This is an easy-to-follow recipe for cheesy polenta that is great for holiday gatherings and cooler months.
This time of year there is nothing better than warm and effortless dishes that bring comfort and joy to the festive season. Especially if they pack in some vibrant veggies.
The polenta is mixed with cheese, then layered with veggies and basil, then air fried for a crispy finish. Once done, it can be cut into pieces and enjoyed as a flavorful standalone meal or paired with eggs or your meat of choice for added protein.
I’ve partnered with Have a Plant to bring to you this perfectly cheesy tomato basil polenta that will wow your guests.
Benefits of Canned Tomatoes
One of the star ingredients in this recipe is the canned diced tomatoes. While I love fresh tomatoes, canned varieties can save you time with preparation if you buy pre-diced. Plus, they’re budget-friendly, retain excellent nutritional value, and have a very long shelf life.
Combining the ease of canned tomatoes with fresh herbs and veggies for this polenta dish creates a flavorful medley that will wow your taste buds.
How to Make Cheesy Polenta
Start by following the instructions on the package to boil the polenta.
While the polenta is cooking, saute the yellow onion, crushed garlic, raw spinach, basil leaves, and canned diced tomatoes. Make sure to drain the tomatoes before adding them to remove the excess liquid and salt content.
Once the polenta is cooked, add the cheddar cheese, mozzarella and Parmesan with sea salt to taste. Now add the veggie sauté to the cheesy polenta and mix all the ingredients well.
If you prefer, you can eat it just like this. But to elevate this dish even more, follow this final step. Transfer the polenta veggie mixture into a baking dish (9-inch x 7inch) to let it cool down.
Cut into 6 squares and put in the air fryer for a perfect golden crisp.
- Large pan
- Stove top
- Air Fryer
- 1 cup dry polenta
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
- 3 cups raw spinach
- 1 cup basil leaves
- 1 can diced tomatoes drained
- 2 oz cheddar cheese
- 2 oz mozzarella
- 1 oz Parmesan
- Sea salt to taste
- Follow the instructions on how to make the polenta. My polenta called for boiling 3 cups of water then adding 1 cup dry polenta.
- While the polenta is cooking, sauté 1 small yellow onion, diced, 1 teaspoon crushed garlic, 3 cups raw spinach, 1 cup basil leaves, and 1 can of diced tomatoes, drained.
- Once the polenta is cooked, add 2 oz of cheddar cheese, 2 oz of mozzarella, and 1 oz of Parmesan cheese. Add sea salt to taste.
- Added the sauté mixture to the polenta and mix all the ingredients well.
- Transfer the polenta veggie mixture into a baking dish (9-inch x 7inch) to let it cool down. People can eat it just like that, or you can cut it into 6 squares and put them in the air fryer at 400 F for about 7 min to add a golden crisp.
- Pair with fried eggs or your meat of choice.
What to Pair with This Cheesy Polenta
To increase the protein even more, I recommend eating this with fried eggs or your meat of choice.For more inspiration, visit my site for other veggie-packed dishes.
Your guests will LOVE this veggie-packed dish, and you’ll want to make it all winter long.