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Creamy Polenta with Cajun Shrimp | Dairy-Free

by Capri Lilly
Published: Last Updated on

Rich, creamy polenta topped with cajun shrimp and sauteed peppers is an incredibly easy and flavorful dish to make! It’s perfect for a fancy at-home brunch, with bubbly and a few friends.

If you’re craving shrimp, then you should try my Creamy Shrimp Linguine and my Sweet & Spicy Pineapple Shrimp Skewers next!

Pin The recipe for later! Creamy Polenta with Cajun Shrimp

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In the spring, I love soaking in the sun while enjoying delicious flavorful homemade meals over witty banter and bubbly drinks! On the weekends, I especially enjoy having a fancy brunch with a hearty breakfast and crafty mimosas. This weekend, I made Creamy Polenta with Cajun Shrimp.

The subtle, sweet taste of the polenta against the spicy cajun shrimp is the perfect combination! I love the satisfying flavors of the roasted vegetables adding a refreshing bite to the dynamic flavors of the dish. Also, the plated finish looks like it should be from a fancy restaurant!

brunch with creamy polenta and cajun shrimp

What is polenta?

Polenta is ground cornmeal and a popular, versatile Italian dish. There are so many things you can do with polenta! It is a great side that can replace potatoes, rice, or pasta.  

It’s also the perfect main dish for a fancy, at-home brunch. This cajun shrimp and polenta are like a play on the southern classic Shrimp and Grits! I love grits, but I find polenta to be a bit heartier so when using it as a base it easily holds up any amount of toppings!

cajun shrimp with creamy polenta and toppings

Creamy Polenta with Cajun Shrimp Ingredients

  • Polenta: You can make polenta from scratch, but it is much easier to start with packaged polenta. You can easily find organic packaged polenta in your grocery store. (Linked here is my fave packaged polenta)
  • Shrimp: You will need about 1 pound of shrimp. Make sure the shrimp you buy is raw, peeled, and deveined to save you time!
  • Vegetables: To balance the immense and dynamic flavors this dish, vegetables are a must! I used shaved Brussel sprouts, mushrooms, onions, and red pepper. Use whatever vegetables you have at home, just don’t skimp out on this step!
  • Seasonings: To make this cajun shrimp, you are going to need a few spices! I use Smoked Paprika, Cayenne Pepper, Chili Powder, Garlic Powder, and Oregano. 
  • Broth & Coconut Cream: You’ll first boil the polenta in chicken or vegetable broth (your choice).    To achieve the delicious creaminess, you’ll add a few tablespoons of coconut cream.
cajun seasoned shrimp
polenta and shrimp recipe

How to Cook Polenta

how to cook polenta

Take the Polenta out of the package and slice it into ½” dials.

polenta in veggie broth

In a medium saucepan, bring 3.5 cups of vegetable broth (or chicken broth) to a boil. I like to add a celery stalk or two and some fresh herbs into the pot so that the polenta absorbs those flavors while cooking.

Once the broth reaches a boil, add the polenta in one at a time, making sure to break the polenta into smaller pieces as you add more. Then continue to stir with a wooden spoon as the polenta begins to break down and thicken, for about 2-3 minutes.

dairyfree creamy polenta recipe

Then reduce the heat to low and allow the polenta to thicken as the broth reduces, about 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Once the polenta has become a thick porridge-like consistency, turn off the heat. Stir in 1-2 tbsp coconut cream (or milk) to make the polenta a nice creamy consistency. 

polenta with cajun shrimp brunch

Now you can top your polenta with your favorite meat (or alternative meat) and veggies!

How to Transform this meal into a fancy brunch

A perfect way to fancy this dish up and serve it brunch style is to arrange everything buffet style. Plate all the toppings so that everyone can serve themselves polenta and then top it with whatever they’d like! This way, everyone can experiment with the flavors they’d like to accompany their shrimp and polenta all while playing a part in creating their own fancy brunch bowl. 

polenta toppings
main polenta brunch recipe

I hope you enjoy this Creamy Polenta with Cajun Shrimp Recipe!

If you try the recipe, don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know what you think in the comments below! Take pictures, tag #goodfoodbaddie, and share them with me on Instagram! I love seeing my recipes come to life in your kitchen.

