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Charleston Style Shrimp and Grits Recipe

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Shrimp and Grits is a classic Southern recipe that is easier than you think to prepare! With less than an hour of cook time, this Charleston style Shrimp and Grits is fast enough for busy weeknight meals!

white bowl with shrimp and grits and chopped green onion

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Growing up in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, Shrimp and Grits was one of my favorite meals. If you haven’t tried this classic southern meal you’re in for a treat-this is Charleston cooking at it’s best!

Why I love this recipe

Rich, creamy, cheesy grits are topped with shrimp cooked up with bacon in a lovely skillet pan sauce. It’s the ultimate Southern comfort food and perfect for making for company…they will be totally impressed!

close up of shrimp and grits

Shrimp and Grits may seem too fancy to make at home but it’s a deceptively simple dish. The entire recipe can be prepared in just an hour!

After you try this delicious recipe try our Brunswick stew, fried green tomatoes, and fried okra.


  • stone-ground grits (not instant!)
  • milk
  • butter
  • cheddar cheese
  • bacon
  • lemon juice
  • fresh parsley
  • garlic
  • cayenne pepper & salt
  • green onions for garnish (optional)

Step by step

This recipe started with stone-ground grits, which are cooked over 30 minutes with milk and butter to form the creamy base of the Shrimp and Grits. A heap of cheddar cheese is the last step to making these grits Lowcountry-perfect!

While the grits are cooking brown bacon in a large heavy saucepan and remove to a plate. Add the shrimp to the pan and cook until just pink. Return the bacon to the pan and season to perfection with lemon juice, garlic, parsley and cayenne pepper, then let the sauce simmer for a few minutes for the flavors to blend!

Tips for best results

  • The grits take a while to cook so get those going right away. Everything else can be prepared while you wait for the grits.
  • Stone ground grits can be hard to find in larger chain grocery stores, you can find the kind of grits I use here. I do not recommend making this recipe with instant grits, they don’t cook up the same. You can substitute old fashioned grits if necessary.
  • Cook shrimp until they are just pink, don’t overcook or they can become chewy.

You might also like these Southern classic recipes:

If you try this recipe, please comment and rate it below, I love hearing from you!

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close up of shrimp and grits in white bowl

Charleston Style Shrimp and Grits

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4.4 from 5 reviews


Shrimp and Grits is a classic Southern recipe that is easier than you think to prepare! With just 30 minutes of cook time, this Charleston style Shrimp and Grits is fast enough for busy weeknight meals!


Units Scale
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt + dash
  • 1 cup stone ground grits (NOT instant!)
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 lb bacon
  • 1lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 4 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • dash cayenne pepper


  1. Bring the water, milk, 1/2 cup butter and salt to just a boil.
  2. Add the grits and stir.
  3. Cook over low heat 30 minutes, stirring often to prevent sticking.
  4. Add the cheese and stir, cook an additional 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile in a large saucepan cook bacon until brown, remove bacon leaving grease in pan.
  6. Add shrimp and cook for 5 minutes or until pink.
  7. Chop bacon and return to pan along with 2 tablespoons of butter, lemon juice, parsley, cayenne and garlic.
  8. Cook 2-3 minutes. Spoon grits into bowl and top with shrimp mixture.
  9. Serve immediately.
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Category: dinner
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 783
  • Sugar: 7.2 g
  • Sodium: 1448.3 mg
  • Fat: 61.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 17.7 g
  • Protein: 41.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 325.6 mg

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  1. Traditional shrimp and grits uses Tasso ham to make the gravy. It also included peppers. Try it with those changes and you’ll taste a difference

  2. Who in their right mind would put 1+cup of butter in a dish with 1 cup of grits? Do you have any idea what the caloric content wold be for this? Totally ridiculous.

    1. Southerners…we drown everything in butter and it’s delicious! It’s also the case for cooking our veggies in bacon fat, etc. I know it seems odd but it is delicious and perfect for a special occasion dish.

    2. It’s not for everyone, but then perhaps some dishes you make might not appeal to others. Think you could have commented in a nicer way and still got your point across. It’s called kindness!

  3. Imho, way too much butter and I cut it back to 1 cup.
    If I did it over again I would do 4 tbsp and make up the cup with another cup of water.

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