Italian Shrimp and Grits

A flavorful twists on classic shrimp and grits. Italian Shrimp and Grits is bold and zesty, with italian cheeses, sweet red peppers, capers, and Italian spirit.

Easy Italian Shrimp and Grits #comfortfood

When we first moved to North Carolina ten years ago I had never eaten grits… and neither had Lt. Dan.

Grits seemed to be on the menu at every restaurant we visited. I remember leaning over to Dan on one particular occasion and whispering, “So, what the heck is a grit anyway?”

“I don’t know.”  he whispered back, “I think it’s kind of like Cream of Wheat.” (He’s a northerner.)

So we ordered cheese grits and waited with great anticipation. When our breakfast arrived and we tasted the grits, the first thing out of my mouth was…

“OH! It’s polenta!”

Italian Shrimp and Grits #comfortfood

Some people might argue that grits and polenta are not the same. After all, they come from different varieties of corn. Plus grits are generally white and polenta is usually yellow.

However these small differences aside, they are both made of dried ground corn and are simmered with liquid into a thick porridge. Let’s not get too fussy over the little details.

Making Italian Shrimp and Grits #comfortfood

Today I’m sharing our latest shrimp and grits variation, Italian Shrimp and Grits made with creamy asiago and fontina polenta, garlic shrimp, and Italian flavors throughout.

How to Make Italian Shrimp and Grits #comfortfood

I bought the biggest freshest shrimp I could find, then sauteed them with crispy pancetta and garlic. Once the shrimp cooked to juicy pink perfection I tossed in sweet sun-dried red peppers, capers, and italian parsley.

How To - Italian Shrimp and Grits #comfortfood

The combination of the rich decadent cheesy “grits” and bright zesty shrimp is to-die-for. A little drizzle of grassy olive oil over the top, and I feel like I’m right back in Italy… sort of.

Simple Italian Shrimp and Grits #comfortfood

I make Italian Shrimp and Grits with my favorite non-stick cookware Swiss Diamond Cookware, because the cheesy grits slide right out of the pan without sticking to the sides, and I don’t need to add butter or oil to the skillet to brown the pancetta.

Speedy Italian Shrimp and Grits #comfortfood

You’d be amazed at how easy the clean up is, when using good (meaning safe, eco-friendy, and truly non-stick) non-stick cookware. I will never make grits, or polenta for that matter, in a steel saucepan again.

Dinner Tonight - Italian Shrimp and Grits #comfortfood

Another beautiful thing about Italian Shrimp and Grits is that they are so fast to make! You can easily whip this recipe up in 30 minutes or less any night of the week. So if you are craving shrimp and grits, or you’re craving Italian cuisine, or both…

Italian Shrimp and Grits is for you!

Italian Shrimp and Grits

Yield: 4

Prep Time:15 minutes

Cook Time:15 minutes

5 / 5 (2 Reviews)
Did you make this recipe?   Leave a review »

A flavorful twists on shrimp and grits, Italian Shrimp and Grits is bold and zesty, with italian cheeses, sweet red peppers, capers, and garlic shrimp!


For the Grits:

  • 1 cup polenta
  • 4 cups chicken stock + 1 cup water
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 cups shredded italian cheeses (I used half asiago and half fontina)
  • 3-4 tablespoons heavy cream

For the Shrimp:

  • 1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and cleaned
  • 1/2 pound pancetta, cut into cubes
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup sliced sweet sun dried red peppers
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped italian parsley
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper



  1. In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups of chicken stock, 1 cup water, and crushed red pepper to a boil. Add the polenta and whisk well to avoid clumping. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting and cook until the water is absorbed, 5-10 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the cheeses and cream. Taste for salt. Cover until ready to serve.
  2. Fry the pancetta over medium heat in a large skillet. When crisp, add the garlic and shrimp, then sauté until pink— about 3-4 minutes, flipping once. Immediately add the lemon juice, red peppers, capers and parsley. Toss and remove from the heat. (You probably won’t need to salt the shrimp, because of the salty ingredients, but check anyway.)
  3. Divide the polenta onto plates and top with the shrimp mixture. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 4, Serving Size: 4

