Charleston-Style Shrimp and Grits

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How to Make Charleston-Style Shrimp and Grits

Charleston-Style Shrimp and Grits, shrimp and grits is a classic Southern dish, particularly popular in Charleston, South Carolina. This flavorful dish combines creamy, cheesy grits with savory shrimp cooked in a rich, seasoned sauce. Here’s a step-by-step guide to making authentic Charleston-style shrimp and grits.


For the Grits:

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup stone-ground grits
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

For the Shrimp:

  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (like Tabasco)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped


1. Prepare the Grits:

  • In a large pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon of salt.
  • Slowly stir in the grits, reducing the heat to low. Cook, stirring frequently, until the grits are thick and creamy (about 20-25 minutes).
  • Add the butter, heavy cream, and grated cheddar cheese to the grits. Stir until the cheese is melted and the mixture is smooth. Keep warm over low heat, stirring occasionally.

2. Cook the Bacon:

  • In a large skillet, cook the chopped bacon over medium heat until crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Leave the bacon fat in the skillet.

3. Cook the Vegetables:

  • In the same skillet with the bacon fat, add the chopped onion and bell pepper. Sauté over medium heat until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant.

4. Cook the Shrimp:

  • Add the shrimp to the skillet and cook until they turn pink, about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove the shrimp from the skillet and set aside.

5. Make the Sauce:

  • Add the butter to the skillet and let it melt. Sprinkle the flour over the melted butter and stir to combine, making a roux. Cook for about 2 minutes, until the roux is light brown.
  • Slowly add the chicken broth while stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Then add the heavy cream, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce. Stir to combine.
  • Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste.

6. Combine and Serve:

  • Return the cooked shrimp and bacon to the skillet, stirring to coat them with the sauce. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until everything is heated through.
  • Spoon the warm, cheesy grits onto plates and top with the shrimp and sauce mixture.
  • Garnish with chopped fresh parsley.

Enjoy your Charleston-style shrimp and grits! This dish is perfect for a comforting dinner or a special brunch, bringing a taste of the South to your table.

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