Charleston Shrimp and Grits

These Charleston Shrimp and Grits feature a bed of creamy grits topped with flavorful shrimp and Andouille sausage!

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These Charleston Shrimp and Grits feature a bed of creamy grits topped with flavorful shrimp and Andouille sausage!A couple months ago, I traveled down to Richmond, VA for a visit to the Sabra factory.  (That was an awesome experience!  Check out this Honey Mustard Chicken Salad post for more about the Sabra visit.)  I gotta say that I loved being back in the South…even if it was only for 2 days.  In order to fly from Albany, NY to Richmond, VA, I had to connect through Atlanta.  (You geography whizzes will quickly realize the silliness involved with that itinerary.)  But it’s all good…I got to spend a couple days back in the South, and I loved every minute of it.

After checking into the hotel, I stopped by the hotel store to grab a drink.  As I opened the cooler door, I spotted two types of iced tea: Sweet and Extra Sweet.  I kid you not!  There is no such thing as unsweetened tea in the South.  I grabbed a sweet tea and headed off to my room to settle in.  (Yes, the extra sweet is too sweet…even for me.)

These Charleston Shrimp and Grits feature a bed of creamy grits topped with flavorful shrimp and Andouille sausage!That evening, our group headed out to a nearby restaurant that specialized in ‘new southern’ cuisine.  I was in heaven!  Appetizer: fried green tomatoes with pimento cheese sauce.  Entree: shrimp and grits.  Dessert: bananas foster.  That’s quintessential southern cookin’ right there…and I’m pretty sure I picked up my plate and licked it after each course.  I have no shame.

These Charleston Shrimp and Grits feature a bed of creamy grits topped with flavorful shrimp and Andouille sausage!As I’ve mentioned before, I grew up in Charleston, SC.  Winding cobblestone streets.  Narrow alleys that ran between antebellum homes.  The historic City Market.  I didn’t realize how lucky I was to grow up in such a cool city.

A couple of years ago, I had the chance to go back to Charleston for a family wedding, and Laura came with me.  It was her first (but certainly not last) visit, and she had a blast.  If there’s one thing Charleston is known for now, it’s food.  Amazingly delicious Southern food.

These Charleston Shrimp and Grits feature a bed of creamy grits topped with flavorful shrimp and Andouille sausage!Laura ordered Charleston Shrimp and Grits for lunch on our first day in town…and she’s been hooked ever since!  My meal in Richmond totally reminded me how much Laura loves shrimp and grits, so I decided to whip up a batch for dinner last week.  Well, to be fair, this isn’t exactly a “whip up” type of meal.  This Charleston Shrimp and Grits recipe has several elements, so it’s more ‘weekend cooking’ than ‘weekday cooking’.  But trust me when I say that the time is well spent to make this one!

These Charleston Shrimp and Grits feature a bed of creamy grits topped with flavorful shrimp and Andouille sausage!I unfortunately cannot find stone-ground grits up here in New York, so I have to settle with the quick cooking variety instead.  (If you can get ‘real’ grits in your area, definitely use those instead!)  But picture this: cheesy, creamy grits topped with bacon, Andouille sausage, peppers and onions.  And don’t forget the shrimp on top!  This Charleston Shrimp and Grits is absolutely a winning recipe!  If you think grits are bland and boring, then try this one out.  Then come back and let me know what you think.  I promise I won’t say, “I told you so!”  Enjoy!

These Charleston Shrimp and Grits feature a bed of creamy grits topped with flavorful shrimp and Andouille sausage!

Charleston Shrimp and Grits

These Charleston Shrimp and Grits feature a bed of creamy grits topped with flavorful shrimp and Andouille sausage!
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 752kcal


For the Grits

  • cups quick-cooking grits
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream

