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Spicy Garlic Lemon Butter Shrimp with Parmesan Corn Polenta…a delicious bowl of late summer comfort food. This simple brown butter corn and parmesan polenta is creamy, perfectly buttery, and swirled with sweet corn. The shrimp is cooked in butter with spices and garlic, then finished with lemon…so flavorful and delicious! Especially when spooned over bowls of creamy polenta. A great under 30 minutes dinner.

Spicy Garlic Lemon Butter Shrimp with Parmesan Corn Polenta |

Sometimes recipes are just a little more special. They might be more delicious, simpler to prepare, or just prettier. And while I know this shrimp might not seem oh so special or better than any other shrimp, I promise you it’s delicious.

Extra special as I love to say.

Spicy Garlic Lemon Butter Shrimp with Parmesan Corn Polenta |

The only reason this recipe came to be is simple. My brother Red and his girlfriend, Hailey, are in town for the week. Whenever I have brothers in town I usually try to make something they love. But Red and Hails are even more fun because they’re down to try pretty much anything, and they love seafood.

I love cooking for others, so I used these two as a good excuse to make something they’d love. Since Hailey is really into shrimp I started with that, then built this quick recipe.

It’s spicy shrimp in a crazy delicious lemon butter sauce with creamy polenta.

Spicy Garlic Lemon Butter Shrimp with Parmesan Corn Polenta |

Here are the details – start with the polenta

You need lots of corn, butter, and quick cooking polenta.

Start by cooking the butter and corn together until the butter browns and the corn begins to pop. Stir in a little milk and then the polenta.

The key here is to stir the polenta for five minutes until it gets creamy, then cover, and let it sit while you make the shrimp.

Once the polenta has been sitting for a bit, stir in lots and lots of parmesan cheese.

Spicy Garlic Lemon Butter Shrimp with Parmesan Corn Polenta |

Now make the shrimp

It’s pan seared in butter with cajun seasonings until both sides are browned. I love to make my own homemade cajun spice mix, but if you’re in a pinch, store bought works too.

When the shrimp has crisped, add the garlic and fresh thyme. Then remove the shrimp from the heat and add the lemon juice. It takes maybe five or ten minutes from start to finish – tops.

Simple, but so much flavor from all the spices, garlic, and lemony butter pan sauce.

Spicy Garlic Lemon Butter Shrimp with Parmesan Corn Polenta |

Finish it up

Spoon the creamy polenta into bowls, then spoon the shrimp and sauce overtop. I top with lots of fresh basil, and serve with crusty bread and a big arugula salad from the garden.

So quick and simple – so delicious.

The shrimp is definitely the star here, but it really can’t be the star without it’s supporting actor, the polenta. So be sure to make them both. Trust me, you’re going to love it!

Spicy Garlic Lemon Butter Shrimp with Parmesan Corn Polenta |

Looking for other shrimp recipes? Here are a few ideas: 

Honey Garlic Shrimp, Corn, and Avocado Bacon Salad

Spicy Southern Style Shrimp with Lemon Basil Orzo

Sheet Pan Jalapeño Pineapple Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro Garlic Sauce

Lastly, if you make this Spicy Garlic Lemon Butter Shrimp with Parmesan Corn Polenta, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Spicy Garlic Lemon Butter Shrimp with Parmesan Corn Polenta

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 373 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Parmesan Corn Polenta



  • 1. To make the polenta. In a medium pot, melt together the butter and corn. Cook 5-8 minutes, until the butter browns around the corn. Add 2 cups water and the milk. Bring to a low boil, then whisk in the polenta, stirring until the polenta is soft and thick, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in the parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Turn the heat off, cover the pot, and let the polenta sit 5 minutes.
    2. Meanwhile, make the shrimp. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the butter, shrimp, cajun seasonings, and a big pinch of pepper. Cook on both sides until seared, about 2-3 minutes per side. Stir in the garlic and thyme and continue to cook until the garlic is fragrant. Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice and basil.
    3. Spoon the polenta into bowls, then spoon the shrimp and sauce over the polenta. Eat and enjoy!


