Family Cajun Shrimp and Grits Recipe

Cajun Shrimp and Grits recipe on a plate. It has seared shrimp in a creamy smoky cajun sauce with chicken andouille sausage and pimiento.  Served over creamy, cheesy grits.
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Cajun Shrimp and Grits recipe on a plate with pan in background.  It has seared shrimp in a creamy smoky cajun sauce with chicken andouille sausage and pimiento.  Served over creamy, cheesy grits.

Loosen those pants and get your spoons ready because you are in for a dinner you will not be able to stop eating with this one!  Seared shrimp in a creamy smoky cajun sauce with chicken andouille sausage, garlic, scallions, and pimiento.  Mouthwatering?  Served over creamy, cheesy grits.  Drooling?  This is my Family-friendly Cajun Shrimp and Grits Recipe.  

What makes this family-friendly is that it’s flavorful enough for the adults, but the spice is mild enough for the kiddos.  You can easily spice it up or down based on your family’s tolerance to spice.  My version also uses coarse cornmeal, which is not the traditional Southern fine white grits ingredient.  But hey, I’m originally from a suburb of Chicago and now live in Hoboken, NJ and I love the texture that the coarse cornmeal gives this!

What you will get here is FLAVOR!  It’s sooooo delicious!  And it comes together in just over 30 minutes.  

Cajun Shrimp and Grits recipe on a plate. It has seared shrimp in a creamy smoky cajun sauce with chicken andouille sausage and pimiento.  Served over creamy, cheesy grits.

SHRIMP HAS SO MANY HEALTH BENEFITS!

I think we all know, at least anecdotally, that seafood is good for us.  However, getting kids or even adults to eat fish can sometimes be difficult.  That’s where Shrimp come in!  It’s one of the most consumed types of seafood.  It has a less-fishy smell or taste and can often be eaten with your fingers which makes it more fun.  So, let’s talk about the health benefits of Shrimp!

Shrimp is low in calories, yet provides a high amount of protein and healthy fats.  It also gives a variety of vitamins and minerals, as well as omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.  According to this article from Healthline, the primary antioxidant in shrimp, astaxanthin, “may help protect against inflammation by preventing free radicals from damaging your cells.  It has been studied for its role in reducing the risk of several chronic diseases.”

Here are some other delicious and easy-to-cook shrimp dinner recipes:

Spoon holding a bite of Cajun Shrimp and Grits recipe over a plate with pan in background. It has seared shrimp in a creamy smoky cajun sauce with chicken andouille sausage and pimiento.  Served over creamy, cheesy grits.

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

For the grits, you will need a heavy bottom pot with lid. My dutch oven was perfect for this, but any good quality enameled cast iron 5-6 quart dutch oven with lid is great.

You will also need a large skillet/frying pan for making the sausage, shrimp, and cajun sauce. I used my absolute favorite 12″ Ceramic Pan, which is great because food really does slide right off with minimal oil and I don’t have to worry about food sticking and burning. 

PREP-AHEAD STEPS FOR YOUR CAJUN SHRIMP AND GRITS RECIPE

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are steps you can prepare ahead to save time on busy nights! (See the full recipe below)

This is one of those dinners that you can prep, but not cook anything ahead as it really does not do well when reheated.  For the prep, you can slice the sausage (see below for more on the sausage), mince the garlic, slice the scallions, and drain the pimiento.  

Make the cajun seasoning ahead as well and if you like cajun, make extra for sprinkling on potatoes, chickpeas, any other veggies, steak, chicken, and so much more!

You can also remove the tails from the shrimp and season.

Cajun seasoning on raw shrimp without tails for Shrimp and Grits recipe.

What is Andouille Chicken Sausage?

Andouille sausage has both German and French origins, but here in the US, it’s found a great deal in southern and cajun cooking.  It’s traditionally made from chunks of smoked pork and other ingredients, such as onions, garlic, cayenne or other hot chiles to give it that distinctly spicy flavor.  

For this recipe, I used a chicken version, which is leaner and therefore, healthier.  It is still smoked and has the other typical cajun flavors and seasonings, so it’s a great substitute.  You can find chicken andouille sausage in any grocery store these days.  However, you can of course use a pork variety.

Can I use frozen shrimp?

Yes, you can use fresh or frozen shrimp.  The key is to ensure that they are cleaned of the digestive tract along the back and that the tail is pinched off.  You could cook this recipe with the tails on, but it’s more difficult to eat as you have to bite off the tail and discard.  It’s really a personal preference.  If you use frozen shrimp, you want to thaw them in the fridge overnight or under running (not standing) cold water.