For the Toppings


  • Using large saucepan with a lid, add grits, chicken stock, hot water and salt; stir until well combined. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in cream and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 17-18 minutes, stirring occasionally, until grits are tender and have thickened. Remove from heat, cover and keep warm.
  • Meanwhile, using a medium bowl, add the shrimp, hot sauce and lemon juice; toss until well coated. Set bowl aside.
  • Add the sausage and bacon to a heavy skillet and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until both sausage and bacon are browned but not crispy (~10-12 minutes). Transfer sausage and bacon to a plate and pat dry with paper towels. Leave bacon grease in skillet.
  • Add peppers, onion and garlic to skillet with bacon grease. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onions turn translucent (~6-8 minutes).
  • Add flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Return cooked bacon and sausage to pan. Add chicken stock, stir and bring mixture to a simmer. Let cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Finally, add shrimp and continue cooking for 5-7 minutes, or until shrimp are opaque in center and fully cooked.
  • Add shredded cheese to grits and stir until cheese has fully melted. (Note: If necessary, add a splash of water to the grits to loosen them up.)
  • To serve, spoon grits onto plate and top with sausage, bacon and shrimp mixture.
  • {Optional} Garnish with chopped green onions before serving.

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  1. Ohhh David!! your grits look delicious!! nothing compare with the so boring grits I did the other day!! this sound like something I definitely try!! beautiful comfort dish!

    1. Oh please, Gaila! Your grits looked amazing the other day. I actually chuckled to myself when I read that post as I knew I had something similar lined up. Grits get such a bad rap…but they are actually quite tasty when made correctly! 🙂

  2. Hi David! OMG I love shrimp and grits!! It is right up there in my comfort zone with red beans and rice, I could eat either one for breakfast, lunch or dinner! Since I already have all of the ingredients I am definitely making this tonight and will be thanking you with every bite! Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Oh man, red beans and rice! That is probably my #1 comfort food meal right there, Dorothy. In fact, Laura is out of town for work this week…so I should make a big pot of red beans just for me. Yum!! Hope you enjoyed these shrimp + grits, too! They’re another one of our favorites, although I don’t make them that often…I usually go to Cajun food instead. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Karen! You are too kind! But, yes, shrimp + grits is definitely one of my favorite southern meals. I just need to start making it more often now! 🙂

  3. I’ve always heard about grits, and that you can only really have grits in the South or made by a Southerner! Someday I will have to give them a go. I wonder if they sell grits outside of the USA? They look delicious David!

    1. Yeah, grits get a really bad rap. I think it’s because way too often they are bland blobs of mush. But proper grits (i.e. with cheese and cream) are amazing! I had a hard time finding “real” grits up here in the north, but I was able to find Quaker’s quick cooking grits…so I had to make do. And it worked! Maybe you guys have quick cooking grits over there? Maybe? If not, I’ll send you some…along with that Dunkin coffee! 🙂

      1. I have grits for breakfast often. I buy old school grits mail order from north Carolina they are my favorite. They have yellow or white. They have regular or coarse grind the course grind takes a little more time but they have a bite to them and they are great.

        1. I agree that old school grits are the best, John. They do take a bit longer to cook, but the time is worth it! We’ve been ordering from a company in South Carolina, and I love ’em. Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  4. All of this, in my belly. Scrumptious. Love all that cream in the grits, way to go Dave! I’ve yet to visit Charleston, but we have a friend out that way so it’s on the list. Hope your having as much fun up in Napa as those IG pics show. Cheers!

    1. Oh my gosh, put Charleston on your list ASAP! It’s becoming a foodie mecca, and there are so many amazing places to eat there. Definitely shoot me a note if you start to plan that trip, and I can give you all sorts of tips! 🙂 And, yes, we had a blast over in Napa! Whirlwind trip, but I got the chance to see my sister and visit a couple of wineries…so it was a success for sure. Stay tuned for more on that one in the coming weeks!

  5. Hi David! Meant to say this in my original comment. Everyone I have talked to says that a layover in Atlanta is the worst! And as to how they route those would think a direct route would be more efficient, but what do I know!

    1. Yeah, I hear ya, Dorothy! I had decent success with this trip through Atlanta, but it was still a lot of flying time to get to where I was going. Crazy! However, I must admit that I miss living in Atlanta where we could get flights anywhere for relatively cheap. (I said relatively…) Now it’s always a connection no matter where we’re going. (Unless I want to go to Newark, NJ…and, uh, no thanks on that one. haha!)

    1. I definitely vote that you take a vacation to Charleston sometime, Kathy! It’s an amazing city for sure. And it’s really becoming quite the foodie mecca, too. But in the meantime, make some grits! I had to adapt this one to work with the quick cooking kind that we get up here in the north…and it turned out quite well. (I suspect the cream and cheese have something to do with that…haha!) 🙂

  6. I’d like an unsweetened ice tea please. Just kidding but EXTRA sweet tea? Geebuz! It reminds me of my friend who was from Atlanta and in NYC, we went to McDonalds and he added extra sugar to the original sweetened ice tea. Makes sense!

