Instant Pot Shrimp and Grits is a delightful one-pot meal. Tender shrimp and crisp bacon in a spicy tomato-based sauce combine with creamy grits to create a delicious fusion of flavors. The beauty of this recipe is that you can cook the grits with the shrimp in the same pot. This popular recipe gets rave reviews!
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This Instant Pot Shrimp and Grits recipe was adapted from my own stove-top recipe for shrimp and grits that I’ve been making since I lived in the South.
Shrimp and grits is a classic southern recipe. If you’re wondering what grits are, they’re coarsely ground dried corn, similar to Italian polenta.
Originally served as a breakfast dish in the Southeastern US, shrimp and grits has gained in popularity on restaurant dinner menus. There are probably as many variations of shrimp & grits as there are restaurants serving the dish.
I’ve had shrimp and grits without tomatoes, with mushrooms, with cheese, or with andouille sausage or chorizo instead of bacon. Some versions are simple with just salt and pepper for spice and other versions use more bold flavorings.
My version is not the salt and pepper kind! It has spice-rubbed shrimp in a rich tomato-based sauce served on a bed of creamy grits. In adapting the recipe to the electric pressure cooker, I wanted to make the dish a one-pot meal with as few steps as possible.
The dish is easy to make: of the 45 minutes of cooking time, less than 10 minutes are hands-on. The end result is a wonderfully flavorful and comforting shrimp and grits.
You’ll notice that the shrimp is not sauteed at the beginning. It’s seasoned with a dry rub of Old Bay seasoning added in at the end. This seals in all the flavors.
Since the shrimp cooks in the residual heat of the Instant Pot, make sure you close the Instant Pot immediately after adding the shrimp – you don’t want to let too much heat escape!
I hope you get to try out this Instant Pot Shrimp and Grits recipe. If you’ve never tried grits, this is the way to try them because they go so well with the shrimp. It’s a meal-in-one that’s delicious and satisfying.
TIPS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
Authentic grits are made from hominy, but it’s not easy finding authentic southern-style stone ground grits where I live. The best option I’ve found is Southern-style Bob’s Red Mill white corn grits, made from
Depending on the quantity of grits I’m making, they can be lumpy when finished cooking. I usually don’t have a problem if I make the recipe as written but when I double it, I need to break up the lumps with a fork once the cooking time is over.
If the grits seem too liquidy when you take them out, they will thicken if you let them sit for 15 minutes or so.
To make the grits more creamy, add a tablespoon or two of cream or butter.
Find out all about the different types of grits from Southern Living.
Cooking the Shrimp and Grits Together
This Instant Pot shrimp and grits recipe uses the pot-in-pot method to cook the dish. You’ll cook the sauce ingredients directly in the inner pot, put the grits in an oven-safe bowl that’s placed on a trivet in the sauce, and cook both together.
The steam from the sauce will build pressure and cook the grits, allowing you to make the main dish and side dish together!
I have two trivets: the one that came with the Instant Pot and a 2.7 inch trivet. The tall one was too tall to fit the glass bowl I used for the grits, so I used the former, which was a bit messy since it sat in the sauce instead of above it.
After making this recipe, I purchased this 2 inch trivet, which I feel is just the right size. Find out more about what a trivet is and how to use it.
The lemon juice gives this recipe a slightly tart flavor. If you wish, you can reduce the quantity of lemon juice.
The spice level is mild to medium. If you want spicy shrimp and grits, you can increase the quantity of Old Bay Seasoning and/or hot sauce (reduce lemon juice if your hot sauce has an acidic flavor) and also the Old Bay Seasoning.
This recipe easily feeds four in my family. However, if you’ll be serving people with big appetites, you may need to make more. The recipe can be doubled but make sure that the dish you use for the grits is big enough!
Adding cheese to the grits makes the grits creamier and more flavorful. You can omit the cheese. I make this recipe with plain grits or cheese grits. Keep in mind that cheese is salty, so adjust the quantity of salt if needed. You have a few options for cheese including:
I use medium shrimp when making this recipe. If you’re using large shrimp or jumbo shrimp, you may want to add a few more minutes to the shrimp cook time.
