Recipe: Polenta Crust Pizza

Recipe: Polenta Crust Pizza

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Sheela Prakash
Oct 19, 2017
(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Although I'll never give up my beloved pizza dough, this polenta crust pizza is a fun, wholesome way to serve pizza for dinner. The crust is full of fiber, thanks to it being whole-grain. (Bonus: It's also gluten-free!) But beyond all the small ways this polenta pizza can help you meet your goals, whatever they may be, the most important thing to note is that it's absolutely delicious.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

A Gluten-Free, Whole-Grain Way to Bring Pizza to the Table

I love a bowl of creamy polenta, preferably topped with a meaty ragu or a load of beans. But as much as I make the stuff, I find the bag in my pantry never seems to deplete. Perhaps it's because I live in a household of two, and my husband isn't as fond of it as I am. This cheesy polenta pizza is how I win on all fronts. Now there's a big dent in that bag in the pantry.

The crust does need some time to firm up in the fridge before adding the toppings; it can be prepared a couple of days ahead of time so it's ready for you when you need it.

While this is a bit of a debated issue in the world of pizza, trust me here — this pizza is definitely more of a knife-and-fork situation. The polenta forms a nice, firm crust, but it's never going to be as firm as that slice from the corner shop. It's different, but I argue that's what makes it extra special.

Oh, and don't hesitate to experiment with other toppings here. Caramelized onions, pepperoni, sautéed mushrooms, or roasted eggplant are just a few ideas to get you inspired. Now, go on your way and make some polenta pizza!

Polenta Crust Pizza

Serves 4 to 6

For the polenta:
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cups water
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1 cup polenta

For the pizza:
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese (about 2 cups)
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
Kosher salt
1/4 cup coarsely torn, loosely packed fresh basil leaves

Make the polenta: Brush a rimmed baking sheet with the oil and set aside.

Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk in the salt and polenta. Reduce the heat to low and whisk the polenta continuously until slightly thickened and no longer sticking to the bottom of the pan, 2 to 3 minutes. Cover and continue cooking, stirring and scraping the sides of the pan every 10 minutes, until the polenta is soft and creamy, 25 to 30 minutes total.

Pour and spread spread the polenta out onto the prepared baking sheet into a circle about 1/3-inch thick. Cover with plastic wrap and transfer the baking sheet to the refrigerator and chill until firm, at least 1 hour or overnight.

Make the pizza: Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 450°F.

Remove the baking sheet from the refrigerator. Drizzle 1/2 of the the oil onto the polenta crust. Bake until it begins to crisp around the edges, about 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and top with the mozzarella, garlic, tomatoes, Parmesan, and red pepper flakes, if using. Sprinkle lightly with salt and drizzle with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil.

Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbling, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven, let rest for 5 minutes, and top with fresh basil before cutting and serving.

Recipe Notes

  • Make ahead: The polenta can be cooked up to 4 days ahead, poured onto the baking sheet, and stored in the refrigerator.
  • Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
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