Homemade Cajun Seasoning: mix 2 1/2 tablespoons smoked paprika, 2 tablespoons garlic powder, 1 tablespoon onion powder, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, 1 tablespoon dried thyme, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper, 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt, and 1 tablespoon black pepper. Makes 3/4 cup. 
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Spicy Garlic Lemon Butter Shrimp with Parmesan Corn Polenta |

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  1. 5 stars
    This was amazing!!! The only thing I couldn’t figure out was how to make the shrimp crispy! The liquid that came from cooking the shrimp down made my shrimp kind of “steam” rather than get crispy! Any suggestions?? I used frozen shrimp (defrosted) maybe using fresh would be better…?

    1. Hi Claire,
      Happy Wednesday!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for giving it a go!! I would try using a cast iron skillet if you didn’t, that should help! ☘️Tieghan

    1. 5 stars
      This was amazing! My boyfriend was a bit unsure about this one but after 1 bite, he exclaimed “wow this is INTENSE, but in a really good way!”

      The only thing I did differently is added some halved cherry tomatoes for a bit more texture/pop and because I’m always trying to sneak more veggies in. I was inspired by a few other HBH shrimp and polenta dishes I found, and I’m glad I did!

      We’ll definitely be making this one again 🙂

      1. Hi Courtney,
        Happy Wednesday!! Thanks a lot for giving this recipe a try, I am so glad to hear it was enjoyed! xT

    1. Hey Patty,
      Sure! I would use 1-2 cups. I hope this recipe turns out amazing for you, let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  2. 5 stars
    Holy guacamole! This recipe is hands down delicious! It’s my first time making it. The flavors burst in different layers and I agree with the other reviewers—restaurant quality recipe.

  3. Crushed it with this recipe. True southern comfort. As others stated in their comments, it’s beyond restaurant grade. Sauce adds real depth of flavor to the dish. Highly recommend! Thanks, Tieghan.

  4. 5 stars
    Not going to lie I had some doubt while mixing the flavors together but tasted sooo good! Like eating at a restaurant at my own house! Thanks Tieghan!

    1. Hi Sarah,
      Thanks a lot for giving this recipe a try, I am glad to hear that it was enjoyed. Have the best weekend!! xTieghan

    1. Hi Franky,
      Yes, that will work well for you. Please let me know if you give the recipe a try, I hope you love it! xTieghan

  5. I really liked the shrimp. I didn’t have the full amount of shrimp on hand, so I didn’t use all of the Cajun seasoning, but I loved the lemon with the other spices. It made for such a bright taste. I did think the polenta needed something more. I added more salt, but I wondered if you had a suggestion for a different seasoning.

    1. Hey Donna,
      Thanks so much for trying this recipe out, I am thrilled to hear that it was enjoyed. Did you add the parmesan to the polenta? Usually that adds the flavor to me, I would hate for the polenta to be too overpowering. Happy Holidays! xTieghan

  6. Making this for my family tonight and was thinking of just doing salt and pepper on the shrimp (kids won’t eat cajun seasoning). Any reason why you think that’s a bad idea?

    1. Hey Jeanne,
      Nope, that will be just fine to do! I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  7. This was incredible! Very easy to follow instructions like all your recipes I’ve tried so far and will definitely make again!

    1. Hi Sharene,
      Wonderful!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it! Have a great weekend! xTieghan

    1. Hi Donna,
      Thanks so very much for giving this recipe a go, I love to hear that it was enjoyed! Happy Thanksgiving! xTieghan

    1. Hey Marianne,
      It’s 2 cups of water and 2 cups of milk. I hope you enjoy this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  8. 5 stars
    This was delicious!! I used grits instead of polenta (just because I had them on hand) and they worked out well. I already can’t wait to make this again!