Polenta Cakes

polenta cakes on a wooden tray topped with cheese and tomato bacon jam

5 from 8 reviews

Polenta cakes with tomato bacon jam are great for a main entree, side dish, or even appetizer. Creamy polenta is flavored with parmesan, then pan fried in olive oil till slightly crispy on the outside. This dish is then topped off with a sweet and salty tomato bacon jam and extra parmesan cheese!



Polenta Cakes

  • 5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup ground yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup grated or shredded parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil

Tomato Bacon Jam

  • 12 ounces bacon
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 20 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


Polenta Cakes

  1. Heat broth in a large pot over medium-high heat on the stovetop and grease a 9x13 inch baking dish with baking spray or olive oil.
  2. When the broth starts to boil, slowly pour in the cornmeal while whisking continuously until it is completely combined.
  3. Bring the mixture back to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Continue to cook while whisking until the mixture thickens, approximately 3-5 minutes. 
  4. Remove the pot off of the heat and stir in the parmesan cheese, pepper, and salt.
  5. Allow the mixture to cool for 10 minutes and then pour it into the prepared baking dish. Lay a piece of plastic wrap directly on the polenta and place it in the refrigerator to chill for a minimum of 1 hour (tomato bacon jam can be made during this time).
  6. When the polenta is completely chilled, using a cookie cutter, glass, or knife, cut into smaller circles or squares. 
  7. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat on the stovetop and add olive oil. Working with 2-3 pieces at a time, cook polenta cakes in the pan for 2-3 minutes on each side till browned and lightly crispy.
  8. Serve polenta cakes with extra parmesan cheese and tomato bacon jam.

Tomato Bacon Jam

  1. Dice bacon and onions into small pieces and mince garlic. 
  2. Heat a medium pot or skillet over medium heat on the stovetop and add bacon and onions. Cook onions and bacon, while stirring frequently until the onions are softened and bacon starts to become crispy, approximately 15 minutes.
  3. Add in remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Lower the heat and allow the mixture to cook for about 45 minutes until reduced and thickened. While the mixture is cooking, stir it occasionally and mash the tomatoes down as they softened to help them combine with the other ingredients. 
  4. Serve jam on top of polenta cakes!


Keywords: polenta, parmesan, Italian, tomato, bacon