Juicy summer tomatoes and sliced zucchini top this easy, 30 min Baked Polenta. Finished with parmesan and fresh herbs – it’s like a slice of summer garden pie.
Baked polenta is like a big slice of pizza – just softer and creamier – comforting and easy to throw together. It’s a blank canvas for your favorite herbs and cheeses both mixed in and to top which makes it a versatile stand-by when you need something fresh and new for dinner.
It’s a dish made from corn grits – Italian corn grits to be exact.
Not the same as the Southern grits you can find in the South. It’s a different corn variety. It cooks pretty fast and as soon as it thickens up in the pot, you can season it with herbs and cheese, spread it in a rimmed baking sheet and top with vegetables and bake it to pizza pie perfection.
In this recipe I use Bob’s Red Mill polenta which is a coarser variety. This gives the baked polenta some structure. You can use finer polenta – just expect it to be more of a soft texture that you scoop into bowl rather than slice.
This recipe is topped with tomatoes which I marinate in olive oil, garlic and salt + pepper while the polenta thickens on the stove – it gives the baked polenta a bruschetta flavor. The polenta itself is mixed with dried basil, thyme and feta.
What else can you make with polenta?
Once baked, polenta can be cut into all shapes and sizes.
Try this amazing peach salsa to top rounds of polenta. It makes a great appetizer or light lunch option.
Creamy, herb filled polenta baked with thinly sliced zucchini and tomatoes.
- 2 cups polenta
- 6.5 cups water
- 1 tsp Kosher Salt
- Olive oil
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 Tbs fresh thyme optional
- 1 cup feta or other cheese
- 1 tsp Kosher salt and pepper
- 2 medium slicing tomatoes any tomatoes will work
- 1 medium zucchini sliced into 1/4" thick round
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- 4 tsp minced garlic divided
- salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Season with 1 tsp salt and SLOWLY sprinkle polenta into water while whisking. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer gently (a slow bubble should pop here and there), stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until polenta thickens - about 15 minutes.
While the polenta is cooking, slice veggies. Place sliced tomatoes in bowl with 1 tbs olive oil, a dash of salt and pepper and 1 tsp minced garlic. Toss and set aside. Season zucchini slices with a few dashes of salt and pepper as well, set aside.
Coat a 9 x 13 sheet pan with olive oil, set aside.
Once polenta has thickened, mix in 3 tbs olive oil, 3 tsp minced garlic, dried basil, onion powder, fresh thyme (optional), salt to taste and feta or other cheese. Scoop onto 9 x 13 sheet pan and spread into an even layer.
Top with tomato and zucchini slices,
Top with parmesan cheese, a couple grinds of salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.
Bake 350 for 15 min. or until zucchini is tender. Add more parmesan and herbs, if desired and serve.
Wait 5 minutes to cool before cutting.
This is great as leftovers. Cut in squares and heat under the broiler until the edges are nice and crisp!