Garlic Basil Shrimp and Grits Recipe - Skillful Cook
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Garlic Basil Shrimp and Grits

14 reviews / 5 average
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This recipe is sponsored by Almond Breeze

Summer is upon us! Almost, right? I'm just calling it a little early.

I'm finally starting to see fresh tomatoes and basil at the grocery store and HELLO OLD FRIENDS! it sure is good to see you again.

I am a big fan of shrimp and grits - I especially love breakfast shrimp and grits, which this is not, but I just got reminded of them right now as I write this out. Who's to say this can't be breakfasty? Toss a fried egg on top of this beauty and be on your merry breakfast way? Yeah, I'd totally do it.

I first had shrimp and grits, like, one year ago, so I have zero percent expertise when it comes to what shrimp and grits SHOULD really be like. But I know what I like to eat, and right now that is: tomatoes, basil, olive oil, garlic, basil - did I already say that? shrimp, grits, and salt. I cannot get enough of savory, summery things these days.

Watch How To Make Our Shrimp and Grits:

Close up tomatoes.

Since we're in this gluten free series, it's kind of nice/fun/clever-feeling to have some carbs to build a meal around that do not involve wheat.

For example, GRITS. Good ol' corn grits which are kind of reminiscent of a cross between corn meal and oatmeal and polenta, but in a savory, non-gross way. Did I just totally convince you?

This was my first time playing around with grits and I was pretty excited, in my basic self ways, to find that grits are easy to locate - we bought them at a regular, mainstream grocery store. And true to all good things in the world, they normally involve lots of cheese and butter and stuff, but since I am trying to keep this GF series relatively clean and also get my body relatively jump-starty for summer, I opted for a dairy free grits situation which was mind-bendingly good. Nothing even makes sense right now.

We use Almond Breeze - original, duh - for savory recipes, so I just heated the almondmilk (gently, people, GENTLY) and then whisked in the grits like you would normally do with regular milk. Instead of adding butter, I swirled in some good-quality olive oil and an extra pinch of salt. Honestly, guys, I love me some butter, but this magic was CREAMY! so creamy! and yummy. I am not going to vote anyone off the island for adding cheese, but I am also going to tell you that it is, in fact, very delicious as-is. Just almondmilk, grits, salt, and olive oil.

I sort of want someone to use an infused oil - garlic? rosemary? truffle oil? Can you even imagine the flavor/texture Grits Win that would happen? Mwah!

Shrimp and grits in a bowl with a fork and almond breeze almond milk in the background.
Shrimp + Grits in a bowl with a fork.

I hope that wherever you are in the world is a place where you can locate some of these high quality, fresh-and-clean summery ingredients so you can bring some garlic basil shrimp and grits into your life. And I hope no one in your family likes shrimp so that you can eat it all by yourself. Sharing is overrated.

Don't forget about my idea for breakfast grits, k? Egg on top. Please report back.

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Shrimp and grits in bowl.

Garlic Basil Shrimp and Grits

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


Shrimp and grits made summer-perfect with fresh tomatoes, fresh basil, and lots of garlic and olive oil. Bonus - these grits are creamy and dairy-free thanks to a little almondmilk.


  • 1/2 cup grits
  • 2 1/2 cups Almond Breeze Original Almondmilk
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (divided)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt (divided)
  • 1 lb. raw shrimp
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • a handful of fresh basil, cut into ribbons


  1. GRITS: In a medium saucepan, bring the almondmilk to a near-boil (it's ready when it's steaming). Add the grits and 1 teaspoon salt and whisk until smooth. Reduce heat and cover; let the grits cook for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent clumping or scorching. Stir in 1 tablespoon olive oil (more to taste) and season with more salt as needed.
  2. SHRIMP: In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 clove of the garlic. Add the shrimp, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cook for a few minutes on each side until pink. Remove from heat.
  3. TOMATO SAUCE: In the same skillet, add the tomatoes, garlic, remaining olive oil. When the tomatoes start breaking apart and letting off their juices, add the chicken broth and simmer for 10-15 minutes. The sauce should thicken as you simmer it and reduce the heat. Add the 1 teaspoon salt, shrimp, and basil. Stir to combine.
  4. SERVE: Divide the grits between four bowls and top with the shrimp/sauce. You can top with additional basil or Parmesan cheese.


If you want a higher grits to shrimp ratio, I'd make double the amount of grits. Just depends on what you want more of - the shrimp, or the grits.

The grits will firm up as they cool - you can re-soften them with a little extra water or milk and a good strong whisk.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: shrimp and grits, basil shrimp, garlic basil shrimp

Thank you to Almond Breeze for making these shrimp and grits a reality!

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  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    Hi Lindsay! This is an interesting take on “shrimp & grits”. Having lived in Charleston, SC for over 8 years, I can attest to the fact that everyone makes this dish differently. Classic shrimp & grits typically is a dish of tender shrimp over grits (no cheese), with a gravy made of bacon or andouille, tomato, garlic, and Tabasco, and topped with green onion/scallion. I’ve had many versions, all of which were quite good! When I make this, I use I use nitrate-free uncured bacon and excellent locally-sourced stone-ground organic grits (yellow and white corn mixed)–it really makes a difference in the flavor. You can search on Amazon for them (stone-ground Carolina grits) if you can’t find them in a store. I get mine from the Charleston farmer’s market. While your recipe is a total departure from “authentic style”, it sure does sound tasty! You might need to cook the grits longer if you are using the stone-ground grits–about 20 minutes at least, stirring often over very low heat.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Thanks for all this info Karen! Being a Midwesterner I don’t get to eat shrimp and grits much 🙂 but I loved the shrimp and grits I had when we were in Charleston and I couldn’t resist getting all summery with this take on it. Thanks for the comment!

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    This looks amazing! I cannot wait to try this out! Although as a southern girl, this isn’t a traditional shrimp and grits meal, it looks incredibly delicious and perfect for summer!

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    Love what you did with the shrimp n’ grits…super easy weeknight meal…healthyish to boot. Just my style 😋

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    Hi! Formerly vegan Southerner — I highly recommend using cashew cream instead of almond milk. Much better at mimicking the creamy consistency and rich flavor of real Southern grits.

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    This is my first time reading your blog/drooling over my phone, and This one got me, tomorrow I’m going to my mom’s house and hand her this recipe(I’m not so good in the kitchen). By the way, I’m reading this from Romania, the power of the internet 😀
    I’ll get back to you about the results!

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    Lindsay, this looks soo delicious! You are making me hungry….as always. Can’t wait to try it. I’ve never had grits before. *superexcited* 🙂

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    Hey Lindsay!
    I am a Southerner and a grits FANATIC. I’ve been eating them since I can remember! I love Bob’s Red Mill stone-ground, white or yellow.
    Shrimp and grits is definitely a key player on my dinner rotation. I also love playing around with different ingredients that deviate from tradition. My current favorite is sauteed shrimp and veggies tossed in BBQ sauce over smoked gouda grits, topped with bacon. I can’t wait to try something like this! I have a bottle of garlic-infused olive oil just begging to get involved here. Although, in my very much dairy-tolerant family, cheese may be a must as well. 😉 )

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    – MAK

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’m literally on a bus home from a visit to Charleston, S.C., where I had shrimp & grits yesterday. Like most iconic dishes, there are as many versions as there are cooks, so huzzah for you taking it to “summer” with the tomatoes and basil. I’ll try your recipe when I get home to Maine!