COOKING YOUR SHRIMP AND GRITS 

The first thing you want to get started is the grits.  As mentioned above, a heavy/thick-bottomed pot works best for even consistent heat with the grits.  Add the milk, water, and salt. Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil and then slowly whisk in the cornmeal.  Let me clarify…slowly add the cornmeal, but briskly whisk while doing so.  It’s sort of like rubbing your belly and patting your head at the same time, it takes coordination!  The cornmeal can clump so quickly, so the brisk whisking is important here!

Once completely mixed in, turn the heat down to low and cover. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes, whisking every 3 to 4 minutes, to prevent clumping. It is done when it’s thick and creamy.

Whisk mixing grits in pot for Shrimp and Grits recipe.

While the grits are cooking, add a teaspoon of olive oil and the sausage to a preheated large frying pan/skillet. Cook on both sides until browned. Remove to a plate and return the pan to the heat.

Andouille sausage slices cooking in a pan for Shrimp and Grits recipe.

Add another teaspoon or more of olive oil and then the seasoned shrimp to the pan. Cook the shrimp for about 2 minutes on one side and then flip and cook for only 1 more minute. Remove to the plate with the sausage.

Cajun Shrimp cooking in a pan for Shrimp and Grits recipe.

To the same pan, add another teaspoon of olive oil and then add the garlic, pimiento, and scallions and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the chicken broth along with the cornstarch slurry and whisk as it heats and starts to thicken, about 3 minutes. Once thickened, add back the sausage and the shrimp.

Whisk mixing the sauce in a pan for Shrimp and Grits recipe.

Adding cooked cajun shrimp and sausage back to sauce in a pan for Shrimp and Grits recipe.

Finish the grits. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter until melted and combined. Then gradually whisk in the cheese a little at a time.

 Whick mixing shredded cheddar into grits for Shrimp and Grits recipe.

Creamy cheesy grits on a plate for Shrimp and Grits recipe.

Can you reheat shrimp and grits

As mentioned, this recipe is best when eaten right after you cook it.  The grits will congeal and may become lumpy when reheated.  Shrimp also is not a great contender for reheating.  To prevent this, warm gently in a pot on the stove while whisking constantly until it loosens and becomes smooth again.  Unfortunately, shrimp are so delicate that they can easily get overcooked and then get rubbery.  This is what happens when you reheat them.  If you do need to reheat them, do so on very low heat on the stove and remove from the heat immediately when they are warm.

Serve the shrimp, sausage and sauce on top of the grits. 

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

Cajun Shrimp and Grits recipe on a plate. It has seared shrimp in a creamy smoky cajun sauce with chicken andouille sausage and pimiento.  Served over creamy, cheesy grits.

Have you tried this recipe? If so, please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating in the recipe below! I love to hear your feedback and your rating helps others to find this recipe. Thanks so much!

Cajun Shrimp and Grits recipe on a plate. It has seared shrimp in a creamy smoky cajun sauce with chicken andouille sausage and pimiento.  Served over creamy, cheesy grits.
5 from 2 votes
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Family Cajun Shrimp and Grits Recipe

This is my Family-friendly Cajun Shrimp and Grits Recipe with seared shrimp in a creamy smoky cajun sauce with chicken andouille sausage and pimiento.  Served over creamy, cheesy grits.  My version also uses coarse cornmeal, which has a bit more texture than traditional Southern white grits.  It's family-friendly because it's flavorful enough for the adults, but the spice is mild enough for the kiddos.  It's an easy family dinner!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Cajun
Keyword cajun, cornmeal, grits, shrimp, shrimp and grits
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

Cajun Seasoning

  • 1/2 teaspoon Chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

Shrimp & Sauce

  • 3 links Andouille Chicken Sausage, fully cooked
  • 1 pound Raw Shrimp (size 26-30/lb), cleaned and tails removed
  • 3 teaspoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (divided into 3)
  • 2 teaspoons Minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 scallions
  • 4 ounces Chopped Pimiento, drained
  • 1 cup Vegetable Broth or Chicken Broth
  • 2 tablespoons Cornstarch
  • ½ cup Cold Water
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

Grits

  • 1 cup Cornmeal coarse ground
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups milk (I used 1%)
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter, salted
  • 1 cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded (I used sharp)
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground black pepper

Instructions

Prep-Ahead Steps

  1. Mince the garlic. Slice the scallions. Drain the pimiento.

  2. Mix the cajun seasonings.
  3. Slice the sausage.

Cooking Steps

  1. Make the cornstarch slurry by whisking the cornstarch into the cold water. Set aside.

  2. Make Grits. To a heavy/thick-bottomed pot, such as dutch oven, add the milk, water, and salt. Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil and then slowly pour in the cornmeal while briskly whisking, to prevent clumps. Once completely mixed in, turn the heat down to low and cover. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes, whisking every 3 to 4 minutes, to prevent clumping. It is done when it's thick and creamy.

