Crispy Cheddar and Onion Polenta

This is the perfect bed for BBQ to lay upon! Whether you use pulled pork, pulled chicken…smoked or slow cooked…or do something crazy like we did with a Turkey Giblet BBQ Bonanza, you can’t go wrong! Heck, you can even use pulled jackfruit for this if you prefer a vegetarian option.

For this side dish, we essentially blended Polenta with some BBQ-friendly flavours and then finished it off with a similar technique that you’d use to make Rösti or Crispy Saffron Rice Cakes. The end result was a disc that was nice and crispy on the outside and cheesy and fluffy on the inside. You’ll have fun with this one.

Time: 60 Minutes


  • Corn Meal (1 Part)
  • Water (4 Parts)
  • Onion
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Butter
  • Salt


  • Dice your onion.
  • Melt some butter in a large non-stick pot, and when it’s hot, add your onion. Sautee to caramelize.
  • When the onions are done, add your water, and once it starts to boil, turn the heat to low.
  • While stirring everything with a whisk, slowly add your corn meal. Whisk until it is absorbed. It doesn’t have to be completely smooth…that will occur over time as everything cooks.
  • While your polenta begins to thicken, cut your cheese into small pieces. Then, add it to your pot, and fold it into the polenta.
  • Sprinkle in a little salt, and let everything cook for about 35-40 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking and potential burning.
  • When everything becomes a blobby mass that holds together nicely, heat up a little butter in a cast iron skillet (make sure it coats the sides too!). We used a small (6 inch) skillet for this to make the perfect sized cake.
  • When the butter stops bubbling and starts to turn a little brown, scoop in your polenta mass, and press it down so that it is flat on top and fills your pan.
  • Cook for about 7-10 minutes like that. Then, carefully, flip the pan over your plate to get the crispy side of your polenta face up on your plate.
  • Let sit for a couple of minutes to firm back up.
  • Plate, devour, and enjoy!


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