There are a couple of things to consider when doubling this recipe:
– Double all ingredients.
– Make sure the container you use for the grits can accommodate double the grits.
– Keep the shrimp in the residual heat for a bit longer than the recipe says, and if they’re not completely cooked, heat in Saute mode for a minute or so.
– Pressure cook the grits for an extra minute or two, just to be safe.
To use sausage, saute about 6 oz. of smoked andouille sausage (cut into rounds) after sauteing the bacon. Add the sausage back in when you’re adding the cream.
Usually, just letting the grits rest for about 10 to 15 minutes allows it to thicken up.
Stir the grits up using a fork and add a little bit of cream to make them smoother.
Yes, you can use your choice of cheese. Some options are shredded parmesan cheese, pimento cheese, or goat cheese. Adjust the quantity of salt as needed.
Frozen shrimp won’t cook if you’re using my method of heating the shrimp in the residual heat. You’ll need to pressure cook the shrimp at high pressure for a minute or two with a quick release of pressure.
Instant grits are much less flavorful than regular or stone ground grits. Some readers have used quick grits and had good results but I have not tried using them.
No, you put the entire contents of the can into the Instant Pot.
– Substitute half and half for the cream. It won’t be as creamy and may be a bit more liquidy.
– Using stone ground grits is healthier than using regular or instant grits.
– Drain off the bacon fat and use olive oil to saute the onions.
– Or omit the bacon.
Yes, a stainless steel container should also work. I would use the same cook time.
If you’re new to the Instant Pot and aren’t familiar with how to use it, you might find it helpful to first read one of the following guides and then come back here to learn how to make this recipe.
- Instant Pot DUO Beginner’s Manual
- Instant Pot ULTRA Beginner’s Manual
- Instant Pot DUO EVO PLUS Beginner’s Manual
- Instant Pot DUO NOVA Beginner’s Manual
- Instant Pot DUO GOURMET Beginner’s Manual
- Instant Pot DUO CRISP Beginner’s Manual
- Instant Pot PRO Beginner’s Manual
Instant Pot Shrimp and Grits – Ingredients List
- Lemon juice
- White wine
- Green bell pepper and/or red bell pepper
- Hot sauce
- Shredded cheese (optional)
More details in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post
How to Make Shrimp and Grits in the Instant Pot (Step by Step Instructions)
- Season shrimp
- Saute bacon
- Add onions and peppers
- Add tomatoes and seasonings
- Place grits on a trivet
- Pressure cook
- Release pressure
- Remove grits and add shrimp
- Cook shrimp and add cream
- Heat through
- Season shrimp with Old Bay seasoning and set aside.
- Press ‘Saute’.
- Cook bacon until crisp, about 3 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon to a plate and set aside.
Add onions and peppers
- Add onions and bell peppers. Saute in the rendered bacon fat till onion is translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add garlic and saute for another 30 seconds.
- Turn Instant Pot off.
Add tomatoes and seasonings
- Deglaze with white wine, and stir well to remove any browned bits from the bottom of the Instant Pot, allowing the wine to mostly evaporate.
- Add in tomatoes, lemon juice, broth, tabasco, salt and pepper.
- Stir to combine.
Place grits on trivet
- Place trivet in the Instant Pot.
- Stir together milk, water, grits, salt and pepper in an oven-safe glass bowl.
- Place bowl on trivet.
Instant Pot Duo Pressure Cook 10 minutes
- Close the lid and make sure the steam release handle is in the Sealing position.
- Press Manual (or Pressure Cook) and + or – until the display reads 10 (10 minutes).
Instant Pot Ultra Pressure Cook 10 minutes
- Close the lid.
- Select Pressure Cook mode and adjust the time to 10 minutes (00:10).
- Press Start.
Pressure Cooking Process (Duo and Ultra)
- Instant Pot display will change to On.
