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Spicy Shrimp Over Creamy Polenta

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This spicy shrimp over creamy polenta is perfectly spiced and full of smoky flavor. Made with fresh shrimp, spicy tomatoes, and creamy cheesy polenta. 

Spicy Shrimp Over Creamy Polenta in a bowl with a napkin under the bowl.

There is nothing more I love than an easy dinner that is packed full of flavor. 

That is where this spicy shrimp over creamy polenta comes into play. 

It’s easy, PACKED full of flavor, and the heat levels can 100% be adjusted depending on your love (or dislike) of spicy food. 

I really like using extra-large shrimp for this recipe because I think it makes it look fancy and gives you a good serving of shrimp per serving. 

This dish is super cozy and the creamy cheesy polenta is something that never gets old. It’s so good. 

Trust me, if you’re looking to really elevate your weekday meal planning this recipe gives you all the flavor without all the work. 

Spicy Shrimp Over Creamy Polenta in a bowl topped with fresh herbs.

Can I use frozen shrimp?

Yes! But you’ll want to be sure to still buy raw frozen shrimp. 

If you buy pre-cooked frozen shrimp the shrimp will end up becoming rubbery if you try to heat it up. 

I usually get fresh deveined and deshelled shrimp from the seafood department but I have made this recipe several times using raw frozen shrimp. 

Do defrost you’ll want to put the shrimp in a bowl with cold water until defrosted. 

What are Rotel tomatoes? 

Rotel tomatoes are canned diced tomatoes that pack a little heat by including diced fire-roasted green chiles. 

They are typically found in the tomato aisle and comes in original, hot (with added habanero peppers) and no salt added. 

If you’re looking to add more heat try the habanero variety. 

Also, Rotel tomatoes come in 10-ounce cans which are slightly smaller than the usual 14-ounce cans plain diced tomatoes come in. 

If you cannot find Rotel tomatoes I recommend substituting with regular diced tomatoes and a can of diced green chiles.

You’ll end up with a little more of the tomato mixture but it will still taste delicious. 

Can I use a different type of protein? 

While I personally love the shrimp in this recipe it could easily be replaced by chicken, scallops, or even white fish. 

Just make sure whatever protein you pick it will pair nicely with cheesy polenta and spicy tomatoes. 

Spicy Shrimp Over Creamy Polenta in a bowl.

Love this spicy shrimp over creamy polenta recipe?

Why not try a few of my other delicious shrimp recipes!

Spicy Shrimp Over Creamy Polenta Recipe by Nutmeg Nanny

Spicy Shrimp Over Creamy Polenta

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

This spicy shrimp over creamy polenta is perfectly spiced and full of smoky flavor. Made with fresh shrimp, spicy tomatoes and creamy cheesy polenta.


For shrimp:

  • 1 pound extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional

For tomato mixture:

  • 2 cans Rotel tomatoes
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Kosher salt, to taste

For polenta:

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup course grain polenta
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Kosher salt, to taste


For shrimp:

  1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl add shrimp, olive oil, Cajun seasoning, smoked paprika, kosher salt, and optional cayenne pepper.
  2. Toss together until all the shrimp are coated.
  3. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add shrimp to the skillet.
  4. Cook until the shrimp turn pink and remove from the heat.
  5. Place shrimp on a plate and wipe out the skillet.
  6. The shrimp will also be warmed when added to the tomato mixture so keep that in mind when cooking the shrimp. It's ok for them to be slightly undercooked.

For tomato mixture:

  1. In the skillet you cooked your shrimp (and wiped clean) add both can Rotel tomatoes, garlic, smoked paprika, and kosher salt to taste.
  2. Cook on medium heat until the mixture is hot.
  3. Add in shrimp, lower heat to low, and keep covered while you prepare polenta.

For polenta:

  1. In a large high-sided skillet set over medium-high heat add water and milk.
  2. Bring to a boil and slowly whisk in polenta.
  3. Once all the polenta has been added turn the heat down to low and slowly whisk until thick. On my stove, this takes about 7 minutes.
  4. Once creamy and cooked remove from heat and stir in butter, cheese, and salt.
  5. Add polenta to the bottom of a bowl and top with tomatoes and shrimp.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 575Total Fat: 39gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 303mgSodium: 3289mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 36g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

Did you make this recipe?

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Spicy Shrimp Over Creamy Polenta pin for Pinterest.


Tuesday 18th of May 2021

Really great recipe. Just a tad salty. And thought it would be a spicer. And instead of shrimp I used 4 jumbo prawns. Instead of the tomato mixture, made polenta. Definitely will make again.

Peggy Morgan

Saturday 27th of February 2021

We loved this. Shrimp & sauce had a flavorful kick contrasted by the creamy polenta. YUM!!


Wednesday 24th of February 2021

Very good creamy with the shrimp and tomato added parsley and Italian season to the tomatoesause

Regina R

Tuesday 12th of May 2020

I didn't have the exact ingredients. Only had a can of stewed tomatoes so diced them and used in place of the Rotel. I didn't have any Paprika so used extra cajan and some seafood seasoning. I made 2lbs of shrimp (by mistake) so added even more extra seasoning during the marinated part. I sauted some scallions, garlic, red pepper flakes, and 3 TBS of tomatoes paste before adding the the tomatoes.

Even with all of that (use what you got) this was delicious. I can't wait to try the full recipe as written.


Sunday 5th of April 2020

An easy recipe that’s delicious, too! I did not have Rotel tomatoes so I used Hunts diced tomatoes and diced up a jalepeneo for some spice. I also only had enough smoked paprika for the shrimp, so I used regular paprika for the tomatoes. Still delicious, but I want to try the recipe as is next time!

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