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Southern Style Shrimp and Grits

Updated: Dec 15, 2023

Shrimp and Grits is a classic Southern delicacy that generations of families have enjoyed. It is a popular dish often served during Sunday brunch, and for good reason. The creamy grits paired with succulent sautéed shrimp and crispy bacon make this dish a complete meal that is filling and satisfying. This mouth-watering dish is one of my all-time favorites; my family can never get enough of it.

In Atlanta, Shrimp and Grits were a staple dish in most southern restaurants. Although you would occasionally see dish variations, such as catfish and grits, Shrimp and Grits were undoubtedly the most beloved. However, now that I live in New York, it's rare to find this dish on any menu, not even at the southern restaurants. This has led me to prepare this delicious meal at home often.

If you're a regular reader of this blog, I love to share the history of the foods I cook and post on this page. Shrimp and Grits, too, have a fascinating history. So, I will dive into how this tasty dish came to be.

Shrimp, Sailors, and South Carolina

“Shrimp and grits began as a simple dish, first appearing in South Carolina as a dish called breakfast shrimp. During prime shrimp season, many sailors began their day with shrimp cooked in butter and served over smooth, southern grits. Though the sailors were early adopters of this briny breakfast, it is now widely enjoyed as an iconic dish of the South.”

In 1982, chef Bill Neal in Chapel Hill, North Carolina changed the shrimp and grits game

forever. In the humble kitchen of a restaurant called Crook’s Corner, Neal created his own version of the Southern fare with two key additions: cheese and bacon. Of course, that made the dish even better! Customers flocked to try Neal’s creamy Parmesan and cheddar grits, topped with fresh shrimp and crispy pieces of bacon. He also incorporated ingredients like sautéed mushrooms to add a hearty finish to the dish.

So, you learned the History Of Shrimp and Grits, let's jump to the recipe!



Grits 1 cup stone-ground (grits) (not instant)

2 cups Chicken broth

2 cups Water

salt to taste

2 tbsp. butter

3/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese.


1 lb. shrimp (peeled and deveined)

8 oz. bacon or Pancetta

2 shallots

1/3 cup thinly sliced sun-dried tomatoes.

2 garlic cloves

1/2 cup chicken broth

1 tbsp. lemon juice

1/4 cup diced green onion.


You want to bring your water and chicken broth to boil in a medium pot and season with some Kosher salt. Add your grits, lower heat to medium/medium-low heat. Cover and let it simmer for about twenty minutes. It is intermittently stirring.

Once your grit is thoroughly cooked, take it off the burner. Stir in cheese and butter until melted.


You are going to Peel and devein shrimp if needed.

You start to prepare your food by dicing up the bacon first into small pieces (I'm using pancetta for my dish), sliced shallots, green onion, sun-dried tomatoes, and peeling your garlic.

In a medium cooking skillet, over medium heat, cook diced bacon until brown and crunchy. Take out bacon bits and set them aside.

Add Sun-Dried and shallots to the pan with bacon grease. Sauté until golden.

Add your minced garlic and green onion to the pan. Sauté until you see it is fully cooked.

Add the Lemon Juice and chicken broth to the pan. Stir and bring to simmer.

Add shrimp and cook until shrimp turn pink and on one side. Flip shrimp to the other side and let it cook until that side turns pink. It depends on your stove—Cook, the shrimp for two minutes on each side.

Take the pan off the burner. Now you have just cooked a complete meal.

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1 Comment

Apr 05, 2021

This recipe turned out amazing!!!!!

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