easy low carb shrimp and cheesy cauliflower grits in a white bowl

Low Carb Shrimp & Cheesy Cauliflower “Grits”

This easy, low carb version of shrimp and grits is my take on the Cajun classic featuring shrimp smothered in a smokey, spicy sauce with cheesy keto cauliflower grits. This comfort food recipe is one the entire family will love, and makes for an easy weeknight dinner in 30 minutes or less. 

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Best Shrimp & Cheesy Grits Recipe- Low Carb, Keto, LCHF, Grain-free, Gluten-free, Sugar-free

low carb shrimp and keto grits in a white bowl

I was in my 20s for my first trip to New Orleans, and I went on a culinary binge, eating basically every Cajun and Creole dish I could find. I had to have gumbo, jambalaya, beignets, chicory coffee–you name it. Every single dish I tried was magical, but the one that still haunts me was Shrimp & Grits.

Lost in the madness that is the French Quarter, I stopped for dinner at Deja vu Bar & Grill. I ordered their shrimp and grits, and never looked back. I actually went back a second time before flying home, just to have one more crack at that delicious shrimp. Truthfully, I was inspired by everything I ate in NOLA. If you are a fan of Creole food too, don’t miss my Low Carb Seafood Gumbo, or my Low Carb Jambalaya recipe.

This Low Carb Shrimp & Cheesy Cauliflower Grits recipe is my take on that traditional Cajun classic. Low carb and keto-friendly, this is one easy meal that is just bursting with flavor. You can have it on the table in 30 minutes or less, so it is perfect for a busy weeknight, or even classy enough to serve to guests. 

How to Make Easy Keto Shrimp & Grits

Ingredients

Cajun Shrimp

  • Raw, deveined shrimp, 16/20 count
  • Bacon
  • Butter
  • Yellow onion
  • Garlic
  • Chicken stock
  • Cajun seasoning (Urban Accents is my favorite!)
  • Smoke paprika
  • Sea salt
  • Cayenne
  • Green onion, optional
Cooked low carb cajun shrimp with green onions

Cheesy Cauliflower “Grits”

  • Butter
  • Shallot
  • Riced cauliflower
  • Chicken stock
  • Sour cream
  • Sea salt
  • Heavy cream
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Black pepper

This recipe cooks fast, have all ingredients prepared before starting the cooking process. I don’t know about you, but overcooked shrimp is a real downer. I suggested making your cheesy keto cauliflower grits before cooking the shrimp. It’s easy to keep the grits warm while you quickly cook up your smokey, spicy Cajun shrimp. If you have all the ingredients for the shrimp prepared, you’ll be less likely to overcook the shrimp itself. 

juicy cooked cajun shrimp in a cast iron skillet

How to Cook Raw Shrimp from Frozen

Even though I am surrounded by seafood, shrimp is not native to the PNW, so I normally buy it frozen.

Thaw your raw shrimp is a bowl of cold water for about 15 minutes. I will normally change out the water at least once since it gets so cold. Pour out the excess water and it is time to peel the shell. 

Once the shell is discarded, check to ensure the shrimp is deveined. I buy mine already deveined, but if you have to do it yourself, run a sharp pairing knife along the underside of the shrimp to expose the black vein. Remove with the tip of your knife, discard, and rinse the shrimp.

After rinsing the shrimp with cold water, pat dry. Once it is time to cook, heat the fat in the pan and cook the shrimp until it is no longer opaque and turns a light pink color, normally about 2-3 minutes on each side. This cooking time is either increased or reduced depending on the size of the shrimp. Shrimp should be firm, but not solid and curled up. That is often a sign of overcooking. 

Are Grits Keto Safe?

Unfortunately, no. Grits do not work within a keto diet. Remember, keto is a metabolic state, not a food group. So, in theory, no food is inherently keto or not keto. 

Grits, while absolutely delicious, don’t get me wrong, are made from corn. One cup of cooked grits has 31 grams of carbohydrates, which is well over your daily allotment if you are trying to remain in ketosis. 

If you are eating low carb, one cup of grits might work for you, but it is not a very good carb choice given that it has virtually no fiber and is a fairly simple carbohydrate. Grits may also be a trigger for you. I find that when I eat corn, my body always craves other carbs, and the vicious cycle begins.

So, the best course of action would be to find a grit alternative. Cauliflower is a wonderful substitution given it’s texture when riced, but more importantly, the fact that one cup of cauliflower has 5 grams of carbs and 2.1 grams of fiber. A much healthier choice if you are carb conscious.

cheesy keto cauliflower grits topped with cajun shrimp

How to Make Cheesy Cauliflower Keto Grits

Making your own keto-friendly grits is so easy! This can be done with either fresh or frozen cauliflower rice. I’ve had success with both options. 

Heat butter in a large saute pan over medium low heat. Add shallot, cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add cauliflower rice. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5-8 minutes. I tend to err on the side of 5 minutes because I like my cauliflower grits to be firm instead of soft.

Add chicken stock, sour cream, salt, and heavy cream. Stir to combine. Cook for another 2 minutes until the sauce thickens. Add cheese, stirring until melted and incorporated. Reduce heat to low to keep warm.

Experiment with the cheese options to try new cauliflower grits flavors. I tend to do a blend of sharp and white cheddars, but any grateable cheese could work here. 

If you love these keto cheesy cauliflower grits, you might also really love this Asparagus Cauliflower Risotto.

keto shrimp & grits pin

Other Low Carb Keto Shrimp Recipes you’ll love

Low Carb Shrimp and Cheesy Cauliflower Grits
Yield: 4

Low Carb Shrimp and Cheesy Cauliflower Grits

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Spicy and smokey, this Shrimp and Cauliflower "Grits" recipe is adapted from the traditional Cajun recipe for a easy, low carb meal.

Ingredients

Cajun Shrimp

  • 2 lbs raw, peeled, deveined shrimp, 16/20 count
  • 5 slices bacon, sliced into thin 1/4 inch strips
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 3/4 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced/pressed
  • 3 tbsp chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • Green onion (optional, for garnish)

Cheesy Cauliflower "Grits"

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp shallot, diced
  • 16 ounces riced cauliflower, fresh or frozen
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • black pepper

Instructions

Rinse shrimp, pat dry, and set aside. Prepare all ingredients for shrimp.

Make the Cheesy Grits first. Heat butter in a large saute pan over medium low heat. Add shallot, cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add cauliflower rice. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5-8 minutes. Add chicken stock, sour cream, salt, and heavy cream. Stir to combine. Cook for another 2 minutes until sauce thickens. Add cheese, stirring until melted and incorporated. Reduce heat to low to keep warm.

Heat a large cast iron skillet or saute pan over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until crisp and brown. Remove with a slotted spoon to drain on a paper towel lined plate, leaving fat in the skillet. Reduce heat to medium low. Melted butter in the pan. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add shrimp, cooking for 2 minutes on each side until pink and firm. Add chicken stock and spices. Stir to incorporate. Remove from heat. Sauce will thicken up as the dish cools.

Serve over cauliflower "grits". Top with sliced green onion. if desired.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 627Total Fat: 37gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 433mgSodium: 520mgCarbohydrates: 10gNet Carbohydrates: 7gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 53g

Nutrition is provided as a courtesy and calculated to the best of my ability using online databases. It is suggested that you perform your own check to ensure that a recipe fits within the scope of your dietary needs.

Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out! Leave a comment below and make sure to join the @noshinandnumnums community on instagram or facebook and tag me in your cooking pictures! 

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