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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Corn and Goat Cheese Polenta with Garlicky Summer Squash

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This healthy recipe allows you to enjoy creamy and cheesy goat cheese polenta without any of the guilt! Served with summer squash and fresh corn, this seasonal dish is fresh, tasty and full of nutrients.

Corn and Goat Cheese Polenta with Garlicky Summer Squash served on a white plate

Seasonal squash and fresh corn on the cob are some of my favorite things about summer.

While frozen and canned corn are available year round, and are decent substitutions in most recipes that call for corn, there’s just nothing like fresh corn cut right off the cob. It’s got that light, sweet and crispy consistency that just feels like you’re biting into summer sunshine.

And summer squashes are just so much fun to cook with! There are over 15 different kinds and they all have different textures and flavor profiles.

Add goat cheese, polenta, and some fresh herbs, and you’ve got an easy, simple dinner that’s filling, satisfying and healthy.

The traditional version of polenta is made with tons of butter, cheese and sometimes even cream – which makes it super rich and indulgent – but also not the best thing to eat on a regular basis.

My version has all of the decadence of the original version with none of the guilt!

Ingredients for making Corn and Goat Cheese Polenta with Garlicky Summer Squash

How to make Corn and Goat Cheese Polenta with Garlicky Summer Squash – Step by step

Bring 1 quart of water and 1 teaspoon of salt to boil in a large saucepan or small Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and whisk in polenta; continue to cook, whisking frequently until polenta thickens to a soft, but not soupy consistency. Keep warm, adding water and stirring frequently to keep polenta soft. When the polenta is almost ready, stir in the milk. This will literally take you 3 minutes (and then the polenta is ready!).

polenta in a pot of water

Cut the squash into thin rounds about 1/4 inch thick.

summer squash cut into rounds.Then cut the corn kernels off the cob. I like to hold the ear of corn vertically in a large bowl and then run my knife down the sides. That way the little kernels don’t go sprinkling all over my kitchen floor as I cut the corn off the cob!

Two ears of corn on a red chopping board

Corn kernels in a bowl

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini and yellow squash; sauté until squash is soft but still holds its shape, about 5 minutes. Add corn, crushed red pepper, and garlic; sauté lightly to cook. 

Corn and summer squash in a frying pan

Stir in basil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper to taste.Herbs added to vegetables in frying pan

Stir in about 1 oz goat cheese into the polenta right before you serve it. To serve: Pour 1 ladle-full of polenta into a plate, top with a portion of the squash mixture. Top with about 1/2-1 oz crumbled goat cheese per serving.

Corn and Goat Cheese Polenta with Garlicky Summer Squash served on a round white plate

What is polenta?

Polenta is made from yellow corn that is ground into cornmeal, and is commonly used in Italian cooking. It is a whole grain that is low in calories and gluten free.

Is goat cheese polenta healthy?

Typically, I wouldn’t say goat cheese polenta is healthy. But this cheesy polenta dish comes in at only 270 calories per serving and this recipe makes four servings. The dish is loaded with healthy veggies for a hit of vitamins and minerals. Polenta is rich in complex carbohydrates, a source of fiber and protein and low in fat.

Is polenta gluten free?

Yes! Since polenta is made from corn, it’s naturally gluten free. It’s also a healthy complex carbohydrate, since a 3.5-ounce portion has only 15g carbs. This dish, thanks to the polenta is also gluten-free. 

Can this polenta recipe be made ahead of time? 

Absolutely! You can make this the day before and it will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days. To reheat polenta, add a little bit of water or milk to thin it out until you achieve the right consistency, and then heat it gently using the stove or microwave.

There’s just something about this dish that has an air of elegance and fancy, like you’ve spent hours on it in the kitchen, even though it literally takes 20 minutes to make. And I promise: this polenta will be creamy, buttery and delicious – just like the restaurant version but totally guilt-free!  

Close up of Corn and Goat Cheese Polenta with Garlicky Summer Squash

Top tips for making Corn and Goat Cheese Polenta with Garlicky Summer Squash

  • Buy polenta that has 1 ingredient – 100% cornmeal.
  • Keep stirring the polenta when cooking to keep it soft.
  • Polenta can be made ahead of time and reheated, simply add 1/4-1/2 cup of water, cover, and reheat in the microwave or on a low heat.
  • Use the freshest veggies you can for maximum flavor.
  • To cut the corn easily without having corn kernels fly everywhere, use two bowls: one large and one small. Put the small bowl upside down in the large bowl. Then stand the corn on top of the smaller bowl and use a sharp knife to slice down along the cob.  

Be sure to check out these other healthy Italian inspired recipes!

