Cheesy Polenta with Roasted Eggplant & Red Pepper Sauce

This hearty vegetarian main dish features tender eggplant, cheesy polenta and a roasted red pepper sauce. It's perfect for entertaining friends and family who are eating more plant-based meals.

Roasted Eggplant
Photo: Ryan Liebe
Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs


  • 2 red bell peppers

  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 2 teaspoons grated garlic

  • ½ teaspoon salt plus a pinch, divided

  • 4 small eggplants (about 1 1/2 pounds total)

  • 3 cups low-sodium no-chicken or chicken broth

  • ¾ cup polenta, fine cornmeal or grits

  • 1 cup shredded fontina cheese

  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper

  • 2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste

  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish


  1. Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil.

  2. Place peppers on the prepared baking sheet and broil, turning often, until black all over, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the peppers to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside to steam for 10 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°F. Combine 3 tablespoons oil, garlic and ¼ teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Make several lengthwise cuts in each eggplant, leaving the stem intact. Brush the cuts with the garlic oil. Place the eggplants in a 9-by-13 baking dish; cover the dish with foil. Bake until the eggplants are soft, about 45 minutes.

  4. Bring broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to low and gradually add polenta (or cornmeal or grits), whisking vigorously. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cheese, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Cover to keep warm.

  5. Remove and discard the skins, stem and seeds from the roasted peppers. Transfer the flesh to a blender and add vinegar, paprika, tomato paste and the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and pinch of salt. Blend until smooth.

  6. Serve the eggplants with the polenta and sauce. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

499 Calories
27g Fat
50g Carbs
12g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 499
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 50g 18%
Dietary Fiber 7g 25%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 12g 24%
Total Fat 27g 35%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 31mg 10%
Vitamin A 2587IU 52%
Vitamin C 79mg 88%
Vitamin D 6IU 2%
Vitamin E 4mg 27%
Folate 60mcg 15%
Vitamin K 9mcg 8%
Sodium 701mg 30%
Calcium 168mg 13%
Iron 2mg 11%
Magnesium 31mg 7%
Potassium 475mg 10%
Zinc 1mg 9%
Vitamin B12 1mcg 42%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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