Grilled Polenta Cakes

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The lovely Cristina Ferrare, hostess of Cristina Ferrare’s Big Bowl of Love on Oprah’s OWN Network, recently published a cookbook, Big Bowl of Love. The cookbook is filled with more than 150 simple, fabulous recipes that the entire family will love. I’ve bookmarked almost every recipe to try, but the Grilled Polenta Cakes were really calling my name so I started with those.

I love polenta, but don’t eat it often enough. That is going to change because these Grilled Polenta Cakes are easy to make and so tasty. The grilled polenta rounds are covered with tomato sauce, Parmesan cheese, and fresh chopped basil. What is not to love? All of my favorite things in one little appetizer.

I ate a few grilled polenta cakes with a salad and it was the perfect light lunch. Grilled Polenta Cakes are also the perfect appetizer for parties. They are simple to make, beautiful to present, and delicious.

Thanks Cristina for a fabulous recipe. I can’t wait to cook my way through the rest of your fantastic cookbook, Big Bowl of Love. Oh-and if you are like me and enjoy cookbooks with beautiful food photos, this is the book for you. Todd Porter and Diane Cu, White on Rice Couple, took all of the photographs for this book. I love their work and all of the photos in Big Bowl of Love are stunning!

Grilled Polenta Cakes


  • 1 tube polenta removed from casing, cut into 1/2-inch slices, and patted dry with paper towels
  • Approximately 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup of your favorite tomato sauce
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese you may have some leftover
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup basil chopped
  • Cracked pepper


  1. 1. Brush both sides of the polenta cakes with the olive oil, and set aside.
  2. 2. Heat a grill pan until really hot. Lay the polenta cakes in one layer on the pan, and grill for 8-10 minutes on each side or until both sides are golden and crunchy and have grill marks.
  3. 3. Remove the cakes from the grill and let cool on a baking rack.
  4. 4. Just before you are ready to serve, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Arrange the grilled polenta cakes on the baking sheet. Place a heaping tablespoon of your favorite tomato sauce on each slice, then add a generous amount of freshly grated Parmesan cheese to each. Bake for 15 minutes.
  5. 5. Garnish with fresh chopped basil, kosher salt, and cracked pepper, and serve warm.

If you like these Grilled Polenta Cakes, you might also like:

Polenta Pizza Stackers from Cooking with my Kid
Polenta Cakes from bell’alimento
Polenta Cups with Sweet Peppers, Manchego, and Almonds from Table Talk


Maria Lichty

I’m Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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CommentsLeave a reply

  1. I bet these are just awesome! I recently made a cornmeal pizza and it reminded me of just how much I love things like grits, polenta, etc! They look so pretty with all the grill marks

  2. I keep hearing how amazing this cookbook is! Now you’ve convinced me to buy it ๐Ÿ™‚

    This little cafe in town makes a salad with balsamic vinaigrette, shards of parm and 3 little triangle-shaped grilled polenta cakes topped with super chunky tomato sauce. It’s one of my favorite lunches to get in the summer. Thanks for a version I can make at home ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Polenta comes in a tube form? I’ve never made polenta (its on the list), but I have never seen it come alraedy made in tube form. Are you suggesting we make it, roll it into a tube, and then refrigerate to get it hard? If it comes in tube form what brand do you use?

    1. I bought it at the store in a tube. I used Food Merchants Organic Polenta. You can find it at most stores.

  4. It’s great to see so many bloggers getting paid work. How was the flavor of the polenta from the tube? I have to admit I’ve always been intrigued by grilled polenta, but worry that the tube stuff would be flavorless.

  5. I first tried polenta right after I decided to stop eating meat. I thought it was one of the most amazing and delicious things I had ever eaten and my opinion hasn’t changed much over the years. I still love it but don’t eat it nearly enough. This is a great way to make it an every day dish!

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