Grilled Polenta with Marinara, Parmesan, and Basil

[ Photographs: Joshua Bousel ]

About the author: Joshua Bousel brings you new, tasty condiment each Wednesday and a recipe for weekend grilling every Friday. He also writes about grilling and barbecue on his blog The Meatwave whenever he can be pulled away from his grill.

Every recipe we publish is tested, tasted, and Serious Eats-approved by our staff. Never miss a recipe again by following @SeriousRecipes on Twitter!

Grilled Polenta with Marinara, Parmesan, and Basil

About This Recipe

Yield:serves 4 as a main course or 8 as a side dish
Active time:1 hour
Total time:4 hours
Special equipment:Grill
This recipe appears in: Serious Entertaining: An Italian Picnic Grilling: Polenta with Marinara, Parmesan, and Basil


  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan, divided
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 1/4 cup finely sliced fresh basil leaves
  • Type of fire: Direct
  • Grill heat: medium-high


  1. 1

    Bring chicken stock to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Slowly whisk in cornmeal. Reduce heat to low and simmer until mixture has thickened, 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1/2 cup of Parmesan and butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  2. 2

    Pour polenta into a 10-inch round cake pan and let cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator until completely chilled and firm, 2 to 3 hours or up to overnight.

  3. 3

    Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over entire surface of coal grate. Alternatively, set all burners on a gas grill to medium high heat. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Remove polenta from pan and cut into 8 equal slices. Brush slices on both sides with olive oil and place on grill. Cook until polenta browns, about 3 minutes per side.

  4. 4

    Transfer polenta to a platter. Top each slice with a dollop of marinara sauce, basil chiffonade, and a sprinkling of Parmesan. Serve immediately while warm.


Add a rating with your comment:

Comments can take up to a minute to appear - please be patient!

Previewing your comment: