Listen, a bowl full of this Lowcountry Shrimp and Grits is the epitome of cozy-deliciousness, peeps. It starts with cheese grits that simmer low and slow until smooth and creamy, with plump shrimp and andouille basking in a rich gravy. You’ll enjoy the flavor and richness of the coastal Lowcountry region here. This delectable shrimp and grits recipe is super versatile and can be served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

creamy shrimp and grits in speckled bowl with gold spoon on striped linen

Since we’re entering #cozyseason and all, a few dishes come to mind that give me those soul-hugging vibes. A bowl full of shrimp and grits is most definitely one of them. Whether it’s devoured in the morning or enjoyed for dinner, it always hits the spot. And this recipe right here is one that I get asked to make quite frequently for my peeps. I know you’ll dig it, too. So, let’s get into it!

Creamy Lowcountry Shrimp and Grits 👅

What I love about this shrimp and grits recipe is all of the flavors going on by way of the coastal regions aka the “lowcountry.” That’s right, this is not your ordinary shrimp and grits dish. This recipe is loaded with lowcountry flair with plump, tender shrimp simmered with hearty andouille in a rich aromatic gravy, whew. The creamy shrimp mixture sits atop a pile of scrumptious cheese grits. Every bit is truly better than the last, y’all! Anddd, it’s super easy to make!

⇢ Whether it’s my smothered turkey wings, these delish collard greens, this baked gullah red rice or cajun gumbo…I’m all about dat Southern oomph!

closeup of low country shrimp and grits in speckled bowl

The Lowcountry & Food History 🧐

Let’s discuss! The “Lowcountry” is described as both a geographic and cultural region along the coast of South Carolina and Georgia. It’s an area that’s steeped in culture with the origin of Gullah-Geechee folks; these people are the direct descendants of Africans who were stolen and enslaved during the transatlantic slave trade. Main dishes under the Gullah umbrella often include local seafood because fishing off the islands is big, and also stone-ground grits. In fact, the mainstay of shrimp and grits is said to be Charleston, South Carolina.

Furthermore, food historians acknowledge both indigenous and enslaved people as it relates to the shrimp and grits origin. With indigenous people- the Native American Muskogee tribe, are said to have invented grits by way of grinding dried Indian corn (similar to hominy) into a “gritty” texture. Africans would often make a dish consisting of ground maize and shellfish served in Mozambique.

Honestly, I love learning about historically Black/Southern food culture and foodways, but I do realize not everyone is like me in that aspect, ha. As such, if you’d like to learn more, please take the time to check out these really great sites + pieces for so much more on Gullah-Geechee culture & shrimp and grits history:

ingredients for low country shrimp and grits laid out on beige surface

Ingredients Needed For This Recipe

(Note: the full ingredients list, including measurements, is provided in the recipe card directly below.)

  • For the cheese grits: Water, chicken broth/stock, salt, grits, butter, half and half, cheddar cheese, and white pepper.
  • For the shrimp gravy: Shrimp, Creole seasoning, white pepper, andouille sausage, bell pepper, onion, celery, garlic, flour, chicken broth/stock, heavy cream, and chopped parsley.

What sets this shrimp and grits recipe apart from others is the emphasis on lowcountry flavors and traditions. We’re not just sautéing shrimp and piling it on top of grits, no. The shrimp gravy comes together by way of cooking down signature aromatics, and then combined with succulent bites of plump shrimp and andouille while developing a rich gravy. The flavor is outta this world! 😛

How To Make Southern Grits:

(Note: please see the recipe card directly below for the complete written instructions.)

Good grits, the best grits is all about a low and slow approach!

  1. In a large saucepan, bring the water, chicken broth/stock, and salt to a boil over medium-high heat. When boiling, gradually whisk in the grits, stirring well until blended. Then reduce the heat to low and cover the saucepan. Let the grits slowly cook and simmer, going back to the pot often to whisk the grits to prevent lumps, until tender- about 30 minutes.
  2. Remove the grits from the heat. Stir in the butter, half and half, ½ cup of cheddar cheese, and white pepper until thoroughly combined. Keep the grits warm on the lowest setting while you make the creamy shrimp gravy. The grits should have a thick yet creamy texture.

