The Best of Lowcountry Southern Cooking

Gullah Red Rice
Gullah Red Rice . Photo: My Hot Southern Mess

Along the coast of South Carolina and Georgia lies a stretch of coastal plains, marshlands, swamps, and Sea Islands known as the Lowcountry. Here, French and West African culinary traditions came together to build a cuisine based on rice and the area's abundant seafood. Frogmore stew, for example, is a culinary creation credited to African-Americans of West African heritage known as the Gullah. If you use words like "goober" (for peanut) and "gumbo," you're speaking a bit of Gullah. Let's look at the best of Lowcountry cooking.

01 of 12

Old Charleston Style Shrimp and Grits

shrimp on yellow grits garnished with chopped scallions
Old Charleston Style Shrimp and Grits | Photo by naples34102. naples34102

This traditional Lowcountry dish features tender shrimp simmered with flavorful andouille sausage, bacon, and colorful bell peppers. Enjoy your saucy shrimp served over creamy, cheesy grits.

02 of 12

Okra Rice

Okra Rice
Dee

This fried rice with okra, bacon, and onion is a terrific Lowcountry-inspired side, but it's filling enough to be a satisfying main dish. CharlieSandra rates it 5 stars: "Went right by the recipe and it turned out great. Being from the Low Country of SC, I think I will add some fresh shrimp next time. With or without shrimp, it's a meal all by itself. Ya'll enjoy."

03 of 12

Okra and Tomatoes

Okra and Tomatoes
happytocook

Here's a simple, comforting side with a Lowcountry sensibility. It's okra sauteed in bacon grease with onion, green pepper, celery, and stewed tomatoes. "This is one of my favorite recipes," says nammacooks. "I make this dish often in the summer when we have okra from the garden and I use frozen okra in the winter."

04 of 12

Dave's Low Country Boil

Dave's Low Country Boil
Rob Hag.

It's not just dinner, it's an adventure! With sausage, shrimp, crab, potatoes and corn, it's an all-in-one pot all-you-can-eat buffet. "Famous in the Low Country of Georgia and South Carolina, this boil is done best on an outdoor cooker," says Lisa.

05 of 12

Gullah Red Rice

Gullah Red Rice
Gullah Red Rice. My Hot Southern Mess

This simple baked rice dish features bacon and sausage baked with rice in a flavorful tomato sauce. "Charleston red rice is one of Charleston, South Carolina's Gullah dishes," says LadyV. "Being from the Sea Islands of Charleston, this is a go-to dish passed down!"

06 of 12

Lowcountry Shrimp and Cheese Grits

611292_lowcountry-shrimp-and-cheese-grits_cookinmama
Lowcountry Shrimp and Cheese Grits.

How Lowcountry can you go? Shelled shrimp are sauteed with diced tomato in olive oil and butter and served over garlic cheese grits. "This is the best and easiest shrimp and grits recipe!" says Carol. "I have also added andouille sausage sometimes for a different flavor excellent."

07 of 12

Lowcountry Tomato Pie

close up of a casserole dish of tomato pie
Chris Thompson

Buttermilk biscuits create the crust for a tasty savory pie of tomatoes, sauteed vegetables with a cheesy Cheddar topping. "This is a classic Southern recipe from Charleston, South Carolina," says solemn chef. "Decadent, easy, and delicious!"

08 of 12

Husband's Grandmother's Shrimp Gumbo

Husband's Grandmother's Shrimp Gumbo
Allrecipes Magazine

"My husband's grandmother taught me this recipe," says ranch_maven. "She actually cooked for Cajun festivals. She used 40-gallon trash cans for her stock pots. People would line up for this authentic Cajun specialty. This recipe serves eight but multiplies well. Serve gumbo over cooked white rice."

09 of 12

Red Rice and Sausage

close up of a bowl of red rice and sausage
Kim Hyndman

This simple savory dish goes from stovetop to oven. "Red rice and sausage is a Charleston favorite," says AUTUMNJON. "I like to use turkey sausage, another good alternative is Italian sausage."

10 of 12

Boiled Peanuts

close up on a bowl of boiled peanuts
Soup Loving Nicole

Tender, salty boiled peanuts are a Southern treasure. And all you need to make them at home are raw peanuts in their shells, salt, and water. Claudette raves about them! "If you have never tried boiled peanuts stop whatever you're doing right this minute go out buy peanuts and get started (smile)," she says. "You will not be let down. To Die For!"

11 of 12

Hearty Hoppin' John Stew

A shallow bowl of stew on a wooden background.

Hoppin' John, it's not just for New Year's Day! This simple skillet meal features pork sausage, rice, and Cajun-seasoned black-eyed peas. "I've made Hoppin John for years with many recipes and different ways (crock pot etc.) and this is my favourite," raves Michelle Renee. "It was so easy (no soaking the peas overnight) and fast and just delicious."

12 of 12

Aunt Margie's Sweet Potato Pone

high angle looking at a casserole dish of sweet potato pone
Christina Kennedy

This Southern stand-out recipe features shredded sweet potatoes baked in a buttery orange sauce. "This is what our Southern family has had on the Thanksgiving table for at least 3 generations," says Christina Kennedy. "Great Aunt Margie (pronounced MAH-gee) was born in 1902."

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