If you’re searching for the perfect side dish to pair with shrimp and grits, look no further!
This blog post will explore 12 delicious dishes that can be made to make your meal even more deliciously complex.
Whether you’re looking for a side of vegetables, a little extra spice, or something different altogether – there is sure to be an option here that appeals to everyone in your party.
Keep reading if you want details on how each of these side dishes should be prepared and how they all compliment this Southern staple: shrimp and grits.
What to Serve with Shrimp and Grits? 12 Must-try Side Dishes
1. Sauteed Kale
Kale is a hearty green that can be enjoyed in many different ways.
One of our favorite ways to enjoy kale is by sautéing it.
Sautéed kale is a great side dish or even a meal on its own.
The taste and texture of kale change when it’s cooked, making it more palatable for some people.
Plus, there are endless ways to elevate this dish with different seasonings and toppings.
When sautéed, kale takes on a slightly sweeter flavor and a softer texture.
It’s still packed with nutrients, but the cooking process makes it more digestible and easier to eat.
If you’re not a fan of raw kale, we recommend giving sautéed kale a try.
There are endless ways to season and top sautéed kale.
Our favorites include adding garlic, red pepper flakes, Parmesan cheese, and lemon juice.
But feel free to get creative and experiment with your favorite flavors.
2. Roasted Sweet Potatoes
These roasted sweet potatoes are the perfect side dish for any meal.
They are packed with flavor and have a great texture.
The key to making them even better is to roast them in the oven until they are slightly crispy.
This will give them an extra depth of flavor that you won’t be able to resist.
When it comes to choosing the right sweet potatoes for this dish, you want to make sure that you select ones that are on the small side.
This way, they will cook evenly and won’t take forever to roast.
You also want to make sure that you don’t overcrowd the pan when you roast them.
Otherwise, they will steam instead of getting nice and crispy.
If you’re looking for a way to elevate this dish, try adding some fresh herbs or spices before you roast the sweet potatoes.
This will give them an extra boost of flavor that your guests are sure to love.
3. Corn on the Cob
There’s nothing quite like the taste of fresh corn on the cob.
The sweetness of the corn paired with the crunch of the kernels is a perfect combination.
And when it’s cooked to perfection, it’s even better.
Corn on the cob is best served hot and fresh out of the oven.
But if you’re looking to elevate this dish, there are a few things you can do.
One way to elevate corn on the cob is by adding some flavor to the kernels.
This can be done by using different types of butter, such as garlic or herb butter.
Another way to add flavor is to sprinkle some cheese on top of the corn before serving.
Another way to make this dish more special is to serve it with a side of shrimp and grits.
This classic southern dish is sure to please any crowd.
And when paired with fresh corn on the cob, it’s a perfect match.
4. Baked Beans
Who doesn’t love baked beans? They’re the perfect side dish for just about any meal.
They’re hearty, filling, and packed with flavor.
And let’s not forget about their signature creamy texture.
There are so many different ways to enjoy baked beans.
You can eat them plain or add some extra toppings to really spice things up.
Some of our favorite toppings include cheese, bacon, and green onions.
But really, the sky’s the limit when it comes to toppings.
If you’re looking for a way to elevate your baked beans, we suggest trying them with a twist.
Here are a few ideas:
- Add some heat with diced jalapeños or crushed red pepper flakes.
- Stir in some BBQ sauce for a smoky flavor.
- Top with crispy fried onions for a crunchy contrast.
- Mix in crumbled bacon or sausage.
Coleslaw is a classic side dish that can be enjoyed with shrimp and grits or on its own.
This dish is typically made with cabbage, carrots, and mayonnaise.
The cabbage and carrots provide a crunchy texture, while the mayonnaise gives the coleslaw a creamy taste.
There are many ways to elevate this dish.
One way is to add in some diced apples for sweetness or raisins for a little bit of extra flavor.
You could also try using different types of cabbage, such as red cabbage or Napa cabbage.
For a bit of spice, you could add in some diced jalapeños or use a spicy BBQ sauce as your dressing.
No matter how you enjoy it, coleslaw is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed year-round.
It’s perfect for summer cookouts and picnics but also hearty enough to enjoy in the wintertime.
6. Potato Salad
Potato salad is a classic dish that can be enjoyed any time of year.
This dish is typically made with boiled potatoes, eggs, mayonnaise, and mustard.
While the ingredients are simple, the taste and texture of potato salad can vary greatly depending on how it’s prepared.
One of the keys to a great potato salad is to use starchy potatoes that will hold their shape when cooked.
Russet or Yukon gold potatoes are both good choices.
The potatoes should be cooked until they are tender but not mushy.
Once they’re cooked, allow them to cool slightly so that they can be diced into even pieces.
The other ingredients in your potato salad will also contribute to the overall flavor and texture.
For example, adding celery or onions will give the salad a crunchier texture.
If you want a creamier salad, you could add more mayonnaise or even some sour cream.
And for a bit of sweetness, you could add diced apples or raisins.
Elevate your potato salad by using fresh herbs like parsley or chives.