I like using a balance of water and chicken broth to add a little flavoring to the grits, it’s so good and kicks up the savoriness. Meanwhile, cheese and butter provide richness, and half and half delivers some creaminess for texture. If you ask me, those three elements are non-negotiable in a batch of grits! 😤

creamy shrimp and andouille in yellow skillet with gold serving spoon on the side

Let’s Make Dat Creamy Shrimp Gravy

  1. In a large bowl, add the shrimp and sprinkle with the Creole seasoning and white pepper. Toss shrimp with seasonings to fully coat and then set aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  2. In a large skillet, melt two tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Working in batches, add the shrimp in a single layer and sauté for 1-2 minutes until pink. Flip the shrimp onto the other side and continue cooking for 1 minute. Then use a slotted utensil to transfer the sautéed shrimp to a clean plate and set aside. Repeat the process until all shrimp is sautéed and set aside. Add the andouille into the skillet and cook just until golden brown on both sides, about 2-3 minutes. Then use a slotted utensil to transfer the andouille to the plate with the shrimp.
  3. Add the remaining butter into the skillet. When hot, add the diced bell pepper, onion, and celery. Sauté the veggies until tender, about 4-5 minutes. Then stir in the garlic and continue cooking until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Sprinkle in the flour and stir with the veggie mixture, tossing well to cook out the flour, about 1 minute. Gradually stir in the chicken broth/stock, stirring well to fully combine. Let broth/stock simmer for 1 minute until all flour has dissipated. Then stir in the heavy cream and cook, stirring, until the gravy is smooth, about 2-3 minutes. 
  4. Add the sautéed shrimp and andouille back into the skillet, and toss well to coat in the gravy. Continue cooking for another 1-2 minutes for the flavors to meld. Then stir in the chopped parsley.
  5. Divide the warm grits evenly among serving bowls. Top grits with an even amount of the shrimp gravy. Garnish the creamy lowcountry shrimp and grits with more parsley, if desired. Enjoy!
creamy low country shrimp and grits in speckled bowl with gold spoon

Tips + Tricks, FAQs & Recipe Variations

Here’s some extra info on this creamy lowcountry shrimp and grits recipe:

  • Let’s talk about grits– The type of grits used here (and in most shrimp and grits recipes) calls for regular grits (like the stone-ground variety) and not instant or quick cooking grits. I’m a big fan of Marsh Hen Mill, they mill their heirloom grits and other goods right on the sea islands in the Lowcountry!
  • Shrimp notes– Any peeled/deveined shrimp will work great here, but if you can score Gulf Coast shrimp, even better. This type of shrimp, warm-water shrimp, is larger in size because of the body of water in which they’re found. As opposed to farm-raised shrimp, Gulf shrimp is meaty and plump.
  • Don’t overcook the shrimp– Listen, overcooked shrimp is the absolute worst, y’all. It ends up all tough and rubbery, oof. When sautéing, cook until the shrimp takes on a uniform pink/opaque color, they’re going to continue cooking once combined in the gravy, too.
  • Can I use bacon?– Many shrimp and grits recipes use bacon. I don’t use bacon here because we got the andouille that brings plenty of smokiness. However, in the shrimp gravy steps, you can certainly chop up some bacon and start with cooking it down to a crisp. After cooking, set it aside, and use the rendered bacon fat as the grease to sauté the shrimp/andouille/veggies…omit the butter altogether! Then add the crisp bacon back into the skillet with the other goods to finish the gravy.
  • Finely chop up your veg– You don’t want huge chunks of veggies in the gravy. So, chop the onion, bell pepper, and celery into finely diced pieces.
black hands spooning into creamy shrimp and grits with gold spoon

The flavors within this Creamy Lowcountry Shrimp and Grits recipe are hitting so nicely. Serve it up any time of day! Be sure to tag @butterbeready in your BBR recipe creations, I sure love to see it when you do. Until next time! 🤟🏾

Stay awhile & check out these eats, too:

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creamy shrimp and grits in speckled bowl with gold spoon on striped linen

Creamy Lowcountry Shrimp and Grits

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 10 reviews
  • Author: Quin Liburd
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Breakfast, Brunch
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Southern

Description

Listen, a bowl full of this Lowcountry Shrimp and Grits is the epitome of cozy-deliciousness, peeps. It starts with cheese grits that simmer low and slow until smooth and creamy, with plump shrimp and andouille basking in a rich gravy. You’ll enjoy the flavor and richness of the coastal Lowcountry region here. This delectable shrimp and grits recipe is super versatile and can be served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!


