Italian Polenta Pots with Shrimp and Basil Pesto


SourceAdapted from Adore Foods Polenta Squares with Garlic Shrimp and Spinach Pesto
Prep Time5 minutes
TagsShrimp, polenta, parmesan, grits, basil



  • 4 cups reduce sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup stone ground grits or polenta (Palmetto; Anson, Red Mill)
  • 1/4 cup havarti cheese
  • 2 tbsp Butter no salt
  • 3 tbsps olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic (large), minced
  • 1 lbs frozen, devined, unshell raw shrimp 16/20 count
  • 2 cups fresh basil chopped
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 lemon (use juice)
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • salt & pepper to taste



  • Shell shrimp, and remove tails.  If you don't have 20 shrimp, add more.  The idea is to have two shrimp on each Polenta pot.
  • Preheat Oven - if you need to keep polenta warm while preparing food
  • If using prepared pesto - skip pesto steps



Mix Polenta/Grits and Chicken Broth together in a non-stick pan over high heat till it comes to a boil, then cover and turn down to a simmer (low) and cook 25 to 35 minutes.  Stirring every few minutes.  Once the Polenta thickens add 2 tablespoons of butter and 1/4 cup of cheese.  Stir until well mixed, add salt and pepper remove from heat and keep covered.



Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil and garlic to saute pan, heat until fragrant - add shrimp in single layer and cover for 3 minutes, then flip shrimp and cover. About 6 minutes end to end.  Check and make sure shrimp is opaque to ensure they are cooked.  Salt and Pepper to taste


In food processor, add basil* leaves, pine nuts, lemon juice and zest. Pulse processor and add 1/3 cup oil slowly once mixed, stir in 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese.


  • Add warm polenta/grit mixture into ramkin (serving spoon) - you can warm in oven
  • Add tablespoon of pesto to top of polenta ramkin pot
  • Add two shrimp on top of the pesto on top of polenta ramkin pot
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Garnish with tuffle oil, and thyme




You can make pesto out of argula, spinach or kale

You can purchase fresh pesto and use that for a short cut

You can spread out grits or polenta and once it sets, cut into squares and bake at 350 for 20 minutes
 and follow serve instructions

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