Crispy Polenta “Taters” with Marinara Sauce

In my opinion, polenta is so under-rated!  Not only is it quick and easy to make (ok, I'm referring to instant polenta here) but it's also very versatile a
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In my opinion, polenta is so under-rated!  Not only is it quick and easy to make (ok, I’m referring to instant polenta here) but it’s also very versatile and lends itself to so many spice and herb adaptations.


I made a fresh pot of homemade marinara yesterday…most of it was jarred and ready to store but I set a little aside to spread onto the polenta pizza I made for my husband and I.  Although our pizza was delicious, it would have been a bit messy for my son to eat so I cut his portion into bite-sized cubes (or “taters” as I like to call them) and served them with marinara dipping sauce!


(You might notice that in the photos everything is super-sized compared the amount required in the actual recipe…the first time I made this recipe I used the portions below, while this time I cooked my son’s portion along with ours.)

2 cups water
1/2 cup instant cornmeal
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese (optional)
pinch of nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste (optional)

Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Reduce to low for 2 minutes then slowly pour in cornmeal.  Stir constantly (otherwise you’ll end up with lumpy polenta!) for about 2-3 minutes or until the polenta is dense enough that it comes away from the sides of the pan.

Take off the heat and quickly stir in parmesan, nutmeg, and salt and pepper if desired.
Pour into a biscotti pan or a small baking sheet.  Spread out evenly and smooth with a spatula coated with cooking spray until uniform.

Leave in the fridge for at least 2 hours until cooled and firm.

Remove from fridge and cut into desired portion size.

Alternatively, if you don’t have the desire or time to make your own polenta you can buy pre-cooked polenta, which happens to be perfect for making these!


Heat 1 tbsp. of extra-virgin olive oil in a pan on medium-heat for about 1 minute.
Add the polenta cubes and cook for 2-3 minutes, tossing often to ensure that each “tater” browns evenly!


Serve alone, with melted cheese, a sprinkle of Parmesan or some freshly made marinara sauce!



Crispy Polenta “Taters” with Marinara Sauce written by Lisa Codina average rating 5/5 - 1 user ratings
    • Christine-JoyfulParentingWEC

      Making this right now. So easy! I can’t wait for my little people to try it.

      • Lisa Corda

        So, you’ve made them already?! Were they a hit?!

        • Christine-JoyfulParentingWEC

          I think I ate more of them than my little people did :) So quick & easy I will definitely do this again!

          • Lisa Corda

            I usually pick at them while I’m making them…it’s a wonder there’s ever any left for my son, lol!

    • Jennifer Avventura

      I forgot to put my polenta in the fridge! I will try this again and let you know. I’ve been experimenting a bit too much for my hubby’s taste but I’m pretty sure he would love these! Thank you! :)

      • Lisa @bitesforbabies

        Did you just make these now??! That was quick, lol! Just make sure they are nicely browned…btw, your ITALIAN husband doesn’t like polenta??? Maybe he would like it with some fresh “cinghiale” sauce??

        • Jennifer Avventura

          No, I haven’t tried to make polenta since last year when it turned out horrible. My husband does like polenta, just not the time I made it. ;) We’ve had it with cinghiale sauce and it was delicious, I just can’t replicate it.

          • Lisa @bitesforbabies

            Are you cooking with the instant stuff? I don’t always have the time and patience to make “real” polenta, lol! Anyways, the instant turns out just fine, tastes delicious and is so much easier to make ;-)

            • Jennifer Avventura

              Instant sounds good, I just won’t tell husband! ;)

            • Lisa @bitesforbabies

              I bet you 10 euro he won’t notice the difference ;-)))

            • Jennifer Avventura

              LOL! You’ve already won, I ‘know’ he wouldn’t notice the difference. :)