October 21, 2015 82

Creamy Pumpkin Polenta with Balsamic Roasted Beets

Creamy Pumpkin Polenta with Balsamic Roasted Beets | @withfoodandlove

It is approximately 4:30am.

I am at the airport.

I am up way too early.

And went to bed way too late.

To be catching a flight back home to New York right now.

But my best friend is getting married!!

So I’m going to keep this short and sweet.

Today is all about pumpkins.

Roasted Pumpkin | @withfoodandlove

Balsamic Roasted Beets | @withfoodandlove

Creamy Pumpkin Polenta with Balsamic Roasted Beets | @withfoodandlove

Sara rounded up like 70 or so bloggers {I know, crazy} all in the name of pumpkin. Pumpkin of course pairs so obviously with sweet, so I wanted to bring you a savory dish because pumpkin, roasted {like you would any other squash} is fantastic. And I think far underused.

You can get all 70 pumpkin recipes by visiting Sara’s blog Cake Over Steak, and below are my personal {savory} faves from today’s pumpkin party.

Sonja’s pumpkin ricotta gnudi.

Grace’s pumpkin stuffed turnip ravioli.

Alanna’s pumpkin flatbread.

Cynthia’s kabocha {not technically pumpkin, but still squash and delicious} and caramelized onion galette.

Amanda’s pumpkin swirled mashed potatoes.

Sasha’s roasted pumpkin and coriander chutney.

And Lily’s pumpkin goat cheese polenta.

Also worth noting today!! I have a new recipe up on my column over on FEAST Magazine. It’s a Creamy Cheese Pumpkin Polenta recipe and it’s fall a keeper. Grab the recipe here.

Creamy Pumpkin Polenta with Balsamic Roasted Beets | @withfoodandlove

Balsamic Roasted Beets | @withfoodandlove

Roasted Pumpkin | @withfoodandlove

Creamy Pumpkin Polenta with Balsamic Roasted Beets | @withfoodandlove

Creamy Pumpkin Polenta with Balsamic Roasted Beets {print me!}

Notes: roasting your own pumpkin for puree is incredibly simple, but if you don’t have time or don’t have access to a whole pie pumpkin you can definitely use canned puree. Polenta cooking times may vary, adjust accordingly, adding in more liquid if necessary. This dish will take approximately 45 minutes, and will serve 4 people.

Polenta Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil {butter, ghee, etc.}
  • 2 -3 medium shallots
  • 5 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup polenta {medium ground cornmeal}
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric {optional, mostly for color}
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • thyme or parsley, for garnish
  • roasted beets, for topping {see below}

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over low heat, add in the shallots and sauté for 3 minutes.

Turn the heat up to medium, add in the stock and bring to a simmer. Next slowly add in the polenta while stirring constantly. Cook while stirring until the polenta has thicken somewhat. Turn the heat down to low, and add in the pumpkin, salt, pepper, turmeric and paprika. Cook the polenta for about 30 – 40 minutes stirring every 5 minutes or so, so it doesn’t stick to the bottom.

Plate the polenta hot, and serve with the roasted balsamic beets and top with fresh herbs.

Beet Ingredients:

  • 3 medium sized beets
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Scrub {the peel is edible!} or peel your beets. Dice them small and toss with olive oil.

Spread them onto the baking tray and roast for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned on one side. Take them out of the oven and flip, coat with balsamic and maple syrup and season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 10 minutes more, or until tender.

82 Responses to "Creamy Pumpkin Polenta with Balsamic Roasted Beets"

  1. Reply


    October 21, 2015 at 6:50 AM

    God, this looks like a hug in a bowl.

    • Reply


      October 27, 2015 at 9:03 PM

      Sending out all the hugs, xx!! :)

  2. Reply


    October 21, 2015 at 7:02 AM

    Really neat flavour combo! I love roasted beets and I love polenta so I just know I would love this!! Awesome!

    • Reply


      October 27, 2015 at 9:03 PM

      Hope you love it Katrina! :)

  3. Reply

    Michelle @ Hummingbird High

    October 21, 2015 at 7:59 AM

    This looks so incredibly tasty! I just love the colors.

    • Reply


      October 27, 2015 at 9:03 PM

      Thanks girl, high fives!!

  4. Reply


    October 21, 2015 at 8:23 AM

    I am BEYOND excited about this recipe. What a perfect savory pumpkin combo! Girl, you’re killing the pumpkin game.

    • Reply


      October 27, 2015 at 8:55 PM

      Haha, thanks Haley – right back at ya!

  5. Reply


    October 21, 2015 at 8:26 AM

    a recipe totally to my liking. xo, lisa

  6. Reply


    October 21, 2015 at 9:35 AM

    Work it girl! Looks divine. I just made beets last night (my hands are still stained) and have polenta in the pantry (read: stuffed in the kitchen cabinet). So excited to make this for lunch! Pretty colors too! xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

    • Reply


      October 27, 2015 at 8:56 PM

      Nothing wrong with a little beet-stained hand action. xoxoxo!!!

  7. Reply

    Meg @ BeardandBonnet

    October 21, 2015 at 9:43 AM

    This looks SO amazing! Those colors make me swoon a bit ;)

    • Reply


      October 27, 2015 at 9:05 PM

      Pretty punchy, I must say!! ;)

  8. Reply

    Sarah | Well and Full

    October 21, 2015 at 9:44 AM

    Happy Pumpkin Party!! I love that you chose a savory route ;)

    • Reply


      October 27, 2015 at 9:05 PM

      I like that you did too Sarah, savory all the way!