    Whisk mixing grits in pot for Shrimp and Grits recipe.
  3. While the grits are cooking, add a teaspoon (or more if needed) of olive oil and the sausage to a preheated large frying pan/skillet. Cook on both sides until browned. Remove to a plate and return the pan to the heat.

    Andouille sausage slices cooking in a pan for Shrimp and Grits recipe.
  4. Add another teaspoon of olive oil (or more if needed) and then the seasoned shrimp to the pan. Cook the shrimp for about 2 minutes on one side and then flip and cook for only 1 more minute. Remove to the plate with the sausage.

    Cajun Shrimp cooking in a pan for Shrimp and Grits recipe.
  5. To the same pan, add another teaspoon of olive oil and then add the garlic, pimiento, and scallions and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the chicken broth along with the cornstarch slurry and whisk as it heats and starts to thicken, about 3 minutes. Once thickened, add back the sausage and the shrimp.

    Adding cooked cajun shrimp and sausage back to sauce in a pan for Shrimp and Grits recipe.
  6. Finish the grits. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter until melted and combined. Then gradually whisk in the cheese a little at a time.

    Whick mixing shredded cheddar into grits for Shrimp and Grits recipe.
  7. Serve the shrimp, sausage and sauce on top of the grits. Enjoy!

    Cajun Shrimp and Grits recipe on a plate. It has seared shrimp in a creamy smoky cajun sauce with chicken andouille sausage and pimiento.  Served over creamy, cheesy grits.

Best Orange Brown Butter Shrimp Pasta Recipe

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Lick your lips buttery, silky, slightly sweet, slightly nutty…this is my Easy Orange Brown Butter Shrimp Pasta Recipe!  It has rocked my world this week and it’s about to rock yours.  Now, before you run because it’s January and you’re on a health kick and ‘butter’ scares you, listen up.  It’s only 485 calories per serving and it’s outrageously delicious!  A little butter browned goes a long way here.

Here is a video showing how easy this recipe is!

Shrimp: Omega-3’s to Promote Heart Health

Fish is a healthy protein that I wish we ate more of in my family.  The truth is, it’s difficult to get the kids to eat it.  But, they really like shrimp!  They like that they can pick it up with their fingers and has a fresh flavor that’s more mild than fish. 

For me, I’m happy because shrimp has many healthy benefits.  It’s low in calories and as mentioned, it’s a healthy source of protein.  It also has Vitamin B12, Iron, and Magnesium.  Shrimp, like fish, also contains Omega-3 Fatty Acids, which are important for promoting heart health and help to prevent heart disease.

Here are a couple more delicious and easy Shrimp Dinner Recipes to try!

Orange Brown Butter Shrimp Pasta Recipe on a plate.  It has a silky sauce that's buttery, nutty, and slightly sweet! 
Orange Brown Butter Shrimp Pasta Recipe on a plate. It has a silky sauce that's buttery, nutty, and slightly sweet! #shrimprecipes #shrimppasta #easydinners #dinnerideas 

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  But, I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

I use my absolute favorite 12″ Ceramic Pan, which is great because food really does slide right off with minimal oil and I don’t have to worry about food sticking and burning.  It comes with a glass lid, which is perfect for watching your dinner cook!

PREP-AHEAD TO MAKE YOUR ORANGE BROWN BUTTER SHRIMP PASTA RECIPE

 Orange cut, zested, and squeezed for the Orange Brown Butter Shrimp Pasta Recipe.  It has a silky sauce that's buttery, nutty, and slightly sweet! #shrimprecipes #shrimppasta #easydinners #dinnerideas 

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are the steps you prepare in the day(s) in advance and store in the fridge as your meal Kit… (See the recipe below for more details)

 For this recipe, you can prep everything, but you do not want to cook the shrimp until you are ready to eat.  The shrimp take just a few minutes to cook and do not reheat very well without becoming rubbery.  Make sure your shrimp are fully cleaned and rinsed under cold water. Keep in the fridge until ready to cook.

Thinly Slice the 2 scallions. Mince the garlic. Chop the parsley.

