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Charleston Shrimp and Grits

Charleston lowcountry shrimp and grits recipe with bacon - Julia's Simply Southern

In this post I am sharing on of my personal favorites…Charleston Shrimp and Grits.

 


Do you have a meal that just makes you swoon? Like you can hear the angels sing just thinking about eating it? For me that would be shrimp and grits. 

The freshest sweet wild caught shrimp and grits are perfect for any meal of the day in South Carolina. This dish originates from the lowcountry of my beloved state.

Perhaps being born in a coastal state, it is just in our DNA to have a special fondness for seafood. It has to be, right? Of course these days you’ll find shrimp and grits on the menu of restaurants across the country.

So how did breakfast shrimp become such a popular dish? Well, like most anything there are two stories and both have truth in them.

The most popular story know by many is that shrimp and grits was a humble breakfast enjoyed by our lowcountry fisherman, rightfully so….they had plenty on hand.

The other story, and likely the true origin of this Southern cuisine, is that it was introduced to us by the enslaved Africans of the Charleston area. 

Southern Shrimp and Grits

Low country shrimp and grits - Julia's Simply Southern 

Okay y’all….let’s talk about grits for a minute. Stone ground grits are the preferred grits of the South. Never ever do we use instant. If you stumble upon a recipe for grits that cook less than 30 to 45 minutes just keep on scrolling. Trust me. 

Not that you’ll find this very interesting but there happens to be a historic grist mill just down the road from my house.

Back in the day, the local grist mill owner was a very important man and usually had a bit of money from running their profitable business. 

Well that’s enough of my jibber jabber, let me tell y’all how to make these shrimp and grits. I do apologize…I just get to gushing when talking about my home state and delicious food.

Traditional Shrimp and Grits

How to make shrimp and grits - Julia's Simply Southern

Preparing shrimp and grits is fairly simple. You’ll see many versions…some folks like to add sausage or Tasso ham while others might make a pan sauce or gravy.

Do what suits your taste. The main components here are that you want there to be shrimp, grits and it needs to be savory and seasoned well. 

Here’s what you’ll need to make my version: bacon, peanut oil (optional), shrimp, flour, salt and pepper, mushrooms, garlic, lemon juice, Tabasco, green onions, grits and some butter. 

I s’wanee y’all…I’m getting so excited and my mouth is watering just telling y’all about this recipe!

South Carolina Shrimp and Grits

Best Southern shrimp and grits recipe - Julia's Simply Southern

“Southern Cooking is the Mother cuisine of America” ~ Nathalie Dupree

Step 1: It is best to get the grits to cooking before you start on everything else since they take a while. Bring water to a boil, season with salt then stir in your grits. Turn down the heat and let them cook, about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Step 2: In a skillet over medium high heat, cook some chopped bacon until crisp. Remove and set aside. Toss the shrimp in a small bit of seasoned flour to very lightly coat then add them to the skillet. Cook the shrimp on one side then flip and add the mushrooms and reserved bacon back to the skillet.

Next, add the garlic to the pan and stir constantly so the garlic doesn’t brown and become bitter. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the remaining ingredients.

To serve, spoon the shrimp mixture over a serving of grits.

Charleston Shrimp and Grits

Charleston Shrimp and Grits

Charleston Shrimp and Grits
A lowcountry favorite in South Carolina - Charleston Shrimp and Grits. Enjoy it for any meal of the day.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

Shrimp

  • 6 Slices of Bacon, chopped
  • Peanut oil, optional
  • 1 Pound of Shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tbs flour seasoned with salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 ¼ c Sliced Shiitake Mushrooms
  • 1 large Clove of Garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp Lemon Juice
  • ½ tsp Tabasco
  • ¼ c thinly sliced Green Onions

Grits

  • 4 ½ c Water
  • 1 c Stone Ground Grits
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 3 tbs Butter
  • ½ tsp Freshly Ground Pepper
  • ½ tsp Tabasco

Instructions

Grits

In a medium saucepan over high heat bring water to a boil. Whisk in the grits and salt , reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the grits are thickened, approximately 35-40 minutes.

