You’re in store for a real treat if you’ve never had polenta. This simple tutorial will show you how to make a creamy (vegan-friendly!) polenta. Every time, you can make perfect polenta with just one pot. Only three ingredients are required. We’ll show you exactly how to make it.
Polenta: Its Origins
Polenta was not always made from corn. The Latin word for “puls” is used to describe a porridge that’s made with a grain known as farro. This porridge-style food was a staple for ancient Italians. Other grains were also used to prepare it. Corn was not grown in that region at the time.
In the 1600s, America introduced corn to Italy. Corn was a favorite ingredient in polenta because it was easy to grow, affordable, and delicious. Learn more about the history of this dish and its variations.
Our inspired version, which is often made using dairy products like milk, cream, or cheese, is vegan and equally delicious!
How to Make Vegan Polenta
It’s as simple as adding water to grits and slowly cooking them until they reach a porridgy consistency. Salt adds flavor, and vegan butter increases the natural creaminess of polenta.
- 4 cups of water
- Sea salt, 3/4 tsp
- 1 cup corn-polenta
- We like Earth Balance or Miyoko’s vegan butter.
FOR SERVING optional
- Sauteed vegetables (such as asparagus and wilted leaves)
- Roasted garlic
- Slow-roasted tomatoes
- Fresh basil or parsley
- Vegan parmesan cheese
- Vegan butter
- Bring water to a rolling boil in a medium-sized saucepan.
- Add salt to boiling water and stir until dissolved. Then, turn the heat down to medium.
- Pour polenta slowly into the water while whisking. This should take about 1 minute. Slow down! You will get a polenta that is free of lumps.
- Continue whisking the polenta until it thickens, approximately 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low, cover, and continue whisking. The polenta must be bubbling but not completely simmering. Set the timer to 30 minutes, and whisk the polenta about every 5 minutes to prevent it from sticking at the bottom.
- Test your polenta after 30 minutes. You want it to be porridgy and soft, without any lumps or grains. Let it cook for another 10 minutes if you would like your polenta to be slightly thicker.
- Remove heat and add vegan butter. If you prefer a more salty or savory flavor, add more butter or salt. Enjoy!
- Polenta makes a delicious base for veggies such as asparagus, wilted leaves, or baby tomatoes. It also goes well with roasted garlic. Garnish with vegan parmesan or vegan butter, fresh parsley, basil, or parsley.
- The leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days or the freezer for one month. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop, adding additional water as necessary to rehydrate. Save leftovers to make polenta chips.