Polenta pizza with Italian toppings (gluten free)


Polenta pizza with Italian toppings (gluten free)

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Once you’ve made a polenta pizza, you’ll likely make it again and again.

It's so easy to make a polenta base! 

Ingredients (makes 2)

  • 500ml (2 cups) vegetable stock
  • 65g (13 cup) fine polenta
  • 1 tsp unrefined salt (optional)
  • 125ml (½ cup) napoli sauce (see recipe)
  • 2 tbsp pitted and halved black olives
  • 2 tbsp quartered sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp broccoli and mint pesto
  • 1 large bocconcini ball, torn
  • 6 basil leaves or 1 tsp dried
  • Italian herbs
  • 1 tbsp cashew cream cheese (optional, see recipe)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Napoli Sauce

  • 1 medium brown onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 x 400g BPA-free tinned diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp each unrefined salt and cracked black pepper 
  • 1–2 tbsp olive oil, depending 
  • on your preference

Cashew Cream Cheese

  • 155g (1 cup) raw cashews, soaked in 375 ml (1½ cups) water for an hour
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove (optional)
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard


For the napoli sauce: 

Heat a large frying pan over medium heat, then add your oil. Add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about five minutes. Stir in the garlic and sauté for a few seconds. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, bay leaf and seasoning and simmer for about 10 minutes until the sauce thickens and intensifies in flavour. Season to taste.


For the cashew cream cheese:

Drain your cashews, then place in a blender with the other ingredients and blitz until thick. Adjust the flavours to your liking. It will firm up when chilled for a couple of hours, making it easier
to spread. Leave out of the fridge until it softens if you want to use it on pasta or as a sauce. It will last for one week, stored in an airtight container in the fridge.

For the pizza:

Preheat your oven to 180°C. Lightly brush two 22cm pizza trays with a little of the olive oil.

Bring the stock to a rolling simmer in a large saucepan then, whisking constantly, rain in the polenta in a steady stream. Continue to whisk for about five minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, for another five minutes until the polenta is very thick. Be careful not to get splattered by a volcanic-like burst of polenta lava. Remove from the heat, taste and season but only if your polenta is not salty enough.

Allow the polenta to cool slightly, then spread it over the pizza trays. Pop the polenta bases in the fridge to set. This will take about five minutes.

Remove the trays of polenta from the fridge and add the toppings. First up, spoon the napoli sauce over each base, then scatter on the olives and sun-dried tomatoes, dollop on the pesto, and finish with the bocconcini and herbs. Drizzle lightly with the remaining olive oil (not essential) and bake for 10 or so minutes until the tops of the pizzas are golden and the cheese has melted a little.

Remove the trays from the oven and allow the pizzas to cool slightly before dolloping cashew cream cheese, if using, over them. Cut into slices and serve on the trays.

Recipe and images by Janella Purcell


NEXT: Italian salad with capsicums, bocconcini and capers. 


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