I have a new weeknight dinner staple that I have to share with you, and it takes about 20 minutes to make: Grilled Shrimp, Corn and Polenta. I’m all about speed on weeknights, and I recently started making instant polenta as a shortcut for fast meal prep. It only takes a few minutes to make once you have water boiling and it can take on so many great tastes based on what you mix into it. Another one of my hacks for quick dinners in the summer is grilling shrimp and corn; they’re both fast cookers and take on tons of flavor from the grill heat. I even prep the marinade  for the shrimp earlier in the day to get things moving quickly when I’m ready to assemble our meal. The creamy parmesan polenta and the fresh corn and tomatoes make for a perfect pairing with the grilled garlic shrimp — this one is getting added into my weekly rotation all summer long! Full recipe below:

Grilled Garlic Shrimp, Corn and Polenta.
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3-4 Servings
  • 1 lb. Extra Large Shrimp
  • 3 cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. of Parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp. of Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 Lemon, juiced and divided
  • 2 Tbsp. of Olive Oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • ¼ Cup of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 Shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 Ears of corn
  • 1 cup Instant Polenta (I use the Pastene brand)
  • ¼ cup of shredded parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Preheat grill to medium high heat. Prepare marinade for shrimp; combine minced garlic, parsley, red pepper flakes, juice of ½ a lemon and olive oil in a bowl. Toss the shrimp with the marinade and set aside for 5-10 minutes before threading on skewers.
  2. While the shrimp is marinating, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a small pan and sauté halved tomatoes and shallots together until the tomatoes release their juices and the shallots soften.
  3. Preheat grill to medium high heat and add corn to the grill, rotating every 2-3 minutes until all sides are charred. Place shrimp skewers on the grill and cook about 3 minutes on each side until cooked through. Remove shrimp from the skewers, and use a sharp knife to slice the grilled corn off the cob. Add the grilled corn to the tomato and shallot mixture in the pan and keep warm.
  4. Bring 4 cups of salted water to boil in a saucepan. When the water boils, whisk in the instant polenta and continue stirring for about 3 minutes, until thickened. Remove from heat and season well with salt and pepper, squeeze in remaining half of lemon juice, butter and fold in parmesan cheese.
  5. Divide the polenta into bowls and serve with corn and tomato mixture on top, finishing with the shrimp skewers and garnish with additional fresh parsley and red pepper flakes.