Shrimp and grits have been a Southern staple for centuries.
It’s the epitome of comfort food and has become popular enough in modern cuisine to be served in some of the world’s most prestigious restaurants.
Shrimp and grits are essentially shrimp sauteed in butter or olive oil, with garlic and spices like cayenne pepper, cumin, and Old Bay, and served with grits.
It has a simple flavor profile that can be flavored in several ways.
Though the shrimp is often seasoned and sauteed, some recipes include bacon or more robust spices like red pepper flakes to add interest.
This classic dish is popular all over the south.
It is often served on its own for brunch or breakfast but can be served at dinner.
Shrimp and grits go well with many different side dishes.
The best sides to pair with shrimp and grits are those that don’t compete for attention – they should complement or enhance the flavors of the shrimp and grits rather than compete with them.
In this article, we will explore eight of the best side dishes to serve with shrimp and grits for a truly delicious meal.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes for Shrimp and Grits?
First of all, grits are delicious, particularly when served with shrimp.
However, there are several ways to take your shrimp and grits from great to truly phenomenal.
In fact, serving up side dishes alongside your shrimp and grits is an excellent way to enhance the dish’s flavor and add a unique twist to this southern classic.
(While writing this article, we learned that Shrimp and Grits are a common dish in some areas of America.
It consists of shrimp cooked with spices and served over grits
To begin with, there are more ways to serve up shrimp and grits than you can shake a stick at.
While people often think of serving up a classic shrimp and grits recipe with either side dishes of cornbread or hushpuppies, you can always switch things up by adding in some variety.
Also, it’s important to consider which side dish complements the shrimp and grits without overpowering the delicate flavor of the meal.
Some great options include roasted garlic, sautéed greens, or even some citrus-based coleslaw.
What to Serve with Shrimp and Grits? 8 BEST Side Dishes
Here is a list of eight side dishes that pair perfectly with shrimp and grits.
1 – Sautéed Greens
Sautéed greens are a popular type of food in the southern United States, particularly collard or mustard greens.
Greens can be served with spicy proteins to balance the spiciness, but they also taste great with seafood, particularly shrimp and grits.
They can be combined with other spices such as garlic, pepper, and onion for a unique flavor.
Greens usually take about 10 minutes to cook, so it’s best to sauté them directly before serving them, so they still have some texture.
Since greens are popular in the southern United States, they go perfectly with other traditional dishes such as fried catfish or fried chicken.
2 – Garlic Roasted Asparagus and Tomatoes
Garlic roasted asparagus and tomatoes is a great side for shrimp and grits because of their freshness.
The rich, buttery flavor of shrimp pairs perfectly with the subtle sweetness of garlic roasted asparagus and tomatoes.
It is important to note that this vegetable dish can take a while to prepare, so it is best to cook it directly before serving.
To get started, all you need are some fresh tomatoes and asparagus, garlic, olive oil, and salt.
To enhance the flavors, you can also add some other spices, such as pepper and basil.
The best part about this side dish is that it can serve as an appetizer or a main course.
3 – Fried Okra
Fried okra has become more popular in recent years with the increase of Cajun culture related to food.
This dish is especially great with seafood, particularly shrimp and grits.
Fried okra is pretty simple to make.
The main ingredients are cornmeal or flour for breading, eggs for dipping the okra before breading it, oil for frying, salt, and pepper.
Other spices can be used to enhance the okra’s flavor, such as garlic and onion powder or cayenne pepper.
The one downside of this dish is that it can be a bit time-consuming to prepare.
Okra can be breaded and fried up to two days in advance.
However, it is best served fresh since the breading will become soggy if left out for too long.
4 – Sweet Potato Fries
Another delicious side dish for shrimp and grits is sweet potato fries.
Sweet potatoes are rich in fiber, nutrients, antioxidants, and even have some protein.
They also taste great fried up into fries served with the classic condiments of ketchup or BBQ sauce.
Sweet potatoes are very versatile when it comes to preparation.
You can bake them in the oven, fry them up on the stove or even grill them for a unique flavor.
If you are serving these fries as a side dish with shrimp and grits, it may be best to serve them hot.
There’s nothing worse than soggy french fries.
5 – Grilled Asparagus
Grilled asparagus is a great side for shrimp and grits because it enhances the natural flavor of the dish.
It’s also simple to prepare, which means you can make it right before serving without much effort at all.
Asparagus tastes especially great when grilled since this brings out its natural sweetness.
To grill asparagus, you’ll need to place the stalks on tough skewers, which you should soak in water for about 30 minutes before grilling.
This prevents them from burning up.
It’s also important to keep the grill at about 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
If the asparagus is too close to the heat source, it will burn and become tough to chew.
Grilling this vegetable dish only takes about 3-4 minutes total, so make sure you check on it regularly and don’t leave it alone on the grill.
6 – Green Bean Salad
Green bean salad is the perfect dish for shrimp and grits because it’s fresh, healthy, and tasty.
It’s also simple to make, which means you’ll have your side ready in no time.
Take some green beans (washed beforehand), garlic (minced), salt, pepper, and olive oil to get started.
You can also add some other spices and herbs to the dish, like basil and rosemary.
After all your ingredients are mixed in a large bowl, pour this dish over the top of some cooked shrimp and grits for a delicious combination of flavors.
7 – Creamed Corn
Creamed corn is the epitome of comfort food.
It’s delicious because it tastes sweet, savory, and rich all at once.
When paired with shrimp and grits, creamed corn dish can provide a nice change in texture.
To get started on your creamed corn, you’ll need to cook up some frozen or fresh corn, butter, salt, and pepper.
You can also add other spices to enhance the dish’s flavor, such as garlic powder or cayenne pepper.
Next, you need to mix your ingredients until they are well combined before pouring them into a small baking dish to bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
It’s that easy.
8 – Roasted Green Beans
Finally, we have roasted green beans.
This dish tastes great because it is simple and healthy with a ton of nutrients.
They can be prepared in about an hour and goes well with both shrimp and grits or just the classic seafood dish by itself.
To prepare your roasted green beans, you’ll need some fresh or frozen whole green beans, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
You can also add other spices for extra flavor, such as garlic powder or onion powder.
You need to mix your ingredients before spreading them out evenly on a baking sheet and cooking them for about 25 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Not only will you have a delicious side ready to go, but your entire house will smell nice and fresh, thanks to the green beans.
Shrimp and grits is a tasty seafood dish, but it needs some tasty side dishes to go along with it.
Thankfully, there are plenty of great ways to prepare delicious dishes that will taste fantastic alongside the shrimp and grits on your plate.
Here we have listed eight interesting and alternative options for you to choose from, so pick one and enjoy.