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The best shrimp and grits recipe Charleston style

Demetra Overton
Easy peel (or EZ peel) shrimp have the shell and tail on but the shell is split down the back and the "vein" is removed.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Servings 4 -6 servings


  • 1 cup of grits cooked according to package directions
  • 3 tablespoons Boursin cheese optional
  • 2 pounds easy peel shrimp 21-20 size
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper more or less depending on how spicy you like it
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt
  • pepper
  • 3 slices of bacon
  • 1/2 cup of diced ham optional
  • 2 tablespoons of butter or canola oil may be necessary if the bacon doesn't give you enough fat
  • 3 Tablespoons of all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup onions-minced
  • 4 scallions
  • 2 cloves of garlic-minced
  • 2 cups of shrimp stock or chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary-about 2 inches long
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 chopped tomato for garnish


  • Cook grits according to package directions. When it's finished you can stir in the optional Boursin cheese for an extra savory touch
  • Make shrimp stock
  • Peel and de-vein shrimp save the shrimp shells. Put shrimp shells in a pot and add 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes. Drain, reserve liquid and discard shells. This is your shrimp stock, you should have about 2 cups. If you have less than 2 cups add a little water to get there.
  • Season shrimp with ½ teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, paprika and the cayenne pepper. Refrigerate the shrimp until ready to use
  • Slice the bacon into 1/2 inch pieces. Add the bacon and diced ham to a cold pan then turn the heat to medium and cook bacon and ham until crisp and the fat is rendered.
  • Remove the bacon and from pan save it for later. You should have about 3 tablespoons (estimate the amount, I don't want you to burn yourself trying to measure hot fat) of fat rendered from the bacon if you don't have enough bacon fat add butter
  • Cook the shrimp (in batches) for about 2 minutes per side in the bacon fat. Remove the shrimp and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  • Add the onion and the white part of the scallion to the pan (save the green part for garnish) and saute for 3 minutes over medium heat, add garlic and cook for and additional 30 seconds
  • Add the flour to the pan and cook the fat and flour (roux) over medium-low heat stirring frequently until light brown, about 3-4 minutes. Add Worcestershire sauce, rosemary sprig, lemon juice and shrimp stock (or chicken stock), simmer until thickened stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove the rosemary and add the shrimp. Cook for about 2 minutes, Add salt if needed
  • Sprinkle the bacon , ham (if using) tomato and green part of scallions over your shrimp and grits and eat!