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Cheesy Polenta with Grilled Sausages and Summer Vegetables Recipe

This delightful cheesy polenta with grilled sausages and summer vegetables recipe is a savory treat that combines the creamy texture of polenta with the smoky flavor of grilled sausages and the freshness of summer vegetables. Perfect for a family dinner or a casual get-together with friends, this dish boasts a symphony of flavors that are sure to make your taste buds sing.

Cheesy Polenta with Grilled Sausages and Summer Vegetables Recipe
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Photos of Cheesy Polenta with Grilled Sausages and Summer Vegetables Recipe

The key ingredients in this recipe are polenta, summer squash, and Italian sausages. Polenta, a type of cornmeal, is a staple in Italian cuisine and lends a rich, creamy texture to the dish. Summer squash is a seasonal vegetable that adds a burst of freshness and color. Italian sausages are packed full of spices and bring a hearty, meaty element to the dish. These items can be readily found in most supermarkets, but be sure to check the international aisle for polenta if it's not with the other grains.

Ingredients for Cheesy Polenta with Grilled Sausages and Summer Vegetables

Butter: Used to butter the baking dish and add a rich flavor to the polenta.

Water: The liquid needed to cook the polenta.

Polenta: The star ingredient of the dish, it provides a creamy base.

Cheese Italian blend: Adds a layer of melty goodness to the polenta.

Oil: Needed for grilling the sausages and vegetables.

Italian sausages: They provide a hearty, meaty element to the dish.

Zucchini: One of the summer vegetables in this dish, it grills nicely and adds a fresh flavor.

Summer squash: Another summer vegetable that grills well and complements the other ingredients.

Tomatoes: Bring a touch of acidity and freshness to the dish.

Olive oil: Used to brush the vegetables before grilling.

Salt and pepper: Seasonings that enhance the flavors of the other ingredients.

One reader, Damian Pleasant says:

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This cheesy polenta with grilled sausages and summer vegetables recipe is a game-changer! The creamy polenta paired with the savory sausages and grilled veggies creates a burst of flavors. It's a delightful dish that's perfect for a cozy family dinner or a summer barbecue. Highly recommended!

Damian Pleasant

Cooking Techniques for Mastering Cheesy Polenta with Grilled Sausages and Summer Vegetables

How to bake the polenta: In a baking dish, stir the water, polenta, cubed butter, and salt together. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir in half of the cheese. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes longer, or until the polenta is thick and porridge-like. Turn on the broiler and broil for 1 to 3 minutes, or just until the cheese bubbles and browns.

How to heat the grill: For charcoal grills, fill a grill chimney with charcoal and light it. When the coals are hot, empty them into the grill and push them to one side to create higher heat and lower heat cooking zones. Preheat the grate for 5 minutes. For gas grills, heat one burner to high and one to low (225°F). Brush the grates with oil.

How to cook the vegetables: Place the sausages on the grill and cook, turning often, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are browned and cooked through. Move them to the cooler side of the grill if they brown too quickly but are still raw inside. Brush the zucchini slices, summer squash slices, and tomato halves with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill the zucchini and summer squash on each side until tender with grill marks. Grill the tomatoes, with the cut sides down, until they have grill marks and are warm but not falling apart. Use the cooler side of the grill to moderate the heat if necessary.

How To Make Cheesy Polenta with Grilled Sausages and Summer Vegetables

Cheesy polenta is the Italians’ leveled up version of a corn porridge. It goes perfectly with the grilled sausages and summer vegetables- squash & zucchini.

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 45 minutes
Total: 55 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

For Polenta:

  • butter,for the baking dish
  • 5cupswater
  • cupspolenta
  • 3tbspbutter,cut into little cubes
  • 1tspsalt
  • cupcheese Italian blend

For Sausages and Vegetables:

  • oil,for the grill
  • 8Italian sausages
  • 3mediumzucchini,(about 1 lb), cut on the diagonal into ¼ inch thick slices
  • 3mediumsummer squash,(about 1 lb), cut on the diagonal into ¼ inch thick slices
  • 4smalltomatoes,halved
  • olive oil,for brushing the vegetables
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter a shallow 3-quart baking dish.

  2. In the baking dish, stir the water, polenta, cubed butter, and salt together. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir in half of the cheese. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.

