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Summer Polenta Bowl with chimichurri. Full of fresh summer veggies, this one-bowl meal is healthy, hearty, and totally delicious.What is it about bowls-with-a-lot-of-stuff that are so appealing to us? O and me, specifically, I guess, but perhaps people in general, as well? There’s just something so hearty and comforting about a bowl layered with generous servings of vibrant, seasonal veggies and proteins that we can’t get over. Enter, the summer polenta bowl.

Summer Polenta Bowl with chimichurri. Full of fresh summer veggies, this one-bowl meal is healthy, hearty, and totally delicious.Pretty much, soft, creamy polenta topped with anything is delicious, and in my previous life, I used to serve a fancy three-day braised meat (in an entire bottle of wine! I mean, c’mon now) over this polenta and totally adored it. These days, we do a lot less meat and a lot more veggies, but this recipe surprised us.

Summer Polenta Bowl with chimichurri. Full of fresh summer veggies, this one-bowl meal is healthy, hearty, and totally delicious.We expected, you know, soft polenta and earthy mushrooms, summery zucchini, herbaceous chimichurri, quick marinated tomatoes, a rich poached egg. But all together it becomes errrmagahhh summer bliss. Maybe it’s the chimichurri that ties is all together; maybe it’s the poached egg? Maybe it’s the sheer freshness of it all. Who knows! I’m not asking questions. My mouth’s way too full for any of that nonsense.

Summer Polenta Bowl with chimichurri. Full of fresh summer veggies, this one-bowl meal is healthy, hearty, and totally delicious.What I especially love about this summer polenta bowl is that it works beautifully with pretty much any vegetables you have on hand. Okra? Check. Carrots? Do it. Kale? OK, go for it. It’s a great way to use up your farmer’s market spoils before they, uh, spoil? And of course, it’s super healthy, packed full of veggies, and can totally be made vegan (just leave out that poached egg and the optional grated cheese!).

Oh, and you know how polenta is supposed to be risotto-like with the constant stirring and full hour spent bent over the saucepan, making sure everything turns out *just right*? Ha! This polenta takes about 18 minutes, requires only a bit of whisking, and can be made with regular, ol’ cornmeal. This dish comes together in about 30 minutes – pretty awesome, right?

The recipe is less of a recipe and more of simple guidelines, aside from the actual polenta recipe, that is. Get creative with what sounds good to you and what you’ve got on hand! Let me know what killer creations you come up with.

Recipe By: Cheryl Malik
4.75 from 4 votes

Summer Polenta Bowl (Vegan Option)

Cook 30 minutes
Total 30 minutes
Soft, creamy polenta layered with sautéed summer vegetables, a rich poached egg, and the best chimichurri you've ever had.
2 people


  • 1 cup unsweetened and unflavored almond milk
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • ½ cup polenta (or cornmeal - that's what I typically use)
  • cup about 1/3 cup freshly grated cheese (like Monterey, mozzarella, etc.), optional
  • 4 oz about 4 ounces mushrooms , sliced and sautéed in a little olive oil
  • 2-3 zucchini or summer squash , sliced and sautéed in a little olive oil
  • 2 ripe tomatoes , diced
  • 2 eggs , poached (see note for my personal poaching process)
  • 1 tbsp about 1 tablespoon wine vinegar for poaching the eggs (like rice wine vinegar, white wine vinegar - don't use apple cider vinegar or white vinegar)
  • ¾ cup of oil (either great olive oil or use vegetable oil - you don't want the strong taste of a mediocre olive oil here)
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup of lemon juice
  • ½ cup cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of dry oregano
  • 1 tablespoon of red crushed pepper
  • 1 pinch Salt to taste (a lot - I usually use about 1 tablespoon [from the original recipe from Texas de Brazil])


