Polenta Bar

What could be better than hosting a Polenta Bar party for Christmas or New Years?!

This year for Christmas my parents and sister are coming to visit us in LA and I couldn’t be more excited! And after brainstorming for WEEKS on what the heck I’d make for Christmas dinner I’ve finally decided on this Polenta Bar. It’s the perfect way to entertain as it’s super interactive and people can mix and match toppings as they please.

Hosting a Polenta Bar is the perfect way to entertain during the fall and winter months! It's the perfect interactive menu that anyone would love.

Which works out perfectly for our little family as my mom is a vegetarian, my dad and husband are meat eaters, and I’ll eat basically anything. So everyone wins!!

For our spread we’re doing a bolognese, basil vinaigrette, sautéed onions, peppers and sausage, wild mushrooms and a caprese type salad (because tomatoes are still in season here in LA and I love it!) You can add in different toppings as well! Some leftover short ribs would be an excellent addition – as would other roasted vegetables! Basically you can’t go wrong!

Polenta Bar

Polenta Bar


    For the Polenta
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 cups polenta
  • sea salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • For the Toppings:
  • 1 recipe Chicken Bolognese
  • 1 recipe Basil Vinaigrette
  • Sautéed Sausage and Bell Peppers
  • 1 recipe Roasted Mushrooms
  • Chopped Cherry Tomatoes with Basil


  1. Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat.
  2. Slowly add the polenta, and whisk together with a metal whisk, and add 1 tsp salt. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the polenta is tender and full cooked, about 20 minutes.
  3. Add the milk, the butter, and the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese to the polenta and stir together over medium-low heat until just warmed through and soft enough to drop easily from a spoon. Cover to keep warm.
  4. To serve - spread the polenta onto a large serving board. Arrange the various toppings around the board and let people create their own polenta bowls!

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  1. Gaby,
    Polenta is one of my favorite foods and I’m always looking for new ideas! This is brilliant. Todah rabah (Thanks a lot).

    Kol Toov (all good things),

  2. Traditional Italian fun: Cover your table with butcher paper. Pour a big pot of polenta in the middle of the table to cool. Surround the polenta with bowls of toppings. when Polenta is cooled, let everyone carve themselves a square serving and, give everyone a fork. (plates are optional) – a great fun, different, casual way to feed your friends and entertain. Fun way to feed kids while sharing fun facts about Italian culture. Can dress up the event with shrimp/calamari toppings and martinis or more casual for kids with cheeses, marinara sauce, pepperoni, etc. Pandora provides the Italian tunes!

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