Fried Italian Polenta

fried-italian-polentaI have tasted many versions of polenta, but nothing tastes as good to me as fried polenta. Mom made this often, especially when we were having Minestra (steamed mixture of greens and beans saute with olive oil and garlic). She would put the fried polenta in the bottom of the dish and spoon the greens over it. You would mix it through as you ate.

Delicioso!! It is great served on top or bottom of foods, such as cooked beans, soup and my zucchini stew. The crust is so crispy and delicious that my sister, Natalie, and I would peel the topping off and eat it before Mom was able to serve the dish. She wasn’t too happy about that, but we couldn’t resist. I made this for my children when they were young and they did the same thing. No kid can resist this!


  • 3 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups water


Boil 3 cups water. In a large mixing bowl, stir together cornmeal and salt. Add 1 cup of hot water to cornmeal and beat with wooden spoon. Continue to add 1 cup of hot water at a time while beating with spoon until mixture is creamy and smooth about 5 minutes.

pan-fried-polentaIn a 10 inch heavy duty fry pan, generously cover bottom of pan with olive oil and heat until hot. Spread polenta evenly in fry pan and fry over medium heat.. Make hole in center of polenta with spoon which helps evenly fry the mixture.

Fry until bottom of polenta is brown and crispy about 20 minutes. Invert fried polenta onto a large dish that covers the whole polenta.

Important: Invert polenta carefully over a bowl in sink to catch any oil that may spill over.


Add a small amount of additional oil to fry pan. Replace inverted polenta to pan and fry until brown and crispy about 20 minutes.

Remove from fry pan and place on platter. Serve hot, slice as you would a pie.

Excellent over mixed greens, cooked beans, soups and zucchini stew.


One Response to “Fried Italian Polenta”

  1. Jo Shaw says:

    This recipe is also a favorite in our Italian family.It isn’t a favorite of my English/German husband.It is a dish I made whenever he was gone on his fishing trips.I always wanted the children to be exposed to our variety of Italian
    dishes.They too picked at the crust just as I did when I was growing up.This dish is healthy and inexpensive in these tough times.I have prepared it on winter days here in Oregon.I hope the visitors to your blog give it a try.

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