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Shrimp and Grits (or Polenta)
with bacon and romaine salad

Active: 35 minTotal: 35 min

This classic Southern dish gets an update with some fire-roasted tomatoes. Use grits (made from hominy) or polenta. Our vegetarians will be enjoying this as a chickpea saute with similar flavor. Our paleo members will have shrimp and pureed garlic cauliflower instead.


Shrimp and Grits with Bacon:
  • Shrimp - 1 lb, peeled and deveined ((Don't eat seafood? Chop up chicken breasts))
  • Bacon - 8 slices, diced
  • Green onions - 3 stalks, chopped - white and green parts separated
  • Garlic - 3 cloves, minced
  • Fire-roasted diced tomatoes (14 oz) - 1 can, drained ((Sub normal diced tomatoes) )
  • Water - 1 1/2 cups
  • Milk - 1/2 cup
  • Grits or polenta - 1/2 cup ((Find a less coarse grind for quicker cooking. Sub ½ lb. of orzo if you prefer pasta.) )
  • Butter - 3 Tbsp
  • Cooking oil - 2 Tbsp
  • Lemon - 1/2, juice of
  • Hot sauce (opt) - to taste
Romaine Salad:
  • Romaine lettuce - 6 oz, chopped
  • Honey - 1 tsp
  • Dijon mustard - 1/2 tsp
  • Apple cider vinegar - 1 1/2 Tbsp
  • Cooking oil - 3 Tbsp

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, rinse, and dry. (Can be done up to 1 day ahead)
  2. Bacon / Green onions / Garlic - Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
  3. Diced tomatoes - Drain.


  1. Bring water and milk to boil in a saucepan (do watch the pan because boiled milk will quickly spill over!). Add in grits or polenta with a dash of salt. Lower heat and simmer 20 to 30 minutes until liquid is all absorbed, stirring occasionally. Finish with butter and season to taste with more salt as needed. If you have a rice cooker, you can also cook it in there (turn on cooking cycle and then wait 10 minutes after it's done to allow liquid to be fully absorbed).
  2. Chop romaine and whisk together honey, Dijon, apple cider vinegar, and oil. Taste and adjust flavors as needed.
  3. Heat a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add cooking oil and then bacon. Saute until the edges are golden and then set aside onto a paper towel lined plate to catch any fat. Keep ~1 tbs. (15 ml) of fat in the pot and add white parts of green onions and shrimp to heated oil. Saute for ~3 minutes and then toss in minced garlic and diced tomatoes. Cook until shrimp is pink and cooked through, another 2 to 4 minutes. Finish with lemon juice, and season with salt, pepper, and hot sauce.
  4. Toss lettuce with some salt and then dress with vinaigrette. Enjoy as a side to hot grits or polenta topped with shrimp and bacon, garnished with green onion!

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This meal has 45 reviews

so good! i added a little cheese to the polenta and it was a hit!

By: ashleigh
Posted: Jan 22, 2017
Diet: Original

After living in Charleston for 6 years, I was skeptical of this recipe but I have to say it was fabulous! For my hubby I threw heavy cream and Parmesan into the grits, with much approval from both 1 and 3 year olds on the whole meal.

By: Jena
Posted: Jul 27, 2016
Diet: Original

So tasty! I made the original version but I added 1/4 cup of shredded cheese and one chopped jalapeno to the polenta :) We'll definitely have this one again.

By: Malea
Posted: Oct 24, 2015
Diet: Original

So good! I want to eat some in bed right now!

By: Kimberly
Posted: Oct 03, 2015
Diet: Original

I added smokey paprika as I used normal chopped tomatoes instead of fire roasted

By: Tiana
Posted: Aug 27, 2014
Diet: Original

Crumbled the bacon and put it in with the shrimp and tomatoes. Also used cooked shrimp so I just added it in at the last minute. Never cooked grits before - used the rice cooker and it came out great! I'd make this again! Did not make the salad.

By: Claudia
Posted: May 27, 2014
Diet: Original