    This looks like pure comfort and the perfect balance to extra extra extra sweet tea.

    1. Yeah, EXTRA sweet tea. I just laughed outloud at that one. I shoulda grabbed a photo. Wait, maybe I did. I’ll have to go hunting through my photos to see if I have that one. 🙂 Sweet tea and grits…now you’re talking my kinda language, mate!

  7. Haha, I love that there was only 2 types of tea and no option for not sweet. Sounds like my kind of place!
    This is my kind of comfort food too and I have a lot of catching up to do in the grits department, as I only tried them for the first time last year.

    1. Yup, you are completely out of luck if you’re looking for unsweetened tea in the south! But then again, finding sweet tea in the north is pretty difficult… Anyways, definitely give grits a shot again. I always make mine with cream and then stir in shredded cheddar cheese at the end. And holy woah…they are incredible! (Just don’t blame me if you eat the entire pot at once…) Thanks, Dannii/Dave!

  8. Recently, one tv show character said something like that, “It’s the South. Food which isn’t deep fried isn’t considered to be edible”. I guess that’s pretty much about iced tea too – who would have an unsweetened drink, eh?:) I’ve never tried grits, and this dish topped with shrimp, sausage, and bacon sounds super delicious (and, apparently, light and healthy). I’d love to try this, David! What’s the best option – to go to Charleston or ask you to make and send some to me? I mean, sure I can try making it by myself, but that won’t be so exciting and authentic:)

    1. Yeah, I get that about fried food in the South for sure. But here’s the thing…Southerners know how to fry food and fry it well! Some of the best food I’ve ever eaten in my entire life was red fish fried in the parking lot outside of a football stadium. (Not kidding!!) I do vote that you make your way to Charleston at some point because it’s a really great city. But in the meantime, I’ll put some of these grits & shrimp in an envelope and mail ’em up to you. Does that work? 🙂

  9. So, I’ve been in the South for a bit now and haven’t quite been able to jump on board the whole shrimp and grits train – but – the shrimp and grits I’ve stumbled on never looked like this! My eyes are buggin and my tastebuds are cartwheelin at that andouille sausage, bell pepper and onion action you have going on in these! Fantastic recipe my friend!
    By the way, next time you are flying thru the Atl, lemme know and I’ll deliver you some stone ground grits! Hope y’alls weekend was wonderful!

    1. Oh man, no shrimp and grits either, Shashi!?! To be honest, I don’t think I ever ordered shrimp + grits in Atlanta, so I wouldn’t know where to send you to find a good batch. How about this? Just get in the car and drive to Charleston this weekend. 🙂 This one is definitely a keeper of a recipe, though. And I may actually take you up on that stone ground grits offer! I legit went to 4 stores up here before I just stopped looking and settled on the quick cooking kind. Whomp whomp…

    1. Oh man, you definitely owe it to yourself to try grits then, Dawn! They are amazing! They do get a bad rap for being bland and boring…but that’s where the cream and cheese come in! Not a healthy meal, but definitely a delicious comfort food meal! 🙂

  10. OMG! How could I miss your Sabra trip but that was so cool! Seeing the production line live is awesome and the nerd inside me always gets excited to see that. And shrimp and grits…we just came back from Vegas…I know it’s not Charleston but I had a huge craving from shrimp and grits so I ended up with 2 servings over the weekend. Luckily it was a buffet 🙂

    1. I am SUCH a nerd when it comes to production lines, too, Linda! How all of that stuff works together to create a product just amazes me. I can literally just stand there and stare at the conveyor belt! 🙂 Haha…I love that you just had shrimp + grits in Vegas. I’ve never been there (yet), but those shrimp + grits must have been pretty legit if you had them twice!

  11. I’ve tried grits many ways (still not a fan) and the best has always been in a shrimp and grits meal, which is most likely due to all the added flavor of the other ingredients. I’m from the north but my husband is from the south and he could eat shrimp and grits ALL the time. Charleston = Hominy Grill = YUM!