Want more brunch ideas? Try these!

shrimp and polenta recipe

Creamy Polenta with Cajun Shrimp

Rich, creamy polenta topped with cajun shrimp and sauteed peppers is an incredibly easy and flavorful dish to make! It’s perfect for a fancy at-home brunch, with bubbly and a few friends.
5 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Gluten-Free, Healthy Options
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 2
Calories: 897kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 18 oz Package of Organic Polenta
  • 3.5 cups Vegetable or Chicken Broth
  • 2-3 tbsp Coconut Cream
  • 1 lb Shrimp (raw, peeled, devined)
  • 1 Red Pepper
  • 1 cup shredded brussel sprouts
  • 2 Jalapenos
  • 1/2 cup Cilantro, for garnish
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil

Seasoning for Cajun Shrimp

  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Oregano
  • 1 Lime, juiced (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, season the cleaned and deveigned shrimp with the seasonings listed above. Set aside and allow the shrimp to marinate at least 15 minutes.
  • In a medium sauce pan, bring 3.5 cups of vegetable broth to a boil. Slowly whisk in the sliced polenta. Continue to stir with a wooden spoon as the polenta begins to breakdown and thicken, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to low and allow the polenta to thicken as the broth reduces, about 20-25 minutes, stir occasionally.
  • While the polenta is cooking, pour 1 tbsp of olive oil into a large pan over medium heat. Add the shrimp, cooking for 2-3 minues on each side, turning once midway, until the shrimp is pink and cooked through. Transfer the shrimp onto a plate and set aside.
  • In a small pan, pour 1 tbsp of olive oil. Over medium heat, lightly saute the shaved Brussel sprouts, jalapenos, and sliced red peppers for about 5 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper. (or 2 tsp coconut amino). Transfer the cooked Brussel sprouts and peppers into a small bowl and set aside.
  • Once the polenta has become a thick porridge like consistency, turn off the heat. Stir in 1-2 tbsp coconut cream (or heavy cream) to make the polenta a nice creamy consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Assemble your polenta bowl by adding polenta to your bowl as the base and add any toppings you like!

Notes

Recipe Tips:
  • Add whatever vegetables you’d like! Kale is also a great addition to this bowl. Simply saute kale to 5 minutes with olive oil, salt, and pepper. 
  • One package of polenta is enough for 2 servings, but you can easily double the polenta recipe by using additional packages and doubling the recipe.

Nutrition

Calories: 897kcal

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11 comments

Alison July 19, 2020 - 6:03 pm

5 stars
Thank you for your detailed instructions on how to create a creamy polenta! Great tip about adding the herbs and celery. It really made the polenta rich and flavorful!

Reply
Capri Lilly July 21, 2020 - 11:51 pm

Hi Allison! Anytime! I am glad you liked the polenta!

Reply
veenaazmanov July 19, 2020 - 6:11 pm

5 stars
This is so much fun and love when the food looks fancy too. Your recipe is so very interesting and this meal looks perfect for a Happy Meal . Creamy and yum and delicious too.

Reply
Monica July 19, 2020 - 9:05 pm

5 stars
I am just loving this mix of flavors! Cajun shrimp is so delicious on its own, but with the polenta and veggies, this is really a meal to write home about.

Reply
Capri Lilly July 21, 2020 - 11:50 pm

Hi Monica! I couldn’t agree more! I am glad you like the recipe 🙂

Reply
Christie Gagnon July 19, 2020 - 10:00 pm

5 stars
I haven’t had polenta in years. Your recipe looks and sounds amazing! Can’t wait to give it a try!

Reply
Capri Lilly July 21, 2020 - 11:49 pm

Hi Christie! I am excited for you! I hope you enjoy!

Reply
Jacque Hastert July 20, 2020 - 2:18 pm

5 stars
This Sunday is my day to host girls brunch! I think that I have found the perfect dish to make. Thanks for sharing and I’ll be back to tell you how amazing it is.

Reply
Capri Lilly July 21, 2020 - 11:49 pm

Hi Jacque! This has become my go-to brunch dish when hosting! So easy to make and everyone enjoys it! I hope the same for you and your friends!

Reply
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