Cut the orange in half and cut 2 thin slices from half and then quarter those slices. Zest the other half of the orange, then juice both halves of the orange and set the juice, the zest, and slices aside. (or store in the fridge)Orange cut, zested, and squeezed for the Orange Brown Butter Shrimp Pasta Recipe.  It has a silky sauce that's buttery, nutty, and slightly sweet! #shrimprecipes #shrimppasta #easydinners #dinnerideas 

In a small sauce pot, add the butter and simmer on low heat until it gets brown and starts to release a nutty, almost sweet aroma, about 5-8 minutes. Turn off heat and set aside for later.

4 tbsp butter melting in pot for the Orange Brown Butter Shrimp Pasta Recipe.  It has a silky sauce that's buttery, nutty, and slightly sweet! #shrimprecipes #shrimppasta #easydinners #dinnerideas 

Melted butter in pot for the Orange Brown Butter Shrimp Pasta Recipe.  It has a silky sauce that's buttery, nutty, and slightly sweet! #shrimprecipes #shrimppasta #easydinners #dinnerideas 

Browned butter in pot for the Orange Brown Butter Shrimp Pasta Recipe.  It has a silky sauce that's buttery, nutty, and slightly sweet! #shrimprecipes #shrimppasta #easydinners #dinnerideas 

Browned butter in pot for the Orange Brown Butter Shrimp Pasta Recipe.  It has a silky sauce that's buttery, nutty, and slightly sweet! #shrimprecipes #shrimppasta #easydinners #dinnerideas  

COOK YOUR SHRIMP PASTA RECIPE 

Boil a large pot of water for the pasta. Once the pasta water is boiling, add a splash of Olive Oil and a pinch of salt.Boiling water with oil in pot for the Orange Brown Butter Shrimp Pasta Recipe.  It has a silky sauce that's buttery, nutty, and slightly sweet! #shrimprecipes #shrimppasta #easydinners #dinnerideas 

Add the pasta and stir so that it all is immersed in the water and doesn’t stick it itself. Boil the pasta until al dente.

Preheat large skillet on high heat. Add olive oil to the pan and spread it around to coat the bottom.

Add flour to a wide bowl and season with salt and pepper. Dredge shrimp in the flour, then shake the excess flour off and add to the hot oiled pan.Seasoned flour in a bowl for the Orange Brown Butter Shrimp Pasta Recipe.  It has a silky sauce that's buttery, nutty, and slightly sweet! #shrimprecipes #shrimppasta #easydinners #dinnerideas 

Raw shrimp in flour in a bowl for the Orange Brown Butter Shrimp Pasta Recipe.  It has a silky sauce that's buttery, nutty, and slightly sweet! #shrimprecipes #shrimppasta #easydinners #dinnerideas 

Raw shrimp in flour in a bowl for the Orange Brown Butter Shrimp Pasta Recipe.  It has a silky sauce that's buttery, nutty, and slightly sweet! #shrimprecipes #shrimppasta #easydinners #dinnerideas 

Raw shrimp in flour in a bowl for the Orange Brown Butter Shrimp Pasta Recipe.  It has a silky sauce that's buttery, nutty, and slightly sweet! #shrimprecipes #shrimppasta #easydinners #dinnerideas  

Cook on medium to high heat for 2-3 minutes, then flip each piece and cook for one more minute.

Adding raw shrimp to skillet for the Orange Brown Butter Shrimp Pasta Recipe.  It has a silky sauce that's buttery, nutty, and slightly sweet! #shrimprecipes #shrimppasta #easydinners #dinnerideas 

Shrimp cooking in skillet for the Orange Brown Butter Shrimp Pasta Recipe.  It has a silky sauce that's buttery, nutty, and slightly sweet! #shrimprecipes #shrimppasta #easydinners #dinnerideas 

Shrimp cooking in skillet for the Orange Brown Butter Shrimp Pasta Recipe.  It has a silky sauce that's buttery, nutty, and slightly sweet! #shrimprecipes #shrimppasta #easydinners #dinnerideas 

Add the juice from the orange, the orange zest, the orange slices, the butter, the minced garlic, scallions, 1 tbsp parsley, and the broth.Adding orange juice to shrimp in skillet for the Orange Brown Butter Shrimp Pasta Recipe. #shrimprecipes #shrimppasta #easydinners #dinnerideas 

Adding brown butter to shrimp in skillet for the Orange Brown Butter Shrimp Pasta Recipe. #shrimprecipes #shrimppasta #easydinners #dinnerideas 

Cook for 1 minute in the sauce and then flip the shrimp and cook for one more minute until sauce starts to thicken. Add the cooked pasta directly from the pasta water and mix to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Shrimp with orange sauce in skillet for the Orange Brown Butter Shrimp Pasta Recipe. #shrimprecipes #shrimppasta #easydinners #dinnerideas 

Serve and garnish with the remaining parsley. 

