Pimento Cheese Shrimp and Grits Recipe

From Carrie Morey's Hot Little Suppers cookbook

Pimento Cheese Shrimp and Grits Recipe


  • • 4 servings grits
  • • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter, at room temperature
  • • ½ cup homemade or high quality purchased pimento cheese (hint hint)
  • • ½ pound sliced bacon
  • • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • • 1 large onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • • 1½ pounds shrimp, rinsed, peeled, and deveined
  • • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • • ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • • 3 green onions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)

Shrimp and grits has become synonymous with Lowcountry cuisine, and when I meet people from elsewhere, they always want to know my take on it. I put this recipe together one Father’s Day for my dad, a Lowcountry boy who loves his shrimp. In fact, Magwood’s, the only place I go for fresh local shrimp, is located on Shem Creek within walking distance of my father’s house, where I grew up. I would ride my bike along the oak-shaded streets and out to the water’s edge to watch the pelicans, sea gulls, and dolphins dive behind the incoming shrimp boats as the shrimpers swept out the bycatch. When that’s part of your childhood, it’s hard to ever buy anything other than fresh shrimp right off the docks.

My Lowcountry-raised friend Krysten, who now lives in California, has her parents send her fresh Shem Creek shrimp via overnight delivery. Any other shrimp just isn’t the same. Come down here and try it. You’ll see what I mean. Instead of covering up the taste of the fresh shrimp with too many fussy ingredients, this version uses the onion and garlic to enhance the taste of the shrimp, with the fresh tomatoes brightening up the whole dish. And, of course, a little bacon drippins never hurts. Forget the smell of cookies baking—to me there’s nothing better than the smell of garlic and onions cooking in bacon drippins on the stove or roasting in the oven. Enjoy the smell of this recipe in the kitchen and enjoy how the shrimp take on those same flavors. Just be sure not to overcook the shrimp—that’s what gives them a tough or chewy texture. Find this recipe and more in my cookbook. 

Shrimp and Grits


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Make the grits according to our packaging instructions. In the last 5 minutes of cooking, stir in the butter and pimento cheese. Keep warm.
  3. Cook the bacon in a large skillet. Remove from the pan, drain on a paper bag, crumble, and set aside.
  4. Drain off and set aside half the bacon drippins from the skillet (about 2 tablespoons), and add the tomatoes, onion, and garlic to the remaining drippins. Cook on medium-high heat for 1 to 2 minutes, then place in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, shaking the pan halfway through.
  5. Spoon out the tomatoes and set aside to keep warm. Pour the reserved bacon drippins into the pan, add the shrimp, and cook on medium heat for 2 minutes, until just pink.
  6. Turn the shrimp and return the tomatoes to pan. Cook a minute or two, until cooked through. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Spoon the shrimp and tomatoes over the grits. Top with the cheddar cheese, crumbled bacon, and green onions.


  • Pimento Cheese
  • Crumbled Bacon
  • Scallions
  • Roasted Tomatoes & Onions
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Smoked Sausage 

Shop the recipe

Pimento Cheese

Carolina Grits


Hot Little Tip

When that’s part of your childhood, it’s hard to ever buy anything other than fresh shrimp right off the docks.