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The Best Authentic Southern Shrimp and Grits Recipe For A Hearty Meal

Are you a fan of Shrimp and Grits? This Southern shrimp and grits best recipe is a classic Southern dish that is perfect for any occasion. It is hearty, flavorful, and easy to make. This recipe is the best of the best, with cheesy grits, grilled shrimp, and country ham with a secret sauce of red-eye gravy for a flavorful blend of southern perfection.

The key to making great shrimp and grits is to use high-quality ingredients. Use stone-ground grits for the best flavor and texture. Use quality fresh shrimp that are peeled and deveined.

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Are Shrimp and Grits A Southern Recipe?

The origin of Shrimp and Grits is credited to Charleston, SC when it first appeared as a breakfast recipe in 1950.

The popularity of this delicious recipe prompted South Carolina to declare Shrimp and Grits as its official state food in 1976.

Grits have long been a popular dish in southern states from Virginia To Texas. In fact, the region from southern Virginia to south Texas has become known as the “Grit Belt.”

However, South Carolina still reigns king of grits because St. George, SC, is designated the Grit capital of the world. They receive this designation due to the consumption of grits per capita.

The Authentic Southern Shrimp and Grits BestRecipe For A Hearty Meal

Key Ingredients For Southern Shrimp and Grits Best Recipe

Did you know that all grits are not created equally? It’s true, and using a good quality stone ground grit will make all the difference in the texture and taste of your shrimp and grits.

  • Palmetto Farms Stone Ground Grits
  • Large Jumbo Shrimp (peeled and deveined)
  • Cured Country Ham
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Chopped Green Onions
  • Brewed Coffee
  • Old Bay Seasoning
  • Olive Oil
  • Pepper
  • Salt

How To Cook Shrimp

Begin by preparing the shrimp by placing them on skewers.

Then brush with Olive Oil on both sides of the shrimp.

Add shrimp to skewers and brush with olive oil

Next, sprinkle the shrimp with Old Bay Seasoning and Ground Peppercorn Peppers. Flip the shrimp and sprinkle again on both spices.

Finally, add the shrimp skewers to a hot grill, turning them occasionally until they are cooked. Remove immediately not to overcook.

Cover and set aside to keep warm.

Grilled Shrimp on skewers

How To Cook Grits

Next, you are ready to cook your grits. I recommend using the package directions, as instructions can vary.

While water is coming to a boil, this is a good time to chop the green onions and prepare to cook the country ham.

Chopped green onion and grits for southern shrimp and grits recipe.

First, bring water to a rapid boil and add grits. Cook while stirring occasionally based on package instructions.

Once grits are cooked, add the shredded cheese and stir until melted and smooth.

Add shredded cheese to the cooked grits.

How To Cook Country Ham and Make The Secret Sauce – Red Eye Gravy

In the meantime, you can add the country ham to a skillet and fry on low.

You will want to reserve any drippings and fat in the skillet to make the secret sauce.

fry country ham in a skillet

After removing the sliced ham, add hot brewed black coffee to the hot skillet immediately. Stir and scrap any drippings until the gravy is bubbling. If you don’t have many drippings, add small pieces of the ham back to flavor the gravy. Stir the gravy continuously for 3-5 minutes, and the gravy will stay thin.

Finally, use a sharp knife and chopping board, to chop the ham into small pieces.

Prepare Southern Shrimp and Grits Best Recipe

First, add the cheesy grits to a bowl and sprinkle the top with chopped ham.

Next, add the grilled shrimp to the center of the grits.

Then, drizzle the top of shrimp with the red eye gravy.

Finally, add the green onions to the top of the shrimp and serve immediately.

Authentic Southern Recipe

You can serve this shrimp and grits recipe in individual bowls or create a build-your-own-bowl buffet.

