Gluten-Free Recipe: Pesto Shrimp and Portobello on Polenta

I made this recently when we didn’t know what to have for dinner. I was really impressed with myself for making a meal on the spot with what we had on hand, because normally I can’t do that. This is a great dish that is naturally gluten-free and very satisfying.

Hold the presses! Later note: It turns out that I must have had this combo fresh in my mind after reading a nearly identical Pesto Shrimp on Polenta Portobellos recipe over at

There are four parts to the recipe: pesto, shrimp, portobello mushroom, and polenta. I’m going to let everyone out there on the Internet figure out how much to make.

I cheated because the pesto was already made. We like to make pesto and then freeze it so we always have some around. Pesto freezes really well.

The Pesto

2 1/2 cups fresh basil
1/3 cup olive oil
2 cups pine  nuts
10 cloves of garlic
2/3 cup nutritional yeast flakes (or Parmesan cheese)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper (or to taste)

To make the pesto, put all of the ingredients in a food processor and then blend until it’s the consistency you want.

The Shrimp

1/4 lb per serving. More cheating here: We get the Trader Joe’s cooked shrimp. To prepare it, you thaw it out. You’re SUPPOSED to thaw it out by putting it in the fridge. I never think that far ahead and always end up putting the shrimp in a bowl of cold water and then changing the water every couple of minutes until the shrimp are thawed.

The Polenta

Follow the directions on the package – or – here is a simple recipe:

1 cup polenta
3 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Pour polenta into boiling water. Stir frequently for thirty minutes. Stir in butter. Spoon into a casserole dish. Let sit 10 minutes to firm up.

The Portobello and the Gluten-Free End

OK so here’s the timing of it. Start the shrimp thawing. Start the polenta. Thaw the pesto (or make it super-fast – you have a half hour.) The idea is to have the shrimp and pesto thawed by the time you put the polenta in the casserole dish.

Once the polenta is in the casserole dish, saute the portobello mushrooms (one per person, cut up into pieces) in 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil until browned. While the portobellos are cooking, throw the pesto and shrimp into a different pan and fry them up. Hopefully the portobello mushrooms and shrimp are ready at the same time.

Cut up and lay out some slabs of polenta. Then throw some of your shrimp and portobellos on the polenta.

and BAM!

Portobello Pesto Shrimp on Polenta

Gluten-Free Pesto Shrimp Dish

You are ready to eat!

More gluten-free recipes on Gluten Free Portland dot Org.

Hopefully we’re not too late for What’s for Dinner? Wednesday, hosted by Linda at Gluten-free Homemaker.


  1. says

    Ooh that looks good! Good job on the last minute save, I’m NO GOOD at that either. Thank goodness my Hubby is a decent cook, he usually pulls together the saves.
    Jessie at Blog Schmog

  2. says

    That sounds wonderful. You did a great job putting that meal together on the spot. Most of my family is not big on shrimp so I might try subbing chicken, but the pesto, mushrooms, and polenta all sound delicious. Thanks for joining What’s for Dinner Wednesday.

  3. Dave says

    Diane – I went to your article and recognized it. I must have read it at some point! So I’ll have to credit you with the original inspiration. The flavors definitely do go well together. The mushrooms are what really put it over the top.

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