- Once the Instant Pot is pressurized, the float valve will go up.
- The display will count down to 0; it will then switch to Keep Warm mode and display L0:00 or 00 00 and begin to count up the number of minutes since pressure cooking completed.
How to Naturally Release Pressure (NPR) on the DUO and ULTRA
- Allow the pressure to release naturally (NPR). The float valve will be in the down position. This may take 15 to 30 minutes. [Find out more about the pressure release methods and how and when to use them. ]
- Press Cancel and open the Instant Pot.
Remove grits and add shrimp
- Carefully remove the bowl containing the grits, add butter, fluff with a fork, and set aside. *
- For cheesy grits, add 2 ounces of cheddar cheese or your choice of cheese.
- Remove the trivet and stir in shrimp.
* Be sure not to let too much heat escape while you’re removing the grits. The shrimp will be cooking in residual heat of the Instant Pot.
Cook shrimp and add cream
- Close the Instant Pot and allow the shrimp to finish cooking in the residual heat.
- After 10 minutes, open the Instant Pot.
- Add cream and gently stir the shrimp.
- Press Saute .
- When heated through (don’t boil), press Cancel.
- Remove to serving bowl and garnish with scallions and reserved bacon.
- Serve grits topped with shrimp and sauce.
Instant Pot Shrimp and Grits
- 1 lb shrimp peeled and deveined
- 2 tsp Old Bay seasoning or more to taste
- 3 strips bacon diced
- 1/3 cup onion chopped
- 1/2 cup bell peppers red and/or green, chopped
- 1 Tbsp garlic minced
- 2 Tbsp dry white wine
- 1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes canned or fresh
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice or to taste
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 tsp Tabasco sauce or hot sauce, more to taste
- 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
- 1/4 tsp black pepper powder
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup green onions sliced thin (green parts only)
- Pat shrimp dry and sprinkle with Old Bay seasoning. Set aside.
- Select Saute mode, cook bacon until crisp, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove to a plate and set aside.
- Saute onions and bell peppers in the rendered bacon fat till onion is translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add garlic and saute briefly.
- Turn Instant Pot off.
- Deglaze with white wine, and stir well to remove any browned bits, allowing the wine to mostly evaporate. Make sure there's no food stuck on the bottom of the pot.
- Stir in tomatoes, lemon juice, broth, hot sauce, salt and pepper.
- Place trivet in the Instant Pot.
- In a medium bowl that will fit in the Instant Pot, stir together grits, milk, water, salt and pepper. Place bowl on trivet.
- Close Instant Pot lid and pressure cook on High Pressure for 10 minutes.
- Allow the pressure to release naturally. [Read More: The Different Pressure Release Methods]
- Open the Instant Pot, remove the grits and set aside.
- Remove the trivet.
- Carefully stir in shrimp.
- Close the Instant Pot immediately and allow the shrimp to finish cooking in the residual heat. Instant Pot will be in Keep Warm mode.
- While shrimp is cooking, add butter and cheese (if using) to the grits and fluff grits with a fork. Make sure you remove all lumps while fluffing the grits. *
- After 10 minutes, open the Instant Pot. Gently stir the shrimp.
- Select Saute mode and stir in cream. Heat through (don't boil) and turn off Instant Pot by pressing Cancel.
- Garnish with scallions and bacon.
- Serve grits topped with shrimp and sauce.
- Prep time does not include steps that are already accounted for in the ingredient list, e.g. chopped onions, minced garlic, peeled shrimp, etc.
- * To make the grits extra creamy, add some cream.
- You can substitute Old Bay seasoning with Cajun seasoning or Creole Seasoning. Adjust the quantity of added salt as needed.
- See the blog post for more detailed recipe tips
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I am not a certified nutritionist. I provide my best estimate of nutritional information merely as a courtesy to my readers. If you depend on nutritional information for dietary or health reasons, I suggest using your favorite online nutrition calculator to confirm the nutritional value of this recipe based on the actual ingredients that you use.
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