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Grilled Polenta Veggie Stacks with Balsamic Cherry Tomatoes

Today, I’m super excited to be sharing my first Recipe ReDux post with you!  And, I’m especially thrilled to be in the company of so many other fabulous healthy food bloggers!

Before I share my recipe with you, let me tell you a little bit about the Recipe ReDux…

As the first and only recipe challenge founded by registered dietitians {Regan Jones, Serena Ball, and Deanna Seagrave-Daly}, the Recipe ReDux is focused on taking delicious dishes, keeping them delicious, but making them healthier for you.

The first Recipe Redux challenge is “Grilling”, and with summer finally here {Happy Summer Solstice Day!}, there truly could be no better challenge then grilling up healthy dishes on the BBQ.

Typically when we grill at our house, the main course is some sort of meat…tri-tip…burgers…chicken…pork loin…

I’m sure you get the picture…

So, for this challenge I thought it would be fun to whip up something vegetarian for the entree.

Having tasted {and loved!} grilled polenta at our friends’ Brian and Ana’s house a few summers ago, and having always loved the smoky taste of grilled veggies, I decided to experiment with a grilled polenta and veggie stack.

The inspiration for the balsamic cherry tomatoes came from my friend Brooke, who roasted a similar version when we were skiing together this past spring in Mammoth.

I mean, really, how can you go wrong with cherry tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, and a pinch of sugar???

So, without further adieu, here’s my first entry in to the Recipe ReDux…

Let the fun begin!

Grilled Polenta Veggie Stacks with Balsamic Cherry Tomatoes

  • 2 cups uncooked cornmeal polenta-I use Bob’s Red Mill Organic Corn Grits Polenta
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 Portobello mushrooms, cleaned and stems removed
  • 4 zucchini, cleaned, and sliced vertically in to 3 long strips each
  • 3 bell peppers, cleaned, cored and sliced in to rings
  • 2 packages cherry tomatoes, washed and sliced into 1/4 inch rings
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Balsamic vinegar, to taste
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Sugar, to taste
  • 12 ounces fresh mozzarella OR 1 11 ounce log goat cheese
  • Fresh basil for garnish


  1. Prepare polenta by heating water, cornmeal, and 1/2 teaspoon salt  in large saucepan.  Bring to a boil, then turn down heat and cook until polenta has thickened.  Pour warm polenta into a greased 3 x 9  bread pan and let sit until firm.
  2. While polenta is setting, prep veggies {mushrooms, peppers, and zucchini}: wash them thoroughly, pat dry, and then slice them as indicated above.  Place them on a platter and drizzle both sides of veggies with olive oil and season with salt and pepper if desired.
  3. Prepare cherry tomatoes.  After slicing them in half, combine cherry tomatoes and minced garlic in a bowl and drizzle with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper, and add a sprinkle of sugar.
  4. Cut fresh mozzarella or goat cheese in to 24 1/4 inch thick slices, then set aside on plate.
  5. Wash basil, then snip off 12 leaves for garnish.
  6. Check to make polenta is firm, and invert bread pan on to plate.  Cut polenta horizontally, into 12 slices, and place on plate.
  7. Now, the grilling fun begins!  Start the grill {I used our outdoor gas grill}, and while it is getting hot, take your prepped veggies, polenta, cheese, tomatoes, and basil to the grill.  Spray the grill with olive oil or other oil to prevent food from sticking, and when the grill is ready, place polenta directly on grill.  After a few minutes, turn polenta over and cook the other side until you see grill marks.  Remove polenta to plate and cover with aluminum foil while you grill the veggies.  Place the portobellos, zucchini slices, and bell peppers directly on the grill, and place the cherry tomatoes in a grill basket.  Turn mushrooms, bell peppers, and zucchini over after a couple of minutes, and toss tomatoes periodically in basket.  When the veggies look ready remove them to a plate, and return the tomatoes to the bowl to toss with any remaining marinade. Cut each zucchini slice half, and cut portobellos in to thirds.
  8. To assemble layer as follows: 1 slice polenta; portobello mushroom; 1 slice cheese; 2 slices zucchini side-by-side; 1 slice cheese; 1 slice bell pepper. Spoon balsamic cherry tomatoes on top, and garnish with basil.  Makes 12 side dishes or 6 main dishes {serve 2 veggie stacks per person}.

The verdict?

Pure roasted veggie deliciousness!

We ended up having a last minute impromptu dinner party. {As so often happens at our house during the summer since we have a pool, and pool + grill=FUN!}

I’m happy to report that all the feedback was positive…

Even my meat loving husband, Ian, was impressed!



21 thoughts on “Grilled Polenta Veggie Stacks with Balsamic Cherry Tomatoes”

  1. Saw your recipe listed on Alysa’s blog and it stood out. These sound great and I assume the tomatoes could be done in the oven as well? I know, it was a grilling theme. I love grilling fish for fish tacos. I may have to do this recipe redux thing.

  2. I agree. The shots are amazing. The dish sounds amazing. I’m SO impressed!

    I have never grilled polenta… not sure why. Scared it would fall apart, maybe? But you’ve definitely got me thinking it’s up next!

    Thanks for participating!!

  3. Yum! I’m on vacation in Curacao and they serve ‘polenta” (aka cornmeal) mashed with black beans and formed into a dense roll. Your grilled version looks fantastic. Will definitely have to give it a try!

  4. We don’t have a grill at the moment, and I really miss grilled vegetables, especially grilled portobellos! The grilled polenta and veggies sound delicious! Now I just need to get my hands on a grill… 🙂

  5. Beautiful veggie shots! Father’s day is next month here in the Dominican Republic, I’ll try your grilled polenta that day… I’m sure no one in my family has tried it because neither have I 😉

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