Fried Polenta

Total Time:
2 hr 20 min
5 min
2 hr
15 min

30 pieces

  • 3 cups Basic Polenta, recipe follows
  • 2 cups olive oil, for frying
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • Salt
  • 1 cup purchased marinara sauce

Lightly oil an 11 by 7-inch baking dish. Transfer the hot polenta to the prepared baking dish, spreading evenly to 3/4-inch thick. Refrigerate until cold and firm, about 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

Cut the polenta into 2 by 1-inch pieces. Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, fry the polenta pieces until golden brown on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. Using tongs, transfer the polenta pieces to paper towels and drain. Place the polenta pieces on a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while cooking the remaining batches.

Transfer the polenta pieces to a serving platter. Sprinkle the polenta with the Parmesan cheese and salt. Serve, passing the marinara sauce alongside.

Basic Polenta:

6 cups water

2 teaspoons salt

1 3/4 cups yellow cornmeal

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a heavy large saucepan. Add 2 teaspoons of salt. Gradually whisk in the cornmeal. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the mixture thickens and the cornmeal is tender, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat. Add the butter, and stir until melted.

Yield: 6 servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

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    52 Reviews
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    Pretty good, but maybe not worth the time to make.
    I followed the directions to a T and these fell apart and were mushy and oily. :( So disappointed as I'm a busy stay-at-home mom and these were fairly time-consuming to make. Will have to take the advice of some other commenters and dip them in flour first as I don't want to waste the whole pan of cornmeal I have!
    epic fail. i like to think that i know my way around the kitchen, however, this is not an easy dish to make. i looked online to see if i can purchase some and from $22 to $37 per pound, i wish i could make this recipe work. :(
    I used mainly the technique of this recipe more than the actual polenta recipe. I had left over polenta from dinner. My polenta was too wet and splattering badly soooo, I used an egg wash and dipped the polenta in flour. This sealed the polenta enough to fry. I used a cast-iron skillet and had no problems with sticking after dusting in flour.

    I will definetly try Giada's recipe. Also, like another reviewer mentioned, I don't find 2 cups of oil to be necessary. If the oil comes up half way on the polenta that is plenty.
    I made fresh roasted garlic bulbs, drizzled with olive oil. Mashed the garlic after removed from the skin in a bowl, with soften butter, fresh rosemary/white onion minced. This made a paste of which I melted in a skillet and fried slices of polenta till golden brown. OMG!!!!!!!!!
    This recipe is very good, however I fry mine in about 3Tbsp. of olive oil, not 2 cups. they come out beautiful crispy and do not fall apart. Also try topping it with broccoli rabe (steamed with garlic or hot endive. I could live on this.
    I used leftover polenta that I had already put some garlic powder in. It never firmed up enough, so I made them into patties and fried like potato pancakes. Served with BBQ ribs, oh my goodness!!
    ong this was my first polents recipe and i have a new favorite food thanx
    If you want more flavor, boil some pork, like ribs or a pork chop, and then instead of using water, use the broth from the pork. I always add salt to it before I refrigerate it. My family eats it fried with eggs over easy for breakfast. It's my favorite meal.
    I used the polenta recipe from Polenta and Chicken Tartlets. I wanted a creamier polenta. I am a huge "cornmeal mush" fan. Never made my own before. I never knew it was so easy. To think of how much I have spent on store bought which I thought was delicious, Never Again!

    Great recipe Giada!
    I made them for our ladies supper club. After my first try with a regular skillet where they fell apart, I switched to a nonstick and they stayed together a lot easier. The polenta itself was a little bland - I ended up sprinkling them with some garlic season salt after frying. If I make them again, I'm definitely dressing up the polenta before I cool it.
    The polenta lacked flavor and was time consuming to make. My husband took one bite and hated it. I ended up throwing the majority of it away. Very disappointing from Giada, who I normally love.
    These were alright. They're kind of a lot of work, and I thought they were missing something. So, I will be playing with the recipe. My six year old loved them, though, and it's not easy to get him to eat knew things.
    I am only 13 and I made these for my family that is visiting from out of state, and they LOVED them! I did one half with parmasean and the other half rolled in sugar and pumpkin spice and dipped in maple syrup. Everyone adored them. I got popped from the oil alot though! :)
    Thanks, Abbie
    This recipe is very versatile and easy.
    this was good. however it does make a ton. half batch would have been just fine. i made it with chicken parmesan and it was a great side.
    tastes good kind of dry
    My Mother always made fried polenta when I was a child. She coated it with dry polenta so it wouldn't stick to the pan and fall apart. But, we ate it with maple syrup accompanied with sauage links. Try it! Wasn't until we moved to California that I had it served with marinara sauce!
    Linda Kenwood, CA
    Giada thinks that fried polenta is better than french fries, and I have to disagree. I didn't enjoy the texture, and the flavor was a bit bland. I did enjoy her homemade marinara sauce, though!
    Although I am not a big fan of Polenta, my inlaws loved this, I did have to lightly bread the polenta with bread crumbs before frying I found it kept their shape much better and made it a little crispier!
    This was pretty easy to make and it was very good.
    I have made this recipe twice-the first time the "full size" recipe, the second I halved. I found this recipe to be easy and loved the texture and flavor. Today I made the halved recipe to use as dipping sticks for a soup I made. Lovely!
    I actually had half a "tube" of prepared polenta left over from another meal and sliced it up and fried it. It was fast, easy and good. The salt and parmesan area must and I think it would be good with fresh basil or other herbs sprinkled on them too.
    polenta is yummy all on it's own , but when you fry it and add the parm-regg and the marinara for dipping it has become something i crave , filling without being heavy it's perfect for little ones too. By far my most favorite comfort food.
    This recipe is very simple and yields a tasty snack.
    I think this is a good recipe. However it wasn't really working for me in the beginning, so what I did is that I put some flour on the polenta sticks before frying them so that they golden better on the outside and stay soft in the inside. It worked!
    This polenta is cripsy with the inside still soft and not greasy. It is tasty and can be eaten plain or with sauce. I did add a little salt after frying.
    Ours did not make it to the sauce.
    Followed her directions to a T, but the squares wouldn't hold together at all. Sadly, ended up throwing away the whole thing because it all ended in a heap of hot, oily polenta. Perhaps I did something wrong?
    I made this my family loved it they asked for it over & over again
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