Mama Yolanda's Shrimp & Grits a la Vodka

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Mama Yolanda’s Shrimp & Grits a la Vodka

Recipe: Created by Chef Darek W. Haupt, CEC for Mama Yolanda’s Traditional Sauces®, LLC
Level of Difficulty: Intermediate

Yield: 4 portions with 8 shrimp each

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Total time: 1 hour



4 slices Applewood bacon

1/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil

4 Cloves fresh garlic, chopped (substitution not recommended, if possible)

1/2 cup Spanish onion, small dice

32 Frozen cooked extra-large peeled & de-veined shrimp (26-30 size)

8 leaves Chives, fresh, chopped (substitution not recommended)

1 cup Stone-ground grits (less-recommended substitution – 8 packages instant grits )

4 cups Water

2 tbsp Butter, lightly salted

1 tsp Garlic salt

1 – 24 oz. jar Mama Yolanda’s Traditional Sauces® Classic Vodka Sauce

3 oz Sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)

3 oz Fontina cheese (about 1 cup)



  1. Microwave or pan fry bacon until crisp, yet pliable, and easy to cut. Drain fat. When cooled, finely chop the bacon and set aside.
  2. Put 1/8 cup of extra virgin olive oil into a large sauce pot. Add garlic and onion. Saute on medium-high heat until lightly caramelized. Add water and set the pot aside.
  3. Thaw the shrimp in cold water. Drain and dry the shrimp with paper towels. Partially slice the backs of the shrimp, head to tail, so they will expand during roasting. Place all shrimp in a mixing bowl. Coat with remaining 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil and the garlic salt. Mix well. Lay shrimp evenly on a roasting pan and set aside.
  4. Put pot with the onion and garlic water back on the burner and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower heat to simmer.
  5. Using a sturdy wire whisk, slowly and continuously add stone-ground grits to the simmering water. Stir and cook grits 20-25 minutes or until water is absorbed. (If using instant grits, microwave 8 packages of grits with 4 cups of water.)
  6. Add the butter and both cheeses into the grits, mixing well. Set aside and keep warm.
  7. Into an 2 quart pot, empty the jar of Mama Yolanda’s Traditional Sauces® Classic Vodka Sauce and warm on low heat. Set aside and keep warm.
  8. Turn broiler on high. Place pan with shrimp on rack one position below the top. (Position B) Broil shrimp until expanded and hot, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  9. Put 1/4 of the cheese grits on the center of each dinner plate. Using a large spoon, make a 3-4” circular depression in the center of the grits.
  10. Ladle heated Vodka Sauce in the center of the grits.
  11. Place 8 shrimp on top of the Vodka Sauce in an artistic circle.
  12. Place 1/4 of the chopped bacon in the center of the shrimp.
  13. Sprinkle reserved chopped chives over bacon and shrimp; serve immediately

Serving suggestion: Pair with chilled chardonnay or sauvignon blanc or your favorite ice-cold cola


“Mama Yolanda's takes me back to fond childhood memories of my Italian grandmother's homemade sauce. It makes any favorite dish--baked ziti, lasagna, eggplant parmigiana--even more special. ”

P. Zazzara, Alexandria, VA

“My family absolutely loves this sauce. I was never a fan of “jarred” sauce because it always had to add so many ingredients to make it taste halfway decent; but this tastes just like I made it myself! I don’t have to add not one herb to make it taste better because it is already so delicious! Not to mention the fact that the ingredients are fresh, with nothing artificial. This is the only sauce we use!”

S. Papageorgio, Mooresville, NC

“Tried this sauce (gravy) and can say I haven't had sauce this good since getting homemade sauce from a friend. Definitely better than the name brand, store bought. A quick read of the ingredients lets you know you are getting quality with no unnecessary fillers”

A. Ramos, Mooresville, NC

“The vodka sauce is great... I use it for ziti and tortellini and have gone through 4 jars in the past month. The ingredients are simple and delicious.”

Mike S.

Mama Yolanda's sauce is our family's favorite! We first tried it when our youngest child was 2 and SUPER picky. She gobbled up her spaghetti and wanted more! We now eat it on a variety of foods at least once a week. It's authentic, healthy and flavorful. It's the best!!”

Jenn W., State College, PA

“Mama Yolanda’s tomato gravy is simply delicious. With quality Italian ingredients, the flavor is fresh and authentic. We love it!”

M. Papa, Sparta, NJ

“Mama Yolanda’s Sauce is the absolute best spaghetti sauce I have ever had! It’s just as good, if not better than the marinara sauces I indulged in when eating my way around Italy. This sauce truly captures the authentic taste of what spaghetti sauce should taste like!”

Linda C. Port Hueneme, CA

“Once you have Mama Yolanda’s you will never want to have another spaghetti sauce out there (or even bother making your own)! I live on the West Coast where we don’t have it yet so I have considered planning my next trip to North Carolina where I can buy a few cases. I am not kidding.”

D. Lee, Ojai, CA

“I follow a strict keto diet and finding a spaghetti sauce that not only tastes great but has no sugar was impossible until I came across Mama Yolanda’s. The natural sweetness from fresh vegetables really comes through and leaves me feeling completely satisfied. You will never want to eat spaghetti sauce with sugar again.”

Ana C. Palm Desert, CA