Old Charleston-Style Shrimp and Grits


Great shrimp and grits recipe.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 15 mins
8 servings

Send your taste buds to coastal South Carolina with this restaurant-worthy shrimp and grits recipe. Whether you're a beginner cook or a seasoned pro, this top-rated recipe will impress everyone at your table.

A high angle view of a single bowl of Charleston style shrimp and grits.

Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

What Is Shrimp and Grits?

Shrimp and grits is a Southern dish from the Lowcountry of coastal South Carolina and Georgia. It's traditionally served at breakfast, but you can often find it on lunch or dinner menus. Nobody is quite sure when the ingredients were first served together, but the first known published recipe appeared in the 1950 edition of Charleston Receipts (the oldest Junior League cookbook still in print).

How to Make Shrimp and Grits

You'll find the full recipe below, but here's a brief overview of what you can expect:

Cook Grits

Boil grits with half-and-half until thick, creamy, and tender. Remove from heat, set aside, and keep warm.

Marinate Shrimp

A simple marinade of cayenne pepper, lemon juice, and salt makes perfectly flavorful shrimp that doesn't overpower the rest of the ingredients.

Cook Meat and Veggies

Cook sausage in a skillet until brown. Remove the sausage from the skillet and replace with bacon. Cook bacon in the skillet until evenly browned, drain on paper towels, then chop or crumble when the bacon is cool enough to handle. Cook bell peppers, onion, and garlic in the bacon drippings.

When veggies are tender, return the cooked sausage to the skillet along with the marinated shrimp.

Make a Roux

Whisk melted butter and flour over medium heat until you have a smooth, golden roux. Pour the roux over the sausage, shrimp, and vegetables in the skillet.

Finish Sauce

Add chicken broth, bacon, and Worcestershire sauce to the skillet. Stir until sauce thickens and shrimp is bright pink.

Assemble and Serve

Finish the grits by mixing in Cheddar cheese. Spoon the grits onto plates, then top with the saucy shrimp mixture.

Best Grits for Shrimp and Grits

While instant and quick grits are great when you're short on time, this recipe requires grits with a coarse grind. Choose stone-ground grits or coarse hominy grits for the best results.

What Goes With Shrimp and Grits?

You don't necessarily have to serve anything with shrimp and grits. It's incredibly rich and satisfying by itself. However, if you want to go the extra mile, consider pairing this dish with Lowcountry fare (such as Okra and Tomatoes).

How to Store Leftover Shrimp and Grits

Store shrimp and grits in separate airtight containers in the fridge. The grits will last for up to four days and the shrimp will last for up to two days.

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"Amazing recipe," according to DKTRUM. "I don't even usually like grits and I ate every bit of this recipe – two helpings. The seasonings were perfect and the depth of flavor was outstanding. Make this recipe as written and don't change a thing; you won't regret it."

"Perfect recipe and my family loved it," raves Carly. "Prep as much as you can ahead of time to make the process easier. I always bake my bacon instead of pan cooking (keeps the house from smelling) and add a bit of olive oil to the vegetables after cooking the sausage (because there is no bacon grease in the pan to cook it in)."

"I loved this recipe," says DILLEAUX. "Took some to my neighbor and she said it was the best dish I've ever cooked. I stayed relatively close to the recipe, but used less bell pepper. The prep work is a bit time consuming, but everything comes together very quickly once the shrimp go in."

Editorial contributions by Corey Williams


  • 3 cups water

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 cup coarsely ground grits

  • 2 cups half-and-half

  • 2 pounds uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined

  • salt to taste

  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste

  • 1 medium lemon, juiced

  • 1 pound andouille sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices

  • 5 slices bacon

  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped

  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped

  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper, chopped

  • 1 cup chopped onion

  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

  • ¼ cup butter

  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup chicken broth

  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese


  1. Bring water and 2 teaspoons salt to a boil in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat.

  2. Whisk grits into the boiling water, and then whisk in half-and-half. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until grits are thickened and tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside and keep warm.

    Overhead of grits in a sauce pan.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  3. Season shrimp with salt and cayenne pepper. Add lemon juice, toss to combine, and set aside to marinate.

  4. Place sausage slices in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove sausage from the skillet.

  5. Add bacon to the same skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly browned, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain, then chop or crumble when cool enough to handle. Leave bacon drippings in the skillet.

  6. Add bell peppers, onion, and garlic to the bacon drippings; cook and stir until onion is translucent, about 8 minutes.

  7. Stir cooked sausage and marinated shrimp into the skillet with the cooked vegetables. Turn off the heat and set aside.

  8. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour, stirring to create a smooth roux. Turn heat to low and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is golden brown in color, 8 to 10 minutes. Watch carefully, mixture burns easily.

    Overhead of a roux being whisked together in a skillet.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  9. Pour the roux over the sausage, shrimp, and vegetables.

  10. Place the skillet over medium heat, add chicken broth, bacon, and Worcestershire sauce, and stir to combine. Cook until sauce thickens up and shrimp turn opaque and bright pink, about 8 minutes.

    Overhead of sausage, shrimp, and various chopped vegetables being stirred and cooked in a skillet.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  11. Just before serving, mix Cheddar cheese into grits; stir until cheese is melted and grits are creamy and light yellow.

  12. Spoon grits onto plates and serve shrimp mixture over top.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

618 Calories
44g Fat
16g Carbs
39g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 618
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 44g 56%
Saturated Fat 20g 98%
Cholesterol 270mg 90%
Sodium 1635mg 71%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 39g
Vitamin C 66mg 328%
Calcium 250mg 19%
Iron 4mg 22%
Potassium 596mg 13%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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