover the pan and reduce the heat to low. Simmer until the grits are creamy and most of the liquid is absorbed – about 12 minutes. Stir every few minutes to keep the grits lump free.
- Remove the grits from the heat and add two tablespoons of butter. Stir until the butter is melted.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Ladle grits into a bowl. Arrange several of the shrimp over top.
- Garnish with sliced green onions.