Making Polenta Cutouts is a fun way to get to use those cookie cutters in your drawers that don’t get enough love. Creating fun shapes using the polenta is a great way to introduce your kids to a new food they might not have tried before! 

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So, first of all, what is polenta? Polenta is a dish of boiled cornmeal that was historically made from other grains. It may be served as a hot porridge, or it may be allowed to cool and solidify into a loaf that can be baked, fried, or grilled. It’s super easy to make if you use instant polenta mix (which I do!). 

For most people, cookie cutters sit in a drawer collecting dust for over 11 months of the year. I’ve been collecting cutters for years in all different kinds of shapes and sizes, but, admittedly, mine don’t get as much use as they should. 

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Cookie cutters are obviously great for cookies, but kids have such a blast baking with them that I wanted to use them to help introduce kids to new foods in a fun way. So I came up with these polenta shapes. The recipe is really easy, and it’s perfect because you can keep the sheet of polenta in the fridge after you make it and cut them up whenever you want some.

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To test out my little experiment, I recently brought a sheet of polenta and a bunch of cookie cutters to our friend’s house for a dinner so the kids could participate in making their meal. They each picked the shapes they liked best — the heart, bear, car and dolphin were my favorites — and proceeded to cut out the polenta shapes. It only took me minutes to pan sear them and let them cool before all the kids were holding their own creation and munching away!

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How do you make foods more fun for your little ones? Are you using cookie cutters on the reg? Let me know in the comments!

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Polenta Cutouts

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Author: Catherine McCord
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients  

  • 7 cups water
  • 1 box (13 oz) instant polenta
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoon butter, plus more for sautéing

Instructions 

  • Line a sheet tray with foil and coat with cooking spray.
  • Bring 7 cups of water and salt to a boil.
  • Add polenta in a slow stream while whisking continuously to avoid lumps.
  • Turn heat to low and continue to stir with a wooden spoon until polenta thickens, 5-8 minutes (you may add more boiling water as needed to keep the polenta a smooth consistency).
  • Turn the heat off and add parmesan and butter. Stir to combine.
  • Pour onto a sheet tray and spread with the back of a spoon to cover the tray evenly. Cool.
  • Refrigerate the polenta for 30 minutes or covered up to 2 days.
  • Remove the sheet tray from the refrigerator and use cookie cutters to stamp out shapes.
  • Heat 1 tbsp of butter in a saute pan over medium heat and cook the polenta shapes for 3-5 minutes on each side or until golden (you can also serve these cold).
  • Eat polenta shapes on their own or serve with a red sauce.

Nutrition

Sodium: 740mg | Sugar: 1g | Fiber: 2g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Calories: 250kcal | Fat: 8g | Protein: 7g | Carbohydrates: 37g
Did you make this recipe?Mention @Weelicious or tag #weelicious!

About the Author

Catherine is a mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. I create simple, healthy recipes the whole family will love.

Comments

  1. I recently purchased a “heat and serve” tube of organic polenta. Can I use it for this recipe? If so, then how?

  2. Can I just leave parmesan? I guess the test won´t be the same though. My kid and I can´t eat it. It´s non-pasteurised 🙁 Can you advise me if we can use other pasteurised cheese instead of parmesan Thank you 🙂

  3. Can I make these with grits? Will it come out ok? I haven’t seen polenta in our local groceries.

  4. how would these be made with regular polenta? I don’t have any instant but do have regular polenta. These look so good!

  5. Had no polenta, but made them out of cornmeal for dinner. They were very yummy, kids loved them. Tasted a little like cheesy grits though! Great idea.

  6. I made these today and decided to freeze them. I plan to defrost a few the night before and pan fry them before serving them. I test-tasted one fully cooked, and they are delicious. I hope freezing them doesn’t affect the flavor or consistency when I make them for my son. I will let you know…

  7. I made these today and decided to freeze them. I plan to defrost a few the night before and pan fry them before serving them. I test-tasted one fully cooked, and they are delicious. I hope freezing them doesn’t affect the flavor or consistency when I make them for the son. I will let you know…

  8. […] Moving on, I also intend to get my bake on this week.  A few pies in order to entice some friends over to my house to play with me.  (I think they may have come without the pies, but you know.  Pie is good.) I also want to FINALLY try these: […]

  9. Recipe Ideas For Baby, Toddler AND Big Kids | Weelicious ™ - Fast, Easy & Fresh Homemade Home Made Baby Food Babyfood Recipes, Toddler Food and recipes for the entire family! says:

    […] Scramble 2 Ways Polenta Cutouts: Pour a bit of the polenta in a bowl and thin with water for baby Baby Beef Stew: Double the recipe […]

  10. Recipe Ideas For Baby, Toddler AND Big Kids | Weelicious ™ - Fast, Easy & Fresh Homemade Home Made Baby Food Babyfood Recipes, Toddler Food and recipes for the entire family! says:

    […] Scramble 2 Ways Polenta Cutouts: Pour a bit of the polenta in a bowl and thin with water for baby Baby Beef Stew: Double the recipe […]

  11. […] hour and a half that it took me to figure out what a pork shoulder was.  And I never did find the powdery polenta.  I’ll have to try again next […]

  12. Polenta Cutouts Program | Weelicious ™ - Fast, Easy & Fresh Homemade Home Made Baby Food Babyfood Recipes, Toddler Food (and now for big kids too!) says:

    […] out your cookie cutters and have some fun with kids. These Polenta Cutouts are a blast to make and delicious to eat all year […]

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