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Comfort food to the max, this roasted tomato shrimp and polenta is also easy to put together and makes for easy entertaining.

Roasted Tomato Shrimp and Polenta | Shrimp polenta

This post was created in partnership with Muir Glen Organic. All opinions are our own.

Why do we cook? Partially because we love to eat, but mostly: we cook because we love people. This shrimp and polenta recipe was the backdrop for a recent dinner with our friend Leah. She’s a dear, vibrant soul who has known us since before we were a couple — and much, much before we were a couple who cooks together.

Related: Best Shrimp Dinner Ideas | Classic Creamy Polenta

Roasted Tomato Shrimp and Polenta | Shrimp polenta

Three months before, we had Leah over for a dinner much like this one. We drank wine and giggled and talked about everything under the sun, including how dangerous cars are. Self-driving cars are the future, Alex said. In 50 years, we agreed, cars would be seen as the health crisis of our day, much like we now recognize the dangers of working in coal mines or smoking cigarettes.

The very next day, Leah was in a devastating car crash. Her car flipped, left arm was obliterated, and one finger nearly lost. Miraculously, a nurse was at the scene and gave her a shirt to use as a tourniquet. She was rushed to a nearby hospital and emergency hand surgery saved her finger and arm.

Roasted Tomato Shrimp and Polenta | Shrimp polenta

So on this dinner, the one with the shrimp and polenta, Leah was back. This girl has grit, my friends. She was her bubbly, vibrant self, showing us her scars and how she was just now becoming able to grip again with her left hand. There were tears recounting the pain of the fear of the accident, being out of work and hopped up on pain meds, struggling through physical therapy and pecking out emails with one hand.

But overwhelmingly, Leah was a picture of thankfulness and grace. She couldn’t stop bubbling over with gratefulness for her surgeons, her community who sent her books and flowers and well wishes, her mother who literally nursed her back to health, and that nurse on the scene who saved her finger. Our dinner was spent alternating between tears and belly laughing, recounting the pains and triumphs, while I sat in awe of Leah and her incredible strength. This woman is a survivor in every sense of the word, inspirational to say the least.

And this is why we cook. To share meals with loved ones, connect over struggles and joys, provide nourishment to our bodies, and just be together. This is why we cook.

Making shrimp and polenta

This roasted tomato shrimp and polenta is one of the simplest, tastiest meals we’ve made in a while. Fire roasted tomatoes make it quick to put together, since their flavor is developed and doesn’t require much time to simmer. The shrimp, tomatoes, garlic and a bit of parsley are spooned over creamy polenta, basically a fancy Italian version of grits. It’s homey, comforting, and perfect with a glass of wine and some crusty bread or a green salad.

To make this a dairy-free meal, use our Creamy Vegan Polenta Recipe instead!

Looking for more healthy seafood recipes?

Outside of this shrimp and polenta recipe, here are a few more healthy seafood recipes:

This recipe is…

This shrimp and polenta recipe is pescatarian and gluten-free. (For dairy-free, use Creamy Vegan Polenta.)

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Roasted Tomato Shrimp and Polenta

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  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 1x


Comfort food to the max, this roasted tomato shrimp and polenta is also easy to put together and makes for easy entertaining.


  • 1 ½ cups polenta grits or cornmeal
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 28-ounce can Muir Glen Organic fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined (thawed, if frozen)
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Whisk in the cornmeal in a slow steady stream, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Continue whisking until the polenta begins to thicken, about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in 1 teaspoon kosher salt and reduce the heat so that the polenta bubbles slowly. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes until the cornmeal loses its raw flavor (taste every so often to check). Then turn off the heat and stir in the butter, milk, another ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Cover to keep warm before serving. If the polenta becomes too thick, stir in a splash of milk or water to loosen.
  3. Meanwhile, finely dice the onion. Mince the garlic. In a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and saute until it is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds until fragrant. Gently add the tomatoes (taking care as they may spit once they hit the hot oil), oregano, ¾ teaspoon kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer the sauce for 7 to 8 minutes, until the juices thicken slightly (cover if necessary).
  4. Remove the tomatoes from the heat and stir in shrimp. Place the skillet in the oven and bake until the shrimp are cooked through, about 6 to 8 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, chop the parsley. When the shrimp is done, remove from the oven with an oven mitt (taking care with the hot handle), and stir in the parsley and 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice. To serve, spoon the polenta into bowls, then top with the shrimp and tomatoes.
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Simran Kalra says:

    Sonja – am new to your website (and cooking) – very impressive!
    Want to try this recipe – but bought ready to eat polenta. What do I do (i.e do I still need to add the milk and butter) and how much do I use? Sorry for the very basic questions :)

    1. Sonja says:

      Great question! Is it a tube of polenta? Does the ingredients list include butter and milk? I’d just heat it up, then play it by ear on the milk and butter amounts — just add enough to your liking! Hope you enjoy it!

  2. Jeff Stern says:

    This sounds really tasty-thanks for sharing. Another one of my favorites with shrimp is with feta and olives…maybe polenta, kalamata olives, sundried tomatoes and shrimp?

  3. Alix @A Hedgehog in the Kitchen says:

    We LOVE sharing our inspiration with our readers and YOU INSPIRE US! We absolutely LOVE this recipe and we’ve added it to our RECIPE BUCKETLIST THANK YOU so much for this awesome recipe and for being such an amazing + inspirational couple!

  4. Caroline says:

    This looks incredibly delicious! I love polenta but am still learning how to make it so it ends up creamy and smooth. I will be making this very soon, thank you for sharing! :)

  5. Katie @ Whole Nourishment says:

    This story made me cry. All love to Leah. And to moms, nurses and friends who really care. Thanks again Sonja for once again reminding us of the real reason we make space in our life to cook and eat good food. Hats off to you guys.

    1. Sonja says:

      Thank you so much, Katie! We know it’s true for you as well that what’s best food is the connection to people. We’re so fortunate to have connected with people like you along the way! :)

  6. Erica says:

    Beautiful, strong story Sonja. This made me tear up. Love the message you’re bringing with this recipe <3 Your friend sounds like a beautiful woman!

    1. Sonja says:

      Thank you so much, Erica! Such crazy things can happen in this world and I’m so, so inspired by the way Leah has applied her grit and humor to a devastating situation. Thank you so much as always for your kind comment!