Skinny Shrimp and Grits Recipe

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Skinny Shrimp and Grits don’t skimp on flavor, but it does cut back on calories. You won’t miss a thing in this lightened-up version of this Southern classic, which takes under 30 minutes to make!

Skinn shrimp and grits in a bowl with a fork

This recipe for Cajun shrimp and grits is courtesy of Uncle Don. Whenever Don (who is a dear uncle to my 2 girls) is cooking one of his specialties, you know it’s going to be good. And…you better not be late for dinner!

Well, this is one of his specialties. I hope he doesn’t take exception to the fact that I skinnied it down a bit. I also have suggestions to make it dairy-free. Either way, it is out of this world.

As a girl with Southern roots, I can attest to the joy of eating a good serving of cheesy grits. In my book, when you add some seasoned shrimp, it’s the perfect comfort dish. If you’re looking for a low-carb version, check out our Cauliflower Grits and Shrimp Recipe! It’s delicious too!

How to Make Skinny Shrimp and Grits

I left out a few of Don’s secret ingredients, but I’ll tell you where to add them here. 

  1. Marinate shrimp in a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and seafood spice (like Old Bay seasoning) for about 20-30 minutes.  Don swears by Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Seafood Magic.
  2. Place shrimp in a baking dish and cook in a 375 degree F oven for about 7-10 minutes or until shrimp are cooked through and pink.
  3. While the shrimp are cooking, melt butter (use a low-fat or dairy-free substitute if desired) in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic to the pan and cook until onions are soft, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Add chicken or vegetable broth, seafood seasoning, and sundried tomatoes to the pan and bring the mixture to a boil. Slowly whisk in the grits. Cook over medium-high heat for about 8-10 minutes, stirring often.
    • Traditional version: For Uncle Don’s delightfully decadent version, replace one cup of broth with 1 cup of heavy cream and 4 ounces of white wine. Just imagine how creamy that version would be!
  5. Remove grits from heat and stir in sharp cheddar cheese or dairy-free cheese substitute. Or, leave the cheese out…it’s still delicious.
  6. Serve cooked shrimp over the grits and top with freshly chopped scallions.

Large serving bowl with cajun shrimp and girts topped with sliced green onion

What are Grits?

If you’re not from the South, you may have this question? Or, you may ask if grits are the same thing as polenta.

Answer: Grits and polenta are both made from corn that has been ground into a coarse meal. Geographical differences and the type of corn used are some factors that result in the different name according to Polenta Versus Grits: What’s the Difference by The Kitchn. Both are gluten-free!

So, let’s have a little discussion about what type of grits to use in this Skinny Shrimp and Grits recipe. Uncle Don likes polenta and that’s what I used. But, I know there are some strong feelings about white grits in a traditional recipe such as this. I’d love for you to weigh in on the debate! 

Pot of cooked southern grits with sundried tomatoes

This lightened-up version of shrimp and grits got rave reviews. But, just how skinny are they? Check out our nutritional estimate below. The final tally will vary based upon the products used.

Play around with the type and amount of cheese and to get the calorie count down a little more. A small amount of sharp cheddar cheese adds a lot of flavor!

Easy Shrimp and Grits in a bowl
Thank you, Uncle Don. We loved the recipe. But, it’s always better when you make it. 🙂

Please rate this recipe and tag @DinnerMom or #DinnerMom on social media. We love to see what you are cooking up!

Skinn shrimp and grits in a bowl with a fork
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4.67 from 3 votes

Skinny Shrimp and Grits

Skinny shrimp and grits don't skimp on taste. Sharp cheddar cheese, sundried tomatoes and plenty of onion and spices make this dish shine.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Marinate time not included20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Cajun
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 507kcal


  • 1 pound shrimp peeled, deveined and with tail off
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons seafood seasoning like Old Bay or Chef Paul Prudhomme's Seafood Magic
  • 1 Tablespoon butter low-fat margarine or dairy-free substitute
  • 1 cup onion finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes chopped or cut into slivers
  • 1 cup corn grits polenta
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded, omit for dairy-free version
  • 1 scallion sliced thin


  • Combine olive oil, lemon juice, salt and 1 teaspoon of seafood seasoning in a plastic bag. Add shrimp and marinate in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Place shrimp in a baking dish and cook for 7-10 minutes or until shrimp are cooked through.
  • Melt butter or margarine in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add onion and garlic to pan and saute for about 5 minutes or until onion has softened.
  • Add broth, sundried tomatoes and 1 teaspoon of seafood seasoning to the pan.
  • Bring mixture to a boil and stir in grits.
  • Lower heat and cook grits for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove from heat and stir in cheese.
  • Serve shrimp over grits and top with sliced green onion.


Calories: 507kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 322mg | Sodium: 1753mg | Potassium: 677mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 570IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 408mg | Iron: 4.6mg
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  1. Linda Hestand says

    Cut back onion to 1/2 the amt sown, needed more marinade. Other than that, perfect!

  2. Andie Thueson says

    My husband loves to order Shrimp and grits when we go out – I think I will surprise him and make it for him at home!

  3. Nellie Tracy says

    This recipe looks amazing! Can’t wait to try it!

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