Lemony Chickpea Polenta Cakes with Warm Roasted Red Pepper Salsa


Lemony Chickpea Polenta Cakes


Fall is in the air! Even here in sunny southern California, I can feel the nice chill in the early morning. Being from Indiana, I do miss the changing of the leaves and the earthy damp smell of the autumn ground. I feel a longing for the changing of the season yet at the same time I want to hold on to the freshness and lightness of the Southern California sun. This is how this recipe was born.


This recipe captures both my love for fall and my desire to showcase summer freshness. However, this would be great served any time of year. You can make the cakes and sauce ahead of time for a quick and easy weeknight meal. Bon appétit!

Polenta Cake Ingredients:

  • 2 cups yellow polenta (or grits if you are from the South!)
  • 1 15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 4 Tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon zest
  • Salt & pepper to taste


Cook polenta according to package directions, making sure it is thick and not watery. Add the chickpeas, basil, lemon zest, salt & pepper and stir to combine. Place the mixture in a nonstick loaf pan coated with cooking spray and smooth the top. To make removal easier later, you can also line the bottom of the pan with wax paper.









Cover with plastic wrap, making sure to put the plastic directly on the polenta mixture and refrigerate until cooled, at least four hours. Best if chilled overnight.


When you are ready to grill up the cakes, run a knife along the edge of the pan. Place a cutting board directly on top of the pan and flip. The polenta mixture should come out in a mold. Carefully slice 1 inch thick slices and gently place them in a skillet coated with cooking spray on medium heat. Cook for approximately 5-7 minutes or until the cake holds together well when moved. Gently flip and cook them on the other side until lightly browned and crispy.



Serve topped with warm roasted red pepper salsa (see below).


Servings: 5      Serving Size: 3 pieces

Calories: 281               Fat: 2.7g          Sat. Fat: .1g     Carbs: 53.8g

Sodium: 127.6mg        Fiber: 8.7g       Sugar: 3.2g      Protein: 9.6g


Roasted Red Pepper Salsa Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup chopped white or yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 jar roasted red peppers, drained and rough chopped
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup vegetable broth
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt & pepper to taste


Sautee garlic and onion until soft and aromatic. Combine with the remainder of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until almost pureed. It should still be a little bit chunky. Heat through in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.












Serve on top of lemony chickpea polenta cakes or other dishes!


Servings: 5      Serving Size: 3 generous spoonfuls

Calories: 26                 Fat: .1g            Sat. Fat: 0g      Carbs: 5.6g

Sodium: 129.7mg        Fiber: 1.2g       Sugar: 2.6g      Protein: 1g

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About Me
Hi! I'm Barbara and yes, I cook! Welcome to my world of mouth-watering delicious food that you don't have to feel guilty about.
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