Garlic Cheddar Polenta

Polenta can be a very quick, cheap, and easy to make side dish, and we confess that we should be making it more frequently than we do! That said, this version is significantly different than our Crispy Cheddar and Onion Polenta recipe because after making the “dough,” we gave it a more classic treatment, rolling it into a loaf to use later rather than crisping it up in a cast iron pan.

Once your loaf of polenta is made and has firmed, there’s a host of things you can do with it! You can slice it thinly and pan fry it to serve under a protein, dress it up as little Pizza Polenta Bites (recipe coming at some point), use it as a crostini base for your favourite toppings, roll it up as a stuffing for a roulade (which is what we did), or find any number of other ways to serve it!

For this particular polenta, we added garlic, cheddar cheese, black pepper, and parsley flakes to build out the flavour and add some creaminess. While it’s our favourite version, don’t be limited to those ingredients only! Play with your own flavour profiles to customize this to your liking!

Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients (makes 1-2 servings):

  • 1/3 Cup of Cornmeal
  • 1 Cup of Water
  • 1 Teaspoon of Olive Oil
  • Garlic Powder
  • Shredded or Diced Cheddar Cheese
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Dried Parsley
  • Not necessarily an ingredient, but you’ll need some parchment paper as well.


  • Bring your water and olive oil to a boil in a saucepan.
  • Carefully, add your cornmeal to the water while whisking it to combine and break up chunks that inevitably form.
  • Allow your water and cornmeal to thicken together, and then add in your garlic powder, cheese, salt, black pepper, and parsley.
  • Use a good nonstick spatula to stir everything together, and to move your polenta around your pan as it turns from a somewhat amorphous blob into something that begins to hold its shape.
  • Once your polenta stops running along the bottom of your pan, it’s ready for the next phase.
  • Lay a little parchment paper on your counter, and scoop your polenta into an oblong shape along the paper.
  • Roll the paper up around the polenta to help it hold its shape. Then, place that on a plate, and stash it in the fridge to cool.
  • Once your polenta has cooled, it’s ready for you to use in whatever dish you like! Enjoy!


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