Easy Tuscan Polenta with Herby Roasted Broccoli

This easy creamy Italian Polenta topped with herby roasted broccoli is life-changing. A bed of creamy, garlicky vegan polenta, piled high with roasted broccoli, juicy sun-dried tomatoes, tangy olives, and fresh basil. It’s a healthy, cozy bowl of comfort food straight from Italy to your plate. 

Jump to Recipe

If you adore Italian food and easy meals then this easy vegan Tuscan polenta with herby roasted broccoli is for you. Think broccoli roasted to bring out the nutty flavor seasoned with Italian spices. And then imagine juicy sun-dried tomatoes that capture the essence of Italian summer. And add tangy olives and lots of fresh herbs and you can almost imagine just how tasty this easy vegan dinner recipe is. 

Easy Tuscan Polenta with Herby Roasted Broccoli Fact check:

  • Cozy comfort food? Check. 
  • Creamy deliciousness? Check. 
  • Easy to make? Check. 
  • Vegan? Check.
  • Gluten-free? Check.

Super easy 30-minutes or less vegan dinner recipe:

There’s nothing better than a cozy, warming, and delicious vegan dinner, except maybe one that’s made in less than 30 minutes. This juicy, tender and mouthwateringly tasty traditional Tuscan dinner is all that and more. It’s a healthy, low-calorie superfood dinner loaded with nutritious vegetables and lots of flavors. 

Quick polenta cooking hack

There are several types of polenta, but the one I like to use is quick polenta. Rather than needing to spend a good 30-40 minutes stirring polenta to get it creamy, I like to use the ready-in-minutes polenta. It’s just as creamy, just as hearty and warming, but it only takes 8-10 minutes to make. 

What is polenta made of?

Polenta is coarsely ground cornmeal. It’s a healthy gluten-free base for stews, roasted vegetables, and any type of dish where you would otherwise use mashed potatoes.

How to cook the best creamy polenta

Polenta is surprisingly simple to make. The classic ratio is 1 cup polenta to 4 cups water, but I usually use a little less liquid. Rather than using water, I like to use vegetable broth to add extra depth of flavor to the polenta and it makes a huge difference in a simple dish like this one.

How to cook Traditional creamy polenta 

Traditional polenta isn’t vegan. It’s made with 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (Parmesan cheese) stirred into the creamy polenta right before serving. It’s absolutely amazing and worth a try if you’re not vegan or if you can find a vegan Parmesan cheese that tastes like real Parmesan.

Frequently asked questions 

Can you freeze polenta?

Yes, polenta is freezer-friendly. Once the polenta is frozen it will become firm and no longer be creamy. Firm polenta is amazing fried topped with this herby roasted broccoli and vegetables.  

How can I use leftover polenta?

Leftover polenta is amazing. When polenta cools it becomes firm and extremely easy to work with. The easiest (and extremely tasty) way to use leftover polenta is to cut the polenta into squares and fry it on a pan in olive oil. You can top the fried polenta with tomato salsa or grilled vegetables for a delicious quick meal.

Is polenta gluten-free?

Polenta is naturally gluten-free. You should still check the back of the package to make sure the polenta you plan on using is gluten-free because some manufacturers will make their polenta the same place they make products containing gluten and that can sometimes transfer gluten to the polenta. So, always check on the packaging to make sure it’s gluten-free.

Is polenta vegan?

Yes. Polenta is made of ground cornmeal. 

How long does it take to make polenta?

Cooking time for polenta varies depending on the type of polenta you use. Finely ground polenta takes less time to cook than coarser polenta. Quick polenta takes the shortest time to cook and will usually be done in 10-15 minutes.

Regular coarse polenta will need closer to 45-minutes to cook.

Can I use other vegetables in this recipe?

Yes, absolutely. You can easily use other vegetables and even add more. Other great vegetables in this herby roasted vegetable topping are:

  • Bell Peppers
  • Eggplants
  • Zucchini 
  • Garlic
  • Any type of mushrooms, particularly portobello mushrooms 
  • Tomatoes 

Easy Tuscan Polenta with Herby Roasted Broccoli

This easy creamy Italian Polenta topped with herby roasted broccoli is life-changing. A bed of creamy, garlicky vegan polenta, piled high with roasted broccoli, juicy sun-dried tomatoes, tangy olives, and fresh basil. It’s a healthy, cozy bowl of comfort food straight from Italy to your plate. 
If you adore Italian food and easy meals then this easy vegan Tuscan polenta with herby roasted broccoli is for you. Think broccoli roasted to bring out the nutty flavor seasoned with Italian spices. And then imagine juicy sun-dried tomatoes that capture the essence of Italian summer. And add tangy olives and lots of fresh herbs and you can almost imagine just how tasty this easy vegan dinner recipe is. 
Course Dinner
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword dinner, vegan dinner
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Simone – Munchyesta.com

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Head Broccoli Cut into florets
  • 2 Red Onions Sliced
  • 10 Oil packed Sundried Tomato halves Roughly chopped
  • 8-10 Black Olives Stones removed
  • 1 tsp Oregano Fresh or dried
  • 1 tsp Thyme Fresh or dried
  • 1 tsp Sea salt or Kosher Salt
  • ½ tsp Ground Pepper
  • 1 bunch Fresh Basil Chopped

Creamy Polenta

  • 4 cups Vegetable Broth
  • 1 cup Polenta Quick-cooking polenta or regular
  • 1 tsp Sea salt or Kosher Salt
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves Garlic Minced, or 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp Nutritional Yeast Optional

Instructions

How to cook creamy polenta

  • Bring 3 1/2 cups vegetable stock to a boil in a large pot. Add the nutritional yeast and whisk. Reduce heat to a low simmer.
  • Whisk in the polenta and whisk/stir the polenta until it thickens. It should take 5-6 minutes. Add more vegetable stock if the polenta is too thick.
  • Turn off the heat and stir in olive oil and season with salt if needed.
    Serve topped with vegetables and fresh herbs and enjoy.

Cooking Herby Roasted Broccoli

  • Heat olive oil in a skillet or frying pan and add the broccoli florets and sliced red onions. Cook at high heat for 1-2 minutes to lightly brown the broccoli and caramelize the onions. Stir regularly to keep from burning.
  • Next, add the sun-dried tomatoes and olives. Season with oregano, thyme, sea salt, and ground pepper, and turn the heat down to a simmer. Mix everything and let the veggies cook for 3-5 more minutes or until the broccoli is fork-tender.
  • Garnish with fresh basil right before serving and serve on top of a bed of creamy polenta.
    Enjoy.

Are you looking for more easy vegan dinners? You might like these:

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