Try a polenta recipe for a quick, easy and gluten free alternative to toast. Serve it for any meal of the day and it goes especially well with Mexican and Italian cuisines.
What is Polenta?
Polenta is the name of an Italian dish made from cornmeal. Although Italian, it’s now made its way into several different cuisines. I have seen it served frequently with Mexican food.
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For this recipe, I’ve used Colavita Instant Polenta Cornmeal for this recipe. When something is labeled Polenta, it usually means that the cornmeal is a fine grind, meant for polenta. You could use any cornmeal, but it wouldn’t have the same texture.
I’ve never used regular polenta cornmeal because the instant is so readily available and it literally only takes five minutes to cook. The instant cornmeal has been cooked already and dried so we can just “reconstitute” it. If we had to cook polenta cornmeal from scratch, it would probably take about 35-50 minutes. You can find more information on polenta at Chowhound.
Gluten Free Recipe for Polenta
Polenta cornmeal is naturally gluten free, made from dried corn. But, as with so many manufactured products, there’s always the chance of cross contamination. For those with a severe reaction to gluten, or with celiac, be sure to confirm on the label or with the company for gluten free status.
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How does this Polenta recipe hold its shape?
That’s the cool thing about polenta. As it cools, it hardens into the shape you made. In this instance, I wanted a rectangle shape so that I could slice off little pieces of toast. I used a one-pound loaf pan.
This little loaf pan turned out to be the perfect size for 12 slices of polenta toast.
Over in the top right of the photo below of my Milanesa Steak recipe, that’s a beautiful little ball of polenta that I made with a cookie scoop. It easily holds that shape and works great as a side to any Italian or Mexican meal or, really, any meal. Note that I used 4 cups of water in the recipe when I made this little scoop of polenta because I didn’t need to slice it later.
Preparing the Polenta Toast
Once you turn out the chilled polenta onto a cutting board, it will be an adorable rectangle that’s easily sliced. Doesn’t it look like a block of cheese here?
Once sliced, you place the slices on a baking sheet and bake in the oven until golden. Sprinkle with Bragg Sprinkle or your favorite Italian seasoning.
How do you serve Polenta Toast?
This is so tasty that it’s delicious by itself. It’s great for breakfast. Dip in a little bit of hot sauce. Yum! Serve it on the side with Italian food or Mexican food. Serve it instead of cornbread with beans or chili. It’s so versatile and easy to make.
Polenta Toast Gluten Free Recipe
- 1 Pound Loaf Pan
- Baking Sheet
- 3 1/2 cups Water
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1 cup Instant Polenta
- 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, shredded
- 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
- Cooking Spray, like Pam
- 1 teaspoon Salt, course
- 1 Italian Seasoning, like Bragg Sprinkle
- Add water and salt to medium sauce pan and place on medium heat on stove top. Heat water to boiling.
- Begin stirring or whisking the water briskly then slowly pour in the polenta while stirring.
- Reduce heat to low and continue stirring throughout for five minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese, onion powder and red pepper flakes.
- Spray loaf pan generously with cooking spray. Pour in prepared polenta and smooth the top.
- Allow to cool completely then cover and refrigerate for two hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Turn out loaf pan onto cutting board. Make 1/2" slices.
- Generously spray baking sheet with cooking spray. Place slices evenly on baking sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes, turn and bake another 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle with course salt and Italian Seasoning.
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