Tuscan Chicken Sausage Polenta Sandwich-Mezzetta Recipe Entry

This was a big one, Mezzetta’s 7th Annual $25,000.00 Sandwich Contest. They are also giving away two $1000.00 finalists. Now that is intimidating!

Once again I look at the list of approved products to use. I read through the rules several times. I look over the recipes of last years winner and finalists. I make a plan, go shopping and start in the kitchen. I have no problems finding the products in the store. I am very familiar with Mezzetta products. I love them and use them all of the time. (No paid endorsement just my opinion).

Tuscan Chicken Sausage Polenta Sandwich-The Prize of Cooking

Tuscan Chicken Sausage Polenta Sandwich-The Prize of Cooking


I decided to use two ingredients that are all ready prepared besides the Mezzetta products since the judges will be looking for ease of preparation. Even though I ended up with more steps than I would have liked, I am so happy with the flavors. I used 1 pound of Isernio’s Italian Chicken Sausage and pre-cooked sundried tomato and garlic polenta, both in a tube.




One tube of pre-cooked polenta cuts nicely into 12 slices. Just perfect for this recipe.


After preparing the tomato avocado tapenade I browned the sausages and polenta, keeping them warm in the oven as I continued working. The buns are toasted until golden brown in the same skillet that I cooked the sausage and polenta. Lastly warm the bell pepper and onion topping in the same skillet. Yeah for one skillet and thank you oven for keeping things warm!



Once all of the components of the recipe are ready then it is time to assemble the sandwiches. Spreading on the tapenade to the bottom bun, layering on the sausage, polenta and topping it with the fresh spinach and the bell pepper and onion mixture. Tada!!





Tuscan Chicken Sausage Polenta Sandwich-Mezzetta Recipe Entry

Number of servings: 6

See Detailed Nutrition Info on

Stacked tall and loaded with Tuscan flavor from the Mezzetta products. The saltiness of the tapenade and the creaminess of the polenta go so well with the perfectly seasoned Italian sausage. Serve with a cold tortellini pasta salad!


  • 1 Dozen Dinner Rolls
  • 2-1lb tubes Italian Chicken Sausage (such as Isernio’s)
  • 1 tube Sun Dried Tomato Garlic Polenta
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 12 oz Mezzetta Roasted Bell Pepper Strips and Caramelized Onions, drained
  • 5 tablespoons Mezzetta Olive Oil, divided
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • ¼ cup Mezzetta Pitted Greek Kalamata Olives plus 12 more olives cut in half lengthwise
  • 4 pieces of Mezzetta Sun-Ripened Dried Tomatoes
  • 1 small avocado
  • ½ cup packed fresh parsley, large stems removed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon Mezzetta Non-pareil capers, drained
  • Kosher salt and pinch of pepper


  1. In a food processor, pulse together the tapenade ingredients until well blended; ¼ cup of kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes, 3 tablespoons olive oil, avocado, parsley, lemon juice, garlic clove, pinch of salt and pepper and capers. Set aside until assembly time.
  2. Heat oven to 200 to keep sausage and polenta warm after they are cooked and before the sandwiches are assembled. Shape Italian Chicken Sausage into 12 patties and brown in a large skillet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook patties for approximately 8 minutes or until temperature reads 165 degrees, turning halfway. Transfer to an oven safe dish and keep warm in oven.
  3. Cut the Polenta tube into 12 round slices. (Cut the tube in half, then each piece in half and then again each piece can be cut into thirds). In the same large skillet add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, arrange the polenta slices and season lightly with salt. Heat the polenta slices until they are golden brown on each side. Transfer to an oven safe dish and keep warm in the oven.
  4. Butter the inside of the tops and bottoms of each bun. In the same large skillet, brown all of the buns, butter side down. Buns can be put in the oven along with the sausage and polenta while the top garnish is warmed.
  5. In the same large skillet heat the drained red bell pepper and caramelized onion with the remaining 12 sliced kalamata olives. Once the pepper and onion mixture is hot begin to assemble the sausage polenta sandwiches.
  6. Spread a heaping tablespoon of the tapenade on the bottom bun, top with sausage, polenta, spinach leaves and some of the pepper and onion mixture. Place on the top of the bun. Continue assembling until all of the sandwiches are together. Serve immediately and enjoy!

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2 Responses to “Tuscan Chicken Sausage Polenta Sandwich-Mezzetta Recipe Entry”

  1. October 6, 2014 at 4:25 pm #

    Hi Kim! We love this recipe and we’d like to connect with you and thank you for this wonderful mention.

    • October 6, 2014 at 4:58 pm #

      Hello Isernio’s Sausage Company, I am thrilled you found my recipe. I use your product all of the time. I think I have mentioned them multiple times on my Facebook page too :)! When you find something you like it is easy to share! So glad you love the recipe. It wasn’t chosen as a Mezzetta contest winner but we absolutely loved it and that is what matters most! Kim Banick kimbanick@comcast.net

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