Polenta Bruschetta

Italian food is my soul food. It’s the food of my people. Homemade pasta, garlic, olive oil… these are the foods that make my heart happy. This recipe combines two of my favroties: traditional bruschetta topping and crispy, grilled polenta. The combination is completely addictive, and makes for an amazing appetizer! If you’re pressed for time, you can totally make this with that grocery store polenta in the tube, most of them are vegan-friendly!





For the polenta:

  • 3.5 cups water
  • 1 cup coarse ground cornmeal (polenta)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

For the bruschetta

  • 1 large heirloom tomato, or 1.5 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Extra basil leaves, for garnish


  1. Add the cornmeal and water into a medium sized pot and stir well with a whisk. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cover, stirring every few minutes. Continue to simmer until the mixture is about the same texture as oatmeal, about 20 minutes.
  2. Remove from the heat and spread the polenta onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Make a layer about 1/2  inch thick. Cover and let the polenta completely cool and solidify (I did this in the fridge). Once cool, use a round cookie cutter to cut polenta rounds, or just cut the polenta into squares, or whatever shape you prefer. Chill the rounds in the fridge while you preheat a grill pan. At this time, mix the minced garlic with the olive oil in a small dish.
  3. Preheat a cast iron grill pan (or just use a regular nonstick frying pan) to medium heat. Brush the polenta rounds with the garlic-oil mixture, and grill for 5 minutes on each size until slightly crispy.
  4. To make the bruschetta, chop the tomato into small chunks, and toss with the rest of the ingredients.
  5. Top the warm polenta rounds with bruschetta topping, garnish with basil leaves, and serve!
If you give this recipe a try, take a photo and tag #crueltyfreefamily and/or #pleasepassthepeace. We are so excited to see your recreations!


polenta bruschetta 2