Ingredients

Scale

For the cheese grits:

  • 3 ½ cups water, plus more as needed
  • 1 cup chicken broth or stock
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 cup grits (not instant grits)- we love Marsh Hen Mill!
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ⅓ cup half and half
  • ½1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper

For the shrimp gravy:

  • 1 lb shrimp, peeled & deveined- preferably Gulf Coast shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning (I use Tony Chachere’s)
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided (or bacon drippings)
  • 6 ounces andouille sausage, sliced into rounds
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 stalk of celery, finely diced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, pressed or finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ cup chicken broth or stock
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley, plus more for garnish

Instructions

For the cheese grits:

  1. In a large saucepan, bring the water, chicken broth/stock, and salt to a boil over medium-high heat. When boiling, gradually whisk in the grits, a little at a time to prevent clumping, stirring well until blended. Then reduce the heat to low and cover the saucepan. Let the grits slowly cook and simmer, going back to the pot often to whisk the grits to prevent lumps, until tender- about 30 minutes. During the cooking process, add a splash of water to the grits if you see that they’re looking too stiff. We want them thick, but not stiff.
  2. Remove the grits from the heat. Stir in the butter, half and half, ½ cup of cheddar cheese, and white pepper until thoroughly combined. Give the grits a taste, if you like your grits extra cheesy, sprinkle in ½ cup more shredded cheddar cheese. Season with more salt, if desired. Keep the grits warm on the lowest setting while you make the creamy shrimp gravy. Note: If the grits start to lock up and get stiff, simply add a splash of water to help loosen. You want the grits to have a thick yet creamy texture.

For the shrimp gravy:

  1. In a large bowl, add the shrimp and sprinkle with the Creole seasoning and white pepper. Toss shrimp with seasonings to fully coat and then set aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  2. In a large skillet, melt two tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Working in batches, add the shrimp in a single layer and sauté for 1-2 minutes until opaque and slightly pink in color. Flip the shrimp onto the other side and continue cooking for 1 minute. Then use a slotted utensil to transfer the sautéed shrimp to a clean plate and set aside. Repeat the process until all shrimp is sautéed and set aside. Add the andouille into the skillet and cook just until golden brown and slightly crisp on both sides, about 2-3 minutes. Then use a slotted utensil to transfer the andouille to the plate with the shrimp.
  3. Add the remaining two tablespoons of butter into the skillet. When hot, add the diced bell pepper, onion, and celery. Sauté the veggies until tender and golden brown, about 4-5 minutes. Then stir in the garlic and continue cooking until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Sprinkle in the flour and stir with the veggie mixture, tossing well to cook out the flour, about 1 minute. Gradually stir in the chicken broth/stock, stirring well to fully combine. Let broth/stock simmer for 1 minute until all flour has dissipated. Then stir in the heavy cream and cook, stirring, until the gravy is smooth and thick, about 2-3 minutes. 
  4. Add the sautéed shrimp and andouille back into the skillet along with any residual juices, and toss well to coat in the gravy. Continue cooking for another 1-2 minutes for the flavors to meld. Stir in the chopped parsley. Taste the shrimp gravy and add more Creole seasoning, if necessary. 
  5. Divide the warm grits evenly among serving bowls. Top grits with an even amount of the shrimp gravy. Garnish the creamy lowcountry shrimp and grits with more parsley, if desired. Enjoy!

Notes

  1. Gluten-free needs? Swap the all-purpose flour for any gluten-free flour as a 1:1 ratio (we love Bob’s Red Mill gf flour!).
  2. Please read blog post in its entirety for more tips + tricks.