Green Chile Cheddar Shrimp and Grits

blackened shrimp and green chile puree on top of green chile cheddar grits in a white bowl.

Classic shrimp and grits gets a spicy southwest upgrade with this easy Green Chile Cheddar Shrimp and Grits! This healthier version of the southern comfort food favorite comes together in just over 30 minutes, making it great for a quick weeknight dinner. (gluten-free, nut-free)



For the Green Chile Sauce

  • 1/2 cup diced roasted green chiles
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, loosely packed
  • Juice of 1 lime

For the Grits

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking grits
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

For the Blackened Shrimp


  1. In a food processor, combine green chiles, cilantro, and lime juice. Pulse until cilantro and chiles are finely chopped. Set aside.
  2. Toss shrimp with blackening seasoning. Set aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter on medium-low heat. Add garlic and onion and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add broth, milk and salt to the pan. Bring to a gentle boil.
  5. Turn heat to low, whisk in grits, stirring continuously, until fully cooked, about 5 minutes.
  6. Immediately stir in cheddar cheese and green chile mixture. Turn off heat and cover to keep warm while shrimp is cooking.
  7. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Once pan is hot, add shrimp in a single layer and cook until bottom sides have formed a light crust, 2-3 minutes. Flip shrimp and cook another 2-3 minutes, or until they are just opaque.
  8. Spoon grits into bowls. Top with shrimp and serve immediately.


  • If you can't find grits, polenta is interchangeable in this recipe.
  • This dish comes together very quickly, so make sure you do all the prep work first.
  • To keep grits smooth and free of clumps, be sure to whisk continuously while cooking.
  • If your grits get a little dry or clumpy while cooking the shrimp, add a little bit more milk to loosen them up.
  • Use freshly grated cheddar from a block for the best results, not pre-shredded cheese.
  • If you are good at multitasking, heat the oil in the skillet for the shrimp while the garlic and onion are cooking, and then cook the shrimp while the liquid comes to a boil. If you're not good at multitasking, don't worry! Just use the steps as listed in the recipe.
  • Double up on the green chile mixture if you like things really spicy or if you want to serve some on the top as pictured here.

Keywords: green chile cheddar grits, green chile shrimp and grits, healthy green chile grits