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Pesto Shrimp with Parmesan Polenta Recipe

This Pesto Shrimp With Parmesan Polenta is a rich and luscious meal full of all your favorite Italian flavors!  

Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Pesto, Shrimp
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 474 kcal
Author Holly Sander


  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup Instant Polenta
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 quarter-inch-thick slices of Pancetta (about 5 ounces), cubed
  • 1 pound of 16/21 fresh Gulf shrimp (or substitute your favorite shrimp, between 16-21 shrimp per pound)
  • 3 ounces HemisFares Pesto alla Genovese
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • Fresh basil rinsed and dried


  1. Peel shrimp and devein, leaving the tails intact, then set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepot, bring 3 cups chicken stock to a boil. Add polenta and begin whisking. Add Parmesan cheese, and salt, then continue whisking while cooking over medium heat. Add more chicken stock as needed and continue cooking until smooth, about 5 minutes total.
  3. Add pancetta to a large sauce pan and sautee over medium heat until browned on all sides, about 3 minutes. Remove using a slotted spoon and set aside.
  4. Add shrimp to the saucepan and cook over medium heat. Watch them closely and turn after about 1 minute, ensuring they are cooked to a firm, opaque texture – about 3 minutes total. Toss shrimp with 1 tablespoon of pesto, then remove from heat and set aside.
  5. In a fresh saucepan, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and bring to medium heat. Add cherry tomatoes, salt, pepper, garlic, and red chili pepper flakes. Continue to cook until tomatoes blister and form a tomato sauce.
  6. To assemble, plate polenta, then add more pesto as desired. Top with tomato sauce and shrimp, and finish with pancetta and small pieces of basil.