  3. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes longer, or until the polenta is thick and porridge-like. Turn on the broiler and broil for 1 to 3 minutes, or just until the cheese bubbles and browns.

  4. For charcoal grills, fill a grill chimney with charcoal and light it. When the coals are hot (they should be covered with a layer of fine gray ash) empty the coals into the grill and push them to one side of the grill to make higher heat and lower heat cooking zones. Set the grate in place and cover the grill. Preheat the grate for 5 minutes.

  5. For gas grills, heat one burner to high and one to low (225 degrees F). Fold a small piece of paper towel to make a 2-inch square, and pour a few tablespoons of oil into a shallow bowl. With tongs, dip the square into the oil, and brush the grates.

  6. Place the sausages on the grill and cook, turning often, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are browned and cooked through (150 degrees F is the ideal internal temperature.) Move them on the cooler side of the grill if they brown too quickly but are still raw inside. As soon as they reach the desired temperature, transfer them to a plate and cover loosely with foil to keep them warm.

  7. Brush the zucchini slices, summer squash slices, and tomato halves with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill the zucchini and summer squash on each side until the slices are tender and there are grill marks on the sides. 

  8. Grill the tomatoes, with the cut sides down, until they have grill marks and are warm but not falling apart. Use the cool side of the grill to moderate the heat if necessary.

  9. Place a spoonful of polenta on each plate. Top with a sausage, a tomato half, and a few slices of zucchini and summer squash.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 768.46kcal
  • Fat: 63.34g
  • Saturated Fat: 22.67g
  • Trans Fat: 0.55g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 29.00g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 8.07g
  • Carbohydrates: 27.87g
  • Fiber: 3.43g
  • Sugar: 5.11g
  • Protein: 22.93g
  • Cholesterol: 123.05mg
  • Sodium: 1201.87mg
  • Calcium: 136.90mg
  • Potassium: 845.60mg
  • Iron: 2.46mg
  • Vitamin A: 148.65µg
  • Vitamin C: 34.23mg

Pro Tip for Perfecting Cheesy Polenta with Grilled Sausages and Summer Vegetables

When grilling vegetables, it's important to cut them into even slices to ensure they cook evenly. Thicker slices may take longer to cook and may not cook through evenly. Also, lightly brushing them with olive oil before grilling not only prevents them from sticking to the grill but also enhances their flavor. Remember to turn them occasionally for even grilling and to achieve those desirable grill marks.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing This Cheesy Polenta Recipe

Prep ahead: Prepare the polenta in advance and store it in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, simply reheat and add the cheese.

Grill in batches: Cook the sausages and vegetables in batches to save time and ensure even cooking.

Use a grill pan: If you don't have access to an outdoor grill, use a grill pan on the stovetop to cook the sausages and vegetables indoors.

Multi-task: While the polenta is baking in the oven, prepare the sausages and vegetables on the grill to maximize efficiency.

Prep the vegetables: Slice the zucchini, summer squash, and tomatoes ahead of time to streamline the grilling process.

Keep it simple: Opt for pre-seasoned sausages to cut down on prep time and add extra flavor to the dish.

Substitute Ingredients For Cheesy Polenta with Grilled Sausages and Summer Vegetables Recipe

  • Butter - Substitute with olive oil: Olive oil can add a rich and smooth texture to the polenta, similar to butter, while also providing a different flavor profile.

  • Italian blend cheese - Substitute with parmesan cheese: Parmesan cheese can provide a similar savory and nutty flavor to the polenta, enhancing its richness and depth.

  • Italian sausages - Substitute with chicken or turkey sausages: Chicken or turkey sausages can offer a leaner alternative with a similar savory and herby taste, complementing the polenta and vegetables.

  • Zucchini - Substitute with eggplant: Eggplant can provide a similar tender texture and absorb flavors well, making it a great substitute for zucchini in this recipe.

  • Summer squash - Substitute with butternut squash: Butternut squash can offer a slightly sweeter and nuttier flavor, adding a unique twist to the dish while still providing a delicious and hearty component.

  • Tomatoes - Substitute with red bell peppers: Red bell peppers can offer a sweet and slightly smoky flavor, adding a vibrant color and delicious taste to the dish.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making This Recipe

  • Baking dish: A shallow 3-quart baking dish is needed to bake the polenta in the oven.
  • Grill: A grill is required to cook the sausages and summer vegetables.

