Baked Polenta and Reasons to Celebrate

There were several reasons for my hubby and I to celebrate this past weekend; first, I got a new job that I’m very excited about, one that could open a lot of new doors for me; second, my hubby got some really great news at work; third, yesterday was my blog’s 1-year anniversary (can’t believe how far my blog has come and so excited for what the future holds!) and; fourth, we got a new car!!  We’ve been talking about getting a new car for a while, but we finally bought one this past Saturday.  We are so excited to not only have a brand new car, but to have 2 cars.  It’s been quite challenging over the past year to share a car and try to coordinate our schedules.  Because we’ve got a lot to be happy about right now, we decided to celebrate Saturday night by going out to dinner at a great sushi place in Old Town Alexandria.  We both love sushi, and it’s one of those things that I don’t make at home (probably couldn’t if I tried!).

I also decided I’d prolong our celebration by making my hubby a special dinner on Sunday.  My hubby loves steak, so I made steak au pouvoir (stay tuned) and baked polenta with marinara sauce.  Polenta is so easy to make (it’s really just cornmeal) and so versatile since you can add whatever you want to it.  I like to add Parmesan cheese and fresh herbs to mine.  This time, I had some parsley on hand, so I added that.  I also wanted to take my polenta a step further by cutting shapes into it and then baking.  Since Valentine’s Day is coming up, I decided that using heart cookie cutters would be cute especially when dipped in the red marinara sauce.  Hope you guys enjoy this recipe!


  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tsp salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup marinara sauce, for dipping


  1. Bring the milk, water, and salt to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. With a whisk, slowly pour corn meal into liquid stirring constantly.
  2. Turn down heat to low and continue stirring until the polenta thickens, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat and stir in cheese and parsley.
  4. With a spatula, spread polenta out onto a baking sheet about 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  6. Line a clean baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.  Using a cookie cutter, cut out shapes in polenta and place onto parchment-lined baking sheet.
  7. Using your fingers or a brush, rub each piece with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.  After 10 minutes of baking, flip pieces over.
  9. Meanwhile, heat marinara sauce in a small saucepan.  Dip polenta pieces into marinara sauce and enjoy.


Filed under Baked Goods, Side Dishes

22 responses to “Baked Polenta and Reasons to Celebrate

  1. Conratulations on your one year anniversary! What a splendid dish to make in celebration for you and your husband’s endeavors… I love how quickly the dish comes together – the colors and flavors. The heart shapes are lovely!

  2. This sounds great! Yum!

  3. Congrats on your new job & car, what a great week!! Cute looking polenta, I’m going to have to buy some heart shaped cutters for Valentines day now, a 3 course heart shaped meal sounds like fun!!

  4. Tes

    Wow that looks so lovely! It sounds like a perfect bite for Valentine day’s breakfast 🙂

  5. Those heart shaped polentas are SO cute!! love!

  6. Aww that is really sweet. Congrats on all the great news this week!!

  7. gingerbreadbagels

    Congrats on all of the wonderful news! 🙂
    I absolutely LOVE polenta and I just adore how you made them into heart shapes. So cute!

  8. I love that you made them heart shaped! I’ve been wanting to try polenta, but haven’t got around to it yet. These look great!

  9. Many many congratulations! Sounds like a big week! I think this sounds like the perfect side to go with my chicken tonight!

  10. So much to celebrate is right! Congratulations on the job 🙂 And everything else fantastic in your life! This is an awesome recipe.

  11. Congratulations!! These cute heart shaped polenta are the perfect way to celebrate! 🙂

  12. Just about to make polenta for the first time so thanks for the ideas , timing is everything. Congratulations on yr 1 and for sharing your good news . Hope everything works out well.

  13. Ang

    So many things to be excited about! A new car especially. The polenta hearts are adorable. And look pretty tasty too.

  14. I LOVE polenta!! Congrats on the job and the car…and the 1-year anniversary 🙂

  15. These look delicious and are SO adorable! Congrats on all the exciting things going on right now; that’s awesome!

  16. Just came across your blog and wanted to say 1) Congratulations! 2) your bloggie is adorable and 3) I’m also living in the DC area 🙂

  17. Baked polenta sounds really yummie…love the heart shape…so cute 🙂

  18. That heart made of polenta looks adorable! We love polenta but I’ve never tried it with marinara sauce…time to try!! Thank you!

  19. Congrats four times! And thanks for sharing this recipe, it sounds delish!

  20. Congrats on the wonderful news of your week!

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