Polenta Topped with Chunky Tomato Sauce (vegan and gluten free)

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Polenta is a great gluten free alternative to pasta. Topped with a chunky tomato sauce this hearty dish is the perfect comfort food to enjoy during the cold winter months. 

Today we welcome back to WOT Carmen from Every Last Bite who is sharing with us her vegan and gluten free recipe for Polenta Topped with Chunky Tomato Sauce.

If you aren’t familiar with polenta, it is a dish made from boiled cornmeal. You can serve it as a hot porridge, or, you can cool it down so it solidifies into a loaf that can be baked, fried, or grilled. In this hearty dish, each polenta cake is grilled until crisp and then topped with a chunky tomato sauce, full of veggies.

The sauce, complete with mushrooms, eggplant, tomatoes and zucchini, is a great source of vitamin B-12, vitamin C, potassium, fiber and magnesium. Stack a few of the polenta rounds on your plate and top with sauce, or cut them smaller and serve as the star appetizer at your next party.

Polenta Topped with Chunky Tomato Sauce (vegan and gluten free)

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 5


  • 1 18oz tube of polenta or 1 cup instant polenta
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves and garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup zucchini, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup eggplant, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 tbsp honey or other sweetener
  • 3 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil
  • 1 tbsp Parmesan optional, omit to keep the recipe vegan


  • If using polenta from a tube, skip to step 2. For instant polenta, bring 3 cups salted water to a simmer in a pot on medium heat. Slowly add the instant polenta, constantly stirring to ensure that clumps do not form. Continue stirring for 4 to 5 minutes until the polenta becomes very thick. Lightly grease a baking sheet and pour the polenta evenly into the pan so that it is approximately half an inch thick. Place the pan in the fridge for 45 minutes until it is hard. Once hard, remove form the fridge and cut into circles using a knife or cookie cutter.
  • If using a tube of polenta, cut 1/2 inch thick slices.
  • In a pot on medium low heat cook the crushed garlic in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until it begins to turn golden in color. Lower the heat, add the chopped onions, zucchini, mushrooms and eggplant, sprinkle with salt and cook for 10 minutes until the vegetables have become translucent in color. Add in the cherry tomatoes and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Add the honey, tomato paste and chopped tomatoes to the pot and allow the sauce to simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Heat the grill or barbecue. Lightly brush the polenta with olive oil and grill for 5 minutes per side or until they begin to turn golden in color and the edges become crisp.
  • Serve each circle of polenta topped with tomato sauce, chopped basil and Parmesan if desired.
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Enjoy! Want more from Carmen? Be sure to follow her on Instagram and check out her new book: Every Last Bite: A Deliciously Clean Approach to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet 

by Camila Alves McConaughey