Avocado Grits with Spicy Sautéed Shrimp

Southern food is almost always comfort food.  However, the original recipe I found for this (before modifying it) was under 500 calories per person.  I did modify it to go from reduced fat milk to skim milk and I removed the cheese, but I also added in half of an avocado, garlic powder, etc… so I’m not sure what the current calorie count is.  Anyways, regardless, this is a food that I can have for dinner and not feel guilty for eating.  It’s southern food meets diet food which is something I didn’t think existed.

Avocado Grits with Spicy Sautéed Shrimp

You're going to love this easy to make twist on a classic and the best part is that it took less than 25 minutes to make. 
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2 people


  • 1 bunch collards rinsed and chopped (not too small)
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup grits
  • 1 and 1/2 cups skim milk (you can substitute with a high fat milk if you prefer)
  • 1/2 very ripe avocado
  • 1-2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder separated in half
  • 12 shrimp
  • 1 tbsp chili pepper flakes
  • 1 bunch fresh Italian parsley chopped
  • olive oil extra virgin
  • sea salt
  • ground black pepper


  • Start by pouring 1 and 1/2 cups of water into a pot with the milk on high heat. Once it starts boiling add the grits and whisk it for about a minute. Reduce to a low boil or low heat for 2 minutes and then cover it and let it finish absorbing each other while whisking every few minutes to make sure it doesn't get too thick. (If it does, don't worry...mine was caked to the bottom of the pot.)
  • While the grits are cooking, add a drizzle of the extra virgin olive oil to a large pan on high heat and toss in your collards. You'll hear a really loud crackling sound which is awesome. Keep browning them until you have a really good texture (about 3 or 4 minutes) then toss with the garlic in the pan for about 30 more seconds. Now remove them and set them aside in a large bowl.
  • In the same pan, add another drizzle of extra virgin olive oil but reduce the heat to medium. Now add in the halved cherry tomatoes and season them with salt and pepper. Once they've cooked for about 3 minutes they'll start bloating and charring and that means they're done. Add to the collards and then season with sea salt and black pepper.
  • At this point your grits should be ready for the avocado. Chop it into large chunks and then add about a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon of garlic powder and the avocado. Now mix it in with a large beater or spatula.
  • Once the grits are ready, add another drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to the pan you made the tomatoes and collards in and toss the shrimp, chili flakes, other tablespoon of garlic powder and sea salt and pepper and let them sauté over medium heat tossing every couple minutes until they're cooked.
  • Now plate your grits, on top place your collards and tomatoes and then add the shrimp to it. It's that easy to make and it tastes amazing.  


It paired perfectly with a heavy white like a chardonnay but could also do a sweet Vidal wine or even a light sauvignon blanc.

I was shocked when I realized that this dish could actually also fit into my diet calorie wise.  It might not fit yours so check with your nutritionist and doctor first, but I’ll definitely be making this one again.

The original recipe was part of my HelloFresh subscription.

Join Our Newsletter & Never Miss A Recipe!
Fill out the form & we'll send you updates with our blog posts. 
by submitting this form you are agreeing to receiving our newsletter, including information, marketing and offers.