Barbecue Pork Polenta Bowls with Pineapple and Guacamole |

Barbecue Pork Polenta Bowls with Pineapple and Guacamole

I’ve said this before, but it’s worth repeating again: food served in bowls > food served on plates.

I have no scientific evidence to support this phenomenon. But it seems undeniably and universally true. So I’m going to motion that we consider this a fact and move on.

Anyone want to second that motion?

Winter is the prime time to enjoy some bowl foods. From savory breakfasts to cozy soups, there is just something totally comforting about being able to wrap your hands around a complete, wholesome and nourishing meal. I made these Barbecue Pork Polenta Bowls with Pineapple and Guacamole on a recent snowy day and let me tell you, they absolutely hit the spot (and those beers that I had didn’t hurt either!). It was everything savory, sweet, creamy and refreshing that I was craving at that exact moment.

Pineapple in the snow |

Question: how do you feel about these photographs (um…not the silly one of the pineapple in the snow, but the ones of the polenta bowls)? They definitely aren’t my usual style. I’m trying to play around more with darker, moodier shots. But I’m unsure. HALP!

Oh I should mention that I used this homemade barbecue sauce recipe and this guacamole recipe. But feel free to substitute those for your favorites! It’s all good!



Barbecue Pork Polenta Bowls with Pineapple and Guacamole

Serves 4

Barbecue Pork Polenta Bowls with Pineapple and Guacamole


  • For the Pork
  • 1 pork tenderloin (about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 lbs)
  • 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce

  • For the Bowls
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup polenta
  • 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • About 1 1/2 cups cubed pineapple
  • About 1 cup guacamole
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • Lime wedges


  1. Make the barbecue pork. Place the pork tenderloin in your slow cooker. Cover with the barbecue sauce. Place the lid on your slow cooker and turn it on. Cook the pork tenderloin until it’s extremely tender and falls apart easily, about 4 hours on the high setting or 8 hours on the low setting. Using two forks, shred the pork into smaller pieces. Set aside and keep warm.
  2. Make the polenta. In a heavy bottom saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Slowly whisk in the polenta and turn down the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook the polenta for about 15-18 minutes, whisking frequently during this time. As the polenta cooks and thickens, you’ll have to further turn down the heat to prevent it from bubbling and splattering. Once the polenta has thickened and the liquid is mostly absorbed, remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the mascarpone cheese, butter and salt. Set aside and keep warm.
  3. Assemble the bowls. Divide the polenta evenly between four bowls. Top with some of the shredded pork, pineapple and guacamole. Top with cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime juice, if desired. Serve immediately.
  4. Leftovers cans be stored in an airtight container in your refrigerator for 2-3 days. The polenta will become firm once it’s cooled. Whisk in some warm water or milk to help loosen it.

30 comments on “Barbecue Pork Polenta Bowls with Pineapple and Guacamole”

  1. I totally agree Liz! I LOVE food in bowls, and this bowl looks incredibly delicious and loaded with flavor! Love the photos too! Always fun to try a different style!

  2. I second that motion all day long, and twice on Sundays, Liz. Food in bowls rocks the dang casbah! These bbq pork polenta bowls look fabulous, my dear! LOVING the bbq, pineapple and guac’ combo! I could eat this for days! And I love your moody shots! I tried playing around with darker photography… let’s just say you are MUCH more successful!! 🙂 Cheers, sweets!

  3. Love love love!

  4. Loving the dark and moody photos! I’ve been wanting to play with that style too, so pass along your tips lady genuis 🙂

    • Oh man. I don’t know if I really have any tips yet. It’s going to take me a couple more times to gain any insight that is worthy of passing along. 🙂

  5. Food in bowls always wins over a plate. That creamy polenta with the bbq pork and ALL the toppings is pure comfort food, I love it! I like the change in photos too, but then again I like all your photos! Is that a blue willow plate?

    • Thanks, Danae. Hmmm…I don’t think it’s a blue willow plate, just something very similar. Confession: I had to google that to see what it was after you asked. Ha ha!

  6. Yep, food in bowls rule and this bowl of goodness is perfection! Loving the moody photos, too 🙂

  7. Food in bowls is definitely better! Totally second that! And these bowls sound amazinggg. I like the moody shots! I tried that once … so completely unsuccessful haha

  8. So yum! I love polenta and the pineapple is so fun!

  9. Go for the bowl!!!! All day long! And girllll that bowl looks quite tasty my dear! The colors, textures, flavors – I’m all bug eyed out! I’d like to just mix that bowl all up and start shovelin! And YES please on your dark moody shots. GAH! Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous.. ! Round of applause !!

  10. Food in bowls are the win!! And also…I love the photographs. You don’t need help with them…they are beautiful!

  11. I love the photos, they’re absolutely gorgeous! I’m also loving this recipe too, I could seriously devour that entire bowl. And then probably another one 😉

  12. That picture of the pineapple in the snow makes me shiver but it’s so pretty!! And these polenta bowls — so good Liz!

  13. Considering that I’ve eaten my meals out of a bowl for the first 20 years of my life, I DEFF have to agree that food in bowls is waaaay better! And OMG, I’ve been playing around with different styles of photography, too, with mixed success. I definitely think that darker, moodier photos work well for comforting dishes like this. It also fits the season.

    • Thanks, Lisa. Bowl foods FOREVER! And yes, I agree that the darker photos seem to mesh well with comfort foods.

  14. Food in bowls is 110% better!! And this is a jaw dropper!

  15. This sounds soooo good!

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