The Best Shrimp and Grits Recipe Ever


This isn’t hyperbole, it’s fact.

Chef Dan Vargo of Seagar’s Prime Steaks and Seafood inside the Hilton Sandestin Resort in sunny FLA is the mastermind behind the greatest, richest, most decadent shrimp and grits recipe I have ever tasted, and you will ever taste.

Last month, despite never having made grits from scratch, I tried out his Creole Shrimp and Aged Cheddar Grits recipe myself at home and the results, while slightly different than the original, were still absolutely fabulous. And it was so, so easy to make.

So here’s is the original recipe for the best shrimp and grits ever, shared with permission from Seagar’s Executive Chef Dan Vargo.

Chef Dan Vargo Seagars Hilton Sandestin best shrimp and grits recipe


Chef Dan Vargo’s Creople Shrimp with Stone Ground Grits from Seagar’s Prime Steaks and Seafood at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort and Spa

Makes 2 Servings

For the Creamy Stone Ground Grits

  • 1/2 cup of Stone Ground Grits
  • 1 1/2 cup of Milk
  • 2 TBSP of Unsalted Butter
  • 2 TBSP of Aged White Cheddar, shredded
  • 1 TBSP of Unsalted Butter, set aside
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Let’s make some incredible grits!

  1. In a pot over medium-high heat, combine the grits, milk, 2TBSP of butter and salt (to taste).
  2. Stirring occasionally, bring the mixture to a light boil they lower the heart, cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes. The grits should have a slight bite to them.
  3. Stir in cheddar cheese and the rest of the butter, adjust the seasoning with salt & pepper to your liking.

Chef Dan Vargo Seagars Hilton Sandestin best shrimp and grits recipe

For the Creole Shrimp

  • 6 Large Shrimp, cleaned, deveined, shell off, tail on or off (your choice)
  • 1 oz of Vegetable Oil
  • 1 TBSP of Unsalted Butter
  • 1 TBSP of Shallots, minced
  • 1 TSP of Garlic, minced
  • 1 Serrano Pepper, minced
  • 2 oz of Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 oz of Chicken Stock
  • 1 oz of Heavy Cream
  • 1 TBSP of Unsalted Butter, set aside
  • 1/2 TBSP mix of Parsley and Thyme, chopped
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Okay, you’ve gone to mise en place town, now let’s get cooking!

  1. Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat.
  2. Season shrimp with salt & pepper and place into the pan.
  3. Cook the shrimp for about 2 minutes on one side, the flip each of them.
  4. Add butter, shallots, garlic, Serrano pepper and cook for additional minute.
  5. Add the Worcestershire sauce, chicken stock and cream, and lower the heat to allow the shrimp to simmer until the sauce thickens and the shrimp are cooked through.
  6. Swirling the pan, add remaining butter and herbs.

To plate beautifully as Chef Dan Vargo does, spoon a heaping of grits onto the outer section of a fine piece of stoneware, then, using the back of the spoon, make a quick, confident smear of grits across the plate. Position a handful of shrimp onto the bulk end of the grits, drizzle some of the creamy sauce in a serpentine fashion, and garnish lovingly with micro greens.


Or…make your best attempt at all that, as I did, and still enjoy the best shrimp and grits you will ever taste, but you’ve gotta add a green, a veggie. I went with my favorite, oven roasted asparagus.

And someday, try to get your family to the remarkable Hilton Sandestin along the Emerald Coast of Florida, make a dinner reservation at Seagar’s, order the original Creole Gulf Shrimp with Stone Ground Grits, be transported to foodie heaven, and tell Chef Vargo I sent you.





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