Cajun Shrimp with Smoked Gouda Grits

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Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
25 mins

This Spicy Cajun Shrimp with Smoked Gouda Grits is an elevated southern classic! A simple dish that walks the line between fresh flavors and comforting richness – you’re gonna love it!

A bowl of Spicy Cajun Shrimp atop creamy Smoked Gouda Grits

Cajun Shrimp with Smoked Gouda Grits

Bam… I woke up with a migraine and this time the nausea set in … never a good thing. The bad news is I had a 4:40am wakeup call to head out to Kansas City, so I had to put on my big girl pants. Suck it up and get out the door.

Good news is I am going to Kansas City for the Chopped Conference. I went to this conference last year and would say it was a game changer for me. I was blessed enough to talk to some amazing bloggers who have perfected the art of food blogging and was able to glean their wisdom as well as connect with them on a heart level! (my favorite)

Spicy Cajun Shrimp being seasoned and cooked

Last year I was so nervous. I didn’t really know the people who were attending and I felt like a “small fish” in a sea of big fish. I mean seriously, Ali from Gimme Some Oven was there and so were Lindsay or Bjork from Pinch of Yum!! What?!? It totally took me out of my comfort zone.

Which I guess is a good thing because that’s where the growth occurs. If we stay in our comfy little square than we will never want to leave the cocoon, we’ll be too cozy to get up. Last year one of the biggest things I learned was to walk with confidence and to take one step at a time. I’m taking that with me this year and building upon it!

A bowl of Spicy Cajun Shrimp over Smoked Gouda Grits

I cannot wait to learn new things AND to see my friends and give them a big hug. (like really give them a hug .. not the virtual hug I’ve been giving online) Hurray!

So before I head out for the weekend let me leave you with a tasty recipe, this Cajun Shrimp and Grits!

Top view of two bowls of Spicy Cajun Shrimp over creamy Smoked Gouda Grits

Even though I live in the south, the whole grits thing kinda grossed me out. First off, it was bland as all get out, I mean people have you heard of salt!?! And the texture was just straight up mush. Gross! I was on mission to transform this bland dish to something outrageously delicious.

I think I’ve succeeded!

A bowl of Spicy Cajun Shrimp over creamy Smoked Gouda Grits

These Cajun Shrimp are covered in a homemade spice blend then sautéd in a little bit of butter and topped with fresh thyme. Then they are placed on top of some creamy grits that are infused with Smoked Gouda Cheese and then finished off with a little bit of crispy bacon (because a little bacon never hurt anyone) and sweet roasted red pepper to even out the dish. This is the ultimate southern recipe that I know you’re family will adore! Plus it’s on your table in less than 30! Woot woot!

Bon Appetite my friends!

Top view of Spicy Cajun Shrimp over creamy Smoked Gouda Grits

Cajun Shrimp and Smoked Gouda Grits-7

Cajun Shrimp with Smoked Gouda Grits

  • Author: Krista
  • prep_time Prep Time: 5 mins
  • cook_time Cook Time: 20 mins
  • total_time Total Time: 25 mins
  • yield Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • category Category: Dinner
  • method Method: Stove
  • cuisine Cuisine: Seafood


This Spicy Cajun Shrimp with Smoked Gouda Grits is an elevated southern classic! A simple dish that walks the line between fresh flavors and comforting richness – you’re gonna love it!



  • 4 strips of applewood smoked bacon, diced
  • 1/2 lb. jumbo shrimp, deveined and peeled
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • juice of half a lemon (2 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon diced fresh thyme
  • 1/3 cup roasted red pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup green onions, diced
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking grits
  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup grated smoked gouda cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt to season


  1. Heat a medium skillet to medium high heat. Add diced bacon and cook until crispy, about 4-6 minutes. Remove and place bacon on a paper towel lined plated. Set aside.
  2. To make the cajun shrimp: add smoked paprika, garlic powder, sea salt, and chipotle chili powder to a medium bowl. Mix and add shrimp to the bowl with the spice mixture, toss to coat the shrimp in the mixture.
  3. Heat a medium skillet to medium high heat. Add butter to the skillet, once melted add seasoned shrimp. Make sure the shrimp is in a single layer in the skillet. Saute shrimp on one side for 2-3 minutes, flip and cook an additional 1-2 minutes. Add lemon juice, fresh thyme, roasted red pepper, and bacon. Saute for 30 seconds, sitr and remove from heat.
  4. To make the Smoked Gouda Grits: add water to a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Slowly whisk in the grits. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and let cook for 5-7 minutes stirring throughout until the grits are thick. Add in the cheese, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, and salt to taste. Continue to stir until the cheese is melted.
  5. Evenly divide grits and shrimp mixture among 4 dishes. Serve.
  6. Serve.

Keywords: cajun shrimp recipe, cajun shrimp, cajun shrimp and grits, shrimp and grits recipe, shrimp and grits kids, easy seafood recipe, easy shrimp recipe, how to cook shrimp, how to cook shrimp on stove,


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Cajun Shrimp & Smoked Gouda Grits in a bowl



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26 Responses
  1. Nancy

    Changes…no peppers. Use chicken broth for grits. Add smoked gouda and cheddar. Add cream or half n half to grits and a little to shrimp after cooking. Add chives or green onions, and parsley. Delicious!

  2. Heather B

    Just finished eating this for dinner and it was really, REALLY good. Flavor bomb. I didn’t weigh out my shrimp but I’m sure it was more than 1/2 lb. I marinated shrimp in spices and used polenta in place of the grits keeping everything else the same. My only side note would be that my husband and I easily ate all of it and I didn’t take a large serving. I can’t see how this would feed 4, but maybe we are just pigs. This one is going in my “good enough for guests” folder. Thank you!

    1. Krista @ Joyful Healthy Eats

      Hurray! So glad to hear you liked it, the flavors are awesome in this. Love that you swapped out the grits with the polenta. As far as the serving size, I wonder if the polenta wasn’t as “runny” at the grits, if the polenta seized up that would cause the servings to decrease. We did about 4 shrimp per person and then 3/4 cup of grits. Hope that helps. 🙂

  3. Meg @ With Salt and Wit

    I big puffy hearted seeing you this weekend!!!! I wish it wasn’t so far and few between our times! And these grits…swoon! You know my love of cheesy grits!

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