Storage and Freezing Instructions for Cheesy Polenta with Grilled Sausages and Summer Vegetables

  • Let the polenta cool completely before storing it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, place the polenta in a microwave-safe dish and microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until heated through.
  • Store leftover grilled sausages in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, place the sausages in a skillet over medium heat and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.
  • Store leftover grilled vegetables in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, place the vegetables in a microwave-safe dish and microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until heated through.
  • To freeze the polenta, let it cool completely and then cut it into individual portions. Wrap each portion tightly in plastic wrap and then place them in a freezer-safe bag or container. Freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, place the frozen polenta in a microwave-safe dish and microwave on high for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until heated through.
  • To freeze the sausages, let them cool completely and then wrap each sausage tightly in plastic wrap. Place the wrapped sausages in a freezer-safe bag or container and freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, place the frozen sausages in a skillet over medium heat and cook until heated through, about 10 minutes.
  • It is not recommended to freeze the grilled vegetables as they will become mushy and lose their texture when thawed.

How To Reheat Leftover Cheesy Polenta and Grilled Sausages

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the leftover cheesy polenta in an oven-safe dish and cover it with foil. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until heated through. Stir the polenta halfway through to ensure even heating and to prevent it from drying out. If the polenta seems too thick, add a splash of water or milk to loosen it up.

  • For the grilled sausages, you can reheat them in a skillet over medium heat. Add a small amount of water or oil to the pan to prevent sticking and to help the sausages retain moisture. Cover the skillet and heat the sausages for 5-7 minutes, turning them occasionally to ensure even heating.

  • To reheat the grilled vegetables, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil over the vegetables and season with salt and pepper if needed. Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and heat for 5-7 minutes or until the vegetables are warmed through and slightly crispy.

  • Alternatively, you can reheat the entire dish in a microwave. Place the polenta, sausages, and vegetables in a microwave-safe dish and cover it with a damp paper towel. Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes, stirring the polenta and rearranging the sausages and vegetables halfway through to ensure even heating.

  • If you have a lot of leftovers, consider reheating each component separately to ensure the best texture and flavor. This will also allow you to adjust the seasoning and moisture content of each item as needed.

Interesting Trivia About Cheesy Polenta with Grilled Sausages and Summer Vegetables

Polenta is a traditional Italian dish that has been enjoyed for centuries. It is a versatile ingredient that can be used in both sweet and savory dishes, making it a staple in Italian cuisine.

Budget-Friendly: Is This Cheesy Polenta Recipe Economical for Home Cooking?

The cost-effectiveness of this cheesy polenta with grilled sausages and summer vegetables recipe is quite high. The ingredients, such as polenta, sausages, and vegetables, are generally affordable and can be found in most households. The dish is hearty and satisfying, making it a good value for feeding a family of four. The approximate cost for this meal would be around $20, making it an economical choice for a delicious and filling dinner. Overall Verdict: 9.

Is This Cheesy Polenta Recipe Healthy or Unhealthy?

The cheesy polenta with grilled sausages and summer vegetables recipe is a delightful mix of flavors, but it may not be the healthiest option. Here's why:

  • The polenta is high in calories and carbohydrates due to the added butter and cheese
  • Italian sausages are often high in fat and sodium, which can contribute to heart disease and high blood pressure
  • While the recipe includes zucchini, summer squash, and tomatoes, the portion of vegetables is relatively small compared to the polenta and sausages

However, this recipe can be easily modified to make it healthier without sacrificing taste:

  • Use low-fat cheese or reduce the amount of cheese in the polenta to decrease the calorie and fat content
  • Opt for lean Italian chicken or turkey sausages instead of traditional pork sausages to reduce the fat and sodium content
  • Increase the portion of grilled vegetables and consider adding other nutrient-dense options like bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms
  • Use olive oil sparingly when brushing the vegetables before grilling to keep the added fat to a minimum
  • Consider serving the polenta and sausages over a bed of fresh greens to increase the fiber and nutrient content of the meal

By making these simple adjustments, you can transform this recipe into a healthier option that still satisfies your taste buds and provides a balanced mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and vegetables.

