Fish, The Weekly Menus and Recipes

Recipe 26.4: Cheesy Polenta with Bacon and Shrimp

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Recipe adapted from Jenna at Eat, Live, Run

This meal was satisfying on every level: hearty, crispy, melty, and chewy. It was quick meal to make – just about 30 minutes from start to finish and the leftovers (minus the shrimp – those guys don’t reheat very well) were filling the next day.


1 cup polenta (yellow cornmeal)

4 cups water

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1 tbs. unsalted butter

1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

1 package bacon

1/2 lbs. large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/2 bunch green onions, washed and sliced

4 cloves garlic, minced


Heat broiler to 400 degrees. Lay bacon on a foil-lined baking sheet and place under broiler. Cook until bacon is crisp, 10-15 minutes.

While bacon cooks, bring water, salt and pepper to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Whisk constantly to add a very slow and gradual stream of polenta to the water. Whisk until smooth before adding any more.

Reduce heat to medium-low, then simmer, whisking often until thickened, 10-15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and cheddar cheese.

Once bacon is crisp, remove from baking sheet and crumble. Pour the grease from the baking sheet into a medium skillet. Turn heat to medium.

Once hot, add shrimp to the pan. Cook until shrimp turn pink and curl up, 2-3 minutes.

Remove shrimp from pan and cover to keep warm. Add garlic and green onions to the pan and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant. Add crumbled bacon back to the pan. Mix to combine and reheat.

Use a slotted spoon to remove everything from the skillet and add to the pot of polenta. Mix well to combine.

Spoon into individual bowls and top with shrimp.