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Polenta Ham and Cheese Stackers

  • Prep 60 min
  • Total 9 hr 0 min
  • Servings 30

A fun appetizer that has a classy look but a homey flavor. MORE + LESS -

The Food in My Beard
February 26, 2015


cups cornmeal
cups milk
cups chicken stock
pound deli ham, sliced thin
cup cheddar cheese, grated
ounces cheddar cheese, sliced into squares


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  • 1
    Bring the milk and stock to a simmer. Whisk in the cornmeal. Turn to low and cook for about 35-45 minutes, stirring constantly to form polenta mixture.
  • 2
    Line a baking dish with parchment and spoon in 1/3 of the polenta mixture. The polenta will be starting to firm up quickly so make sure you work fast. Spread the polenta out thin. Sprinkle on a light cheese layer, followed by ham, and then a little more cheese. Repeat, creating a middle layer with another 1/3 of polenta. Add cheese, ham, and more cheese, and then top with the final polenta layer. Spread smooth. Top with more parchment and press it down to make it tight. Place in the fridge to rest overnight.
  • 3
    Preheat the oven to 450ºF.
  • 4
    Use a round cookie cutter, empty tin can or anything round and sharp. Quickly and firmly, cut out rounds with the cutter. Place the rounds onto a greased baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the edges are starting to crisp and brown.
  • 5
    Turn the broiler on. Top with the cheese squares and broil for a few minutes until the cheese gets gooey.

Nutrition Information

No nutrition information available for this recipe
More About This Recipe
  • Layers of creamy polenta, ham and plenty of cheese make these stackers the ultimate snack. 

    Polenta is a fun alternative to bready appetizers, especially when you're feeding people with gluten allergies. I recently had the idea for these fun stacked polenta ham and cheese bites, but when I first made them, they totally fell apart on me! I made a few tweaks in the recipe and finally got it right. It was totally worth the extra effort because the final outcome was fantastic!

    One important step in making these right is making sure to fully cook the polenta. Sometimes when I'm making polenta I only cook it about half the time to retain a little more texture, but when you want it to be nice and firm, you have to cook it for the full 45 minutes. When you taste the polenta it'll be super creamy and not have that gritty texture anymore.

    To get started, whisk the cornmeal into simmering milk and chicken stock.

    It will thicken up right away. Just keep cooking and stirring.

    Nice and thick.

    Put 1/3 of the polenta into a baking dish and top it with some ham.

    Then cheese. Yum.

    Once it cools, cut out the rounds with a cookie cutter or empty can. Make sure you make forceful cuts to have a nice smooth stack.

    Bake these at 450ºF to get browned and crispy.

    Top them with some cheese before a final broil.

    Oh yeaaaaaaah. Cheesy, crispy on the outside, and soft in the middle.

    These are really tasty snacks!

    Dan Whalen (@tFimB) is happy these were worth the extra testing. He has been blogging for over 6 years at The Food in my Beard; check Dan's Tablespoon profile often to try his recipes with creative international spins!

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