Fresh from the garden Roma tomatoes combined with creamy ricotta cheese and spicy basil turn a tube of polenta into a healthy summer appetizer.
It’s 5 Ingredient Friday and with summer in full swing, it’s past time to make an appetizer with the sweetest most fragrant tomatoes I can find.
Back in my Weight Watchers Days tubes of polenta were a bargain when it came to Weight Watchers points. While times have changed and points are calculated differently to keep up with the latest nutrition recommendations, I still enjoy polenta as a base for appetizer recipes.
Polenta (a dough made from cornmeal) is creamy, low in calories and fat, with a bit of fiber and protein thrown in. Not to mention a serving contains minimal amounts of sugar – something we’re all trying to reduce in our diets.
While you can make polenta from scratch, I find the tubes to be convenient and affordable. When sliced, they’re perfect as a base for this summery appetizer.
Purple basil, a new find for me, mixed with creamy ricotta cheese and garlic tops slices of rosy red Roma tomatoes along with salty parmesan cheese. After a bake in the oven (you could easily grill these too if summer is roasting you out of the house), these healthy summer appetizers are ready to plate.
As you can see, I can make a meal out of any appetizer, and at just 53 calories for each cheesy, tomato fresh bite I’m a happy camper!
Shake It Up!
Skip the oven and top slices of beefsteak tomatoes with the ricotta mixture and crumbles of mozzarella cheese. Top with slivered basil and a drizzle of olive oil to make a hearty tomato salad.
Cheesy Polenta Appetizer with Tomatoes, Ricotta, and Basil
20 minPrep Time
40 minCook Time
1 hrTotal Time
- 18 ounce polenta, buy the tubed polenta and slice into 1/4" slices to make 16 ea
- 1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 8 leaf basil, large and chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 large roma tomato, sliced into 16 slices
- 4 tablespoons parmesan cheese , shredded
- 8 leaf basil, slivered for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a non-stick baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Place sliced polenta on the cookie sheet.
- Combine ricotta, garlic, basil, and black pepper in a small bowl and divide the mixture in half.
- Take half of the ricotta mixture and spread it on top of the polenta. Place a tomato on top, then spread the remaining ricotta mixture on top of the tomatoes. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and bake in the oven for 35 - 40 minutes until lightly browned.
- Serve with slivers of basil.
Food energy: 53kcal
Weight Watchers SmartPoints 2
Saturated fatty acids: 0.99g
Total fat: 1.53g
Carbohydrate, by difference: 6.67g
Total dietary fiber: 0.62g
Total sugars: 3.85g
FYI – You’ll find a silicone baking mat a worth the money. I rarely use cooking spray these days as the mat keeps almost any food from sticking. Amazon has silicone baking mats on sale right now for 3 mats at half off for under $17 – definitely a bargain. I have one and have used it for years.
Amazon will pay me a commission for purchases. This doesn’t cost you anything additional. These commissions help support the cost of authoring this blog, so thank you!