South Carolina: Old Charleston Shrimp and Cheese Grits

The Ingredients for Charleston 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 coastal “low country” of South Carolina, but you’ll find shrimp and grits on the menu of restaurants across the South.

So how did shrimp for breakfast become so popular? Well, like most origin stories there are multiple versions and all have a bit of truth to them. The most popular story known by many is that shrimp and grits was a humble breakfast enjoyed by low country fisherman, rightfully so….they had plenty on hand.

Old Charleston Shrimp and Cheese Grits

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. The main components here are that you want are fresh shrimp and cheesy grits that are both savory and well seasoned. For exceptional results, use this simple recipe for Southern Creamy Grits.
5 from 2 votes
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Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch
Cuisine: American, American South, North American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: My Hungry Traveler


  • Large skillet or nonstick frying pan


  • 1 lb Large uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ Lemon, juiced
  • ½ lb Louisiana andouille sausage (kielbasa ok) in ¼-inch slices
  • 4 slices Bacon, chopped
  • tsp Cayenne pepper
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 1 large Onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 whole Bell pepper, any color, cored and chopped
  • ½ cup Scallion, thinly sliced
  • 4 tbsp Butter
  • ¼ cup All-purpose flour
  • ½ cup Chicken broth
  • ½ tsp Tabasco hot sauce
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup Sharp cheddar cheese, shredded


  • Begin recipe for Southern Creamy Grits., replacing cream with cheddar cheese in final step.. Mix shrimp with salt, cayenne and lemon juice in a bowl to marinate.
  • Fry andouille slices in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook until browned, about 5-8 minutes. Remove andouille to a plate or bowl.
    Turn heat up to medium-high and cook bacon until evenly brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove to a paper towel lined plate. Crumble.
    In the remaining drippings, cook pepper, onion, and garlic until the onions become translucent, about 8 minutes. Transfer vegetables to the bowl with the shrimp and add add andouille sausage slices. Mix.
  • Melt butter in the skillet over medium heat. Stir in flour to make a smooth paste. Turn heat to very low and stir constantly until the roux becomes medium brown, about 8 minutes.
    Add shrimp, vegetables, and andouille to the roux in the pan. Turn heat to medium and stir in chicken broth, tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, and bacon. Cook, stirring, until sauce thickens and shrimp become opaque and pink, about 8 minutes. Stir in chopped scallions.
  • Serve shrimp over cheese grits in a soup bowl or plates.


Calories: 583kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 235mg | Sodium: 1707mg | Potassium: 545mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 685IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 327mg | Iron: 2mg

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