Crispy Grilled Polenta Recipe

crispy grilled polenta recipe on a plate

The Spruce/Diana Chistruga

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Setting Time: 6 hrs
Total: 6 hrs 25 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
109 Calories
9g Fat
5g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 109
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 12%
Saturated Fat 2g 12%
Cholesterol 7mg 2%
Sodium 330mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 2%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 24mg 2%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 23mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Polenta is a creamy cornmeal porridge, one of those comfort foods that will warm you up on a cool, dreary day. Polenta is super versatile, so much so that you can finish it on the grill to bump it up a notch and give it a wonderfully crispy exterior while the interior remains creamy and buttery. It is this contrast that makes it so heavenly.

Making grilled polenta is easy, too. You make a batch of creamy polenta and let it set in a loaf pan, then slice it, and grill the slices.

Also, you can grill your polenta in a cast-iron grill pan or on a gas grill, either way, you can get characteristic grill marks. You can also grill it on an ordinary cast-iron skillet, which will produce a uniform golden brown crust on the polenta slices (although, no grill marks).

If you have leftover polenta, then grilling it is a good way to go. Refrigerate it within a few hours of cooking and it should keep for five to seven days.

Crispy Grilled Polenta/Tester Image

"Lightly crispy outside and moist inside, this grilled polenta is deliciously addictive. I made the polenta with chicken stock, which gave it a savory flavor. It goes great with grilled sausages and peppers." —Danielle Centoni

A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 4 cups cooked polenta

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • flaky salt and freshly ground black pepper, to garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients to make crispy grilled polenta

    The Spruce/Diana Chistruga

  2. Pour warm polenta into a glass loaf pan. Smooth the top, cover and refrigerate until set, a few hours or up to overnight.

    polenta in a glass container

    The Spruce/Diana Chistruga

  3. Turn the polenta onto a cutting board. It should be completely molded into the shape of your loaf pan. Cut into 1/2-inch slices. Brush each slice on both sides with olive oil.

    sliced polenta on a cutting board

    The Spruce/Diana Chistruga

  4. Pre heat a medium (400°F to 475°F) gas or charcoal grill fire. Place each slice diagonally across the grill and let it cook until dark-brown grill marks appear, about 10 minutes. Do not move the polenta around or you will disturb the browning process.

    sliced polenta cooking in a grill pan

    The Spruce/Diana Chistruga

  5. Flip and grill the other side until grill marks appear, about another 10 minutes. Serve hot with a sprinkle of flaky salt and freshly ground black pepper, if desired.

    crispy grilled polenta in a grill pan

    The Spruce/Diana Chistruga

Recipe Variations

  • Prepare it on a grill pan or skillet: If you plan to use a grill pan or skillet, lightly oil your pan, press the polenta into the pan with a spatula, and bring it up to heat until it is quite hot. As the polenta softens, you can press it down further. The more of it that is in contact with the surface of the pan, the more crispy and golden-brown it will become. Do not overcrowd the pan. Work in batches if necessary.
  • Sheet pan method: Instead of shaping your polenta in a loaf pan, you could spread your cooked polenta onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper about 1/2 inch in thickness. Once it is cooled, cut it, and grill it. The sheet pan method is a bit quicker since it takes less time to cool when it is spread out. And once spread it out, you can cut your polenta into rounds, triangles, or whatever shape you prefer.