Baked Stuffed Polenta (Polenta Al Forno)

"This recipe from the *Italian Cookbook 2* of the Australian Womens Weekly cookbook series admittedly requires extra work, but makes up for it w/a company-worthy outcome that is visually stunning as a main-dish when served w/an Italian salad + garlic bread. The polenta is stuffed w/salami, sun-dried tomatoes, black olives & cheese. It has 2 cooking steps, but all the prep is done in advance of the final cooking step in the oven. I have not made this recipe yet, but did simplify the recipe & prep. I am hopeful that someone among you will be open to an adventure & give it a try. Pls see my notes Re pan sizes + a 2nd stuffing option at the end of the prep. (This recipe serves 6 as a main-dish or 8 generously as a side-dish. Time does not include chilling the polenta under refrigeration for several hrs or overnite). *Enjoy* !"
photo by Jubes photo by Jubes
photo by Jubes
photo by Jubes photo by Jubes
photo by Jubes photo by Jubes
Ready In:
1hr 20mins
6 Main-Dish Servings




  • In a lrg saucepan, bring chicken stock to a boil & gradually whisk in the polenta. Reduce heat to simmer & cook 15 min or till very thick (while continuing to stir).
  • Remove pan from heat & stir in butter, 1st measure of Parmesan cheese + parsley.
  • Allow to cool slightly. Then press polenta mixture into an oiled 8 x 12-in lamington pan (See notes). Cool to rm temp & refrigerate several hrs (or overnite) till firm.
  • Turn polenta out of pan, slice horizontally in half, return bottom half to pan & set top half aside.
  • Evenly distribute sliced salami over the half in the pan, overlapping as necessary. Then evenly distribute the chopped tomatoes & black olives over the salami slices.
  • Combine Mozzarella cheese, 2nd measure of Parmesan cheese & fresh basil. Spread half of this mixture over the layered salami, tomatoes & black olives.
  • Gentle place top half of polenta over the layered ingredients & sprinkle it w/the 2nd half of the cheese & basil mixture.
  • Bake in a hot oven (400°F) about 30 min or till heated thru. The top should be lightly browned & crisp, so place under broiler as needed. Allow to cool slightly & serve immediately.
  • NOTES RE PAN SIZE: I do not have a lamington pan or a pan 8 x 12-in size. If made in one, the dish would be cut into 6 4x4-in square servings. I do have a 10-in rd glass baking dish that would be equal in size to the pan suggested. In this event, the dish would be cut in 6 wedge-shaped servings.
  • 2nd STUFFING OPTION: As an 2nd option if you prefer, use thinly sliced prosciutto as a sub for the salami & keep all else the same.

Questions & Replies

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  1. WOW. This was amazing. The sharp and salty flavor of the salami tasted so good with the mildness of the polenta. It's possible to cook this dish all at once without the extra step of cooling and cutting. Just make two pots of polenta at once, half size each. Spread one batch in the baking pan and sprinkle the filling over it (the polenta should be hard enough that the filling will stay on top) Then spread the rest of the polenta on top. Thank you so much for a great recipe, I will make it again for sure!
  2. Great recipe for an easy meal. Just do the polenta ahead of time. Used fresh cherub tomatoes but was so tasty.
  3. Just wonderful. I probably should have read the nutritional information before I scarfed down so much, but it was delicious. Let me just say that I did not make polenta from scratch, but rather, looked for a recipe in which I could use up a tube of pre-packaged polenta. I sliced it up thinly, used maybe half the salami, and assembled the rest as directed (though I sprinkled on dried basil, since I didn't have fresh basil). Very simple and flavorful.
  4. I prepared this last night for dinner and it is wonderful. I did lightly saute one finely chopped onion and two crushed garlic cloves befroe adding the chicken stock to make the polenta and I did the Polenta in two batches to eliminate the wait time and it was truly excelent. I would serve this dish to company anytime. Thank you twissis, this is a keeper.
  5. *Reviewed for Australian NZ Forum Recipe Swap Nov 08* Thanks for a delicious polenta recipe. Being gluten-free this made a wonderful meal with a simple salad on the side. I used gluten-free chicken stock. Loved it! Made as stated...... although next time will add extra olives, sun-dried tomatoes and basil -although this is just to suit personal taste. I wouldn't leave out any of the cheese as this added to the wonderful flavour. I have always pan-cooked my polenta - baking was a nice easy change. This made a very large dish. I think more like 8 to 10 serves as it is extrememly filling. Thanks twissis we really enjoyed this recipe. Posting some not so great photos for you too. This can easily be made vegetarian by leaving out the salami- although then I would add some salt and pepper to taste


I am an American transplanted from Dallas to Iceland by marriage to a native Icelander & I retired to become his "Kitchen Queen". We love to entertain our family & friends, so I have an eclectic collection of recipes. I especially love simple, easy-fix, flexible & make-ahead recipes - BUT also like challenging myself on occasion. I enjoy baking & food photography. I am devoted to the "More is Always Better Principle" & apply it liberally to bacon, butter & garlic. I can have ingredient issues due to availability here in Iceland & my DH is medically diet-restricted from some ingredients as well. Either situation might require me to modify a recipe, but I will do my best to be true to your recipes & fair/honest in my reviews. Mary Pat (aka twissis)
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