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.

Mouthwatering Potato and Steak Bites Recipe

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Garlic Potato and Steak Bites Recipe with sweet pepper slices in a pan on counter. It's an easy and delicious, one-pan family dinner!  You get fantastic salty, buttery, tender steak and potatoes in each and every mouthwatering bite! 

Meat and Potatoes go extra.  My daughters were just educating me on the term ‘extra’ and this Garlic Potato and Steak Bites Recipe is definitely EX-TRA!  (my girls are cringing right now)  The potatoes get a gorgeous and flavorful sear in the pan first and then garlic and beef filet cubes are added with sweet peppers.  You get fantastic salty, buttery, tender steak and potatoes in each and every mouthwatering bite! 

Garlic Potato and Steak Bites Recipe with sweet pepper slices on a plate with pan on counter. It's an easy and delicious, one-pan family dinner!  You get fantastic salty, buttery, tender steak and potatoes in each and every mouthwatering bite! 

Petite Beef Filet:  The secret is revealed! 

This recipe uses a lesser known cut of super tender beef, known as the Petite Filet, which comes from the shoulder.  It’s similar in flavor to the more well known Beef Tenderloin filet, but without the most expensive price tag.  In fact, you are likely to find petite filets at over 50% LESS cost/pound than a tenderloin filet. 

The petite filet is a very lean cut, generally about 165 calories per 4 oz. serving.  If you haven’t tried this cut, be sure to look for it or ask your butcher the next time you are at the store!  You will LOVE IT!

Here are other recipes where I’ve used petite beef filet: Mini Beef Wellington Bites and my Spiced Cauliflower Rice with Beef Filet.

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

You need a large skillet or frying pan for this recipe. You can use a cast iron skillet for this, but it isn’t necessary. 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.  It comes with a glass lid, which is perfect for watching your dinner cook!

And mincing garlic is made super easy with a Garlic Press.

PREP-AHEAD STEPS FOR GARLIC STEAK BITES AND POTATOES

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are the steps you can prepare in the day(s) in advance (See the full recipe below).

The prep for this recipe includes chopping the fresh parsley, mincing the garlic, quartering the creamer potatoes (the smaller, the faster they will cook), and cutting the steak into bite-size cubes.  You can also season the steak in advance with salt and pepper. 

Knife slicing creamer potatoes for Garlic Potato and Steak Bites Recipe.  It's an easy and delicious, one-pan family dinner!  You get fantastic salty, buttery, tender steak and potatoes in each and every mouthwatering bite! 

Knife slicing mini sweet peppers for Garlic Potato and Steak Bites Recipe.  It's an easy and delicious, one-pan family dinner!  You get fantastic salty, buttery, tender steak and potatoes in each and every mouthwatering bite! 

Knife slicing petite beef filet into steak bites for Garlic Potato and Steak Bites Recipe.  It's an easy and delicious, one-pan family dinner!  You get fantastic salty, buttery, tender steak and potatoes in each and every mouthwatering bite! 

Hand seasoning raw steak bites for Garlic Potato and Steak Bites Recipe.  It's an easy and delicious, one-pan family dinner!  You get fantastic salty, buttery, tender steak and potatoes in each and every mouthwatering bite! 

Store each of these ingredients separately in the fridge or just keep aside as you get ready to cook.

Can I use another cut of beef?

There are a few different cuts that you can use for this recipe, all cooking about the same time.  I prefer tender cuts that simply sear.  I find that the tenderloin and petite beef tenderloin are the most forgiving.  In other words, if you over cook them, they don’t immediately get too tough, they stay pretty tender.  You can also use sirloin, rib eye or New York strip steak.  Be careful not to over cook these cuts as they can get tough and chewy on you.

Can I use other types of potatoes?

Yep!  You can use just about any potato that you want, as long as you cut it into small bite-size pieces.  The best potatoes are going to be small creamer or yukon potatoes as the skins are thin and tender so you don’t have to worry about peeling them.  If you use russet potatoes or sweet potatoes, you will want to peel them first.  Sweet potatoes may also take a bit longer to cook, so test them with a fork to make sure they are cooked through before moving on to the steak.

COOK YOUR GARLIC STEAK BITES AND POTATOES 

The basic steps for cooking this are: 1. sear and cook the potatoes then remove 2. sear and cook the steak bites and the peppers 3. add the potatoes back and finish.

For the potatoes, since you cut them into small pieces, they should cook pretty fast, about 10 minutes.  Add olive oil, potatoes, salt, black pepper, thyme, and oregano to a hot skillet. Cook for about 4-5 minutes, stir and cook and additional 3-5 minutes until fork tender. Remove and set aside on a plate.

