What To Serve With Polenta (12 Tasty Side Dishes)

It hits differently when you have certain meals with other ingredients, whether you are used to them or you are trying them for the first time.

Have you wondered of any meal that would perfectly sit fine as a side dish? Well, polenta does great as a side dish.

However, polenta is one meal that would unconditionally accommodate other ingredients and leave you thinking of what next to try it out with.

Are you wondering what to serve with polenta? Although there are a thousand one things that you can serve with polenta, we have compiled the best for your comfort.

So, read on to find out!


What is polenta?

You should learn about polenta, what makes up polenta, and how you can make polenta, so that you could relate to what works best for you.

Native to Italy, polenta is a great dish that is from other grains-mainly cornmeal. It is gluten-free and nutrition-filled, making it suitable for even people that are allergic to gluten.

It contains antioxidants and other nutrients that are health beneficial- to chronic diseases. Polenta is high in protein and fiber; however, it contains fewer calories compared to rice, pasta, or potatoes.

How do you make polenta?

Yellow maize is a common cereal that is mostly used to make polenta. Buckwheat and white maize preferably, some other mixtures can be used too.

To make polenta, boil four to six cups of water. The quantity would depend on the size of your recipe. As you are stirring, slowly add a cup or two cups of polenta, ensure you add them gently so it does not form lumps, and it does not stick in the pan.

Allow the mixture to cook for some time. After some minutes- 30 to 40 minutes, the polenta will be tender to show it is cooked.

You can now remove it from the heat, and spice it up a bit with salt or cheese.

Uses of polenta- “polenta are good for four things: to make soup, to make bread, to fill you up, and to warm your hands”

You can serve polenta as hot porridge or you can allow it to cool so it becomes solid. This way you can bake it or grill it or even slice them and have them fried.

Whichever way you choose to serve polenta, it would surely reward your effort. Many people use polenta as the base for a vegetarian dish.

What does polenta taste like? Polenta tastes like corn; this is because it is ground from maize.

And although polenta is almost bare, it is quite nutritious with this mild taste. So, if you wish to elevate the taste, you add ingredients that best suit you.

What to serve with polenta

Italian cuisines have mastered the craft of making polenta with just about anything, and any meal from the cuisines is unforgettable.

Fortunately, you do not have to travel to Italy to have polenta and the meal that these cuisines serve alongside polenta. That is why we are here! Here are the best meals to serve with polenta to have an unforgettable experience.

1. Polenta with baked potato, feta cheese, and sun-dried tomatoes

polenta with baked potato, feta cheese, and sun dried tomatoes

Polenta is creamy and would need some crispy texture to heighten satisfaction. Tomatoes are great for many dishes and would give you all the nutrients you would need for a meal.

If you have feta cheese and do not know what to do, know about tossing the feta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and baked potato in your polenta. The goodness that comes with every bite is enough to transport you to Italy.

2. Baked polenta with tomato sauce and ricotta

baked polenta with tomato sauce and ricotta

Remember, we said you could have your polenta whether it is creamy, baked, or fried. Now is the time to have your polenta baked!

We cannot underestimate the goodness of tomatoes in recipes. So, if you have some tomato sauce in the fridge, you now have the chance to put it to good use. Adding ricotta cheese adds to the taste too.

3. Creamy polenta, mushrooms, and gremolata

creamy polenta, mushrooms, and gremolata

Okay, we have had enough of tomato. Are you still looking for what to serve with polenta? How about some mushrooms and gremolata?

Mushrooms are renowned for their nutritional value and for how easily they fit into many recipes. Besides, you do not have to worry about having meat, because the meaty texture of the mushroom is enough to lighten up your mood.

4. Eggs with sausage

eggs with sausage

This is breakfast made easy! Add some spice to your breakfast with polenta by including eggs and sausage.

This is enough to carry you through your morning duties. Have polenta with sausage and eggs and have us to thank!

5. Chili and vegetables

chili and vegetables

Do you have what it takes to make your evening memorable? Have your polenta with chili and some vegetables sparingly placed on it.

Are vegetables good for polenta? Vegetables make your meal very nutritious. Although they have this mild and greenish taste, their nutritional value is irreplaceable.

6. Cheesy baked butternut squash polenta

cheesy baked butternut squash polenta

It is so good to have baked butternut with creamy polenta. It gives this feeling of having some creamy meal, yet alongside a crunchy cheese that easily melts as you relish the meal.

Any cheese can easily replace this in case; you do not have Fontana cheese to make up for this yummy meal.

7. Polenta with crispy peas and roasted shrimp

polenta with crispy peas and roasted shrimp

We all know how peas are great side dishes, but having them with roasted shrimp is extra that you need to try out now!

Now, imagine having this gracious bowl of a meal with polenta. Paradise let loose on a plate, right. And just for a day? Well, hopefully, you revisit this recipe.

8. Lamb shoulder with beans

lamb shoulder with beans

Finally, you now have some meat to serve with polenta! Ever tried some creamy recipe with meat? Well, the meat does not have to be in chunks.

Just slice them, either have them grilled or fried. Now beans are a plus for you. You know, have a super nutritious combination to try out with your polenta.

9. Roasted mushrooms and thyme

roasted mushrooms and thyme

If you have left your polenta to solidify, now is the perfect time to toss it in the oven. When it’s cooked, add some roasted mushrooms to it and then some thyme.

This might be the perfect recipe for lunch if you do not want to go through the hassle.

10. Navy bean salad

navy bean salad

Navy beans are known for their creamy texture when they are cooked. You would only need to cook them until you achieve a soft consistency.

Do not add salt immediately when it is cooking, otherwise, you harden it. Add salt when the bean is becoming soft.

You can spice up the salad with seasonings. Enjoy your polenta!

11. Green beans with garlic and almond

green beans with garlic and almond

Green beans are another great ingredient to serve with polenta. You can add some garlic to it to enhance the taste. Almond does the perfect job of offering nutty flavor and adding some crunchy texture.

12. Zucchini ribbon

zucchini ribbon

Zucchini is one of many vegetables that would reward your effort when you use them to cook. Now serving them with polenta is going to be a game-changer in the kitchen.

These are our best recommendations if you are looking forward to having the best of your time enjoying polenta


Remember, you do not have to travel to Italy to enjoy the craft Italian cuisines make using polenta and other meals they serve with.

Here in this guide, we provided the best meals you can serve with polenta, if you want to reap all the benefits, stick to our guide.

Whatever your choice is, ensure you make the recipe to suit your needs. Now that you know what to serve with polenta, have a delightful time making the right pick.