- One 16- or 24-ounce tube of polenta*
- 2 large zucchini, sliced into 1/4”-thick rounds
- 14.5 ounces (1.5 cups) low-sugar marinara sauce
- 5 ounces (1.25 cups) grated reduced-fat mozzarella cheese
- Optional: Fresh or dried basil
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Spray a 9”x13” pan with nonstick spray.
- Cut the polenta into 1/4” thick slices. Arrange the polenta slices in a single layer in the prepared pan.*
- Arrange the zucchini slices over the polenta.
- Pour the marinara sauce evenly over the zucchini. Use a rubber/silicone spoonula to spread the sauce over all of the zucchini if you need to.
- Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese evenly over the top of the entire dish.
- Cover the pan with tin foil, and bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove the tin foil, and bake for 5-10 more minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Let stand 5 minutes, then cut into slices and serve warm.
- If desired, you can garnish individual servings with a dash of fresh basil chiffonade, or a pinch of dried basil.
Makes 8 servings.
Nutritional information per serving: 125 calories, 3 g fat, 18 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 3.5 g sugar, 7.5 g protein.
A few notes:
- If you can’t find the exact size tube of polenta that I used, just get close – the recipe will be fine even if you don’t use the same exact quantity of polenta that I did.
- When I cut my polenta into slices, I ended up with around 24 pieces. You may end up with a few more or a few less; whatever quantity you have will work just fine. Also, don’t worry if some of the slices break apart – no one will ever know.
- When you are putting the polenta slices in the pan, if you have to double-up a few slices (i.e., you don’t end up with a “pure” single layer of polenta), that’s okay. And if you need to break apart a few polenta slices into small pieces so that you can plug some “holes”, that’s fine, too.
Mental Cost (ingredient availability): Low.
Financial Cost (ingredient cost): Low.
Emotional Cost (cooking skill level): Low.
Time Cost (recipe preparation): Hands-on time is low; but total time is nudging medium.
Life Cost (clean up time/effort): Low.
Worth It? (rate from 1-5): 4.9399
Miscellaneous suggestions, insights, and/or thoughts:
- I liked the dish both with and without the basil. If I had some basil laying around, I would certainly add it to this meal; but I wouldn’t buy basil specifically for this recipe.
- I added soy crumbles to an individual serving of the dish (to increase the protein content of the meal), and that tasted quite good, too.
- The zucchini in this dish attained the ideal level of “doneness” – it was tender, yet still had a nice ‘bite’ to it. A perfect al-dente quality.
- The flavors of this dish were nice and clean – yet the meal was still hearty and filling. Quite satisfying.