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

Orange Brown Butter Shrimp Pasta Recipe on a plate. It has a silky sauce that's buttery, nutty, and slightly sweet! #shrimprecipes #shrimppasta #easydinners #dinnerideas 

Easy Orange Brown Butter Shrimp Pasta Recipe

Lick-your-lips buttery, silky, slightly sweet, slightly nutty...this is my Easy Orange Brown Butter Shrimp Recipe!  It's only 485 calories per serving and it's outrageously delicious!  A little butter, when browned, goes a long way here. Mixed with fettuccine that's perfectly coated with the silky sauce, it's a perfect dish. #shrimprecipes #pastareceipes #seafoodrecipes #familydinner #dinnerideas

Course Main Course
Keyword dinner, seafood recipes, shrimp
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 485 kcal
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Cleaned Raw Shrimp (size 26-30/lb)
  • 3 Tbls All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • 4 Tbls Butter, salted
  • 1 Orange
  • 1 Cup Chicken or vegetable Broth
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 1 Scallions
  • 2 tbsp Parsley
  • Fresh Ground Pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbls Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 8 oz Fettuccine or your favorite pasta and shape

Instructions

Prep-Ahead Instructions

  1. Make sure your shrimp are fully cleaned and rinsed under cold water. Keep in the fridge until ready to cook.

  2. Thinly Slice the 2 scallions. Mince the garlic. Chop the parsley.

  3. Cut the orange in half and cut 2 thin slices from half and then quarter those slices. Zest the other half of the orange, then juice both halves of the orange and set the juice, the zest, and slices aside. (or store in the fridge)

    Orange cut, zested, and squeezed for the Orange Brown Butter Shrimp Pasta Recipe. It has a silky sauce that's buttery, nutty, and slightly sweet! #shrimprecipes #shrimppasta #easydinners #dinnerideas 
  4. In a small sauce pan, add the butter and simmer on low heat until it gets brown and starts to release a nutty, almost sweet aroma, about 5-8 minutes. Turn off heat and set aside for later.
    Browned butter in pot for the Orange Brown Butter Shrimp Pasta Recipe. It has a silky sauce that's buttery, nutty, and slightly sweet! #shrimprecipes #shrimppasta #easydinners #dinnerideas 

Cook your Orange Brown Butter Shrimp Pasta

  1. Boil a large pot of water for the pasta. Once the pasta water is boiling, add a splash of Olive Oil and a pinch of salt. Add the pasta and stir so that it all is immersed in the water and doesn't stick it itself. Boil the pasta until al dente.

    Boiling water with oil in pot for the Orange Brown Butter Shrimp Pasta Recipe. It has a silky sauce that's buttery, nutty, and slightly sweet! #shrimprecipes #shrimppasta #easydinners #dinnerideas 
  2. Add flour to a wide bowl and season with salt and pepper. Dredge shrimp in the flour, then shake the excess flour off and add to the hot oiled pan.

    Raw shrimp in flour in a bowl for the Orange Brown Butter Shrimp Pasta Recipe. It has a silky sauce that's buttery, nutty, and slightly sweet! #shrimprecipes #shrimppasta #easydinners #dinnerideas 
  3. Preheat large skillet on high heat. Add olive oil to the pan and spread it around to coat the bottom. Cook the shrimp on medium to high heat for 2-3 minutes, then flip each piece and cook for one more minute.

    Shrimp cooking in skillet for the Orange Brown Butter Shrimp Pasta Recipe. It has a silky sauce that's buttery, nutty, and slightly sweet! #shrimprecipes #shrimppasta #easydinners #dinnerideas 
  4. Add the juice from the orange, the orange zest, the orange slices, the butter, the minced garlic, scallions, 1 tbsp parsley, and the broth.

    Adding brown butter to shrimp in skillet for the Orange Brown Butter Shrimp Pasta Recipe. #shrimprecipes #shrimppasta #easydinners #dinnerideas 
  5. Cook for 1 minute in the sauce and then flip the shrimp and cook for one more minute until sauce starts to thicken. Add the cooked pasta directly from the pasta water and mix to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.

    Pasta added to Shrimp and orange sauce in skillet for the Orange Brown Butter Shrimp Pasta Recipe. #shrimprecipes #shrimppasta #easydinners #dinnerideas 
  6. Serve and garnish with the remaining parsley.

    Orange Brown Butter Shrimp Pasta Recipe on a plate. It has a silky sauce that's buttery, nutty, and slightly sweet! #shrimprecipes #shrimppasta #easydinners #dinnerideas