Cheesy Polenta Skulls: An Easy Halloween Recipe

I love the idea of making creepy, fun Halloween food, but most of the recipes I find are painstakingly detailed, with lots of little parts to attend to. What’s a Pinterest mom to do?

Create a 3-ingredient baked polenta skull recipe, of course!

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Three baked polenta skulls sitting in a pool of marinara sauce. The text reads, "Halloween Party Food: Polenta Skulls."

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The idea came to me when I was browsing Amazon and came across these silicone skull molds:

Two black silicone skull molds sitting on a cutting board.

These are usually used to mold candy or wax, but I make polenta a lot and what I’ve seen over the years is how well it molds to a container as it cools.

So I gave it a shot! I whipped up a small batch of cheesy polenta while I made breakfast one morning (it’s so fast, less than 5 minutes), then spooned polenta into each mold and popped the trays into the refrigerator to set.

Polenta filled silicone molds sitting on a cutting board.

I sprayed non-stick cooking spray into every skull but one to test for release, and it turns out you don’t need the spray at all. Permission to skip it — they all released easily and fully intact, including the skull that did have the spray.

Skull shaped polenta bites sitting on a sheet pan.

I love the flexibility of a recipe like this because you can quickly make the skulls whenever you have a few minutes and then leave them waiting in the fridge until you’re ready to bake them. That makes these the perfect Halloween party food (though you could of course experiment with different shapes for different occasions).

We just had them for lunch, but a fun shape makes any meal a party, right?

Skull shaped polenta in marinara sauce in a white bowl.

I served these baked polenta bites on a bed of our favorite Rao’s Marinara sauce, but they’re also amazing dipped in truffle mayonnaise or in a salad.

I hope you give these cheesy polenta skulls a try to add a little fun to your spooky season!

Want more easy recipes like this? Check out my full collection of simple family favorites.

Skull shaped polenta in marinara sauce in a white bowl.

Cheesy Polenta Skulls

Yield: 16 skulls
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

These baked polenta nuggets are the perfect easy Halloween appetizer. They can be prepped in minutes and stored in the fridge until ready to bake.


  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking polenta
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar
  • Pat of butter (optional)


  1. Bring chicken broth to a boil.
  2. Reduce to a strong simmer and slowly whisk in the polenta. If it starts bubbling too much, take it off the heat.
  3. Continue whisking until no lumps remain, and continue cooking for 3 minutes.
  4. Stir in the cheese until fully incorporated.
  5. Spoon polenta into your skull molds, filling completely. Press down to be sure the polenta fills all the details.
  6. Refrigerate for an hour or until ready to use.
  7. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  8. Gently release the polenta from the mold.
  9. Place skulls on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
  10. Serve hot or at room temperature. Enjoy!


Serve on a bed of jarred marinara for a gory but yummy presentation.

These skulls also make a hearty substitute for croutons in a salad.

I also love these dipped in truffle mayo. Yum!

Sprinkle with grated parmesan before baking to add an extra dimension of cheesiness and crunch.

Like this recipe?

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