Homemade polenta is super easy and cheap to make at home. When you add some spices and top with marinara sauce, it tastes a lot like homemade pizza. Pizza-style polenta recipe

For some crazy reason, I had never made homemade polenta before. That’s definitely going to change, now that I know how cheap and easy it is to make at home.

I call this dish “pizza-style polenta” because it has a lot of pizza-esque qualities:

  • There’s Parmesan cheese in the polenta.
  • The dish is topped with marinara sauce.
  • You can add additional pizza toppings like sausage, mushrooms or green peppers, if desired.

And the best part? This recipe makes a huge batch. More than you’ll need if you’re feeding a family of four. If you have extra polenta – which you probably will – reheat leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

This easy recipe is a part of my third $10 Food Day series. If you’re sticking to a $10 food budget, this recipe (and this series!) is for you. Here are the rest of the recipes:

The Cost

For polenta:

  • Corn grits (polenta) = $.99
  • Parmesan cheese = $.75
  • Butter = $.27

Cost of polenta: $2.01

For marinara sauce:

  • Can of crushed tomatoes = $.99
  • Olive oil = $.05
  • Spices = $.10

Cost of marinara sauce = $1.14

Total cost of recipe = $3.15

Pizza style polenta recipe

Does your family eat a lot of polenta? I would love to hear your recipe ideas, as polenta is kind of new to me. Please share your ideas below.

Here’s another polenta-based pizza recipe to try: Polenta pizza bites

Polenta pizza bites: Top your bite-sized pizzas with any number of toppings!


Pizza-style polenta recipe

Pizza-Style Polenta

Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

If desired, top the polenta with sausage, sauteed mushrooms or onions, or another pizza-appropriate topping.


For polenta

  • 6 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups corn grits (I used Bob's Red Mill brand)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Garlic powder, to taste


  • To make polenta: In a large saucepan, heat water and salt on high until boiling. Gradually add corn grits. Reduce heat to a simmer, stirring frequently. Cook for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until mixture becomes very thick. Remove from heat. Add butter and Parmesan cheese. Place polenta into a greased 9x9-inch round pan. Let set for 10 minutes. Invert pan onto a clean, flat surface to unmold. Cut polenta into individual pieces. Top with marinara sauce.
  • To make marinara sauce: Place tomatoes, olive oil, sugar, and garlic powder into a saucepan. Place on stove and turn heat to medium-high. Bring to a simmer and cook for a couple of minutes to allow flavors to meld. Serve warm marinara sauce over sliced polenta.

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