Thanks-Giving Parmesan Polenta Madeleines with Fresh Sage & Butternut Squash


Thanksgiving….giving thanks.

Thanksgiving is upon us and in my life there is so much to be thankful for that my mind reels. The list is long and I try to keep it in the front of my mind most days whether it is a holiday or not. It is not always easy but I try. Do you have a mental list of things you are thankful for?

For these savory “Parmesan-Polenta Madeleines with Fresh Sage and Butternut-Squash”, if you do not have a classic French madeleine pan, use a cast iron corn stick pan. I bought my pans at Amazon but recently picked up a few more at TJMaxx. You can find a previous madeleine post I did for “Chocolate  Black-Peppercorn Orange Madeleines” here as well. Madeleines are traditionally sweet and originated from the Lorraine region in France. My Southern, seasonal twist uses yellow polenta, sage and butternut squash as well as parmesan cheese and will be a wonderful addition to any Thanksgiving meal. Also great with chili or soups.


Fresh sage leaves in the bottom of the pan….batter spread on top…..


…baked for 15 minutes until golden brown…..


…flipped out onto a cooling rack and while hot I shredded more Parmesan over the top.


I made this recipe earlier in the year for a project I was working on with a friend. In that recipe I did not use butternut-squash, but I had some left from a photo shoot and did not want to let it go to waste so shredded it and tossed into the batter for a more seasonal twist!

Be Thankful. Be Kind and Share.


Parmesan-Polenta Madeleines with Fresh Sage and Butternut Squash



  • coconut oil spray
  • 1 bunch fresh sage leaves
  • 2/3 cup instant polenta
  • 4 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese + extra for garnish
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt flakes
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup shredded butternut squash
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • special equipment: 2 madeleine pans


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray madeleine pans with coconut spray.
  3. Place one or two fresh sage leaves in the bottom of each “madeleine” space. Press down into the molds using your fingers. Respray with coconut oil. The oil will secure the sage leaves to bottom of the pan.
  4. In a mixing bowl blend together instant polenta, flour, baking soda, Parmesan cheese, sea salt & black pepper.
  5. Stir in the melted butter, eggs, butternut squash & buttermilk. Blend well. Spoon batter into the pan over the sage leaves just to batter being level. Pat into mold with you fingers. If batter gets too dry then add a bit more buttermilk. This batter is thicker than your regular cornbread batter.
  6. Bake for about 15 minutes or until madeleines are golden brown and puffy. Remove pans from oven and cool for a few minutes. Turn pans upside down to release madeleines from pan. While they are still hot sprinkle more Parmesan on top. It will slightly melt into the surface. Serve immediately or keep in a warm oven until ready to serve. Can be reheated as well. Store any leftovers in a plastic bag for a few days.

Teresa Blackburn

19 thoughts on “Thanks-Giving Parmesan Polenta Madeleines with Fresh Sage & Butternut Squash

  1. What an original Madeleine Teresa! I have a pan I used a total of 2 times but intend to put into use making these! Never crossed my mind to go savory so you have once again enlightened me! Plus with the sage leaf and grated Parmesan these are absolutely stunning!!!! I just raided a friend’s garden and have lots of sage. Could these be frozen? Thank you for such a lovely recipe and Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Yes Johanne these could be frozen for sure. Good idea. Since I got my pans last year I have been a bit obsessed! Thanks so much for always having something to say that makes me think. T

    1. Oh Mercy Nancy that is high praise coming from one who is just a brilliant cook herself! Every now and then we hit on something that is just great out of all the cooking we do. Thanks so much. Happy Thanksgiving in DC. Love to the familia. T

  2. These look great. I bought a madeleine tray last year and haven’t used it all that much. Now I have a few more recipes to try. Thanks

    1. Get out that pan Nicola and give this recipe a try! I just love the way madeleines look and because they are so small and the pan so shallow the results are crispy outsides and soft pillowy insides. Happy November.

  3. Wow, Theresa, these are a bit insane, but you make them look and sound so good! I have been playing with my Dad’s camera (I have a point & shoot so it’s fun to be at his house with all his gadgetry) and as we were going through photos to choose for my last post, he complimented me and said he thought they looked great – and then I showed him YOUR blog so he could see an artist’s work! Thanks for being such an inspiration!

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