Polenta, a versatile and comforting Italian dish made from cornmeal, can be served in various ways, from creamy to crispy.
To create a delicious and balanced meal with polenta as the star, it's important to pair it with side dishes that complement its rich and hearty flavors.
In this post, you will find 16 amazing side dishes that will perfectly accompany your polenta, making your meal an unforgettable culinary experience.
Looking for a quick answer?
The best side dishes to serve with polenta are sautéed mushrooms, roasted vegetables, pulled pork, beef steak, caramelized onion, chicken salad, pest pork chops, Italian sausage, braised greens, tomato and basil salad, grilled chicken, caponata, and shrimp scampi.
Now, let's get cooking!
Table of Contents
- 1. Sautéed Mushrooms
- 2. Caponata
- 3. Shrimp Scampi
- 4. Pulled Pork
- 5. Roasted Vegetables
- 6. Italian Sausage
- 7. Braised Greens
- 8. Chicken Salad
- 9. Pork Chops
- 10. Tomato and Basil Salad
- 11. Grilled Chicken
- 12. Beef Steak
- 13. Caramelized Onion
- 14. Ratatouille
- 15. Brussels Sprouts
- 16. Scallops
- More Recipes
- What To Serve With Polenta
1. Sautéed Mushrooms
Sautéed mushrooms are a flavorful and earthy side dish that pairs well with polenta. The tender, juicy mushrooms cooked in garlic and butter add a touch of savory depth to your meal. This simple yet delicious side dish brings a taste of rustic, Italian cuisine to your dinner table.
Eggplant Caponata is a sweet and tangy Sicilian dish that pairs beautifully with polenta. This eggplant-based side dish, simmered with tomatoes, onions, and olives, creates a flavorful combination that adds depth and variety to your meal. This traditional Italian dish brings a touch of Mediterranean flair to your dinner.
Shrimp scampi is a succulent and garlicky side dish that perfectly accompanies polenta. The tender shrimp, cooked in a rich butter and white wine sauce, adds a touch of luxury and indulgence to your meal. This delicious seafood dish pairs wonderfully with the creamy, comforting flavors of polenta.
4. Pulled Pork
Pulled pork is a tender and flavorful side dish that pairs well with polenta. The slow-cooked, succulent pork is seasoned with a tangy barbecue sauce, adding a mouthwatering contrast to the creamy polenta. This Southern-inspired dish brings a touch of smoky goodness to your meal.
5. Roasted Vegetables
Roasted vegetables are a colorful and healthy side dish that complements polenta perfectly. The caramelized, tender vegetables offer a delightful contrast to the creamy or crispy polenta, while their natural sweetness balances the dish's savory notes. This versatile side dish can include your favorite seasonal vegetables.
6. Italian Sausage
Italian sausage is a spicy and savory side dish that goes well with polenta. The juicy, seasoned sausages add a bold and satisfying touch to your meal, making it a perfect choice for a hearty dinner. This classic Italian ingredient pairs beautifully with the comforting flavors of polenta.
7. Braised Greens
Braised greens are a nutritious and flavorful side dish that pairs nicely with polenta. The tender, slow-cooked greens, such as kale or Swiss chard, are seasoned with garlic, onion, and red pepper flakes, adding a touch of warmth to your meal. This healthy side dish brings a pop of color and flavor to your plate.
Chicken salad is a light and refreshing side dish that pairs nicely with polenta. The combination of tender chicken, crisp vegetables, and a creamy dressing offers a cool contrast to the warm, savory polenta. This versatile salad can be adapted to include your favorite ingredients, making it a personalized addition to your meal.
9. Pork Chops
Pesto parmesan pork chops are a flavorful and aromatic side dish that works well with polenta. The tender, juicy pork chops are seasoned with a vibrant basil pesto, adding a fresh and herbaceous touch to your meal. This Italian-inspired dish pairs beautifully with the rich and comforting flavors of polenta.
10. Tomato and Basil Salad
Tomato and basil salad is a light and refreshing side dish that complements the rich flavors of polenta. The juicy tomatoes and fresh basil leaves, dressed with a simple vinaigrette, offer a vibrant contrast to the warm, savory polenta. This classic Italian salad adds brightness and balance to your meal.
11. Grilled Chicken
Grilled chicken is a protein-rich and flavorful side dish that works well with polenta. The tender, juicy chicken is seasoned with a blend of herbs and spices, providing a delicious complement to the polenta's comforting flavors. This easy-to-prepare side dish adds a touch of smoky goodness to your meal.
12. Beef Steak
Beef steak is a juicy and satisfying side dish that complements polenta perfectly. The tender, grilled or pan-seared steak, seasoned with your favorite herbs and spices, offers a delicious and protein-rich addition to your meal. This classic side dish works wonderfully with the hearty flavors of polenta.
Caramelized onion is a sweet and savory side dish that goes well with polenta. The slow-cooked, golden-brown onions add a touch of natural sweetness and depth to your meal, enhancing the comforting flavors of polenta. This versatile topping can also be combined with other side dishes for a more complex flavor profile.
Ratatouille is a flavorful and healthy French dish that pairs perfectly with polenta. This vegetable medley, featuring eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, and tomatoes, is simmered in a rich tomato sauce, creating a delightful combination of flavors that complements the creamy polenta. This nutritious side dish adds a touch of Mediterranean charm to your meal.
15. Brussels Sprouts
Balsamic glazed Brussels sprouts are a sweet and tangy side dish that goes well with polenta. The caramelized, tender sprouts are coated in a rich balsamic glaze, adding a touch of complexity to your meal. This unique and flavorful side dish brings a pop of color and taste to your plate.
Garlic herb butter scallops are a succulent and luxurious side dish that perfectly accompanies polenta. The tender, seared scallops are cooked in a rich, garlicky butter sauce, adding a touch of elegance and decadence to your meal. This seafood delight pairs wonderfully with the creamy, comforting flavors of polenta.
What To Serve With Polenta
- 1 polenta
- Make the best polenta using the Instant Pot or any other way you like.
- Make a side dish from the list above. You can eat polenta with sautéed mushrooms, roasted vegetables, pulled pork, beef steak, caramelized onion, chicken salad, pest pork chops, Italian sausage, braised greens, tomato and basil salad, grilled chicken, caponata, and shrimp scampi.
- Serve and enjoy a wonderful meal 🙂