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Easy Baked Polenta Cups

Comforting and delicious, these Easy Baked Polenta Cups feature a thick layer of polenta mounded with rich cheese, chopped vegetables and diced meats. With endless topping choices, this customizable recipe makes a perfect dinner bar meal. 
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Keyword: dinner bar, polenta, single-serving
Servings: 6

Ingredients

Polenta

  • 3 cups water
  • 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove minced or pressed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Toppings

  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup crumbled flavorful cheese like goat or bleu
  • small or diced vegetables like cherry tomatoes, squash, corn, shallots, olives, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, etc.
  • chopped meats like prosciutto, salami, or cooked chicken, sausage, or bacon, etc.
  • fresh basil for garnish

Instructions

Polenta

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Brush six 8-ounce ramekins lightly with olive oil. Set aside.
  • Combine water, cornmeal, and salt in large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Whisk constantly until the mixture begins to boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, continuing to whisk until the polenta is very thick and pulls away from sides of pan, about 3 minutes. Off heat, mix in Parmesan cheese, basil, garlic, and olive oil.

Assembly and Baking

  • Transfer the cooked polenta to prepared ramekins with an ice cream scoop. Spread the mixture evenly to the edges of each cup with the back of a lightly-oiled spoon.
  • Top the polenta with two tablespoons of the mozzarella cheese. Add a tablespoon of goat or bleu cheese. Layer vegetables and meat over the cheese. Sprinkle an additional tablespoon cheese (any kind, or a combination) over the top.
  • Bake the prepared cups until the cheese is melted and bubbling, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Let the cups cool on a rack for about 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh basil, if desired.