Tomato-Basil Sauce with Polenta: A delicious meatless option

I’m a big meat fan. A nice, juicy steak is always welcome in my house (and on my plate), but sometimes I think it’s good to mix it up and go meatless a few times a week. I discovered this delicious recipe a few weeks ago on Bon Appetit and I’ve made it a few times. It’s super easy to make and it’s super tasty! Most of the magic is done in the oven, which means you can clean up the kitchen while the food is baking and be done with dinner and dishes in a short amount of time. Love it. The only special thing you need is parchment paper – which comes in handy for baking too, so it’s worth keeping around. (These are a great option – they also come in round if you bake a lot of cakes.)


Tomato-Basil Sauce with Polenta


  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 16- to 18-ounce packaged cooked polenta log, cut into 1/2-inch rounds (You’ll find this in either the fridge section, near the ethnic section, or near the rice/pasta..and sometimes you have to ask where it is) Both plain or basil flavor will work.
  • 2 pounds cherry tomatoes (about 6 cups)
  • 7 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 large sprigs basil


  • Arrange racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 425°. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and brush with 1 Tbsp. oil. Arrange polenta rounds on oiled sheet.
  • Very coarsely chop (do not purée) half the tomatoes in a food processor. Cut remaining tomatoes in half (quarter if large). Combine tomatoes in a bowl with 4 Tbsp. oil and remaining ingredients. Toss to coat.
  • Stack three 24×12″ sheets of parchment paper on another baking sheet. (Don’t use foil—the tomato acid will react with aluminum.) Spoon tomato mixture onto one side of stacked parchment. Fold parchment layers over mixture and crimp edges tightly to form a sealed packet.
  • Place baking sheet with tomato packet on upper rack and sheet with polenta on lower rack. Bake, turning polenta rounds once, until polenta is light golden and tomatoes are saucy (carefully open packet to check; steam will escape), 25–30 minutes. (You can also cook polenta in a grill pan or on a charcoal or gas grill.)
  • Spoon tomato sauce over polenta.

Be careful with the packet when you pull it out of the oven, as the tomatoes do get a bit juicy! You don’t want tomato juice all over your kitchen floor. Enjoy!

One thought on “Tomato-Basil Sauce with Polenta: A delicious meatless option

  1. Pingback: Using those delicious summer tomatoes | Nine Recipes

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