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Caprese Polenta Bites

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Caprese Polenta Bites
  • Prep Time 30 min
  • Total Time 30 min
  • Servings 12
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Caprese Polenta Bites

Yummy polenta coins topped with fresh mozzarella, basil and tomato and drizzled with a balsamic vinegar reduction. A light and refreshing summer appetizer.


(16 ounce) tube (herbed) polenta, cut into 1/2-inch slices
pound fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/4-inch slices
Grape tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes sliced in half)
small bunch fresh basil, leaves divided from stems
cup balsamic vinegar
Olive oil, for drizzling
Salt and pepper to taste


  • 1 Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, place polenta slices side by side in skillet and heat until both sides are a deep golden brown and crispy, about 15 minutes total.
  • 2 While frying polenta slices, bring balsamic vinegar to a boil over medium heat and let reduce for 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool and thicken slightly.
  • 3 Place slightly cooled polenta slices on a plate. Top each slice with a slice of mozzarella, a basil leaf and a grape tomato (or halved cherry tomato, cut side down).
  • 4 Drizzle slices with olive oil and balsamic vinegar reduction. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
See Step By Step


Caprese Polenta Bites

As prepared by Girl Versus Dough,

Caprese salad is one of my favorite flavor combinations to eat in the summer. It’s fresh, delicious and above all, very easy to make.

But sometimes, even yummy caprese salads can get a little boring. That’s why I love these Caprese Polenta Bites – they’re bite-sized and have added flavors to give a little extra zing to traditional caprese.

caprese polenta

Our mostly vegetarian household loves polenta. Though it might look kind of funny and sound a little weird (technically, it’s a type of grain mush – gross, I know. But don’t judge a polenta by its definition!), it’s one of the most delicious foundations to a meatless meal. The polenta I like to use is infused with Italian herbs, but you can use any polenta flavor you want. I’ve also used plain and sundried tomato flavors and both are equally delicious. Just slice it up, fry it in olive oil (or grill it for a healthier version) and you’re all set!

In my opinion, the balsamic vinegar reduction is the key ingredient to this appetizer. It’s a slightly thickened version of one of my absolute favorite flavors, and it’s so easy to make. Just put it on a low boil and leave it alone for 20 minutes or so, and you’re done. Really. That’s it.

basil tomatoes mozzerella

The mozzarella and basil are also key to the success of this dish – make sure you buy fresh, whole mozzarella and fresh, quality basil. The better the ingredients, the better this simple dish will taste, but you don’t have to bust your budget for it.

finished caprese polenta bites

In less than half an hour, you can have this dish served up as an appetizer or main dish for a light summer meal, or pass it around as a hors de oeuvres at your next gathering. Either way, it’s a whole new way to try a popular flavor combo.

Easy Caprese

Here are a few more quick recipes for this Italian favorite:

Caprese Pizza Recipe

Cucumber and Tomato Salad Caprese Recipe

Caprese Turkey Burger Recipe

Grilled Caprese Lasagna Recipe

Stephanie (aka Girl Versus Dough) joined Tablespoon to share her adventures in the kitchen. Check out Stephanie’s Tablespoon member profile and keep checking back for her own personal recipes on Tablespoon!
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Nutrition Information 

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