broiled polenta squares

Polenta is a popular food dish that is common in Italian cooking. It’s made from ground cornmeal, which is then boiled in water to create a porridge-like substance. You can enjoy polenta right off the stove while it’s hot or you can bake it for a crispier texture. Broiled Polenta Squares has the taste of cornbread but with bit of crunch to it.

Broiled Polenta Squares

6 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon dried basil or oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Heat water to boiling in a large saucepan. Add salt. Reduce heat to bring water to a simmer; slowly pour polenta in a thin stream into the saucepan. Stir constantly with a whisk to prevent clumping. After adding all the polenta, stir with a wooden spoon until the polenta is thick and pulls away from the sides of the pan; this may take 15-20 minutes. For best results, stir constantly until the polenta has reached this consistency. Add basil and garlic powder. Stir well.

Wet a paper towel, and rub the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish with water to prevent sticking. Once polenta has cooked, transfer it to the dish. With a rubber spatula, press polenta until it is well packed. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 hours or until completely cooled.

Preheat oven to broil setting. Using a paper towel, rub a large 11 x 17-inch baking sheet with olive oil and set aside. Remove casserole dish from refrigerator and cut polenta into 2 ½-inch squares. Place squares on prepared baking sheet, and place 3-4 inches under broiler. Bake 15 minutes, flip, and bake 15 minutes more. Both sides should be crispy before serving.

Yield: 9 servings (serving size: 2 squares)


  1. katie waddell says:

    this is a great recipe! for some variation, i have tried stirring in sun dried tomatoes before you transfer to the baking dish….delicious!

  2. Adding sun-dried tomatoes is a great idea. I’ll have to try it! Thanks for your comment.

  3. What temperature do you recommend for broiling? 350? 400?

  4. Can I purchase the prepared organic polenta too? Kristen, you have wonderful recipes and resources on your website. Thank you for the tremendous work you are doing to help and guide others to developing a closer relationship with our Lord.

    • I think it should be fine. Check the ingredients label to be sure. Thank you so much for your encouragement! I thank God for giving me the opportunity to help others grow stronger spiritually and physically.

  5. If I use the prepared organic polenta, would I just skip the pouring of the cornmeal in the boiling water part and go straight to baking? Just curious. This is my first fast ever using polenta and I may or may not be nervous : )

    • Right. No need to boil the polenta if it’s already made. I’m glad you’re doing the fast! Your comment made me laugh about that you “may or may not be nervous!” 🙂

  6. I purchased your book a few years ago when my church did its 1st Daniel’s Fast. The broiled polenta is one of my favorites. Your book has been a blessing to me and my husband. Looking forward to volume 2.

  7. How do you store the broiled polenta leftovers?

    • Hi, Ann! You can store them in the refrigerator. They’re best reheated in an oven (or small toaster oven), especially if you like a crispy texture. Thanks for your question!