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Shrimp, Cauliflower, and Bacon Saute
with cheesy grits

Active: 40 minTotal: 40 min

For a fun twist on classic shrimp and grits, we saute cauliflower with the shrimp and add some additional spices. These two very different ingredients make the dish a bit more interesting. We even add crispy bacon to give the whole dish additional texture and flavor.
Smarts: The grits in this recipe could be made in the Instant Pot. For tips, join the Cook Smarts Instant Pot Facebook Group.



Shrimp, Cauliflower, and Bacon Saute:
  • Shrimp, peeled and deveined - 1 lb
  • Cauliflower - 1 lb, florets
  • Garlic - 2 cloves, chopped
  • Bacon - 6 strips, chopped
  • Green onions - 2 stalks, chopped, green and white parts separate
  • Paprika, smoked - 1 tsp
  • Cumin, ground - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt - 1 tsp
  • Water - 1 Tbsp
  • Lemon juice - 2 tsp
Cheesy Grits:
  • Water - 3 cups
  • Milk, any type - 1 cup
  • Grits or polenta - 1 cup (look for a more fine ground for quicker cooking)
  • Salt - 1/4 tsp
  • Butter - 3 Tbsp
  • Cheese, shredded Mexican blend - 2 oz

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 serving
Servings Per Recipe 4
Amount Per Serving
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% Daily Value
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  1. Shrimp - Defrost shrimp.
  2. Cauliflower / Garlic / Bacon - Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  3. Green onions - Chop green onions, keeping green and white parts separate.
  4. Make shrimp seasoning - Combine garlic, paprika, cumin, and salt (portion for saute).


  1. Combine water (portion for grits) and milk in a saucepan. Bring it to a boil over medium heat (watch the pan and adjust the heat because boiled milk will quickly spill over). Add in grits / polenta with salt (portion for grits). Lower heat and simmer 20 to 30 minutes until liquid is all absorbed, stirring occasionally.
  2. While grits are cooking, heat a large saute pan or skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until bacon is crisp. Transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate.
  3. Drain of all but 1 Tbsp / 15 ml (for 4 servings; adjust if customizing) of bacon grease out of the pan and return pan to medium heat.
  4. To heated pan, add cauliflower and cook until golden brown, turning to cook on all sides, 4 to 5 minutes total. Add water (portion for saute; be careful - it will steam) and cover with a lid. Steam cauliflower, covered, until tender, ~3 minutes.
  5. Remove the lid and stir in shrimp, white parts of green onions, and shrimp seasoning. Saute until shrimp is opaque and cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes.
  6. Squeeze lemon juice over cauliflower and shrimp.
  7. When grits are finished cooking, whisk in butter and cheese. Taste and season with some more salt, if needed.
  8. Serve shrimp and cauliflower over grits. Top with bacon and green parts of green onions. Enjoy!

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This meal has 32 reviews

Delicious! Made with chicken rather than shrimp. Such a nice, warm meal.

By: Mindy
Posted: Jan 10, 2020
Diet: Gluten-free

We both really liked this - and my husband is not a fan of polenta. The flavor combinations were so delicious.

By: Nancy
Posted: Dec 26, 2019
Diet: Original

So so good! I love it. My grocery store didn't have only had pre-made polenta, so that wasn't my favorite bit. I'd probably sub in couscous or something next time.

By: Chelsea
Posted: Dec 21, 2019
Diet: Original

Made cauliflower mash and added Brussels sprouts to the shrimp. I’d keep the brussels but not the cauliflower mash. It was too soft with the shrimp. Polenta or grits would be a better choice. Spices were nice.

By: Lynn
Posted: Dec 20, 2019
Diet: Original

This was easy to throw together and yummy, especially for my southern boy husband. Maybe something green or citrusy would be good - to break up some of the richness.

By: Joy
Posted: Dec 19, 2019
Diet: Original

So good! Used the polenta tube and reconstituted it, had a great flavor. Its hearty, so don't plan on doing much afterwards! Thought about making for breakfast when family is in town for the holidays. Thanks CS!

By: Jessica
Posted: Dec 19, 2019
Diet: Original