Cheese and Pumpkin Grits with Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp

4.67 from 3 votes
45 minutes
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Cheese and Pumpkin Grits with Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp is the perfect autumn treat for an easy dinner or for entertaining guests that’s both savory and spicy!

Photo of Pumpkin Chipotle and White Cheddar Grits with Bacon Wrapped Shrimp in black bowl on gray napkin garnished with pumpkin seeds.

The inspiration behind this recipe:

I think I’ve said it a time or two but I love me some shrimp and grits!

When I moved to the South, I never had grits nor shrimp and grits.  I could handle shrimp in any form, but I was more than a little apprehensive about grits.  Then, my husband and I stayed at a Southern antebellum bed and breakfast a number of years ago.   When we sat down to breakfast, on the plate served to me were grits.

Yes, they made me a little nervous but they were creamy, cheesy and divine!

I then had shrimp and grits at an area restaurant not long after and from that point on I was hooked!

Now that its pumpkin season, pumpkin grits just seemed like the thing to do!  This Pumpkin, Chipotle and White Cheddar Grits with Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp is both a delicious savory and spicy main dish perfect for entertaining!  Pumpkin, spicy and smoky chipotle peppers, cheese, shrimp and BACON!

Photo of two whole pumpkins.

Types of grits:

What I didn’t know about grits upon becoming hooked was there were so many different kinds!  There are:

  • Stone-ground (sometimes referred to as old-fashioned) and will have the best texture
  • Quick (good in a pinch)
  • Instant (for when you need a grits fix but don’t have any time)

Stone-ground is what I used here.  You can generally find them in the breakfast cereal aisle.

Photo of grits in glass jar on white marble surface.

How to make Pumpkin, Chipotle and White Cheddar Grits with Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp:

  • When cooking the grits, get the water or broth boiling.
  • Use 1 cup of plain, solid-packed pumpkin as part of the liquid.
  • Add the chipotle peppers along with some salt and pepper.
  • Then, add the grits gradually.  If you add them all at once, they have a tendency to lump up.
  • Stir in some butter and cheese.

Photo of pumpkin grits in stainless steel saucepan being stirred with white spoon.

  • Garnish with pumpkin seeds.

Photo of cooked pumpkin grits in clay bowl.

  • While the grits are simmering away, wrap some colossal shrimp with half-slices of bacon and secure with toothpicks.
  • If you’re nervous about overcooking the shrimp, you can par-cook the bacon a little bit.  Simply get some of the fat rendered off but don’t let it get it crispy.  Then, finish as directed.
  • Be sure to always use wild-caught American shrimp for the best texture!

Photo of bacon-wrapped shrimp before cooking.

  • Then brown well on all sides in a nonstick skillet.

Close-up photo of cooked bacon-wrapped shrimp.

Serve the bacon-wrapped shrimp over the spicy pumpkin and cheese grits, garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds and… Friends!

Pumpkin, Chipotle and White Cheddar Grits with Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp is a crazy delicious autumn dinner that’s perfect for a great meal at home or for entertaining guests!

This dish uses only one cup of a whole can of pumpkin.  Don’t discard the remainder!  Save it to add pumpkin goodness and flavor to soups and stews this fall and winter!


More shrimp and grits recipes:

Pumpkin Chipotle and White Cheddar Grits with Bacon Wrapped Shrimp

Cheese and Pumpkin Grits with Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp

4.67 from 3 votes

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By: Carol | From A Chef's Kitchen
Cheese and Pumpkin Grits with Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp is the perfect autumn treat for an easy dinner or for entertaining guests!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Fish and Seafood
Cuisine Southwestern / Mexican
Servings 4
Calories 404 kcal



  • 3 cups chicken broth - or water
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree - (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 2 to 3 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce - finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper - to taste
  • 1 cup stone-ground grits
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese

Shrimp and Garnish

  • ¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 2 bags (1-pound each) colossal shrimp - (10-12 count per bag), peeled and deveined, tails left intact
  • 12 slices bacon - halved



  • Bring water or chicken broth, pumpkin, chiles, salt and black pepper to a boil.
  • Slowly add the grits in a constant stream, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often, 15-20 minutes, or until thickened. Stir in butter and cheese, cover and let stand while browning the shrimp.

Shrimp and Garnish

  • Toast the pumpkin seeds in a nonstick skillet for 3-5 minutes or until lightly browned in places, beginning to pop and you notice a toasted aroma. Transfer to a plate.
  • Wrap each shrimp in half a slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick. Place the shrimp in the nonstick skillet you used for the seeds and cook, turning frequently until the bacon is nicely browned on all sides and the shrimp is cooked through.
  • Serve the shrimp over the grits. Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds.


If you're nervous about overcooking the shrimp, you can parcook the bacon a little bit and then wrap the shrimp and finish cooking it.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 404kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 1601mg | Potassium: 406mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 10432IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 344mg | Iron: 2mg

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you're using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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Recipe Rating


  1. As a girl born in the South, I am a *huge* grits fan. I’ve never had a Fall version or one with pumpkin, and this one sounds amazing! I’ll definitely be trying out the recipe to see what I’ve been missing!

  2. You had me at shrimp and grits! What a yummy way to serve it. Looks like I might need to give this a try especially since my kitchen is overflowing with pumpkin puree.

  3. Finally a pumpkin recipe that is in a delicious meal as opposed to a dessert. This looks and sounds amazing and I am adding this to my meal plan for this week. Simply awesome!

  4. I am salivating!! But I have to admit that I lived on polenta ( a poor man’s dish) long before it became popular fare. I do like grits or polenta any time of day and to think I used to complain about it when I was young. Silly me!! Do you have a hard time getting the bacon crispy without overcooking the shrimp? The dish looks wonderful!!

    1. Hi, Marisa,

      I’m a big believer in using wild-caught shrimp; it’s so much more “durable” than farm-raised. For this dish, be sure to use “colossal,” which is generally 10-12 count per pound. If you’re unsure, you can always parcook the bacon a little bit. Thanks so much about bringing that up! I put a note in the recipe about that.

  5. Shrimp and grits is one of my all-time favorite meals but I live in the north and it’s pretty hard to find. I’ll definitely have to try this out. Love the addition of the chipotle pumpkin!

  6. Wow. Really love this version of grits. I’m sure the addition of chipotle also makes it yummy. Thanks for sharing a savory pumpkin recipe amidst all these pumpkin recipes.

  7. Shrimp and cheese grits are the best in Southern comfort food. I’ve never thought of adding pumpkin and chipotle. That sounds so good! Love this idea. Now I’m hungry.

  8. There are a lot of sweet pumpkin recipes out there right now, so I appreciate that this one is savory! Looks SO delicious. Hope to try it soon!