Seafood Medley with Tomato-Butter Sauce and Soft Polenta

Loosely based on classic Southern-style shrimp and grits, this seafood medley is really easy to prepare.

Made with a combination of mussels, shrimp, squid and scallops simmered in a tomato-butter sauce and served over creamy polenta, the dish is a soul satisfying blend of simple ingredients and flavors. All you need to round out the meal is a tossed salad and a nice glass of wine.

Seafood Medley with Tomato-Butter Sauce and Soft Polenta

Seafood Medley with Tomato-Butter Sauce

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Loosely based on a Southern-style shrimp and grits, this seafood medley is made with mussels, shrimp, squid and scallops that have been simmered to perfection in a buttery, garlicky, tomato sauce and spooned over creamy polenta.


  • 2 lbs fresh mussels
  • 3/4 lb large shrimp
  • 3/4 lb squid
  • 3/4 lb dry-packed sea scallops
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 4 to 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • Creamy Polenta


  1. Rinse the mussels under cold water and trim any beards with kitchen shears.
  2. Peel and devein the shrimp, leaving the tails on.
  3. Rinse the squid and remove the "cartilage" from the interior of the tubes. Separate the tentacles and slice the tubes into rings about 3/8-inch thick.
  4. Heat the olive oil over medium heat, add the onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic and cook until soft, about 2 minutes more. Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper, stir to combine and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Bring about 2 inches of water to a boil in a large pot with a steamer insert. Add the mussels, cover and cook until they have all opened. Remove from the heat, keep covered and set aside.
  7. Increase the heat on the tomato sauce to medium-high, wait until it begins to simmer, then add the shrimp. Cook for 2 minutes, or until the shrimp begin turning opaque around the edges.
  8. Add the squid and continue cooking for 1 minute more. Add the scallops and butter, and continue to cook until the butter has melted and the seafood has cooked through. Total cooking time should be no more than 5 to 6 minutes.
  9. To serve, spoon a serving of polenta into the bottom of 6 shallow bowls. Arrange a serving of mussels around the outside of each bowl, then spoon the seafood tomato mixture into the center. Top with chopped fresh parsley and serve immediately.


Recipe Notes:

The key to this dish is to be sure you don't overcook your seafood. It doesn't take long, so keep a close eye and have your polenta ready to serve. If you have extra tomato sauce left over, freeze it and use it in a soup or pasta dish at a later date.