Cheesy polenta pizza that you can top with just about anything you like. A gluten-free, healthier pizza crust alternative.
Are you craving pizza but you don't want to eat all the calories? There is an alternative: polenta pizza. OK, it is not quite the same as a genuine pizza, but that doesn't mean it is not good, quite the contrary, it is delicious. Instead of the bready crust, you will have a nice, tender, and cheesy base for your favorite pizza topping.
Ingredients for the crust
- Medium (15 minutes cooking time) or coarse cornmeal (40-50 minutes cooking time).
- Water, salt, butter, and grated cheese (Cheddar, Gouda, or any other melting cheese you like).
Sauce: Tomato or marinara sauce mixed with a little dried oregano.
And you can really let your fantasy and your appetite create your pizza topping.
- I used cabanossi sausages, onions, and feta cheese.
- You can substitute the cabanossi with salami, ham, or any kind of sausage you like (I imagine something spicy would be best, chorizo for instance), you could add some anchovies instead, you could make it only with vegetables and cheese, polenta pizza margarita with tomatoes and mozzarella... there are really so many possibilities!
- And if you only have frozen sausages, you can use those. Learn How to Cook Frozen Sausages!
And just in case you might want that: here are some topping alternatives for the pizza:
- ham + fried mushrooms + grated cheese
- salami + onions + red bell peppers + grated cheese
- anchovies + onions + red bell peppers + grated cheese
- tomatoes + mozzarella + basil + grated cheese
- fried mushrooms + gorgonzola
- canned artichokes + red bell peppers + grated cheese
- chorizo + olives + red bell peppers + grated cheese
- broccoli + onions + fried mushrooms + grated cheese
- cooked red beets + mozzarella + grated cheese
- bacon + onions + grated cheese
- Pizza base: Make a basic polenta. Stir in the cheese. Spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Top the polenta pizza base with anything you like and let get cool.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes until the cheese starts to get golden.
Definitely! This recipe is a great way of using leftover polenta as well.
If the leftovers are already set, slice and arrange the slices in a smaller baking dish.
Add the toppings and bake.
This quantity makes a whole tray of polenta pizza, which is enough to feed at least 6 people.
However, it is no problem to halve the recipe, if you want to make less.
And if you still have leftovers, you can reheat those the next day.
Or just eat them cold, I like them cold as well.
More polenta ideas
Polenta Pizza (with Various Toppings)
- 1 ⅔ cup coarse or medium cornmeal 250 g, Note 1
- 4 ½ cups water 1 liter
- 1 ¼ teaspoons fine salt
- 1 cup grated cheese Gouda, cheddar, Parmesan, 125 g
- 8-10 tablespoons tomato/ marinara sauce
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 red onion
- 1 red bell pepper
- 5.5 oz spicy sausage chorizo, cabanossi, etc, 150 g
- 3-4 small tomatoes
- 12 black olives
- 4.5 oz feta cheese 125 g
- fine sea salt and pepper
- Polenta: Start by making a basic polenta. Pour the water into a large pot. Heat the water but don't let it come to a boil (it helps against the formation of lumps). Add the salt. Slowly add the cornmeal while stirring or whisking (with an egg beater, not a mixer) all the time (Note 2).
- Simmer: When all the cornmeal is incorporated, continue stirring or whisking shortly to ensure that there are no lumps. Turn the heat down, place a lid on top but leave a crack open. Stir every 2-3 minutes or so, but there is no need to stir all the time.
- Cooking time: Read the cooking instructions on the polenta packet to know how long the cornmeal needs to be cooked. For example, I cook the polenta made with coarse cornmeal for 40 to 50 minutes and the polenta made with medium cornmeal for about 15 minutes.
- Add cheese: When the polenta is cooked, stir in the freshly grated cheese of choice.
- Let cool: Line a baking tray with baking paper and pour the polenta on the tray. Spread it evenly with a spoon and let it get cold.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius).
- Top pizza: Mix the tomato sauce with dried oregano and spread it over the polenta. Halve and slice the red onion, cut the tomatoes into small wedges and thinly slice the pepper and the sausage. Spread everything on the pizza and add the olives and the crumbled feta cheese.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes in the hot oven until the cheese on top starts to get golden. Serve immediately with a green salad and Greek yogurt or sour cream dollop.
- Read the cooking instructions on the polenta packet to know how long the cornmeal needs to be cooked. For example, I cook the polenta made with coarse cornmeal for 40 to 50 minutes and the polenta made with medium cornmeal for about 15 minutes.
- A word of caution - be careful when the polenta starts to bubble; if the bubbles are too big, you might get burned – so turn the heat down if that happens.
Angie@Angie's Recipes says
A very creative pizza crust, Adina.
I never made a polenta pizza before. I used cornmeal (or semolina) when I made the bread base. It's true that with polenta the base has a lot less calories, I love this idea. I'm going to try it. x
Chris Scheuer says
What a great idea! Sounds delish! I never tire of pizza and this is a fun twist.
What a clever idea for people who cannot eat gluten! I loooove pizza crust, but it's not easy to bake at home... I never obtain such yummy results as in an Italian pizzeria, so maybe polenta is the solution...
(I had no idea there is a sausage called cabanossi in Romania; there is a very popular Polish thin sausage called "kabanosy"; I've always loved it.... I wonder if they have similar origines or/and taste!).
We have the cabanossi (carnati cabanos) in Romania as well, they were a bit thinner than the ones I buy in Germany but otherwise pretty similar. The polenta pizza is not crunchy like real pizza, but soft, it is something different, yet totally delicious.
what size bakung tray, please? I must try this!
Hi Janice. The size of the tray doesn't matter as you will not spread the polenta all over it, it is not enough to fill a tray. Spread it about finger-thick in the middle on the tray and give it a nice oval form if you like.
Tasty recipe. I used a finer grind cornmeal, rather then the coarse polenta , which came out at little thicker , so I had to add a little more water than the recipe called for. I also added a little shredded cheddar cheese to it.
Instead of tomatoes, I spread a sauce I made with goat cheese and cream. Topped the pizza with cubed roasted butternut squash, red bell peppers, cooked chicken apple sausage and added more goat cheese and mozzarella. Loved it! Very versatile recipe. Thanks
I love the additions, Mary, especially the butternut squash. I will definitely try that out this winter.