Shrimp and grits is a classic Southern dish that has gained popularity across the United States. This savory and comforting meal is perfect for any occasion, from a casual weeknight dinner to a fancy brunch. However, choosing the right side dishes to serve with shrimp and grits can be a challenge. In this guide, we will explore some of the best options to complement this delicious dish.
Classic Southern Sides
When it comes to serving shrimp and grits, you can’t go wrong with classic Southern sides. These dishes are not only delicious but also add a touch of authenticity to your meal. Here are some of the most popular options:
Crunchy and flavorful, fried okra is a staple in Southern cuisine. This side dish pairs perfectly with shrimp and grits, adding a nice contrast in texture and taste. To make fried okra, simply coat sliced okra in seasoned cornmeal and fry until golden brown.
Sweet and savory, cornbread is another classic Southern side that goes well with shrimp and grits. You can serve it as a muffin or slice it into squares. For a twist, try adding some jalapenos or cheese to your cornbread recipe.
Healthy and flavorful, collard greens are a great way to balance out the richness of shrimp and grits. You can cook them with bacon, onions, and garlic for extra flavor. Don’t forget to add some hot sauce for a kick!
Another classic Southern side, black-eyed peas are a great source of protein and fiber. They are also easy to prepare – simply simmer them with some onions, garlic, and ham hock for a hearty and delicious side dish.
Since shrimp is a seafood, it makes sense to pair it with other seafood dishes. Here are some seafood sides that go well with shrimp and grits:
If you’re a fan of fried seafood, you’ll love crispy calamari. This dish is crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, making it a perfect complement to shrimp and grits. Serve it with some lemon wedges and marinara sauce for dipping.
Grilled Shrimp Skewers
For a double dose of shrimp, try serving grilled shrimp skewers as a side dish. You can marinate the shrimp in garlic, lemon, and herbs for extra flavor. Don’t forget to brush them with some butter or olive oil before grilling.
Creamy Crab Dip
If you’re looking for a dip to serve with your shrimp and grits, try creamy crab dip. This rich and flavorful dip is made with cream cheese, sour cream, and lump crab meat. You can serve it with crackers or bread for dipping.
Garlic Butter Scallops
Scallops are another seafood that pairs well with shrimp and grits. For a simple and delicious side dish, try garlic butter scallops. Simply sear the scallops in a hot pan with some garlic and butter, and serve them with a squeeze of lemon.
If you’re looking for lighter and healthier options to serve with shrimp and grits, vegetable sides are a great choice. Here are some ideas:
Roasted asparagus is a simple and elegant side dish that goes well with shrimp and grits. Simply toss the asparagus with some olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast in the oven until tender and crispy.
For a summery side dish, try grilled zucchini. You can slice the zucchini into rounds or lengthwise, and grill them until tender and charred. Drizzle some balsamic glaze or lemon juice on top for extra flavor.
Spinach is a versatile and nutritious vegetable that pairs well with shrimp and grits. You can sauté it with some garlic and olive oil for a simple and flavorful side dish. For a twist, try adding some feta cheese or pine nuts.
Roasted Root Vegetables
If you’re looking for a heartier side dish, try roasted root vegetables. You can use any combination of carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, and beets. Simply toss them with some olive oil, salt, and herbs, and roast in the oven until tender and caramelized.
Shrimp and grits is a delicious and comforting dish that can be served in many different ways. By choosing the right side dishes, you can elevate your meal and create a memorable dining experience. Whether you prefer classic Southern sides, seafood sides, or vegetable sides, there are plenty of options to choose from. So next time you make shrimp and grits, don’t forget to try some of these delicious side dishes!
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