Pumpkin Polenta with Butter Berbere Shrimp

Pumpkin Polenta with Butter Berbere Shrimp

Lately Georgina has been planning our weekly menu, looking around on her favorite blogs and saving them to a spreadsheet for us to choose from. We have been really fortunate to be able to cook together a lot more often, and I love following all the recipes she plans for us. Today’s recipe was inspired by a few of the dishes we have had lately. One was this fantastic pumpkin coconut tortellini soup from Orchids and Sweet Tea. Another was a buttery steak recipe from the cookbook Ethiopia by Yohanis Gebreyesus – I used a similar sauce to form the base sauce for the shrimp.

I mixed some coconut milk, pumpkin, and garlic broth together to make the cooking liquid for the polenta.

The shrimp were cooked in butter, then tossed with the berbere spice, some oregano, and some celery salt.

I wanted this to feel “fall AF” and it definitely had those vibes to it. The pumpkin polenta was so creamy and was the perfect balance for the spicy shrimp.

There was LOTS of butter and you could taste it, but it still didn’t feel like you needed to take a nap after. And the bit of scallion on top was just the thing to cut through the richness.

Pumpkin Polenta with Butter Berbere Shrimp

A creamy pumpkin and coconut polenta served with shrimp smothered in an Ethiopian berbere spice and butter sauce
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Servings: 4 servings



  • 14 ounces canned pumpkin
  • 14 ounces canned coconut milk
  • 2 cups chicken or garlic broth
  • 3/4 cup fine cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons butter


  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound shrimp peeled, deveined, tails on
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon berbere spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • chopped scallions for garnish


  • Mix the pumpkin, coconut milk, and stock in a pot and bring to a simmer. Whisk in the cornmeal. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Turn heat to low and continue to cook at a slow simmer for about 30 minutes. Finish with the butter before serving, taste and add salt if needed.
  • Melt the butter in a large frying pan and add the shrimp. Cook about 2 minutes, stirring and flipping the shrimp.
  • Add in the garlic, berbere, celery salt, and oregano and continue to stir and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the vinegar and cook 1 minute. Remove from heat.
  • Plate with the polenta first, then top with some shrimp. Garnish with scallions.


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