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Allow us to introduce our secret pantry darling and unsung dinner hero: polenta. A simple dish made from cornmeal, it’s creamy, filling, comforting and cheap—but tastes downright luxurious. Here are 17 surprising ways to incorporate it into your next meal.

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Cornish Hens and Parmesan Polenta with Fennel and Arugula

Sounds fancy, but it’s actually so easy.

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Polenta Ragu Casserole

All the perks of lasagna, with none of the fuss.

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Pumpkin Polenta

It doesn’t get cozier than this.

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Cheesy Polenta Bites with Brussels Sprouts and Pancetta

Proof that polenta can be as crispy as it can be creamy.

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Sweet Potato Polenta with Fried Eggs

When in doubt, put an egg on it.

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Polenta, Refried Beans and Egg Skillet Bake

Monique Volz knows that good things come in skillets.

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Cider Apple and Sage Roasted Pork Chops with Brown Butter Polenta

Need we say more?

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Roasted Tomatoes with Goat Cheese Polenta

Creamy, tangy and delicious.

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Mini Polenta Pizzas

They’re vegan, gluten-free and entirely adorable.

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Creamy Polenta with Barbecue Tofu

Leave it to Gena Hamshaw to make something healthy, easy and appetizing.

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Polenta Bar

Introducing Gaby Dalkin’s genius solution for feeding a crowd.

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Polenta Cake with Raspberry Rhubarb Compote

It’s true: Polenta can be savory or sweet. (Just ask Phoebe Lapine.)

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Strawberry Polenta Breakfast Bowl

Giving oatmeal a run for its money.

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Poached Egg Bowl with Spinach Polenta and Crispy Mushrooms

This is sure to tide you over until lunch.

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Polenta Fries

Potato? We don’t know her.

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Braised Lentils Over Grilled Polenta

Oh hey, two cups of red wine. (Thanks, Jodi Moreno!)

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Polenta with Meatballs

A classic, with a twist.

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