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Creamy Polenta with Cajun Shrimp | Dairy-Free

by Capri Lilly

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

Pin The recipe for later! Creamy Polenta with Cajun Shrimp

Spring officially started a month ago, and the weather is finally starting to break! The sun has been lingering in the sky for hours on end, making the days brighter and longer. 

 

I’ve been enjoying meals on my patio with my boyfriend. We soak in the sun while enjoying delicious flavorful homemade meals over witty banter and bubbly drinks! On the weekends, we especially enjoy having a fancy brunch with a hearty breakfast and crafty mimosas. This weekend, I made Cajun Shrimp with Creamy Polenta!

brunch with creamy polenta and cajun shrimp

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

 

I personally think it is the perfect main dish for a fancy, at-home brunch. This Cajun Shrimp with Creamy Polenta is 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

What do You need for this recipe?

  • Polenta: You can make polenta from scratch, but it is much easier to start with packaged polenta. You can easily find organic package 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

A few things I LOVE about this dish:

  1. I love the subtle, sweet taste of the polenta against the spicy cajun shrimp; its the perfect combination! 
  2. I love the satisfying flavors of the roasted vegetables adding a refreshing bite to the dynamic flavors of the dish. 
  3. I love the plated finish! It looks like a fancy restaurant dish!
shrimp and polenta recipe

How to Make 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 breakdown and thicken, 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

Creamy Polenta with Cajun Shrimp

Rich, creamy polenta topped with cajun shrimp and sauteed peppers! This incredibly flavorful dish is quick and easy to make! It’s perfect for a fancy at-home brunch, with bubbly and a few friends!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Breakfast, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Gluten-Free, Healthy Options
Keyword: brunch recipe, cajun shrimp with polenta, creamy polenta dairy-free, how to make polenta
Servings: 2
Calories: 897kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 18 oz Package of Organic Polenta
  • 4 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.

Want more brunch ideas? try these!

Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you and helps me keep my site running! I’m sharing these products because I use them, trust them, and cannot recommend them enough. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own

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