Grilled Polenta With Marinara, Parmesan, and Basil Recipe

Joshua Bousel

Rich and flavorful polenta is grilled then topped with marinara, basil, and parmesan to give this side dish the hearty feeling of a whole, satisfying meal.

Recipe Facts

Active: 60 mins
Total: 4 hrs
Serves: 4 servings

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  • 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

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