Instant Pot Shrimp and Grits

Shrimp and grits on a plate.

Instant Pot Shrimp and Grits – Delicious!

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Shrimp and grits are a classic Southern Recipe.  Using your instant pot to help you prepare it is a modern twist on an old favorite. According to The Old Mill article on the History of Shrimp and Grits, “The origin of this popular dish is thought to be Charleston, SC, and the Low Country, more than 70 years ago, when fresh, local, small, peeled shrimp were fried in bacon grease with onion and green pepper and served alongside grits at breakfast.”

What to Serve with Shrimp and Grits

Try some of our other popular instant pot recipes as a side dish for Instant Pot Shrimp and Grits. Healthy recipes for fresh purple hull peas, sweet potatoes, collard greens, black eyed peas and devilled eggs all complement this main dish.

Fresh Purple Hull Peas in the Instant Pot

Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes

Collard Greens Prepared in the Instant Pot

Black Eyed Peas in the Instant Pot

Deviled Eggs in the Instant Pot

Instant Pot Shrimp and Grits Ingredients

Cook Old Fashioned Grits in the Instant Pot for a hands free grit making experience – no standing over the stove for 20 minutes constantly stirring.  Be sure to use old fashioned or stone ground grits. Do not use instant grits or quick grits as they do not provide the texture and will burn quickly.

Just put a little olive oil, water (or substitute a cup of chicken broth or more for more flavor), salt, Cajun seasoning such as Old Bay Creole Seasoning, and grits in the instant pot. Push the porridge button or set manual for 20 minutes and prepare the rest of your meal while the grits cook unattended. 

I bought fresh, peeled medium Gulf shrimp and sautéed them in a non-stick skillet to add to the finished grits, and my shrimp and grits in the instant pot dinner was an easy success. An additonal option is to add bacon to the skillet and cook a few minutes then stir fry the shrimp.

You could sauté the shrimp first in the instant pot instead of stovetop and set aside for one pan cooking. Top the cooked grits for the main dish!

How to Cook Grits in the Instant Pot

Grits Using Olive Oil in Instant Pot
Grits Using Olive Oil in Instant Pot

Pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the instant pot pan.  For 4 servings of grits, add 4 cups water, 1 cup Old Fashioned Grits , 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon Cajun Seasoning or red pepper.  Place lid with sealing ring in place on instant pot and twist lid to close.  Place vent on top in sealed position.  Push the porridge button and the timer will set for 20 minutes or manually set for 20 minutes.  After heating up and coming to pressure, the grits will cook by themselves for 20 minutes and the timer will beep. 

Allow the pressure to release naturally by turning the pressure valve to the venting position. See How to Cook Using Your Instant Pot for lot of professional tips. Remove lid and stir grits.  They will be watery looking on top and the grits are more clumped together at the bottom.  Simply scrape a little with a spatula and stir for a minute to mix and smooth the grits.  Add another 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper. 

You can add more to adjust to your preference.  I also stirred in 1 cup of fat free cheddar cheese.   Put the lid and vent back on and press the keep warm button.   The grits will thicken some more and you are free to adjust the final timing of your meal.  Sauté  the shrimp on the stovetop to go on top of the grits for 4-6 minutes right before serving.

How to Sauté Shrimp

Pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a non-stick pan on top of the stove or sauté in the instant pot before cooking grits.  Add 2 pounds of fresh, peeled shrimp.  You can use frozen shrimp by thawing it under cold running water for a few minutes. However, fresh shrimp has amazing flavor!

Sprinkle seafood seasoning generously on top of the shrimp.  I used Red Lobster signature seafood seasoning that I purchased at the grocery store in the spice section.  Stir fry shrimp, occasionally holding the spatula flat against them while cooking.  They will be done in about 4 to 6 minutes.

How to Serve Shrimp and Grits

For the final step to prepare shrimp and grits in the instant pot, remove lid from instant pot and place about a cup full of grits on individual serving plates.  Top with 1/2 pound of the sautéed shrimp.  Ready to eat and enjoy!

FAQs

Can I use instant grits for shrimp and grits?

Old fashioned grits or stone ground grits work the best for shrimp and grits due to their texture and being able to add seasonings while cooking them for a longer time to get a savory flavor. You could use instant grits for a quick addition to sautéed shrimp but it won’t be as creamy and rich as old fashioned grits. If you prepare shrimp and grits in the instant pot be sure to use old fashioned or stone ground grits since the instant grits will stick and burn easily because they cook so quickly.

What bread goes well with shrimp and grits?

French bread, sourdough bread, and Texas Toast or cheese biscuits go well with shrimp and grits. They are hardy enough to use as a pusher to get the grits onto your fork or spoon and they help soak up the delicious juices in the dish.

Can you cook grits in an instant pot?

Absolutely! Be sure to add enough water so the grits are as creamy as you like and just press the porridge button on the instant pot or set to manual for 20 minutes. Let pressure release naturally or use a quick release.

What ethnicity is shrimp and grits?

According to Wikipedia “Shrimp and grits is a traditional dish in the Lowcountry of the coastal Carolinas and Georgia in the United States.”

Shrimp and grits on a plate.
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5 from 1 vote

Instant Pot Shrimp and Grits

Shrimp and grits are a classic Southern Recipe.  Using your instant pot to help you prepare it is a modern twist on an old favorite.  I prepared Old Fashioned Grits in the Instant Pot for a hands free grit making experience – no standing over the stove for 20 minutes constantly stirring.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Diet: Low Lactose, Low Salt
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 468kcal
Cost: $10

Ingredients

Grits

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp Cajun seasoning or red pepper
  • 1 cup Quaker Old Fashioned Grits (NOT quick cooking)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup fat free cheddar cheese (optional)
  • ¼ tsp fresh black pepper (optional)

Shrimp

  • 2 pounds peeled, fresh Gulf Shrimp (can use frozen, thaw first)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp Red Lobster signature seafood seasoning

Instructions

Grits

  • Place 1 tablespoon olive oil, 4 cups water, 1 cup Quaker Old Fashioned grits, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon Cajun seasoning or red peeper in instant pot pan. 
  • Place pan in instant pot and cover with lid. Be sure lid has sealing ring in place. Twist lid to lock and place vent in closed position. 
  • Press porridge button and timer will set to 20 minutes or manually set to 20 minutes.
  • After timer beeps allow steam to release naturally for about 10 minutes.
  • Carefully remove lid after pressure is released.
  • Stir grits and add 1 cup cheddar cheese, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon fresh black pepper. 
  • Stir until smooth, replace lid and vent. Press keep warm button. If you want more liquid in your grits add 1/2 cup hot water and stir.

Shrimp Sautéed on the Stove

  • Place 1 tablespoon olive oil and 2 pounds peeled, fresh Gulf shrimp in a non-stick skillet.
  • Sprinkle 1 to 2 teaspoons Red Lobster signature seafood seasoning on top of shrimp. 
  • Stir fry on high for 4 to 6 minutes until shrimp is cooked thoroughly and is light golden color. I used a spatula to hold the shrimp flat occasionally while stir frying.
  • Carefully remove lid from instant pot and place about a cup full of grits on a plate. Top with about a half pound of shrimp. Serve from the instant pot and enjoy!

Notes

Nutritional Values are an estimate and will vary depending upon ingredients used.
You can adjust salt and pepper seasonings to your taste. The grits keep warm and thicken in the instant pot while you are preparing the rest of your meal.
If you plan to serve them immediately instead of letting them warm for a while you should use 3 to 3 1/2 cups of water instead of 4. The cheese helps them have a thicker consistency so if you are omitting the cheese you should use about 3 to 3 1/2 cups of water. If the grits are still too watery when you are ready to serve them, just press the sauté button and stir for a minute. The instant pot is very versatile.  You could sauté the shrimp in the instant pot first and set aside instead of preparing shrimp on the stovetop.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 468kcal

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