Updated: March 1st, 2022
healthy polenta recipe
Contributing Author: MS Nutrition & Integrative Health student, Reanetta Perkins


  • 1 cup dry polenta (or corn meal or grits)
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth (or water)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 ea 6 oz cans tuna in water, no salt added
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil + 1 tbsp reserved for later use
  • 2 tbsp green onions, sliced
  • to taste, ground black pepper
  • to taste, crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup onion, sliced
  • 1 cup fresh mushrooms (e.g. cremini, shiitake, white), sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Methods of Preparation for Polenta with Spiced Tuna & Veggies

  1. In a medium pot, bring broth or water and salt to a boil. Add the polenta, whisking quickly, until all lumps are broken up. Reduce heat to low. Continue whisking while the mixture thickens up, being sure to scrape the bottom and the sides as not to stick or burn. Continue whisking for 10 minutes or so until the polenta has a similar thickness and consistency to a pudding. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Next, prepare the tuna. Drain the tuna and place it in a small mixing bowl. Add 2 teaspoons of oil and green onions. Add salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste. Mix and set aside.
  3. In a large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add onions, mushrooms, and a pinch of salt. Sauté 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and oregano and sauté until tomatoes are warmed through, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
  4. Check your polenta and give it another few stirs. The texture should have thickened up a bit more, to be more like an oatmeal texture. Taste it and season with salt and pepper as needed.
  5. Spoon ¼ of the polenta onto a plate. Top with sautéed veggies and tuna mix. Sprinkle on two tablespoons of parmesan cheese and garnish with parsley. Enjoy!

Health Benefits of Polenta with Spiced Tuna & Veggies

  • Polenta – contains the antioxidant carotenoid. This antioxidant includes carotenes among others that are linked to a lower risk of heart disease. It also has phenolic compounds such as flavonoids that help to reduce inflammation in the body.
  • Tuna – has essential minerals such as selenium that can contribute to a healthy heart by reducing oxidative stress and inflammation. High levels of oxidative stress and inflammation can lead to plaque buildup in the arteries and increase the risk of strokes, heart disease, and heart attacks. Consuming foods rich in selenium may help reduce these factors.

Learn How to Make Your Own Healthy Recipes as a Nutritionist

MUIH’s programs are grounded in a holistic philosophy that integrates the physiological, socio-cultural, and evidence-informed roles of food in our lives. Our culinary and nutrition programs integrate modern nutrition science with traditional and cultural knowledge of food and health to provide students with a complete perspective on diet and nutrition. Check out our Nutrition Programs to learn the principles and practices of whole foods selection and preparation as a foundation for health and wellness.