This post has been sponsored by Tyson Foods Inc. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Shrimp and Grits Cakes with Crispy Ham are the perfect party appetizer for your summer gatherings! Cheesy baked grits cakes are topped with crispy Sara Lee® Honey Ham , sautéed  shrimp, and a spicy, buttery sauce we can’t get enough of. 

Shrimp and grits. Oh how I love thee.

Is there anyone out there who doesn’t?

Pretty sure I can’t remember a time when I’ve ordered/had shrimp and grits and not been a fan. No matter what the method of preparation is, I’m game. Although if I had to choose, my very favorite version of shrimp and grits would be one speckled with bits of salty ham, hot sauce, and super spicy shrimp. 

And while I’m a fan of eating them the traditional way, as in creamy grits + ham + sautéed shrimp, this bite-sized version might be my new favorite. Scratch that. It is my new favorite. 

We have the following: 

  • Creamy, extra-sharp cheddar grits turned into golden brown, crispy cakes.
  • Sara Lee® Honey Ham crisped up in the oven.
  • Plump shrimp laced with hot sauce, lemon juice, and just a touch of butter. 

Both frozen shrimp and Sara Lee® Premium Meats are two things I almost always have stocked in my fridge, which makes whipping this up so easy. I love having their turkey and ham on hand for sandwiches and wraps, obviously, but it also comes in handy for out-of-the-box recipes like today’s.

Bonus? I get to use the leftovers in our lunches for the rest of the week. Ham + turkey + fig jam + goat cheese + toasted nutty bread for me, ham + Swiss + mayo for the kiddos. Sara Lee® Premium Meats are our family’s go-to deli meat because of the sliced-to-order freshness, but also because their meats are crazy affordable – a must when shopping for a family on a budget. Be sure to check out more family-friendly recipe ideas and solutions on the Sara Lee® website. 

How to make Shrimp and Grits Cakes with Crispy Ham

  • Bring a large pot of chicken stock and milk to a rolling boil. Slowly whisk in grits and salt. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir occasionally until the grits are thick and creamy. Add cheese, butter and green onions. Stir until cheese and butter have melted. 
  • Spread grits on to a greased baking sheet and chill until firm. About 30 minutes to an hour. 
  • Once the grits are cooled and firm, use a 2-inch biscuit or cookie cutter to form the cakes. Place on a baking sheet and cook until golden brown and crispy, about 25 minutes. 
  • While the cakes cook, add ham to another baking sheet. Bake until crisp on the edges and hot, about 10 minutes.
  • Again, while the cakes and ham bake, make the shrimp. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Add butter to a large non-stick pan. Once the butter melts, add the shrimp. Cook until pink, about 2-3 minutes. Add lemon juice, hot sauce, and remaining butter. Toss until combined. 
  • To assemble, place a piece of ham on each cake, top with a shrimp, and garnish with parsley! 

Substitutions and Tips and Tricks for Recipe Success

  • Use coarse grits. You really want the texture that comes with coarse grits versus finely ground grits. Trust me. 
  • You can swap out water for the chicken stock, just be sure to adjust for salt.
  • Heavy cream, whole milk, or half and half will work in place of regular 2% milk. 
  • Line each baking sheet with parchment paper to keep messes at bay. 
  • Don’t overcook your shrimp! Once they curl up and turn pink, they’re done. 
  • Be sure to taste your grits for seasoning before pouring them in the baking sheet. 

Shrimp and Grits Cakes with Crispy Ham

Shrimp and Grits Cakes with Crispy Ham

Yield: 15 Cakes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Shrimp and Grits Cakes with Crispy Ham are the perfect party appetizer for your summer gatherings! Cheesy baked grits cakes are topped with crispy Sara Lee® Honey Ham , sautéed shrimp, and a spicy, buttery sauce we can’t get enough of.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock or water
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1 cup corn grits
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 5 tbsp butter, divided
  • 1 cup shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  • 5 slices Sara Lee® Honey Ham
  • 15 large shrimp, peeled and deveined (tails off if you prefer)
  • 2 tbsp. hot sauce
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • Parsley for garnis

Instructions

  1. Grease a 9x12 baking sheet.
  2. Add chicken stock or water and milk to a boil in a large stock pot. Slowly whisk in grits and 1/4 tsp. salt. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir occasionally until the grits are thick and creamy. Add cheese, butter and green onions. Stir until cheese and butter have melted. 
  3. Spread grits on to a greased baking sheet.. You want them about 1/4-inch thick. It shouldn't take up the whole pan. Place in the fridge and chill for about 30 minutes to an hour until firm.
  4. Once the grits are cooled and firm, use a 2-inch biscuit or cookie cutter to form the cakes. Place on a baking sheet and cook until golden brown and crispy, about 25 minutes. 
  5. While the cakes cook, add ham to another baking sheet. For easy cleanup, line pan with parchment paper. Bake until crisp on the edges and hot, about 10 minutes.
  6. While the cakes and ham bake, season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Add butter to a large non-stick pan over a medium heat. Once the butter melts, add the shrimp. Cook until pink, about 2-3 minutes. Add lemon juice, hot sauce, and remaining butter. Toss until combined. 
  7. To assemble, place a piece of ham golden up on each cake, top with a shrimp, and garnish with parsley! 
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 15 Serving Size: 1 cake
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 129 Total Fat: 10g Saturated Fat: 6g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 39mg Sodium: 403mg Carbohydrates: 4g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 1g Protein: 7g
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