Traditional Romanian Polenta with Feta Cheese and Bacon (Mamaliga cu Branza in Paturi)

Well let me tell you, you can’t get anymore traditional than this as far as Romanian cuisine goes. I learned to make this from my mother who learned from my grandma and so on. Now I used bacon and some smoked sausage in this polenta, but you can omit the bacon and sausage completely and you’ve got yourself a vegetarian meal. I guess you could say this dish is peasant food and the polenta is often cooked in large copper pots or iron skillets.

Now I don’t make this often, maybe once or twice a year, but I like it, I mean I love anything with feta and bacon.

Start with frying some bacon.

I also used some smoked sausage, so cut that in slices.

While the bacon is frying, measure two cups of cornmeal.

Take out the bacon and place it on paper towels to soak up some of the fat.

Next I fry the smoked sausage a bit.

Shred about 3 cups of feta cheese.

Now boil 8 cups of water and add about 1 tsp of salt to it. The ratio of water to cornmeal is 1 to 4, so since we have 2 cups of cornmeal, we need 8 cups of water. Once the water has boiled turn the heat down to low and add the cornmeal. Now you need to whisk quickly, I usually start with a whisk and as it gets thicker I use a wooden spoon.

As the polenta is cooking, chop the bacon.

Keep stirring in the polenta, you’ll notice that it’s getting thicker and thicker. You need to cook it for about 20 to 30 min stirring constantly. When it’s done, pour the polenta in a 9×13 inch baking dish.

You need to spread it now using a spatula, but to spread it easier I use a bit of the bacon fat that remained.

Now we start layering, add 1/2 of the cheese over the first layer of polenta.

Add the sausage.

Add the bacon and spread another layer of polenta on top.

And another layer of remaining cheese …

Finish off with the remaining bacon.

Now I usually bake it for about 10 min in the oven at 400 F degrees just so that the cheese melts a bit and it warms up, because this should be served warm.

And that’s it. Very easy to make and it’s delicious.

Traditional Romanian Polenta with Feta Cheese and Bacon (Mamaliga cu Branza in Paturi)

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Traditional Romanian Polenta with Feta Cheese and Bacon (Mamaliga cu Branza in Paturi)


  • 5 slices bacon fried and chopped
  • 1 cup of smoked sausage sliced and fried
  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cups feta cheese shredded


  1. Boil the water with salt. Once water is boiling, reduce heat to low and add the cornmeal, while stirring constantly. Keep stirring, you will notice the polenta will thicken.
  2. Cook the polenta for about 20 to 30 min.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.
  4. In a 9 x 13 in baking dish, spread half of the polenta using some of the remaining bacon fat. Sprinkle with half of the feta cheese. Add all the sausage and half of the bacon.
  5. Repeat with another layer using the remaining polenta. Add the remaining cheese and top off with the remaining bacon.
  6. Bake for about 10 min.
  7. Serve warm.


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  1. says

    Vaaaai, ce pofta mi-e. Eu mai adaug la reteta asta si putina smantana si un strat de ciupercute sotate. Si daca vreau sa fie si mai si, deasupra fac 2 gropite si sparg doua oua. Yummmmm

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