Parmesan Polenta with Sweet Tomato Sauce

Polenta with sweet tomato sauce in a bowl.

5 from 1 review

This easy recipe for Parmesan polenta with tomato sauce is the perfect soft comfort food when you want a gentle supper after a long day.



For The Tomato Sauce

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 28 ounce cans peeled plum tomatoes, drained
  • 1 medium sweet onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1 celery stalk, sliced into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced into thin pieces
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Parmesan Polenta

  • 3 3/4 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/4 cups fine cornmeal
  • 2  tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1  cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish



  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the tomatoes, onion, celery, carrots, and parsley and stir.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover pan leaving the lid just a little bit off the pan and cook for an hour, stirring every now and then. If the mixture looks like it is getting too dry, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water.
  3. When the veggies are soft, spoon them into a food processor and pulse them a few times, enough to break them down into a slightly chunky sauce.
  4. Return them to the pot with a tablespoon of butter, turn the heat up to medium and simmer for a few minutes. Taste it and add salt as needed.


  1. Bring the water to a boil in a medium pot. Add salt and reduce the heat to medium low.
  2. Add the cornmeal to the simmering water in slow steady stream, whisking constantly.
  3. Simmer, stirring now and then, until polenta is soft and cooked through, about 30 minutes.
  4. Stir in butter, cream and Parmesan cheese. Taste and add more salt as needed.
  5. Spoon the polenta into four bowls and make a well in the center of each.  Ladle on a generous serving of sauce.  Sprinkle with grated parmesan. Feel much better.


    • Tomatoes: You can use any variety of peeled whole tomatoes – we usually use the unseasoned kind, but you be you!

    • Cornmeal: Make sure you get the fine ground kind – the coarse kind will turn into something more like grits. Which actually isn’t all bad!

    • Heavy Cream: You can swap out the heavy cream for light cream or half and half, but with the teeny amount going into this recipe we encourage you to use the real stuff!
    • Make It A One Pot Meal! You can stir in some cooked shredded chicken at the end to add a little protein to this dish.

Keywords: kid friendly soft polenta with sweet tomato sauce, vegetarian polenta and homemade tomato sauce, gluten-free polenta and tomatoes