roasted polenta topped with mushrooms and scallions

Appetizers & Starters

For this recipe, I use a tube of store-bought Ancient Harvest polenta. Polenta is most often made from cornmeal. It is a gluten-free food that is a good source of fiber and protein and is low in fat. When sliced and grilled, it makes a GREAT foundation upon which you can layer vegetables, marinara sauce and cheese over. It is an easy-to-make appetizer with so many options for dressing.

What Is Polenta?

I’ve actually learned polenta is a full dish, NOT just an ingredient, from northern Italy. The term “polenta” often refers to a dish resembling porridge. Now we make it from cornmeal which has been coarsely ground.

Polenta has also been made with farro, chestnuts, millet, spelt, or chickpeas. I have personally only cooked with and eaten cornmeal polenta.

The Ancient Harvest brand comes in several flavors: Traditional Italian and Sun-dried Tomato and Garlic.

To Healthy Eating!


Roasted Polenta Topped with Mushrooms and Scallions

Polenta is a versatile foundation upon which you can layer many delicious ingredients to put together a great appetizer or main course.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Appetizers/Starters
Cuisine Italian
Servings 5 Servings


  • 2 18.1 oz roll Polenta Cut into 1/2" slices.
  • 1-2 lbs Gourmet mushrooms An assortment oyster, cremini & shiitake mushrooms. Cut into thick slices.
  • 2 Scallions Thinly sliced.
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 4 oz Fontina Cheese Or similar.
  • 1/2 teaspoon Crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 cup Sherry vinegar
  • Kosher Salt & Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Tomato sauce I like the organic brands with added basil if I am using store bought


  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Slice the polenta into 1/2-inch slices or 1/2-inch thick rounds.
  • Brush both sides lightly with olive oil and place on a rimmed baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Roast until golden brown and warmed through, about 25 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat and add mushrooms. Stir often until tender and slightly browned, about 12 minutes.
  • Add cut shallots, vinegar, salt, and red pepper. Sauté for about 5 minutes. Stir in parsley.
  • Place a teaspoon of tomato sauce on each slice of roasted polenta.
  • Divide mushroom mixture and spoon over the tomato sauce.
  • Top with cheese and continue to roast in the oven until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.


Melissa's Modifications: I love the ease of using polenta as a base for this delicious mushroom and scallion mixture. You can make the mushroom mixture a day or so ahead if you want to save time preparing. Store the mixture in an airtight container in the fridge.
There are so many other topping options. Use any sautéed vegetables or pasta sauce with a slice of sausage and cheese on top. I have also made a "meatless" lasagna layering polenta instead of using lasagna noodles.
Nutritional Values: 1 Serving - 2 pieces of Polenta - 132 Calories; .7g Fat; 0 Cholesterol; 47g Carbs; 3g Fiber; 11g Protein.
Add cheese on top - add 2 tsp Fontina Cheese on top of one serving - 18 Calories; 1.4g Fat; 5.2mg Cholesterol; 36mg Sodium; .1g Carbs; 1.2g Protein.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Share This Post

More To Explore

Melissa holding a container of blueberries for brain health
Food Blog & Recipe

Promoting Brain & Mental Health through Food

Brain & Mental Health Through Food Each May, as National Mental Health month arrives, I reflect on just how important your brain and mental health

woman's head and clouds with the words empowering your whole self

Empower Your Whole Self

Empowering Your Whole Self: Mental Health Tips for Everyone on the Power of 5 Journey I encourage you to read part one of my two-part