Having trouble finding recipes for your child with food allergies? MOMables understands and made this recipe to help YOU! These homemade pizzas are a great MOMables lunch to send with your kids.
Polenta is gluten-free and can easily be made to fit the needs of those who are vegetarian or vegan, depending on what you pair it with.
Polenta is a dough made from cornmeal. You can eat it plain, bake it, grill it, or fry it. It even comes prepackaged at the store in a roll that you can slice and enjoy how you please. The great thing about polenta is its adaptability and that it’s so simple to make!
I prefer making my own over a store-bought roll so I can decide the shape and add seasonings, depending on what I am making it with. We enjoy it at home set into a loaf, sliced, and covered in cheese and a bolognese sauce for dinners. It’s also great when used for pancakes, added to soups, or used in breads.
The Mini Polenta Pizzas recipe is a fantastic way to get the kids involved in the kitchen! Once you make the polenta and let it set, have them grab their favorite cookie cutters to create their preferred pizza shape. Then they can decorate with their choice of toppings. My daughter particularly loved adding fresh basil leaves and pepperonis to her own butterfly creation shape.
Once they’re decorated, pop them into the oven until the cheese is melted, and enjoy! They’re even fantastic packed up for school lunches. And parents: Don’t throw out the scraps left over after the kids cut out their shapes! Keep it for your own lunch topped with some pasta sauce. Delish!
In our recipe here, I like to add Parmesan cheese to our polenta base. You can omit or sub for your preferred nondairy parm substitute, depending on your dietary needs or food allergies.
MOM Tip: Don’t want to use cookie cutters? You can still create yummy pizzas by shaping the polenta however you please before it sets, whether in one larger pizza, mini rounds formed by hand, or rolled and sliced, mimicking the store-bought variety.
Mini Polenta Pizzas
Makes 6 Mini Pizzas – depending on size of cookie cutter
- Cuisine: Lunch
For the polenta base:
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup cornmeal (finely ground yellow or white will work)
- 1 1/4 teaspoons garlic & herb Italian seasoning
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Optional Topping Choices:
- 1 teaspoon sauce per “mini pizza”
- Mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, diced salami, diced vegetables, Italian sausage, and/or fresh basil
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside.
- In a medium pot on your stovetop, bring the broth to a boil.
- Once it is boiling, add the cornmeal, seasoning, and Parmesan. Begin stirring immediately, and keep stirring until it has reached an almost “mashed potato-like” consistency.
- With a silicone or wooden spoon, pour the polenta mixture onto the baking sheet.
- Use the spoon to help spread it out and shape it how you desire. In this case, for the mini pizzas, make an 8×8 square.
- The polenta will need to set and refrigerate for about 1 hour. If you are rushed, you can also put it in the freezer for about 20 minutes.
- Take the sheet out from the fridge/freezer. Using cookie cutters, cut out the shapes you’ve selected.
- Dispose of or set aside the “scraps” for use later in another dish.
- Decorate each mini pizza per desired tastes and dietary needs.
- Broil in the oven for 2 to 3 minutes until the cheese is melted.
Before you begin, you need to know that after you make the polenta, it sets quickly, so you need to be prepared to “form it” into the shape(s) you want immediately after mixing. However, allow it to set before putting the toppings and broiling it.
This recipe should yield six mini pizzas. Depending how closely you monitor your children when they use their cookie cutters, you may only get five because they don’t “squeeze them in” as much as they could. ;) Talking from experience here! Polenta is so simple to make! Double or triple the recipe as needed.