The Best Authentic Southern Shrimp and Grits Recipe For A Hearty Meal
Yield: 6

Southern Shrimp and Grits Recipe With Country Ham and Red Eye Gravy

Southern Shrimp and Grits Recipe With Country Ham and Red Eye Gravy

Delicious & Hearty Southern Style Shrimp and Grits Recipe

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • Grits (follow package directions for 6 servings)
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 slices of cured Country Ham
  • 3/4 cup of hot black brewed coffee
  • 36 peeled and deveined Shrimp
  • 1/2 Cup chopped Green Onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Old Bay (to sprinkle over shrimp)
  • Ground Peppercorn Pepper (to sprinkle over shrimp)


  1. Add shrimp to skewers
  2. Brush Shrimp with Olive Oil
  3. Sprinkle both sides of the shrimp with Old Bay Seasoning and Peppercorn Pepper Grinder.
  4. Grill the shrimp until done. Don't overcook
  5. Cover and set the shrimp aside.
  6. Bring water to a boil and add grits
  7. Stir occasionally and follow package directions for cook time.
  8. Meanwhile, chop green onions.
  9. And begin to cook the country ham in a skillet.
  10. When grits are done, add the shredded cheese.
  11. Stir until the cheese melts and the mixture is smooth.
  12. When the ham is browned, remove it from the pan, reserving the drippings.
  13. Add hot black coffee to the ham drippings while the skillet is still hot. Stir and scrap any ham drippings from the pan. Let the gravy simmer for 3-5 minutes, stirring continuously.
  14. Chop the cooked country ham into small pieces.
  15. Add Cheesy Grits to a bowl.
  16. Top with pieces of ham.
  17. Add shrimp to the center of the bowl.
  18. Spoon red eye gravy over shrimp.
  19. Add green onion to garnish.


If ham drippings are low, you can add small pieces of ham to the coffee mixture to help flavor the gravy.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 255Total Fat 18gSaturated Fat 8gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 54mgSodium 503mgCarbohydrates 8gFiber 1gSugar 1gProtein 15g

Please note that I am not a medical or nutritional professional. I include basic calorie and nutrition information for recipes as a courtesy. However, due to wide variations in brands, nutrition data is subject to change for every user. Nutrition data is calculated using Calorie Counter App and information is entered as accurately as possible. We subtract all sugar alcohols from erythritol and xylitol from the final carb count because that is how THM calculates carbs.

Did you make this recipe?

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To create a buffet, have all the ingredients in individual bowls and aligned in the order of use.

Provide each guest with a bowl so that they can customize their portion.

You can also provide smaller portions and use wine glasses or martini glasses to serve them.

Southern Shrimp and Grits Best Recipe for a meal in one hearty dinner.

Southern Style Shrimp and Grits is a hearty meal that can easily be a meal in one dish when served in larger portions.

The Best Authentic Southern Shrimp and Grits Recipe For A Hearty and delicious Meal.

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Authentic Southern Shrimp and Grits with Country Ham and Red eye Gravy for a hearty and delicious meal.


Thursday 31st of August 2023

Yum! I love shrimp. I've only ever had shrimp and grits once when I was visiting Huntsville, AL for a work trip. It was delish, so can't wait to try your recipe and make my own.


Friday 1st of September 2023

Jen, I really appreciate this.

Michele - vintage home designs

Saturday 26th of August 2023

Shrimp and grits is one of my favorites! Can’t wait to try your recipe.


Monday 28th of August 2023

Michele, This one is so yummy.

Anne from Simply2Moms

Saturday 26th of August 2023

Shrimp and grits is my favorite! I've never actually made it myself, but Brad's recipe looks like one I could do!


Monday 28th of August 2023

Anne, You will love it.


Saturday 26th of August 2023

This looks so delicious Rachel! Can you believe I’ve never had shrimp & grits before?! Now I want some, I’ll have to make the fam your recipe!


Monday 28th of August 2023

Heidi, It is so good. Let me know what you think.

Stacy Ling

Friday 18th of August 2023

Wow this looks insanely delicious!


Friday 18th of August 2023

Stacy, It's so so good.

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