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Shrimp and Grits

Shrimp and Grits is quite possibly my favorite lowcountry meal. Creamy, smooth grits topped with fresh shrimp, and flavored with a sauce with lots of bacon and green onion, and a little (or lot of) spice.

Shrimp and Grits

There are many different variations on the classic shrimp and grits. This delicious one-dish meal started as a simple breakfast for fishermen and it has evolved into something a little more refined. You’ll see it on the menu of fine dining establishments throughout the south.

Shrimp and Grits

Shrimp and Grits

But invariably, shrimp and grits is and should be a simple, easy, and flavorful dish.

Stone-ground grits are one of the keys to really good shrimp and grits. I use these grits. You can also use quick grits, but avoid instant grits like the plague. Stone-ground grits are coarser than other types of grits as they are produced the old-fashioned way, by grinding with a water-turned stone. Different brands of stone-ground grits have different cooking times, some taking up to 60 minutes. It’s best to go by the cooking time on the package. As a general rule, you want to cook them a little longer than the recommended time to achieve supreme creaminess.

I like to cook grits in a mixture of water and milk, add a touch of butter at the end, and mix in some cheese. What type of cheese I mix in is usually determined by what I have on hand. Just about any type of cheese will complement the flavor of grits.

Shrimp and Grits

The other key to delicious shrimp and grits is using fresh shrimp, or at least good quality frozen shrimp (not farm-raised shrimp from halfway around the world.) We’re lucky that we live fairly close to the coast (although I would prefer to live much closer) and we probably eat our weight in shrimp every time we head to the coast. There’s nothing like them.

Shrimp and Grits

Shrimp and Grits

Shrimp and Grits

Creamy grits topped with fresh shrimp, bacon, and mushrooms. Shrimp and Grits is a lowcountry favorite.
PREP: 10 minutes
COOK: 45 minutes
TOTAL: 55 minutes



  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup stone-ground grits, I like white grits
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese


  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 5 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/3 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 green onions, white and green parts divided, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon tabasco sauce


  • To make grits, bring water, milk, and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan.
  • Gradually whisk in grits so that they do not clump. Turn heat to low and cook according to package directions (probably a good 45 minutes for stone-ground or shorter for quick grits.) Stir frequently to prevent the grits from scorching on the bottom of the pan. If grits are getting too thick, you can add more water.
  • Once done, turn heat off and stir in butter, cheeses, and white pepper. Keep warm.
  • To make shrimp, cook bacon in a large skillet. Remove bacon and set aside. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of bacon fat.
  • Saute mushrooms and red pepper in the bacon fat for 2-3 minutes. Add shrimp, garlic, white parts of green onion, and thyme. Cook until shrimp are pink. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add chicken broth, cream, lemon juice, and tabasco. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add green parts of green onion and bacon.
  • To serve, scoop grits onto a plate or bowl and top with shrimp mixture.


Note: I like really thick grits as opposed to soupy grits. You can add extra water or milk at the end of cooking to thin them to your taste.


Calories: 367kcal
Author: Christin Mahrlig
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Southern

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18 thoughts on “Shrimp and Grits”

    1. Christin
      Christin Mahrlig

      It can, but the grits will thicken up quite a bit and you may need to stir some milk into them when you reheat them.

  1. Googled “low country shrimp and grits recipe”, and of course came up with many, many recipes. I started to go through some, and they didn’t seem very “low country”. As soon as I read this recipe I knew it was the one. Went out and bought the ingredients I didn’t have and made it pretty much following the recipe (didn’t have the fresh thyme). Wow! It was fantastic. It reminded my wife and I of the shrimp and grits we enjoy at our favorite restaurant when we vacation in Southport, NC. Thanks so much for posting it.

  2. I found your recipe on foodgawker and I made this for dinner tonight. It was a HUGE hit!!! I doubled up on the mushrooms and bell pepper and I could even go for triple because I love the veggie combo with the cheesy grits. I will definitely be making this again!!

  3. Ruby @ The Ruby Red Apron

    Shrimp and grits sounds absolutely delicious! Another reminder that I need to try grits! 🙂

  4. Amy (Savory Moments)

    Looks fantastic! This is a dish I’ve been wanting to make for a while now, so I’m definitely pinning for later.

  5. This looks amazing! I love the sound of all the fresh shrimp and it looks so good with the creamy grits!

  6. This looks incredible! I love shrimp – lucky you for living near the coast. I’m glad you take full advantage of it. : )

  7. Shashi @ RunninSrilankan

    I have never been a fan of grits – but it took reading your posts to realize that I was basing my opinion of grits on the instant kind – your shrimp and grits looks amazing!

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