Shrimp and Grits with Chorizo

Shrimp and Grits with Chorizo

Low Country Fisherman’s Breakfast

That iconic Shrimp & Grits recipe, the original “fisherman’s breakfast” from the Carolina Low Country, gets a makeover with the addition of Mexican chorizo.

The traditional recipe by Southern Chef Bill Neal that gained well-deserved popularity in the early 80s included bacon and Tabasco hot sauce, 4 shakes to be exact.

The late chef is known for elevating Southern cuisine and credited with putting shrimp and grits “on the map” after his dish was glowingly reviewed by New York Times writer Craig Claiborne.

My version includes chorizo instead of bacon, and smoked paprika for a different spice profile. For a twist on texture, the grits are sautéed in butter in a cast iron pan to get a crispy edge while keeping that soft creamy interior. Not better, just different. Thanks for the inspiration, Chef!

Shrimp and Grits with Chorizo Recipe

Shrimp and Grits with Chorizo


Serves 2

  • 1/2 c. quick grits
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 c. water
  • salt
  • 1/3 c. cheddar, shredded
  • fresh ground pepper

Bring milk and water to a boil in a medium sauce pan, season to taste with salt. Slowly whisk in the quick grits and cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Fold in the cheese the season with pepper. Keep warm.

  • 2 chorizo sausages – Mexican style
  • 6 shrimp – large, defrosted, peeled, deveined, tail on
  • 1/4 ea. red and green bell pepper – julienned
  • 1/4 white onion – julienned
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • butter
  • olive oil
  • 1 c. chicken broth
  • lemon
  • smoked paprika
  • cayenne
  • cilantro

Shrimp and Grits with Chorizo


Remove chorizo from casing and crumble in a skillet. Cook thoroughly then drain off the fat. Set aside.

Season shrimp with salt and pepper, sauté in olive oil over medium-high heat until they turn pink, about 2 minutes. Transfer shrimp to a plate.

Add a pat of butter, peppers and onion to the same sauté pan, cook until soft. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Turn heat to high, add chicken broth, boil until reduced by half. Reduce heat then add shrimp, chorizo, a good squeeze of lemon juice. Stir gently until the shrimp are heated through. Season to taste with salt, smoked paprika, and cayenne.


To Serve:

Add a good-sized pat of butter to a cast iron pan and place over medium-high heat. When butter is melted, pour grits into the pan. (Thin the grits with hot water if they are too thick to pour). Cook until the edges get a little crusty. Spoon the shrimp mixture over the top. Garnish with cilantro and serve with lemon wedges.

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