13 Perfect Polenta Recipes to Make for Dinner

Introduce this flavorful, internationally-loved grain to the family this week.

polenta-recipes - pork-chops
Chris Court

Polenta is more than a side dish. This grain can serve as the basis for many delicious gluten-free dinners that'll have guests of all dietary restriction begging for more. And, with so many ways to serve it, you'll never run out of easy polenta recipes to try.

But first, what is polenta? Essentially, it is a cornmeal that's boiled in a liquid (water or broth)— similar to how one would cook porridge or oatmeal. You can then serve this mixture as a comforting side to a hearty weeknight dinner, or you can allow the polenta to cool and solidify into a loaf that can be sliced, baked, fried, or even grilled. It can also be used in batter and baked into polenta cakes and cookies, or spiced and made into fries.

If you're short on time, there's good news. You can skip the boiling and cooling step by purchasing a log of pre-cooked polenta that is already cooled and solidified.

The best part of polenta is its mellow flavor, allowing it to be seasoned in a variety of ways and served with almost anything. It can be made to be sweet or savory; creamy and cheesy or crisp and firm. From sausage to scallops, we have tons of ideas for what to serve with polenta and ways to make it your new favorite grain.

polenta-recipes - pork-chops
Chris Court
Pork Chops and Garlicky Tomatoes with Parmesan Polenta

You only need 25 minutes to get this impressive, comforting (and easy!) dinner on the table.

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Cheesy Polenta and Mushroom Pizza

Polenta makes a delicate and delicious foundation for a mixture of button mushrooms, shiitakes, shallots and Gruyère cheese.

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polenta-recipes - slow-cooker-mini-meatloaf
Con Poulos
Slow Cooker Mini Meat Loaves and Polenta

Whip up creamy polenta five minutes before serving this classic slow cooker dinner.

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RELATED: 40+ Simple, Savory Slow Cooker Dinner Recipes

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sausage and pepper polenta lasagna
Steve Giralt; Food styling by Frances Boswell; Prop styling by Marina Malchin
Sausage and Pepper Polenta Lasagna

Holiday entertaining does not need to be stressful! Host a worry-free holiday party with ease using this elegant, but simple, recipe.

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eggplant polenta stacks
MARY ELLEN BARTLEY
Eggplant-Polenta Stacks

Layers of colorful veggies top polenta bases to create a gourmet hors d'oeuvre for your next party.

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polenta-recipes - beans-and-greens
Mike Garten
Beans and Greens with Lemon-Parmesan Polenta

Citrus and greens lighten up an easy and cheesy vegetarian polenta recipe.

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RELATED: 77 Vegetarian Meals That'll Make Anyone Want to Go Meatless

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polenta-recipes - polenta-with-sausage-and-bean-ragu
Wendall Webber
Polenta with Sausage and Bean Ragu

Polenta is the perfect vehicle for a hearty tomato sauce full of Italian sausage, white beans, and zucchini.

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polenta-recipes - sausage-and-green-bean-casserole
Con Poulos
Sausage and Green Bean Casserole

Layer sliced polenta to create a simple base for this quick and meaty casserole.

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polenta-recipes - grilled-sausages-with-polenta
Charles Schiller
Boardwalk-Style Grilled Sausages with Polenta

Every part of this recipe can be grilled— even the slices of polenta from a ready-to-heat tube!

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polenta-recipes - chicken-cacciatore
Ann Stratton
Chicken Cacciatore with Polenta

Please the whole family even on hectic weeknights with this 20-minute chicken and polenta dinner.

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RELATED: 20+ Italian Chicken Recipes That'll Wow the Entire Family

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polenta-recipes - skillet-chicken-parmesan
Sang An
Skillet Chicken Parmesan with Crisp Polenta

If you’re looking for some crispy polenta, fry it up on the stove with this comforting chicken parm.

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polenta-recipes - italian-steak-and-peppers
Ellie Miller
Italian Steak and Peppers with Creamy Polenta

Need a low-maintenance method for cooking your polenta? This recipe lets you make it in the microwave.

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polenta-recipes - beef-and-vegetables-on-polenta
Mary Ellen Bartley
Beef and Vegetables On Polenta

Stirring parmesan into this polenta base adds a sharp, cheesy flavor to a comforting and cozy stew.

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