Instant Pot Shrimp & Cheese Grits

My partner Richard and I recently re-watched My Cousin Vinny the other day (for the thousandth time). And it dawned on me, I hadn’t made a grits recipe in the Instant Pot yet. And that was unacceptable – especially being with a Southerner who loves grits.

If you’ve never had them, grits are bits of ground corn (usually white or hominy) and, when done right (NEVER using “instant” or “quick” ones), they are creamy, smooth with a slightly grainy bite (they don’t call it “grits” for nothing), and are out-of-this-world delicious. Of course butter is a key player, and in this case, so is cheese! I also give you the option of tossing in some shrimp but if that’s not your thing, you can easily leave it out.

Shrimp & Cheese Grits
Adding liquid to Instant Pot
Let’s begin by adding a combo of some water and broth of your choice to the Instant Pot…
adding olive oil to the pot
…followed by some extra virgin olive oil…
Grits
…and, you guessed it, grits!
IMPORTANT: It is crucial you use either old-fashioned, stone ground or hominy grits. DO NOT use “instant,” “quick,” or “5-minute” grits. Not only will it cause many a loyal grit lover to gnash their teeth, it will also not cook properly under pressure. Also, be sure you don’t use yellow grits as that’s meant for polenta.
Grits
(By the way, your grits should look like this. It’s just ground-up white corn/hominy).
Stirring pot
Give the pot a good stir. Secure the lid and cook at high pressure.
Finished grits
When done, it may appear a bit soupy, but this is just because we haven’t stirred it yet and it’s exactly what we want!
Stirring the pot
Give the pot a good stir…
Stirred grits
…and you’ll see that the consistency will quickly become wonderfully smooth and filled-out.
Adding shrimp to pot
Now, should you wish to add shrimp, give the pot some heat with the Sauté function and add ’em now.
Cooked shrimp
Allow the shrimp to heat up and they will quickly become opaque and curl. That means they’re done! Turn the pot back to the Keep Warm setting.
Adding butter to grits
Now that they’re smooth, let’s give these grits a creamy and dairy finish. It’s customary to add some butter to grits, so let’s do so.
Adding cream to pot
I also like to add some cream… (NOTE: If you want thicker grits, you can do without the cream. But like pasta, rice, and grains, grits always continue to absorb liquid and will naturally thicken when resting – especially so if there are any leftovers placed in the fridge to cool).
Adding Boursin to pot
…and, optionally for an extra creamy touch, some herb cheese like Boursin (or simple cream cheese).
Dairy in pot
And look at that delightful dairy add to our grits!
Stirring pot until dairy is melded into the grits
Give it all a good stir until the dairy is fully melded into the grits.
Adding shredded cheese to the pot
Now comes time to add in the cheesy cheese. Use any kind you wish, just make sure it’s shredded (I like gouda or a cheddar blend).
Folding in cheese
Fold in the cheese (or just stir it in)…
…until it’s fully combined into the grits – making it the ultimate in cheesy grit goodness!
Adding black pepper to grits
For those who like some zest, doctor it up with some black pepper…
Adding hot sauce to grits
…and some hot sauce of your choice (obviously, they all vary so just be mindful of how much you add).
Stirring pot
Give it a final stir so it all becomes a beautiful pot of cheese grits (with shrimp, if desired).
Plating grits
Now, serve it up…
Chives on grits
….and feel free to top with some chives and more pepper, if desired.
Two men
Now for the true test. Go find your favorite Southerner
Man trying grits
…have them try this plate of iconic comfort….
…and watch their reaction.
It’s the real deal, y’all! Goes GREAT with my Mississippi Pot Roast for a true surf & turf!
Yield: 6

