Cooking with Beth Dooley: Polenta and fried egg recipe

Polenta with Fried Egg // Photo by Mette Nielsen

Polenta with Fried Egg // Photo by Mette Nielsen

I can eat polenta at least three times a day. Golden and satisfying, it’s a warming, sunny comfort, especially mid-winter. Top polenta with a fried egg, sunny-side-up, so that the runny yolk creates a rich, velvety sauce, and you have a fabulous brunch or dinner-worthy meal. While it takes patience to make a perfect pot of polenta, it’s straightforward and simple to make. I like to make a big pot to have leftovers throughout the week.

Polenta with Fried Eggs

Serves 2 and is easily doubled

This will yield 2 cups of polenta so store the extra in the refrigerator in a covered container for up to three days or freeze.


2 cups  water
½ cup polenta
Generous pinch of salt, or to taste
1 tablespoon butter
2 eggs
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Chopped thyme leaves, for garnish


Bring the water to a boil in a heavy saucepan. Slowly whisk in the polenta and salt. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring the polenta with a long spoon every 5 minutes until it’s thick and no longer tastes raw, about 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and scoop the polenta into a plate or bowl.

To fry the eggs, set a large skillet over medium heat and melt the butter. Break the eggs and slip them into the pan. Reduce the heat to low and cook slowly until the whites are set and the yolks begin to thicken but are not hard. Gently lift the eggs onto the polenta and season to taste with salt and pepper and garnish with the fresh thyme. Serve immediately.

Find more recipes and articles from Beth Dooley here.