Spicy Polenta Cakes

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr 50 min
  • Active: 50 min
  • Yield: 8 servings
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1 cup milk

2 teaspoons kosher salt 

1 1/2 cups quick-cooking polenta, medium- or coarse-grain 

1 cup crumbled queso blanco cheese 

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan 

2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

2 jalapenos, seeded and diced 

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons honey, for serving 

1 lime, halved


  1. Combine the milk, salt and 2 cups water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat and slowly whisk in the polenta. Cook, whisking constantly, until the polenta tightens and there are no lumps, about 4 minutes. Stir in the queso blanco, butter, cilantro, pepper and jalapeno. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
  2. Generously butter a 9-by-9-inch baking pan. Pour the polenta into the pan and set aside to cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours, until firm.
  3. Preheat a griddle pan over medium heat. Invert the polenta onto a clean cutting board and slice it into nine 3-inch squares. Brush the squares on both sides with the olive oil, then griddle them until golden brown and warmed through, about 3 minutes per side. While warm, drizzle the polenta cakes with the honey and squeeze lime juice over the top. Serve.
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