Baked Polenta With Crispy Leeks and Blue Cheese Recipe (2024)



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A baking dish and a stovetop pot? Le Creuset dutch ovens (or other enameled cast iron pots, like the knockoff TJ Maxx ones) are the foolproof to cook polenta, stovetop or oven. Keeps the heat even, goes from stovetop to oven without dirtying two separate vessels, looks good set right onto the table, and cleans up easily if it does get a little burnt or crunchy.

Janet H.

By saying the words “would” and “ will be “, are you making a guess that the recipie “ will be” too loose, or did you actually make it and it turned out too loose? Not being sarcastic, it just seems from your wording that you haven’t actually made it yet

Stew Hamilton

When I make polenta on the stovetop, there is always a rather substantial crust of grits that cleave to the side of the dutch oven. I take it, fill it with water, and let it sit overnight. The next day, the remaining polenta peels easily from the side of the pan. I take the strips of polenta that are like thick paper, dry them in paper towel and then toast them. Little butter and salt...Yum!


From others' notes: Terrific! I used one cup milk and 3 cups of water instead of broth. The polenta was perfect./ We added some minced garlic to the leeks./Le Creuset dutch ovens (or other enameled cast iron pots, like the knockoff TJ Maxx ones) are the foolproof way to cook polenta, stovetop or oven. Keeps the heat even, goes from stovetop to oven


If I stir the polenta into boiling water, it always comes out lumpy. Adding the polenta to cold water and heating it while stirring produces a nice, smooth result. Making a slurry of polenta and cold water and adding that to boiling water works, too. So why do recipes always say to add the dry polenta to boiling water?

Sara, Nashville

Made this last night and it was a big hit. One suggestion: when cooking the leeks, add the salt after they are crispy. If you add it while they are cooking, they will sweat and slow the browning.

Sheila Mooney

Good! Halved the recipe, baked in a 15cm sq glass dish. Used Delta Grind coarse grits, home made veg broth, very assertive Gorgonzola. Only tricky part? Watch the salt at each step. It's cumulative.

Lower carbs

Try putting your polenta in a slow cooker. It is the best tasting and the creamiest.


I’d love to try this, but I’m allergic to blue cheeses. Thoughts on good substitutes? Maybe a funky chèvre?

Susan Weiss

If you substitute half of the vegetable stock for skim milk, the polenta will be richer and creamier. YOu can also add parmigiano or pecorino.


Looks delicious. I always bake my Golden Pheasant polenta following the instructions on the bag for “easy polenta.” I use a small enameled dutch oven. Perfect every time. Also try Russ Parsons’ LA Times polenta gratin with mushrooms and fontina. So good!


@pb Melissa writes in the article that feta, goat cheese and even cheddar can substitute


The polenta never set - I followed the recipe using 1 quart stock and 1 cup polenta. What did I do wrong?


I would reduce the liquid by at least 1/2 cup. This will be too loose. I love the part where you top it with crispy leek. I would suggest for this part to substitute combo of chopped shallot, regular onion and maybe a little week chopped leek as the leek could end up "stringy".


I plan to make this dish but I am curious about the leeks: white part only or white and green parts?


I substituted feta for the gorgonzola because it is what I had on hand and I was not disappointed! Does not make for great leftovers, but this one always gets eaten up so not a problem


I followed the recipe exactly. I used Bob’s red mill polenta. It turned out perfectly! Rave reviews!


Wonderful. I used the white and yellow parts of 3 leeks, adding the zest and flesh of an orange and a small handful of sultanas to the sauté. A splash of sherry vinegar at the end brightens the vegetables and plays well with the richness of the Gorgonzola.


I live and cook dinners at a Buddhist Monastery in Upstate NY now that I can work remote from anywhere. I managed to configure this recipe to use instant polenta. It is so good, they may never let me leave.

Lenny L.

This was delicious! However, the cup of polenta is not enough for 6 servings. I scraped as much off my dutch oven after baking it and had just enough to feed my husband, toddler, and myself. I would double the polenta if you're looking to feed more than 2 adults.


Wow, so pleased with how this came out! I used fine cornmeal we had in the pantry after reading one of Melissa's articles, and feel so proud of this polenta. My husband requested "cheese-free" so instead added a couple of dollops of EVOO in place of the cheese, and mixed in sauteed green onions and about 1/4 cup chopped parsley. Outstanding. I used chicken stock, too, to help give it more flavor. Followed cooking instructions exactly, a little loose out of the oven but firmed up well once cool.


I added chopped hazelnuts on top for crunch and a bunch of spinach in the polenta for extra veg. Creamy and comforting on a rainy day

Tamar M

These are just... the best, fanciest, and most expensive cheese grits I have ever made. 10/10, highly recommend.


rich, delicious and comforting


The night I made this, it was just ok. But every day it sits in the fridge it gets better! Five star leftovers. I baked the polenta closer to an hour, mostly used olive oil instead of butter. Would up blue cheese next time. Or maybe just not eat so much while I’m cooking.


I liked, Jim didn’t.

Annie G

I just made this and it did not turn out well. First of all I was planning on serving this as a main course with salad but it made enough for a small side dish at most for a family of four. The leeks did not come out very crispy and unfortunately I followed recommendations to cook everything in a dutch oven and half of it suck to the side and bottom of the pan. The pan was buttered when cooking the polenta. I’m an experienced cook but this was a major disappointment. Takeout tonight…


Made exactly as written and it was perfect. Would definitely make again


I really loved the flavor of this. I used one of my last quarts of Thanksgiving turkey stock and added a clove of minced garlic to the leeks at the end of cooking. I didn't get to crispy leeks though...likely should have sauteed them a bit longer. I used 1 1/3 cups of "genuine" polenta (from my favorite Italian grocer) based on reviews. I wish I had used a cup. My result was grainy and dense. Another Melissa Clark hit!

Gina Knepp

Yummers. Easy and quick. Totally recommend and it's easy to modify seasonings. Give it a try!

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Baked Polenta With Crispy Leeks and Blue Cheese Recipe (2024)


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