The Fish House’s World-Famous Grits a Ya Ya


Happy Mother’s Day!  I hope you have an exciting day planned.  If you’re anything like me and wait until the last minute to make plans, this recipe is a winner for Mother’s Day brunch or dinner!


The Fish House in Pensacola, FL has, without a doubt, one of the best versions of Shrimp & Grits that I’ve ever eaten.  I have tried many different takes on this traditional Southern dish, but the World-Famous Grits a Ya Ya is my absolute favorite so far.  

This award winning dish has been featured on numerous food and travel shows and has earned the praises of some pretty noteworthy people.  Thankfully, Chef Jim Shirley is generous enough to share his famous recipe!  

My first experience at The Fish House was in 2009 just after moving to the area.  I had the Grits a Ya Ya and couldn’t believe how delicious it was.  As soon as I got home that night, I looked for the recipe online and was surprised to find the actual recipe–not just a copy cat! Since then, I’ve recreated this dish many times and am always super happy with the results–this take on Shrimp & Grits is definitely a family favorite.    

I have made a few small modifications–for instance, once I accidentally ended up with instant grits and was worried that they would ruin the whole dish. Luckily, they actually worked out well and cut down on time, so I still use them for this recipe from time to time. (I know, I know–no true Southerner or serious cook uses instant grits!!!) Also, I use extra sharp white cheddar instead of smoked gouda due to a recent allergy/sensitivity to the cheese used in Chef Shirley’s original recipe.  Finally, I sometimes use half-and-half instead of heavy cream because it’s something I usually have on hand and it does lighten the dish up a little.

One important tip:  make sure you get the freshest shrimp possible in your area.  I use headless, tail-on fresh/never frozen gulf shrimp.  If you don’t have gulf shrimp in your area, try to find the freshest shrimp available to you.

Normally, I would detail each step of the recipe here, but I’ll simply leave you with the official link above and a few cooking pics.  This recipe is super easy to follow and comes together really well at home! 




I hope you enjoy this dish! It is so creamy and flavorful and pretty much perfect!  It’s truly one of my favorites.  

As always, I’d love to hear from you!  Feel free to comment below! You can also hit me up on Instagram @ m_is_for_mimosa or follow me on Pinterest!  

Whatever you do today, I hope you get to spend time with the special ladies in your life!