This Shrimp & Grits Pizza {with Gluten-free Polenta Crust} honors the flavors and essence of its classic Southern roots, while presenting the components of this time-honored favorite in a deliciously unique way. | The Good Hearted Woman

Cast Iron "Shrimp & Grits" Pizza {with GF Polenta Crust!}

This Shrimp & Grits Pizza honors the flavors and essence of its classic Southern roots, while presenting the components of this time-honored favorite in a deliciously unique way. 

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6
Author Renée B. ♥ The Good Hearted Woman


Prepare Pizza Toppings

  • 1 lb medium shrimp deveined and shelled
  • 1 tablespoon Spicy Skillet Dry Rub (RECIPE below)
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 1/2 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 2-3 slices thick bacon cut into 1/2" pieces
  • 1/2 large sweet onion sliced into thin strips, root to tip
  • 1/2 red bell pepper cut into thin strips

Polenta Pizza Crust

  • 1 cup medium-grind cornmeal I use Bob's Red Mill Medium Grind Organic Cornmeal
  • ½ cup flour I use Bob's Red Mill GF Flour
  • 1 tablespoon Spicy Skillet Dry Rub (RECIPE Below)
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Final Steps

  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese divided
  • 2-3 green onions sliced


Prepare Pizza Toppings

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. 

  2. Marinate Shrimp: In medium bowl, combine 1 tablespoon olive oil, Spicy Skillet Dry Rub, and minced garlic to make a thick paste. Add shrimp and toss to coat thoroughly. Allow to marinate while you roast the tomatoes. 

  3. Roast Tomatoes: While shrimp is marinating, roast the cherry tomatoes. To do this, toss the tomatoes lightly in a little olive oil and spread on a heavy sheet pan. Sprinkle generously with kosher salt. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft. Remove from oven and set aside. 

  4. Prepare Shrimp & Veggies: In a cast iron skillet or heavy pan over medium heat, fry bacon pieces until crispy. Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove bacon from skillet and set aside. 

  5. Add chopped onion and red bell pepper to hot skillet and sauté in bacon drippings until soft and translucent. 

  6. Push all the vegetables to one side of the pan. Stir in shrimp and and cook 3-4 minutes, or until just barely pink. (DO NOT overcook!)

  7. Set shrimp mixture aside while you make pizza crust. If you are using the same skillet for the pizza, just put the shrimp mixture in a bowl and wipe your cast iron skillet clean before beginning the next step. 

Polenta Pizza Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, salt, baking powder, and Spicy Skillet Dry Rub.

  3. In a medium saucepan, heat milk and butter over medium heat until tiny bubbles begin to appear around the edge of the pan. Remove from stove and stir until butter is completely melted. 

  4. Add the hot milk mixture to the dry ingredients and stir to blend. Whisk in the beaten egg and thoroughly combine. Let set briefly while you prepare skillet. 

  5. Heat a 10-inch cast iron skillet or round griddle over medium heat until a drop of water sizzles on the surface. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet and swirl oil to thoroughly cover pan. Give the cornmeal mixture one more good whisking, then carefully pour prepared cornmeal batter into hot griddle and spread evenly with spatula.

  6. Bake in preheated oven for 8-9 minutes, or until the top is set and the bottom is beginning to brown. 

Final Steps

  1. Remove prepared crust from oven, and switch oven to broil. 

  2. Optional: If you wish, you can flip the crust over at this time. I do this because I like the browned part facing up, plus it gives the other side a chance to brown a bit too. 

  3. Sprinkle prepared pizza crust with a generous cup of shredded cheddar cheese, then place under broiler for 1-2 minutes to melt the cheese. 

  4. Remove from oven and distribute shrimp mixture and roasted tomatoes evenly across pizza crust. 

  5. Sprinkle 1/2 cup shredded cheddar over top. Place under broiler for 1-2 minutes - just long enough to melt the cheese on top. Remove from oven.

  6. Garnish with sliced green onions. Cut into slices and serve warm.