Shrimp and Grits in Pancetta Cream Sauce
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5 from 1 vote

Shrimp and Grits in Pancetta Cream Sauce

Sautéed shrimp over a cheddar and sage grit cake and topped with a pancetta cream shrimp sauce. Sounds like a real expensive dish in a fine restaurant and tastes like it too.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: shrimp
Method: Stove Top
Skill Level: Intermediate
Servings: 4
Calories: 365kcal
Author: Marilyn



  • 1 1/2 pounds 26-30 count Shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 1 tsp minced garlic


  • 2 cups water
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes recommended: Knorr
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 cup quick grits recommended: Quaker
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 1/2 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar


  • 1/4 pound pancetta cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1/4 cup vodka or red wine, or sherry
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 Thinly sliced zucchini
  • 4 lemon wedges


Prepare the shrimp:

  • In a small bowl, combine Cajun seasoning, paprika, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Sprinkle the spice mixture over the shrimp to coat well and set the shrimp aside.

Make your grits:

  • In a medium saucepan, bring water, chicken bouillon cubes and 2 tablespoons butter to a boil. Slowly add the grits, whisking often with wire whisk for 5 minutes. Add tomato paste, cream, and cheese. Keep whisking for another 2 or 3 minutes until the grits become creamy. Don't skimp on the butter and the cream, folks.

Saute the shrimp:

  • In a large saute pan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add minced garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Add in the spice-coated shrimp, and cook only until they're just done and tender. Don't overcook. Remove the shrimp from the saute pan and set them aside in a bowl. You can taste 1 or 2, to see if they're okay.

Prepare the sauce:

  • In a medium saucepan, cook the pancetta over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden but not crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a paper towel-lined plate. Pour off the fat in the saucepan, reserving 2 tablespoons.
  • Carefully add the vodka to the saucepan. Cook over moderate heat, scraping up any browned bits, until reduced to a glaze, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the cream, pancetta and the reserved 2 tablespoons of fat and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced to 1 1/4 cups, about 10 minutes. Season the sauce with salt and pepper; serve warm.
  • To serve, place a few heaping spoonfuls of steaming cheese grits onto a plate, top with several sizzling shrimp. Drizzle that wonderful cream sauce over top of the shrimp. Toss zucchini and lemon on dish. Enjoy.


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Serving: 1g | Calories: 365kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 232mg | Sodium: 886mg | Potassium: 0mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 0IU | Vitamin C: 0mg | Calcium: 0mg | Iron: 0mg