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+ servings
pancetta polenta in red-rimmed bowl

Rosemary Polenta with Crispy Pancetta

Valentina K. Wein
Crispy Pancetta Polenta recipe is a delicious side dish and is perfect to serve with meat and stews. It's incredibly hearty, packed with flavor and it's comforting beyond belief!
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6
Calories 393 kcal


  • 5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped, divided
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • cups polenta (coarse cornmeal)
  • olive oil for the pan
  • 1 cup thick cut pancetta, cut into a small dice
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 cup Dubliner cheese, grated
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter


  • In a medium to large saucepan, add the 1½ tablespoons of the rosemary and the salt to the stock, and bring to a boil.
  • Gradually whisk in the polenta. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the mixture thickens and the cornmeal is tender, stirring often, about 20 minutes.
  • While the polenta is cooking, very lightly coat the bottom of a small sauté pan with olive oil. Add the pancetta and remaining rosemary, and place the pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring every so often, until it's golden and crispy, about 4 minutes. Set aside.
  • When the polenta is ready, turn off the heat and add the half and half, cheese, and butter. Stir to blend.
  • Serve with a generous spoonful of the pancetta on top of each portion.


Calorie count is only an estimate.
Keywords fall comfort food recipes, great side dishes for meats and stews
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