Mexican Polenta Rounds

I just got back from San Diego, where I attended a conference for work. The days were packed with lectures and the hotel was a bit isolated on Coronado Island, so I didn’t actually get to spend any time sightseeing. Good thing I’ve already been to San Diego a couple times! I did enjoy the amazing weather and got to see my friend John, who was nice enough to pick me up from the hotel. We had seafood at Peohe’s, where I enjoyed fantastic coconut crusted shrimp and mahi mahi with a banana and Frangelico sauce – yum! The food at the hotel was actually pretty good too and I’m still thinking about the tempura wasabi tuna wrap I had for lunch one day. I was disappointed that I didn’t get any Mexican food though. After trying tamales for the first time in Phoenix, I really wanted to sample some more authentic dishes!

Since I was still craving Mexican when I got home, I decided to whip up some enchiladas. But, my plans changed when I realized we didn’t have any tortillas! Luckily I had some polenta on hand from Trader Joe’s (I impulsively purchased it a few weeks ago with no plans for it) and decided to top polenta rounds with my shredded chicken mixture. This was a really easy dish and the polenta reminded me of those delicious tamales!

Mexican Polenta Rounds
Printable Recipe

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 18-ounce precooked polenta roll, cut into 8 round slices
1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded (I poached mine)
1/2 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup frozen corn, cooked
1/2 cup prepared enchilada sauce
1 4.5-ounce chopped green chiles, drained
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a large nonstick skillet and cook polenta rounds for 5 to 7 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

Meanwhile, mix shredded chicken, black beans, corn, enchilada sauce, green chiles, and red onion in a medium bowl.

Preheat broiler. Place cooked polenta rounds on a greased cookie sheet and top evenly with chicken mixture (pile them up as high as they’ll go without toppling over – I did have a little extra chicken mixture). Sprinkle evenly with cheddar cheese and broil for 3 to 5 minutes or until chicken is warmed though and cheese is melted. Makes 2 servings.

Nutrition: 700 calories, 23.0g fat, 11.6g fiber, 48.9g protein per serving
Cost: $2.85 per serving

33 Responses to Mexican Polenta Rounds

  1. I’ve always been intrigued by these pre-cooked polenta packs, but had no idea how to serve them. Your idea is creative and I’m sure the rounds tasted fantastic!

  2. I’ve never tried premade polenta- the rounds look so good though!!! Glad the conference went well and that you had some good food (even if you had to miss out on the Mexican). Hope you’re having a nice, relaxing weekend

  3. These look super-yummy! My boyfriend lives in SD and I just got back from visiting him about week ago (and Phoenix, too, for the Fiesta Bowl!). :) We had dinner at Costa Azul (on Coronado) and it was pretty good. I’ll have to try Peohe’s next time I’m out there!

  4. this is right up my alley (except mine’s called pepperjack path rather than cheddar circle). i’ve never seen polenta used in this way, but it’s a great idea!

  5. Oh yum! These look so tasty :) I’ve been tempted to buy polenta like that before but didn’t know what to do with it.

    Hope you enjoyed your conference! It’s pretty draining when you can’t leave the conference site; I’m glad your friend came to take you out!

  6. I get in phases sometimes where I won’t stop thinking about Mexican food until I get some!! :-) I am not a big fan of polenta, but then again I have only tried it once in a casserole–these actually look quite convincing!

  7. I’m loving these polenta rounds, perfect appetizers!

    I wanted to ask you if you would like to submit your mediterranean cornbread from a few posts ago for my 5 star makeover event, it is such a perfect entry for this month’s event! Pls let me know!

  8. Mexican food is always fantastic. I essentially crave it constantly in some form or another.

    These look adorable and completely delicious! Glad to hear that your trip was fun.

  9. Thanks everyone! Now that I’ve tried them, I think polenta rounds are very versatile and I’m looking forward to using them again in the future.

    Meghan – It was tiring and I’m glad to be home!

    Natasha – Thanks for the reminder, I meant to submit it the other day!

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