Instant Pot Shrimp & Cheese Grits

Instant Pot Shrimp & Cheese Grits

My partner Richard and I recently re-watched My Cousin Vinny the other day (for the thousandth time). And it dawned on me, I hadn't made a grits recipe in the Instant Pot yet. And that was unacceptable - especially being with a Southerner who loves grits.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Add the water, broth, olive oil, and grits to the Instant Pot. Stir well. Secure the lid, move the valve to the sealing position, hit Manual or Pressure Cook on High Pressure for 10 minutes. When done cooking, allow a 5-minute natural release followed by a quick release.
  2. Once the lid’s off, give everything a good stir so the grits are smoothed out and blended with the remaining liquid. Add in the cream, butter and Boursin or cream cheese (if using) and stir until melded into the grits.
  3. Hit Cancel and then hit Sauté and Adjust so it’s on the More or High setting. Once bubbling, add the shrimp and sauté for about 2-3 minutes stirring occasionally. As soon as they begin to curl and appear opaque, hit Cancel to turn the pot off and then hit Keep Warm.
  4. Stir in the cheese. Then, add the pepper (if using) and hot sauce (if using). Stir until melded into the grits and let rest for 3-5 minutes to slightly thicken and then serve. Top with chives and additional pepper, if desired.

Jeffrey's Tips

How buttery you want your grits is up to you. Start with 2 tablespoons and you can always add more!

If you want thicker grits, leave out the cream but be mindful that, like pasta and grains, grits always continue to absorb liquid and thicken as they rest.

Not into seafood but craving the grits? Skip Step 3 entirely. This will also make it vegetarian.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Francine

    Many pots get a burn notice when we stir oatmeal into the liquid. Won’t grits do the same?
    I don’t stir the oatmeal and it’s always perfect.

    • Caroline

      I just tried this recipe tonight just as it says and I got the burn notice… I’m going to try your suggestion next time and not stir! Thanks!

      • Kay Hugghins

        I’m making it tonight for the first time and just got the burn notice. I released the pressure (with a towel over the valve because it was going EVERYWHERE!), and when I opened the lid, there were several stuck spots on the bottom. I used a whisk to get rid of the big lumps just above the places that had stuff stuck to the bottom. I put it back on for 5 minutes and I’m going to keep an eye on it. It’s now counting down so maybe that took care of it….

        • Kay

          Well, it was absolutely DELICIOUS!! I plan on whisking in the grits the next time because I didn’t get a burn notice after I scraped the bottom and whisked the lumps out. I used an 8qt instant pot. My son said he was worried about maybe needing to go get food someplace else after he left our house but he got 2nds then 3rds! He said it was wonderful…and he never compliments my cooking.

    • Arlinda Abekasis

      It’s me and my husband’s favorite movie, we’ve watched it so many times that I don’t know how many. I can almost recite many of the lines. 🤣

  2. Heather C

    OMG! My mouth is watering just reading this recipe. It’s definitely going on my dinner menu this week. Can’t wait to try it!

  3. Abby

    Oh Jeffrey! Richard is a Southerner after my own heart. I’m living in the Pacific NW and can’t get grits anywhere! When we go south I make sure I get grits every day I can. I’m going to use your recipe to make a huge pot of grits! They sound so good!

  4. Kristin M.

    Made this tonight and it was wonderful! Even my picky 7 year old ate it. The only variation to the recipe I made was that I sautéed the shrimp instead of adding them to the pot. This will definitely be in our meal rotation from now on!

  5. Ashley

    Is there any way to use instant or quick grits for this recipe? I can not find regular in my area. What modifications should I make if using instant? My family and I love all of your recipes!

    • DBDM

      You can use quick or instant but since they don’t actually need to be cooked (just rehydrated in hot water), I would make them seperate then add the shrimp and follow the remaining ingredients (butter, cheese). Honestly the hot grits should cook the shrimp just fine without the pressure cooker. I would likely just mix the raw shrimp into the dry instant grits then add the boiling water to the shrimp/grits mixture Shrimp needs very very little cooking. (My little southern Grandmother sometimes cooked them in a colander under hot tap water.) Alternative is to cook the shrimp seperately or the simplest way is to buy pre-cooked boiled shrimp. Instant grits are not nearly as good but they are not THAT bad.

  6. Lindsey M.

    I was very excited for this recipe. Followed it exactly & kept getting burn notices no matter how well I stirred. Ended up having to cook the grits on the stove.

  7. Kindra

    I want to make sure I’m reading this right…3 cups of plain water AND 3 cups of broth for 6 cups total? Thanks!!

  8. DBDM

    Nothing wrong with using yellow grits–just make sure they are coarse ground and not fine ground. They taste the same and with the cheese you added (which is FINE) they would look the same too. White grits are “propper” for color when served traditionally but yellow grits are FINE too (as long as they are coarse ground).

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