Potatoes cooking in a pan for Garlic Potato and Steak Bites Recipe. It's an easy and delicious, one-pan family dinner!  You get fantastic salty, buttery, tender steak and potatoes in each and every mouthwatering bite! 

Turn the skillet to high heat. Add the 1 tablespoon butter and then the steak bites. Let the steak sear for a minute, then add in the minced garlic and sliced sweet peppers, stir everything and continue to cook for another 4-5 minutes.

Steak bites cooking in a pan for Garlic Potato and Steak Bites Recipe. It's an easy and delicious, one-pan family dinner!  You get fantastic salty, buttery, tender steak and potatoes in each and every mouthwatering bite! 

Adding sliced sweet peppers to steak bites for Garlic Potato and Steak Bites Recipe. It's an easy and delicious, one-pan family dinner!  You get fantastic salty, buttery, tender steak and potatoes in each and every mouthwatering bite! 

Add the potatoes back and cook for a final 2-3 minutes, just to warm it all together.

Garlic Potato and Steak Bites Recipe with sweet pepper slices in a pan on counter. It's an easy and delicious, one-pan family dinner!  You get fantastic salty, buttery, tender steak and potatoes in each and every mouthwatering bite! 

Top everything with the chopped parsley and serve!

Do I need a cast iron skillet for this recipe?

A cast iron skillet will give you a beautiful sear and crust to the potatoes and the steak.  However, you don’t have to use one.  You can use any large skillet or frying pan for this recipe.  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.

How do I reheat Steak Bites?

The best way to reheat this recipe is back in a pan on the stove with a little bit of extra olive oil and butter to reintroduce moisture.  You could also place everything on a sheet pan and reheat in the oven 400 F degrees for 10 minutes.  You can reheat this in the microwave, however, I don’t recommend it as it the potatoes will not get crispy, but rather soggy.  

What to serve steak bites with

All you really need to go with this recipe is a vegetable side and it’s a completely balanced meal.  A simple roasted veggie, such as broccoli with a drizzle of olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, salt, and pepper is perfect!  Or Roasted Cumin Carrots are delicious with this.  Or go with a Simple Mesclun salad for a cool side.

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

Garlic Potato and Steak Bites Recipe with sweet pepper slices in a pan on counter. It's an easy and delicious, one-pan family dinner!  You get fantastic salty, buttery, tender steak and potatoes in each and every mouthwatering bite! 
5 from 1 vote
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Mouthwatering Garlic Potatoes and Steak Bites Recipe

This Garlic Potato and Steak Bites Recipe is quite possibly one of the easiest and delicious meat and potato dinners!  Everything cooks in one pan. The potatoes get a gorgeous and flavorful sear in the pan first and then garlic and beef filet cubes are added with sweet peppers.  You get fantastic salty, buttery, tender steak and potatoes in each and every mouthwatering bite!  #easyfamilydinner #familydinnerideas #steakbites #onepanmeals

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Beef, dinner, potatoes, steak
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 396 kcal
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

Potatoes

  • 1 pound Gold creamer potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Ground thyme
  • 2 teaspoons Dried Oregano (divided)

Steak Bites & Peppers

  • 1 pound Petite Beef Filets
  • 1 tablespoon Salted Butter
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 3 tablespoons Fresh Italian Parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoons Salt (divided)
  • 1 teaspoons black pepper (divided)
  • 8 Mini Sweet peppers (or 1 medium Red Bell Pepper)

Instructions

Prep Ahead Steps

  1. Rough chop the parsley. Mince the garlic. Slice the mini sweet peppers. (Note, the seeds are so small and soft, that I just keep them in, but you can discard).

  2. Cut the petite beef filet into bite-size cubes and then season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper.

  3. Quarter the creamer potatoes. If you have larger potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch x 1 inch pieces. If you are doing this step in advance, you can place them in cold water to prevent them from turning brown. Dry them off before cooking.

Cooking Steps

  1. Heat a large frying pan or skillet over medium high heat and add olive oil, potatoes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, thyme, and oregano. Cook for about 4-5 minutes, stir and cook and additional 3-4 minutes until fork tender. Remove and set aside on a plate.

  2. Turn the skillet to high heat. Add the 1 tablespoon butter and then the steak bites. Let the steak sear for a minute, then add in the minced garlic and the sliced sweet peppers, stir everything and continue to cook for another 4-5 minutes.

  3. Add the potatoes back and cook for a final 2-3 minutes, just to warm it all together.

  4. Top everything with the chopped parsley and serve!