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 835 Calories
  • Total Fat: 46.2g
  • Saturated Fat: 20.4g
  • Cholesterol: 351mg
  • Sodium: 3903mg
  • Carbohydrates: 35.5g
  • Fiber: 1.9g
  • Sugar: 3.5g
  • Protein: 60.1g
All images and text ©

Making this recipe? Why not take a quick shot and share it on Instagram! Make sure to tag it #ASpicyPerspective so we can see what you're cooking!

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Swiss Diamond Cookware. All opinions are my own.


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17 comments on “Italian Shrimp and Grits

  1. Pingback: Shrimp and Grits from Never Enough Thyme

  2. Jackie J.posted January 29, 2016 at 6:55 pm Reply

    I love this recipe, and would like to ask you if I could share it on my website, with your credit and link.  Thank you!  WebSite:

    Rating: 5
  3. Anne H.posted March 3, 2015 at 9:51 pm Reply

    Love me some shrimp and grits and I can’t wait to try this! But my OCD noticed the “for the shrimp” and “for the grits” are reversed :)

    • Sommerposted March 5, 2015 at 7:55 am Reply

      Oh dear! Thanks Anne, fixing…

  4. Jan Maiolatesiposted November 23, 2014 at 4:59 pm Reply

    I just love love this recipe but I have one question on the printable recipe don’t the grits need to go where the polenta instructions are & the shrimp go with shrimp cooking directions? I ask because when I print this I just want to get it right. I love your food site & devour everything you come out with. Blessings Jan

    Rating: 5
  5. Shanna @ pineapple and coconutposted November 22, 2014 at 4:31 pm Reply

    I love this!

  6. Aggieposted November 19, 2014 at 8:32 am Reply

    This looks soooooo good Sommer! Love the Italian twist. Genius!

  7. Anne|Craving Something Healthyposted November 18, 2014 at 10:21 pm Reply

    You have just completely convinced me to try grits -(I’m from New England, so foreign territory) This looks so amazing – Pinned and can’t wait to try it :)

  8. Rebecca @ Hello Creative Blogposted November 18, 2014 at 8:22 pm Reply

    I’m definitely going to try this! I love shrimp and grits, but haven’t ever cooked it before.

  9. Jennifer @ Show Me the Yummyposted November 18, 2014 at 11:12 am Reply

    The first time I had grits, I ate it like oatmeal (with butter and brown sugar) and I immediately fell in love with the texture! Can’t wait to make this at home…it’s so impressive! :)

  10. sue/the view from great islandposted November 18, 2014 at 10:50 am Reply

    This looks incredible, I think it must have so much more flavor than the classic Southern shrimp and grits…and I’m jealous of all that beautiful light in your kitchen :)

  11. Sharana @ Living The Sweet Lifeposted November 18, 2014 at 8:10 am Reply

    I’ve never had grits, but every recipe I see looks SOOO good!!

  12. Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabblesposted November 18, 2014 at 8:10 am Reply

    I can’t tell you how awesome delicious this looks to me!

  13. brandiposted November 18, 2014 at 8:07 am Reply

    beautiful Sommer!! I love grits with just about anything :)

  14. Liz @ The Lemon Bowlposted November 18, 2014 at 8:05 am Reply

    Love the lemon, garlic and capers in this!!

  15. Erikaposted November 18, 2014 at 8:00 am Reply

    Oh My Goodness! I could eat that whole bowl. Love this twist on a southern classic, especially with the capers.

  16. jennaposted November 18, 2014 at 5:35 am Reply

    I love how easy this recipe is. It comes together to look elegant and irresistible. Great recipe to impress your dinner guests.