Polenta with Bacon & Crispy Leeks

I love corn anything – fresh corn on the cob, corn bread, grits and of course, polenta. So when I was looking for inspiration this week, I decided to go back to my favorite corn dishes and make polenta.

Interestingly, I’ve found that people often confuse the dish, polenta, for the ingredient. But in fact, cornmeal is the main ingredient in polenta (I always like to share these kind of fun facts :)).

Polenta is a blank canvas for any kind of food – you can use it as a base for shrimp, mix it up as a vegetarian dish topped with mushrooms and greens or toss it with some bacon and leeks like I did here.

It takes a little time to make but it makes any weekend brunch or weeknight dinner complete in the time if would take you to order delivery. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!

Polenta with Bacon & Crispy Leeks

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 3 cups water, plus more as needed, divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup coarsely ground cornmeal
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 5 slices of bacon, chopped
  • 2 large leeks, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 eggs 


  1. In a large, heavy bottomed pot, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon salt and slowly add in the cornmeal. Whisk continuously for 1-2 minutes until polenta begins to thicken.
  2. Reduce heat to low and stir every 5 minutes for 20 minutes. If the consistency is too thick, add another 1/4 – 1/2 cups of water. Once desired thickness is reached, fold in the butter, salt & pepper. Taste and adjust as needed.
  3. While your polenta cooks, fry bacon in a large frying pan over medium heat until crisp. Remove from the pan and place on a paper towel lined plate.
  4. Cook the thinly sliced leeks in the bacon fat until softened, about 5-8 minutes, then add the bacon back in to warm it up.
  5. Remove leeks and bacon and fry eggs until the whites are set.
  6. To serve, place a big spoonful of polenta in a bowl, top with the bacon and leeks, then a fried egg. Season with some freshly ground black pepper and serve. Enjoy! 

Adapted from: thecrepesofwrath.com and cooking.nytimes.com

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