    1. So I used to feel the same way about grits, Dana. But then I had grits prepared ‘the right way,’ and I’ve never looked back. For me, it’s all about cooking them slowly with some cream and then mixing in shredded cheese (cheddar or even smoked gouda) once they are done. The result is outstanding! And Hominy Grill = TOTALLY AGREE! I miss Charleston!! 🙂 Thank you so much for commenting…I really appreciate it!

  12. Printed. Thank you! I am a Southern gal, and I have never made shrimp and grits. How can this be? Sounds so delicious. Grits make everything better. 🙂

    1. Oh man, you’ve totally got to make these shrimp + grits soon, April! They are amazing! It does take a bit of time just because there are several parts to the recipe…but it is totally worth it. This one is one of my favorites! 🙂 Thank you so much for commenting, too!

  13. You can get the stone ground grits online.Google:=[Stone ground grits online] the choices that come up include offers from Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club which are everywhere. Now you can order online delivered right to your door OR you can use the store pickup option. Plus if your using Wal_mart you can order some :=[Community Dark Roast Coffee] a high end Southern Coffee and Community iced tea bags specially made for Iced [yes] Sweet tea. Hope that helps enjoy the Southern experience for Ya’ll and Hopefully you will use your Computer to look up the fixings for a Craw-fish { Mud bug} dinner . Plenty of Southern food can be found online. I send stuff to my friends all over the Country.

    1. Hey Robert, that’s great advice! We order stuff online all the time, but I haven’t thought about putting in an order for stone-ground grits. But believe it or not, we have indeed put in orders in the past for Community Coffee. I love their Coffee + Chicory, and that’s definitely something I can’t find in upstate New York! I appreciate you swinging by and commenting…cheers to a fellow Southerner!

  14. I love this recipe! Thank you so much! I live in Tampa and haven’t used andouille sausage but substitute chorizo and it’s always yummy! Again, thank you 🙂

    1. Hey Tina! Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment here. I love this recipe, too. It reminds me of growing up in the South. I live way up in upstate NY now, and good Southern food just doesn’t make it’s way up here. So I have to make it in the kitchen instead. 🙂 I’ll have to try the chorizo trick next time I make this. Glad you enjoy it!!

  15. This is the recipe I use. I add garlic and onion powder to grits. Once I didn’t have heavy cream and did not want to go to store so I used powdered creamer! Was still delicious! This is my youngest son’s birthday request! So I will be making this in about a week! Love this recipe and let bed my visits to Charleston SC too! My son’s paternal family is from Charleston and my family is from Virginia! Good food! You cannot be a lazy cook dealing with family for either place! We love this recipe!

    1. Hey Wanda! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a note here. You are absolutely right that you have to be on top of your game when cooking for family in Virginia or South Carolina. These grits are our go-to version as well. Glad you and your family enjoy this recipe as much as we do here! Happy early birthday to your son, too!

  16. I have now made this delicious. The second time was for guests and it was described as fining dining restaurant quality. We found the andouille sausage a bit hot. Also we cut back on the amount of peppers. That would just be a personal choice.
    It was wonderful and will be made again soon!!

    1. Awesome! I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe, Carolyn. We’ve made this one a number of times in our house, and company also describes it the same way – “restaurant quality”. 🙂 Different brands of andouille might be a bit milder, so that’s just something to keep in mind!

  17. Can’t wait to try this. Funny…..hubby eats just about everything but had said he didn’t care for grits (?). Until a neighbor fixed them for him. Your recipe looks good enough for me to test it out on him….thanks!!

    1. Hey Maryanne! I’ve heard that same reaction from lots of folks about grits. Bad grits are just, well, bad. But good grits? Holy cow!! I didn’t add any cheese to these grits since they’re topped with shrimp and sauce, but I often add cheese to make cheesy grits – this is a recipe where I used cheesy grits, and they’re definitely worth making in the future! ( I hope your husband enjoys this recipe – it’s one of our family favorites here for sure!

  18. BTW….forgot to add….moving from Calif to NC was a shock on the “sweet tea” issue. We order ours half/half, being used to no sugar in the past.

    1. Hah – some Southern sweet teas are just too sweet…and that’s coming from someone who grew up in the land of sweet tea! I often do half/half myself, too. I like sweet tea, but I don’t need my spoon to stand up straight in the cup thanks to all of the sugar. 🙂

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