  • Make chimichurri: process all ingredients in a blender until chopped and blended (but not TOO smooth; you want some discernible herb flecks here but no pieces of raw garlic).
  • Spoon 2 tablespoons chimichurri over the diced tomatoes, toss, and set aside.
  • Make the polenta: bring water, milk, and salt to boil in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Gradually whisk in polenta. Reduce heat to low; simmer until smooth and thick, stirring almost constantly, about 18 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, sauté your vegetables and poach your eggs. When your polenta is done, stir in the optional grated cheese and divide evenly between two large individual bowls. Layer sautéed vegetables and marinated tomatoes on top then top with a poached egg per bowl and a spoon of chimichurri. Serve with additional chimichurri.
How to poach an egg: fill a nonstick medium saucepan with about 2″ water. pour in about 1-2 tablespoons wine vinegar or other flavored vinegar (you can use white vinegar, but use something else if you have it) to the water to acidulate the water and help the egg whites coagulate. place over high heat. Crack your eggs into small bowls. When the water is just about to boil, and you see little bubble streams coming from the bottom, turn heat to low. don’t allow to boil–if it begins to, pour in just a bit of extra room temperature water, or uh, wait.
Gently lower a bowl with a cracked egg to the water and gently slip the egg into the water. Using a spoon, gently push the egg white strands closer to the whole of the egg, helping it stay together. Set a time for 3 minutes. when the egg is formed and sticking together, you can lower in another egg and repeat that process. Set another timer for 3 minutes, or generally guess how long it took you to add that second egg and get it sticking to itself. Poach only about 2-3 at a time–too crowded and you’ll have morphed siamese twin eggs, which is not what we’re going for (this time). Very, very gently try and push the eggs around just a bit, so they don’t stick to the bottom of the saucepan.
After the 3 minutes is up, remove the first egg with a slotted spoon and very gently slide your beautifully poached egg onto a plate (you can line with paper towels to absorb extra water but it will be much harder to slide the egg off the plate this way). After 3 minutes (or about as long as it took you between setting the first timer and getting the second egg in and sticking to itself) for the second egg, remove it the same way. Do the same for the third egg, then repeat the process from placing the pot over high heat. You can recycle the water or start again, if you like, depending on how many rogue egg white strands you have.

Approximate Information for One Serving

Serving Size: 2gCalories: 1069calProtein: 14gFat: 94gSaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 921mgPotassium: 763mgTotal Carbs: 49gFiber: 6gSugar: 6gNet Carbs: 43gVitamin A: 2779IUVitamin C: 53mgCalcium: 386mgIron: 4mg
Nutrition Disclaimers
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.

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  1. Hi Cheryl, I know tha tthis is quuuite a long time after you wrote this recipe to be making a comment, obviously I’m a latecomer to your site- referred by one busy-mom sister for one amazing curry recipe a month ago. I’ll keep it short: I’m a huge polenta fan, but it’s not always a fan of me (or anyone else) :sometimes it just doesn’t coagulate into the texture I want (and I think that maybe I get sloppy with measurements sometimes so that could be a thing..)Anyway, mostly what I was going to say is: I’m a serious home cook but I’ve NEVER made a chimichurri sauce before ( I know what it is but just never wanted to try it..) Your first instruction is to “make the chimichurri sauce: process all the ingredients in…” Wait! WHICH ingredients? Maybe you are already preaching to the chimichurri loving choir but there’s nothing inthe ingredients that’s labeled seperately for us novices to know (except by process of elimination, which isn’t too hard here) what goes into making this lovely sauce. I’m an editor, very non-vocational one, and I just notice this stuff. It probably isn’t a big deal since from the comments, nobody else much had a problem with it. And it is 7 YEARS LATER, yep there’s that.. In any case, I’m looking forward to putting this on my din-din menu this week (just bought half the ingredients before I even came here and was searching for a way to get something new going with the). No CSA for me, budget not enough for that, but I sometimes go out to a Farmer’s Market where the stand owners actually TAKE my SNAP card!! (that’s the new name for food stamps here in OH) Thanks for posting this.4 stars

  2. This looks so amazing and tasty really excited to make this recipe and try, great instructions are given with properly to understood really helpful and what a healthy recipe, Thanks for sharing with us.

  3. Cheryl, this looks absolutely fabulous! My cousin and I were just talking about polenta and you know, this recipe came just in time! I’m looking forward to this tomorrow night after I pick up my CSA share! Thank you for the egg poaching walk through – your egg is perfect!

    1. Oh yum! I always try to remember to sign up for a veggie CSA but never go through with it. I know I’d love it. And yes, this is a fantastic way to use up a bunch of produce! So versatile. Let me know how you like it if you make it 🙂5 stars

      1. Oh My Goodness! I made this last night with a few modifications, only to use up CSA veggies I had on hand. The polenta… I stirred in a bit of goat cheese and pecorino. I need more of that in my life! I grilled zucchini, yellow squash and quick sautéed mushrooms and green beans… all the veggies were tender crisp. Oh MY!! Then, the chimichurri (I had never had this before). A perfect accompaniment with this meal and absolutely makes the veggies and polenta shine! My friends raved (and one is chef) 😀 ! I absolutely loved this and will be making it again and again! Pure comfort food!! Thank you, Cheryl!5 stars

        1. Oh my goodness, that makes me so happy! And sounds stinkin’ delicious.. green beans, yum! I love how totally quick the polenta is – I mean, who has time to stand around stirring polenta for 45 minutes? So glad you liked it!! 😀

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