Remove from the heat and add the butter, pepper and Tabasco, adding more to adjust seasoning as desired.

Shrimp

In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until crisp, approximately 5-6 minutes.

Drain the bacon on paper towels, reserve the bacon fat in pan and add peanut oil if needed to give you approximately 1 ½ tablespoons. 

Toss the shrimp with the flour until they are lightly coated, removing any excess flour.

Over medium-high heat cook the shrimp on one side, flip and add mushrooms and bacon. Cook approximately 2 minutes.

Add the garlic, stirring constantly so as not to brown the garlic. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice, Tabasco and green onions.

Spoon over grits and serve.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 387 Total Fat: 20g Saturated Fat: 9g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 10g Cholesterol: 279mg Sodium: 737mg Carbohydrates: 16g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 1g Protein: 34g
A low country favorite, Charleston Shrimp and Grits, traditional style for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner #seafood #shrimpandgrits #SouthernFood #shrimprecipes

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See this recipe at: Meal Plan Monday and Weekend Potluck

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12 Comments

  • Reply
    Norine Rogers
    April 10, 2019 at 11:18 am

    What a spectacular dish my friend. I can hardly wait to make this for my family. My husband loves grits and shrimp so combining them is sure to be a hit. I’m drooling over these photos. Great recipe!

    • Reply
      Julia Jordan
      April 10, 2019 at 11:25 am

      Norine,
      Thank you so much! I hope y’all enjoy it.

    • Reply
      Carlee
      April 12, 2019 at 12:54 pm

      I think I live just a smidge north of the grits line 😉 but I have tried to make shrimp and grits before. It was good but I like the look of yours even better. I can’t wait to try this!

      • Reply
        Julia Jordan
        April 12, 2019 at 3:53 pm

        Carlee,
        Ha! You can do it Girl!! Thank you so much for stopping by.

  • Reply
    Nikki
    April 11, 2019 at 6:27 am

    I’m a swooner too! Living close to the water and being able to get fresh shrimp is such a blessing. This is one of my most favorite dishes too! My son’s too! We will definitely be trying this deliciousness!

    • Reply
      Julia Jordan
      April 11, 2019 at 6:44 am

      Nikki,
      Thanks friend! We can all swoon together over shrimp and grits!

  • Reply
    Pam
    April 15, 2019 at 7:25 am

    As a Mississippi coastal girl we make ours a little bit different, it’s more like a stew. Yours looks so dang good I’m all in for fixing it tonight. Thank you for the recipe.

    • Reply
      Julia Jordan
      April 15, 2019 at 7:45 am

      Pam,
      Yay! Thank you so much and I hope that you enjoy the recipe. Girlfriend, we know in the South that everybody and their neighbor can make the same dish twenty different ways and they’re all delicious. You have a great week!!

  • Reply
    Jacqueline
    April 15, 2019 at 10:41 am

    We always add a bit of Cheddar Cheese to the grits here. This Georgia girl grew up near a grist mill too! Nora’s Mill in Helen GA. Thanks for this recipe, I’ll definitely be giving it a go (with cheese).

    • Reply
      Julia Jordan
      April 15, 2019 at 2:45 pm

      I love cheesy grits too! I hope you enjoy the recipe…with the cheese 😉

  • Reply
    Captain Pete
    April 21, 2019 at 6:03 pm

    As a converted Yankee fisherman spending years commercial fishing on the Outer Banks I have learned about Grits and love them. If time is not an issue I love my crock pot so i do not have to watch them all the proportions are the same

    • Reply
      Julia Jordan
      April 22, 2019 at 9:58 am

      I’ve never considered the Crock Pot…I’ll have to try that! Thanks.

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