You could also add crumbled bacon or shredded cheese for extra flavor.
Serve your potato salad chilled or at room temperature.
7. Caesar Salad
Caesar salads are a classic dish that can be found on the menu of almost any restaurant.
This salad is typically made with romaine lettuce, croutons, Parmesan cheese, and a Caesar dressing.
The taste of this salad is savory and slightly acidic, while the texture is crunchy and creamy.
There are a few things you can do to elevate this dish and make it even more delicious.
First, try using a higher quality Caesar dressing.
This will make a big difference in the flavor of the salad.
You can also add some additional toppings, such as grilled chicken or shrimp.
Finally, don’t skimp on the Parmesan cheese – it really makes the dish.
8. Green Salad
A green salad is a must-have side dish for any shrimp and grits meal.
The taste and texture of the greens help to cut through the richness of the shrimp and grits, and the acidity in the dressing helps to brighten up the flavors.
There are endless possibilities when it comes to greens for your salad, but some of our favorites include arugula, romaine, and spinach.
For a bit of sweetness, you can add in some diced fruit like apples or pears.
And for a bit of crunch, we love to add in some chopped nuts or seeds.
The key to elevating your green salad is in the dressing.
A simple vinaigrette made with olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper is always a good place to start.
But feel free to get creative with your dressings – adding in different herbs, fruits, and even spices can really take your salad to the next level.
9. Quinoa Salad
This quinoa salad is a great dish to serve alongside shrimp and grits.
It’s light and refreshing, with a subtle flavor that won’t compete with the other dishes on the table.
The quinoa provides a nice contrast in texture to the creamy grits, and the fresh vegetables add a pop of color and flavor.
To make this dish even more flavorful, try roasting the vegetables before adding them to the salad.
This will give them a nice char and bring out their natural sweetness.
You can also add some crumbled feta or goat cheese for a bit of salty richness.
Finally, be sure to dress the salad lightly so that the flavors can shine through.
10. Farro Salad
If you’re looking for a new and interesting side dish to serve with your next meal, look no further than farro salad.
This unique dish is made with a type of wheat grain that has a nutty flavor and chewy texture.
Farro salad is typically served cold or at room temperature, making it the perfect side dish for warm-weather meals.
The key to making a great farro salad is to cook the grain correctly.
It should be cooked al dente, which means it should still have a bit of bite to it.
Overcooking the grain will result in a mushy salad that is not very enjoyable to eat.
Once the farro is cooked, add in your favorite salad ingredients.
Some great options include chopped vegetables, feta cheese, and olives.
Give your salad a good toss to mix everything together, then season it with salt and pepper to taste.
Farro salad is best served cold or at room temperature, so make sure to give it enough time to cool down before serving.
If you’re looking for an easy way to elevate this dish, try serving it with grilled shrimp or chicken.
11. Orzo Salad
Orzo salad is a great side dish to serve with shrimp and grits.
It has a light, refreshing taste and the perfect amount of acidity to balance out the richness of the shrimp and grits.
The best part about orzo salad is that it can be easily elevated with just a few simple ingredients.
To start, you’ll want to cook the orzo according to the package instructions.
Once it’s cooked, drain it and rinse it with cold water to stop the cooking process.
Then, in a large bowl, mix together the orzo, diced tomatoes, diced cucumbers, chopped parsley, and crumbled feta cheese.
For the dressing, simply whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper.
Pour the dressing over the salad and mix everything together until evenly coated.
If you want to add even more flavor to the dish, try roasting the diced tomatoes before adding them to the salad.
This will give them a nice smoky flavor that pairs perfectly with the other ingredients.
You could also add in some grilled shrimp for an extra protein boost.
Orzo salad is a versatile dish that can be easily customized to your liking.
12. Couscous Salad
When it comes to sides, couscous salad is a great option.
It’s light and airy but still has a bit of substance to it.
The flavor is mild, so it won’t compete with the other dishes on your table.
And it pairs well with just about anything.
Couscous is made from durum wheat semolina.
It’s similar in texture to rice but not as dense.
The small grains are light and fluffy, making them perfect for salads.
To elevate your couscous salad, try adding some chopped fresh herbs, diced roasted vegetables, or crumbled feta cheese.
For a bit of sweetness, add some raisins or dried cranberries.
You can also use flavored couscous, like garlic or lemon.
So there you have it–12 delicious side dishes to serve with shrimp and grits.
With so many great options, you’re sure to find the perfect dish to complement your meal.
Do you have a favorite side dish to serve with shrimp and grits? Let us know in the comments below.
Carrie is a food writer and editor with more than 15 years of experience. She has worked for some of the biggest names in the food industry, including Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and Martha Stewart Living.
As the Editor in Chief of IntroChicago.com, Carrie oversees all of the content on the site. She also manages the team of contributing writers and editors, who help to create delicious recipes, helpful tips, and informative articles that you’ll find on the site.
A native of the Chicago area, Carrie is passionate about all things food. She loves trying new restaurants and experimenting with new recipes in her kitchen. She’s also a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, so she knows a thing or two about food!