Shrimp & Grits

Fresh shrimp and grits, made from ground corn (maize), is a Low Country classic.

Shrimp and grits are a specialty in the coastal city of Charleston, South Carolina, where the shrimp are plump and flavorful. Our favorite shrimp come from the small shrimping village 40 miles north of Charleston in the sleepy town of McClellanville.

This shrimp and grits recipe is simple to make, healthier than the usual with cheese and tasso ham, and, I think, just as delicious.

An ageless spin on a classic southern dish my whole family loves.

Shrimp & Grits

Keyword shrimp and grits
Servings 4


  • 1 cup yellow grits (not instant)
  • 3 cups filtered water plus more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Salt, pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 16 large shrimp, peeled, deveined (about one pound) large, wild-caught (preferably from the Gulf or coast of South Carolina)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ small onion, finely diced
  • ½ cup fresh basil, loosely packed, chopped plus more as garnish
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 small jalapeño, seeded, finely diced
  • hot sauce to taste



  1. Bring 3 cups water to a simmer in a large saucepan. Gradually whisk in grits. Turn heat to low; gently simmer until grits begin to thicken. Continue cooking, stirring often and adding water by 1/4 cupfuls if too thick, until tender, about 1 hour. Stir in butter. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.


  1. Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. Add the diced onion and jalapeño, sauté until onion is fragrant and slightly golden, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic. Add shrimp. When garlic begins to brown, the worcestershire sauce. Simmer until shrimp is cooked through, about 2 minutes. Add a splash of hot sauce, if using. Stir the shrimp in garlic/onion mixture, and then add the fresh basil. Remove from heat. 

  2. Divide grits among bowls, forming a well in center. Spoon shrimp mixture into center of grits. Garnish with more fresh basil. Serve immediately.