A favorite cozy corn pizza crust
This Polenta Pizza Crust starts with sweet corn polenta cooked down with a swirl of rich cream, a generous sprinkle of salty Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, and a pat of butter until thick, creamy, and spreadable. The crust firms up in the fridge and then gets par-baked, topped with your favorite pizza toppings, and returned to the oven until the edges are lightly golden and the cheese is nice and melted.
This cozy corn pizza crust recipe is a favorite on cold fall and winter evenings when I don't feel like kneading pizza dough but still want to imbibe in some seriously delicious pizza! It's also naturally gluten-free.
What kind of polenta should I use for this recipe?
You'll want to start with dry, uncooked polenta, for this Polenta Pizza Crust recipe, not the precooked tubes you'll often find in grocery stores. However, many dry polentas also carry the label corn grits or coarse cornmeal, so what is the difference?
Polenta is made from yellow corn grains. It has a coarse somewhat flaky grind which helps give it a somewhat chewier texture when cooked than more finely corn grains. It is often made from flint corn, that offers more texture than softer dent corn thanks to it's hard, starchy endosperm.
Grits are generally made from white soft dent corn grains, though you'll occasionally see them made from yellow or blue soft dent corn too. They generally have a medium grind and are made by removing the germ of the corn, which helps give the dish a smoother creamier texture when cooked.
Cornmeal is also made from soft dent corn and can easily be found in yellow, white, or blue grains. though the most common cornmeal is finely ground, it's easy to find medium-ground or coarse-ground cornmeal too. In fact, I use coarse ground cornmeal in this Brown Butter Buttermilk Skiller Cornbread. If you are unable to locate polenta for this recipe, you can use coarse ground cornmeal in a pinch, however, you'll have better results from polenta.
How should I top my polenta pizza crust?
Any way you prefer! I particularly love using a classic red sauce base for this corn pizza because the rich and savory acidity of tomatoes pairs so well with the sweet corn polenta. For the pizza I featured in this post, I topped it with mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, green bell pepper, and black olives. But feel free to use whatever toppings you prefer. If you're in need of some topping inspiration, all of my pizza recipes can be found here.
What tools do I need to make this recipe?
- A kitchen scale
- Liquid measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- A cheese grater or fine zester
- A medium saucepan
- A wooden spoon
- A silicone spatula
- A baker's half sheet -- OR -- a large cast-iron pan *see notes under recipe for this method
- Parchment paper
- A clean kitchen towel
- A chef's knife or pizza wheel
Are you looking to upgrade to your cooking tools or replenish your pantry? Check out my kitchen tools shop page and pantry staples shop page to find my must-have kitchen tools, pantry items, and other Whip & Wander favorites.
Looking for more pizza night inspiration?
Love this Polenta Pizza Crust recipe? All of my pizza recipes can be found here. Some of my other favorites are:
- Zucchini Pizza Crust
- Pizza Bianca (White Pizza)
- Pizza Quattro Stagioni
- Pumpkin Pizza with Gruyere and Crispy Sage
- Pear and Blue Cheese Pizza
- Eggs Benedict Pizza
This cozy Polenta Pizza Crust recipe is a favorite on cold fall and winter evenings when I don't feel like kneading pizza dough but still want to imbibe in some seriously delicious pizza! It's also naturally gluten-free.
- 150 g (about ¾ cup + 3 tbsp) dry polenta, (can use certified gluten-free if needed)
- 20 fl oz (about 2 ½ cups) whole milk
- 50 g Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- ¼ tsp Kosher salt
- Sauce and toppings, as desired
- Prep a baker's half sheet with parchment paper and reserve to the side.
- In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring milk to a boil briefly, ensuring that you stir regularly so as not to burn the milk.
- Once it reaches a boil, lower the heat and add the polenta and the salt. Stir to combine, then add the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and stir to combine. Continue to stir frequently until the mixture thickens and pulls away from the pan, then add the butter and stir until melted and combined. Remove from heat.
- Carefully pour the hot polenta out onto the lined baking sheet. Using a silicone spatula, spread the polenta out across the sheet in a circle, square, or oval shape as desired. As the polenta cools slightly, you can use your fingertips to help press the polenta into shape, if desired.
- Allow to cool to room temperature, then cover with a slightly damp kitchen towel and place in the fridge to continue to firm up for 45 minutes - 1 hour.
- A few minutes before you plan to bake, preheat your oven to 450 degrees F / 230 C.
- Par-bake the pizza for 15 minutes. Carefully remove from oven and top with your desired toppings. Return the pizza to the oven to continue baking for 10-15 minutes or until the crust is lightly golden and the toppings are cooked through. Serve warm.
Nutritional information on Whip & Wander is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site.
You can also bake this pizza in a large cast-iron pan. Cast iron does not do well in the fridge so after pouring into the pan, let it cool until firm on the counter for about 30-minutes prior to par-baking.
- Serving Size: ⅙th of the pizza crust (without toppings)
- Calories: 200
- Sugar: 5 g
- Sodium: 151 mg
- Fat: 8 g
- Saturated Fat: 5 g
- Carbohydrates: 25 g
- Fiber: 1 g
- Protein: 8 g
- Cholesterol: 24 mg
Keywords: polenta, parmigiano reggiano