How to Make Southern Shrimp and Grits

This Lowcountry classic is the solution to your comfort food cravings.

Nothing says down-home comfort quite like shrimp and grits. Bold, peppery gravy, succulent seafood, and rich sausage create a bite that's too perfect not to make. Learn how to create a restaurant-quality brunch dish in a few simple steps and have a deliciously hearty Lowcountry meal in no time.

The Best Grits for Shrimp and Grits

When it comes to selecting your grits, quality is key. While the 5-minute variety offers convenience, stone-ground grits provide an authentic texture that can't be substituted. One part grits to 4 parts liquid is the fuss-free ratio that gets deliciously creamy results every time.

Add water, salt, and milk to a standard-sized pot (use half-and-half for an even richer result) and allow the mixture to come to a simmer before whisking in the grits. Gently stir, allowing the grits to come back to a gentle bubbling, then lower the heat and cover until fully cooked.

a colorful plate of shrimp atop yellow grits, garnished with chopped scallions
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Get the recipe: Old Charleston Style Shrimp and Grits

How to Make Shrimp and Grits

  1. While the grits are cooking, finely chop onion, bell peppers, and garlic to prep for the gravy. Next, cook a few pieces of bacon until crisp and remove them from the pan for later use. Add a pound of chopped andouille sausage and cook until the color is a deep brown.
  2. Set the sausage aside before quickly sauteing the shrimp in the remaining fat — the goal here is to add color without fully cooking, as the shrimp will finish in the gravy. Set them aside, add a splash of bacon grease to the pan, and saute the garlic vegetable medley until the onions are translucent.
  3. Whisk in flour, butter, and chicken stock before adding the andouille sausage. Allow the gravy to simmer for 4-5 minutes, then stir in shrimp and fresh parsley. Now's the time for customization — add Cheddar to the grits for an even creamier bite or hot sauce to your gravy for a mouthwatering kick. Spoon the shrimp and gravy over the grits and enjoy the rich flavors of this timeless Southern delicacy.

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