If you have tried this Corn and Goat Cheese Polenta with Garlicky Summer Squash recipe, or any other recipe on my blog, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious, healthy, family friendly food!

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Corn and Goat Cheese Polenta with Garlicky Summer Squash

There’s just something about polenta infused with goat cheese that’s addicting and decadent. You can lighten up the ingredients quite a bit while retaining that amazing restaurant flavor.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 273.4
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

  • 1 cup instant polenta make sure it has one ingredient: 100% cornmeal – you can get it at your local grocery store
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup 1% organic milk
  • 4 ounces herbed goat cheese you can buy herbed goat cheese at the grocery store, or make your own by mixing plain goat cheese with a mixture of your favorite fresh herbs!
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium-large yellow squash sliced into thin rounds
  • 2 medium-large zucchini sliced into thin rounds
  • 2 ears corn kernels cut from the cob
  • 4-5 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Bring 1 quart of water and 1 teaspoon of salt to boil in a large saucepan or small Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and whisk in polenta; continue to cook, whisking frequently until polenta thickens to a soft, but not soupy consistency. Keep warm, adding water and stirring frequently to keep polenta soft. When the polenta is almost ready, stir in the milk. This will literally take you 3 minutes (and then the polenta is ready!).
  • Cut all your veggies, and cut the corn kernels off the cob. I like to hold the ear of corn vertically in a large bowl and then run my knife down the sides. That way the little kernels don’t go sprinkling all over my kitchen floor as I cut the corn off the cob.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini and yellow squash; sauté until squash is soft but still holds its shape, about 5 minutes. Add corn, crushed red pepper, and garlic; sauté to lightly cook. Stir in basil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper to taste.
  • Stir in about 1 oz goat cheese into the polenta right before you serve it. To serve: Pour 1 ladle-full of polenta into a plate, top with a portion of the squash mixture. Top with about 1/2-1 oz crumbled goat cheese per serving.

Notes

Top tips for making Corn and Goat Cheese Polenta with Garlicky Summer Squash
  • Buy polenta that has 1 ingredient - 100% cornmeal.
  • Keep stirring the polenta when cooking to keep it soft.
  • Polenta can be made ahead of time and reheated, simply add 1/4-1/2 cup of water, cover, and reheat in the microwave or on a low heat.
  • Use the freshest veggies you can for maximum flavor.
  • To cut the corn easily without having corn kernels fly everywhere, use two bowls: one large and one small. Put the small bowl upside down in the large bowl. Then stand the corn on top of the smaller bowl and use a sharp knife to slice down along the cob.  
Adapted from ThreeManyCooks

Nutrition

Calories: 273.4kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 10.9g | Fat: 8g | Sodium: 113.2mg | Fiber: 3.8g | Sugar: 5.7g
Corn and Goat Cheese Polenta with Garlicky Summer Squash - easy healthy recipes, tasty healthy recipes, delicious healthy recipes, vegetarian healthy recipes, quick and easy recipes for picky eaters #healthyfood #food

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Entrees ·

From healthy versions of favorites to cozy curries, these main courses are sure to bring some new recipes to your family’s table.

20 responses to “Corn and Goat Cheese Polenta with Garlicky Summer Squash”

  1. Hi Anjali,

    wow, I never have seen anything like this! Can’t wait to try this recipe, I know my family will love it!

  2. I love how you lightened up this polenta dish! I don’t cook with polenta nearly enough. Sounds wonderful with all the vegetables and the goat cheese. Yum!

  3. Success again! No surprises, I’ve started trusting you with the butternut soup, then the bean burgers, the red lentil dal, and the kale dal.
    For the polenta one, the goat cheese is a great twist. And just like you always say: “the boyfriend loves it”.
    Have a great week, and thanks for sharing your knowledge! You rock!

    • Woohoo!! Thanks for letting me know Dani – that is great! Hope you have a great week too! 🙂

  4. Anjali, you keep bringing happiness to my home!!!!!
    I haved tried the healthy falafel last saturday (absolute success), the berries-yogurt-nuts-honey breakfast, and now making this polenta. Your recipes are awesome, they never fail!!!
    BIG FAN

    • Awwww thank you sooo much Dani!! Your comment made my day 🙂 I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying my recipes! You’ll have to let me know how this one turns out — it’s one of my favorites for the summer!!

  5. I love summertime for the abundance of squash and zucchini. I must admit I have never tasted polenta although have seen it prepared numerous times. I’ve been thinking about finding the right recipe, thank you for posting this. I will finally give it a shot

    • Oh yay!! I’m so excited that this recipe has inspired you to try to make polenta at home! Definitely let me know how it turns out for you Kathy – can’t wait to hear how you like it 🙂 Enjoy!

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