This delicious low-carb shrimp and grits recipe uses cheesy cauliflower puree instead of grits. The “grits” are topped with andouille and shrimp in a creamy sauce with a kick of spice.
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These low-carb shrimp and grits are creamy and dreamy. The “grits” are cheesy goodness with butter, cream and garlic. A bit of heat from a jalapeño pepper and a pop of flavor from green onions makes them a dish people from the Lowcountry dream about. With “grits” this flavorful, no one will know that these “grits” aren’t really grits, but, in fact, a low-carb cauliflower puree. Top off the “grits” with shrimp, bacon and andouille sausage in a rich, creamy sauce with loads of flavor and a hint of heat and we have an amazing low-carb dish.
Shrimp and grits are a traditional dish of the Lowcountry. It seems like every town and every restaurant makes a slightly different version and each considers their recipe the best. We visit the Lowcountry several times a year and my husband considers himself quite a shrimp and grits connoisseur. He orders the dish several times on each trip. While I usually order something more low-carb, thankfully my husband doesn’t mind me taking a taste from his plate each time–as long as I don’t take too much. I have used these tastings, as well as lots of research on shrimp and grits recipes, and taken what I like best about each recipe and compiled it in this one. Yep, this recipe contains the best of the best.
While there are loads of variations in recipes for shrimp and grits, usually there are two things you can count on when you order this dish–shrimp and grits. However, with this recipe, I admit, I’ve taken a bit of an artistic license by using cauliflower instead of grits.
The reason for this variation is that grits are by nature, not low carb. In fact, they are rather loaded with carbs. Due to this, I had to find a suitable substitute. I found that cauliflower makes a very believable stand-in for the grits. The vegetable’s subtle flavor takes on the cheesy and spicy flavors beautifully. Consequently, the final dish turned out even better than I hoped. In fact, even my husband, self-proclaimed shrimp and grits connoisseur, gave it two thumbs up.
Low-Carb Shrimp and "Grits"
For the cauliflower "grits"
- one head cauliflower cut into florets
- 1/4 cup grass-fed heavy cream
- 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese grated
- 2 Tablespoon grass-fed butter
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 jalapeno pepper finely chopped
- 1 Tablespoon parsley chopped
- 1 green onion thinly sliced
For the shrimp
- 4 slices of bacon chopped
- 2 links about 1/2 pound andouille sausage, quartered lengthwise, then sliced in 1/2 inch pieces cross-wise
- 1 Tablespoon grass-fed butter
- 1 pound raw shrimp peeled and deveined
- 2 green onion white part only finely chopped; green part sliced and reserved
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup heavy cream
- dash red chili flakes
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 Tablespoon parsley chopped
- For the cauliflower "grits"
- Steam the cauliflower florets in a covered steamer until tender, about 10-15 minutes.
- In a food processor, add steamed cauliflower florets, cream, cheese, butter, salt and pepper.
- Process until smooth.
- Add jalapeño and parsley. Pulse a few times to combine.
- Pour into a bowl and stir in green onion.
For the shrimp
- Place paper towels on a plate and reserve for draining bacon,sausage and shrimp.
- Heat a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon pieces.
- Cook bacon, stirring occasionally until crisp. Remove to prepared plate.
- Discard all but one tablespoon bacon grease.
- Add sausage to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly brown and cooked through. Remove to the prepared plate.
- Melt the butter in the skillet.
- When butter no longer foams, add the shrimp. When shrimp has browned on one side, flip to brown the other side. Season lightly with sea salt. When both sides of the shrimp are brown, and they are cooked through, remove them from the pan and place on the plate with the bacon and sausage.
- Add white part of the green onion to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until edges are browned. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for one minute.
- Add vinegar to the pan and boil, stirring up browned bits until it is a syrupy consistency.
- Add white wine to the pan and bring to a boil. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced to a light syrup consistency.
- Add cream, chili flakes, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Simmer, stirring frequently, until sauce is thickened.
- Return bacon, sausage and shrimp to skillet with the cream sauce. Stir in parsley. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired.
- Pour the shrimp mixture over a dollop of cauliflower "grits". Garnish with addition green onions or parsley if desired.
Per serving: Calories: 428
Fat 30.6 grams
Fiber 6.5 grams
Net carbs: 11.6
Oh this is definitely something we would make for dinner. Looks amazing. I just love your photos as well. Lovely.
Beautiful photography! These Low Carb Shrimp and Grits look so good!!! <3 Can't wait to try them!
Love this recipe. I just started a low carb diet and this is something I think my family would truly enjoy.
OMG this looks so delicious! I love shrimp and grits but this looks like it’s on another level! Thanks for sharing!
Rachel | http://www.theconfusedmillennial.com
Growing up in the Midwest, grits wasn’t really a thing. Wasn’t until I was an adult until I tried them. This dish looks SO good and your photos are amazing!
cauliflower grits! This is genius! I LOVE grits so much but never make them because they don’t feel super healthy to me. I love this idea! I cannot wait to try!
Thank you! We love making low-Carb substitutes with cauliflower- These ‘grits’ definitely taste surprisingly real!
I love cauliflower rice and this is a wonderful idea to make it into ‘grits’ Looks awesome!
I love cauliflower anything, and this as grits sounds amazing, I can’t wait to try it!
Thank you, I hope you like it!
I tried shrimp & grits for the first time this summer. SO good!
– Cait | http://www.prettyandfun.com
This looks delicious! You can never go wrong with shrimp and grits 🙂 Also I love that you are a mother daughter blogging team!
I’ve substituted cauliflower for a lot of things but never did I think I could for grits. This is definitely work a try because I try to maintain a low-carb way of eating.
Shrimp and grits is one of my favorite meals. Your recipe looks delicious!
This looks amazing!! I love shrimp!
made these last night for dinner. I’m on a low carb diet and had already tried a few other shrimp and grits recipes…they were ok but nothing like this recipe. really like the flavor of the cauliflower grits…very creamy with some kick.
Instead of cheddar I used some smoked gouda I already had in the fridge, and I used frozen riced cauliflower and prepared as directed on package, then did the rest per the recipe. I did not taste any hint of cauliflower in the grits…they were very flavorful. I also left out the onions on this dish and saved a few carbs.
definitely a keeper!
Thanks so much!I bet the smoked gouda tasted amazing in the cauliflower! Sometimes, when I leave out onions, I’ll add a bit of onion powder to give the flavor with fewer carb. I’m glad you liked the recipe!
great idea on the onion powder. Will be making this again tonight and will give that a try. I was thinking about cutting the cream in half and substituting with almond milk instead…any thoughts? At 50 calories a tablespoon I was wanting to cut down on some of the calories in the recipe, and 1 cup of cream for the shrimp would be about 800 calories alone!
I use cream because many of my followers are on a low-carb high-fat diet and are looking for a little extra fat in their diet. If you would like a lower fat version, I think it would be fine to substitute a portion of the cream with almond milk, but this will affect the thickness of the sauce. In this recipe, the cream thickens the sauce. You may be able to use a bit of xanthan gum or other thickener to adjust for this. Good luck!
Maybe 1/4 teaspoon of xanthan gum would help.
The ingredient list calls for cream, the instructions say cream cheese. Which did you use?
In step three, I say “cream, cheese, …” In this step, I am referring to the heavy whipping cream and the cheddar cheese that are listed in the ingredients.
OK, no one else in the comments seems to have actually made this. I this evening and it absolutely ruled.
Thank you so much!
Isn’t this also Gluten Free?
Yes, all of my recipes are gluten free as long as you watch out for hidden gluten in the ingredients you use. In this recipe, watch out for the sausage as this will sometimes contain gluten.