Editor's Opinion on Cheesy Polenta with Grilled Sausages and Summer Vegetables

The combination of creamy, cheesy polenta with grilled sausages and summer vegetables creates a harmonious blend of flavors and textures. The polenta is rich and indulgent, providing a comforting base for the smoky, savory sausages and the vibrant, charred vegetables. The grilling process adds depth and complexity to the dish, enhancing the natural sweetness of the vegetables and infusing the sausages with a delightful smokiness. Overall, this recipe offers a delightful balance of hearty, comforting elements and fresh, summery flavors, making it a satisfying and well-rounded dish for any occasion.

Enhance Your Cheesy Polenta with Grilled Sausages and Summer Vegetables Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Asparagus: Tender asparagus spears roasted to perfection with a savory garlic parmesan topping.
Honey Glazed Carrots with Thyme: Sweet and savory carrots glazed with honey and infused with aromatic thyme for a delightful side dish.
Grilled Pineapple with Cinnamon: Juicy pineapple slices grilled to caramelized perfection and dusted with a hint of warm cinnamon for a tropical twist.

Similar Recipes to Try If You Love Cheesy Polenta

Grilled Lemon Garlic Chicken: Marinate chicken in a mixture of lemon juice, garlic, and herbs before grilling for a flavorful and juicy dish.
Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad: Toss roasted vegetables with cooked quinoa, fresh herbs, and a light vinaigrette for a healthy and satisfying salad.
Mango Coconut Popsicles: Blend ripe mangoes with coconut milk and a touch of honey, then freeze in popsicle molds for a refreshing and tropical dessert.

Appetizer and Dessert Pairings for Cheesy Polenta with Grilled Sausages and Summer Vegetables

Appetizers:
Stuffed Mushrooms: Create a savory and indulgent appetizer by stuffing mushrooms with a flavorful mixture of cheese, herbs, and breadcrumbs. The earthy flavor of the mushrooms pairs perfectly with the rich and creamy filling, making it a crowd-pleasing starter for any gathering.
Bruschetta: Elevate the classic bruschetta by topping crispy slices of toasted bread with a vibrant mixture of ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic, and tangy balsamic glaze. The combination of juicy tomatoes and aromatic herbs creates a burst of flavor in every bite, making it a refreshing and light appetizer option.
Desserts:
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and creamy chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder for an elegant and decadent dessert experience.
Berry Parfait: Layer juicy mixed berries with creamy Greek yogurt and crunchy granola for a refreshing and satisfying parfait that is perfect for a light and healthy dessert option.

Why trust this Cheesy Polenta with Grilled Sausages and Summer Vegetables Recipe:

This recipe offers a delightful combination of cheesy polenta with grilled sausages and summer vegetables. The creamy and flavorful polenta is enriched with a blend of Italian cheeses, while the grilled sausages bring a savory and smoky element. The summer vegetables are grilled to perfection, adding a fresh and vibrant touch to the dish. With a balance of textures and flavors, this recipe promises a satisfying and delicious meal that celebrates the essence of Italian cuisine.

Share your thoughts on this delicious Cheesy Polenta with Grilled Sausages and Summer Vegetables recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum.
FAQ:
Can I use a different type of cheese for the polenta?
Yes, you can definitely use a different type of cheese for the polenta. Feel free to experiment with your favorite cheeses to find the flavor that you enjoy the most.
Can I grill the sausages and vegetables indoors if I don't have an outdoor grill?
Absolutely! If you don't have an outdoor grill, you can use a stovetop grill pan or broil the sausages and vegetables in the oven. Just make sure to adjust the cooking times and temperatures accordingly.
Can I prepare the polenta in advance?
Yes, you can prepare the polenta in advance. Simply reheat it gently on the stovetop with a little extra water or milk to loosen it up before serving.
Can I substitute the Italian sausages with a different type of sausage?
Of course! You can use any type of sausage you prefer, such as chicken sausage, turkey sausage, or even vegetarian sausage, to suit your taste or dietary preferences.
Can I add other vegetables to the dish?
Absolutely! Feel free to add your favorite vegetables to the dish. Bell peppers, onions, eggplant, or mushrooms would all be delicious additions to complement the flavors of the dish.

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