I haven’t really made any “official” resolutions this year, but I’m trying to treat it like a blank canvas and start better habits that will make life in general easier. The thing is that while in some ways I’m a pretty organized person, I also tend to be all over the place; it’s a bit like an organized chaos situation. What I’d love to accomplish – among other things – is clearing out some of the old posts I’ve had in the works for a while. I’m always super eager to share the latest things I’ve been working on, because they’re new and current and I’m excited about them, BUT there are a number of recipes I’ve had in the pipelines for a while that are still 100% worth sharing. Those are the ones I really want to push out so I can catch up with the present. Sooo… let’s do this!
Despite being born and raised in California, I’ve always been a big grits lover, for which I thank my mom’s back east roots. I get the impression that grits aren’t a big thing on the west coast, which just baffles me a little bit. They’re so good! Straight up with butter and cheese they’re seriously delicious, but this casserole takes them to a whole new level of flavor-packed goodness, with juicy tomatoes, sweet corn, spicy jalapeño, and just alllll the things you could possibly want to stuff into your grits – including some classic shrimp. I first tried this in Georgia during a post-wedding breakfast and immediately fell in love; it’s now 100% my favorite way to eat grits – EVER.
The good news about this recipe is that even though it delivers exploding flavor in every bite – like WOAH it’s that good – it’s also a really super simple recipe and a little bit on the lighter-side of the casserole/comfort food spectrum. I’ve never been one to sacrifice taste for healthiness (mostly because I believe that food should be enjoyed and can be both healthy and appetizing), but I can’t even imagine why you’d ever want to make a non lightened-up version of this casserole; as is it’s one of those dishes you just can’t get enough of. ← Because any food that’s easy to make, less guilt-inducing, and bursting with flavor can be on the menu everyday in my book!Print
Lightened Up Shrimp and Grits Casserole
Whether you’re a big fan of shrimp and grits or this is completely new to you, you’ll be amazed by how much flavor is packed into this lightened-up casserole. It just might become your new favorite way to eat grits!
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: one 9" x 13" casserole 1x
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 shallots (whites only), minced (save some of the greens for garnish)
- 2 cups 2% milk
- one 14 1/2 ounce can (about 1 3/4 cups) fat-free, reduced sodium chicken broth
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups quick-cooking grits
- one 14 1/2 ounce can diced tomatoes, juice separated
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 3 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
- 2 tablespoons butter
- one 15 1/4 ounce can corn, drained
- one medium jalapeño, minced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
- 1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
- 1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp, coarsely chopped*
- 2 egg whites
- Preheat oven to 375ºF and grease a 9″x13″ casserole dish with nonstick spray.
- Warm the olive oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add shallots and sauté until soft. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Add the milk and broth to a large, heavy-duty saucepan and bring to a boil. Add salt. Reduce heat to low/medium-low and slowly stir in grits. Cook, stirring constantly, until very thick.
- Remove grits from heat and add tomato juices, cheddar cheese, cream cheese, and butter. Stir in until smoothly combined, returning to low heat briefly if needed to melt cheddar, cream cheese, and butter completely. Add tomatoes, corn, jalapeño, chives, lemon juice, shrimp, and eggs in order, stirring everything together until evenly combined.
- Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish in an even layer. Bake in preheated for 25 minutes; top should be set when done.
- Garnish with chopped fresh shallot greens and serve.
*The original recipe calls for fresh shrimp, but I’ve used frozen, cooked 50/70 shrimp every time without a problem.
Recipe adapted from Cooking Light via My Recipes