  9. Reply

    Liora (Allthingsloveli)

    October 21, 2015 at 11:09 AM

    I have never thought of flavoring the polenta… this looks absolutely amazing!

    • Reply


      October 27, 2015 at 9:06 PM

      Oh yeah girl. Pumpkin, and so much more!!

  10. Reply


    October 21, 2015 at 11:15 AM

    love these colors together – they are so representative of the beautiful fall foliage, love love! and pumpkin polenta sounds like just about the coziest thing ever :) have a great time in NY!!! xo

    • Reply


      October 27, 2015 at 9:07 PM

      Waving hi from Upstate!!!! :)

  11. Reply


    October 21, 2015 at 12:02 PM

    This is a fantastic idea, and I love that it is vegan. I just bought a blue Hubbard squash, so I will give it a go with that. If it’s as delicious as it sounds I hope you don’t mind if I post it on my blog (giving you credit of course). I’m a new blogger on a restricted diet, and this recipe is perfect for me, and I would love to share it.

    • Reply


      October 27, 2015 at 8:49 PM

      Hi Diane, congrats on starting your blog. The best blogging etiquette is to create your own content. And I do not allow my recipes to be reprinted. But, I don’t mind if you share {1} image with a link back to my website for the ingredients/recipe in full. I hope this helps. Best of luck to you on your blogging endeavors!!

  12. Reply

    Kathryn @ The Scratch Artist

    October 21, 2015 at 12:42 PM

    This is my kind of fall bowl! Happy pumpkin day! Everyone did such amazing work.

    • Reply


      October 27, 2015 at 9:12 PM

      It was a great day for pumpkins!

  13. Reply

    Valentina @Hortus

    October 21, 2015 at 1:46 PM

    It’s so cool to see all these takes on polenta! Being Italian, I’ve seen it around quite a lot and never really loved it (I loved the toppings though, especially the stewed beans). Adding in pumpkin actually sounds like a wonderful idea! I think the quality of the polenta really makes the difference in creaminess and taste. In any case…the added pumpkin and that beet topping really makes me want to give polenta another chance :D

    • Reply


      October 27, 2015 at 8:52 PM

      Hey Valentina! My mother-in-law lives in Bologna, and used to make polenta for my husband a lot when he was growing up. It was his love for polenta that ignited my own. The pumpkin gives it an extra layer of savory earthiness. I hope you try this one, or make one your own :)

  14. Reply

    Jessie Snyder | Faring Well

    October 21, 2015 at 5:59 PM

    You are always so creative with the simplest of ingredients, Sherrie! I just love this. Have the best time home with your fam this weekend! We are going home to visit ours too but in AZ! YAY family! Hugs <3

    • Reply


      October 27, 2015 at 8:52 PM

      Best compliment ever, thanks Jessie!!

  15. Reply

    Lily | Kale & Caramel

    October 21, 2015 at 6:39 PM

    Pumpkin polenta 4 lyfe, girlfriend!!! This sounds amazing. I can totally taste that tangy sweet balsamic beet concoction, and it’s making me salivate. YUM!!! I think the two of us should just have a pumpkin polenta party, and make a million different kinds. I’m obsessed. It’s so good!

    • Reply


      October 27, 2015 at 9:08 PM

      Pumpkin polenta soul-sisters, 4lyfe. Peace, love and happiness!!! ;)

  16. Reply


    October 21, 2015 at 8:06 PM

    Polenta is the way to my <3..one of the many. I absolutely LOVE the colours in your photos. So gorgeous, Sherrie!! You do such wonderful work with the ingredients placed in your care. Thank you for sharing this. I'm virtually ripping it and pinning it on my fridge for future inspiration.

    • Reply


      October 27, 2015 at 8:53 PM

      Your comment made my day, thanks so much Edlyn, xx!!

  17. Reply

    genevieve @ gratitude & greens

    October 21, 2015 at 8:24 PM

    I am all about the pumpkin. You had me at creamy polenta, but then there was pumpkin and it became 100xs better. Cannot wait to recreate this in my own kitchen! Safe travels + enjoy home, Sherrie! xo

    • Reply


      October 27, 2015 at 9:08 PM

      Thanks Gen! Yeah, and you should totally do that :)

  18. Reply


    October 22, 2015 at 6:28 AM

    What a combination, Sherrie! The colors alone are enough to make me want to dig right in. Perfect cozy meal for the beginning of the cold. Have a wonderful time in NYC, congrats on the Feast column, another beautiful recipe x

    • Reply


      October 27, 2015 at 8:54 PM

      Thanks Jodi! Writing for FEAST has been a really wonderful way of experiencing my time here in the Midwest. All my love to you, hope Canada is treating you well :)

  19. Reply


    October 22, 2015 at 7:20 PM

    I seriously just want to sit here and stare at that bowl all night! :) OK, so that sounded creepy, right? Seriously, so beautiful and I love how you’ve paired creamy polenta with the richness of pumpkin and those bites of earthy beets. I’m am so making this!

    • Reply


      October 27, 2015 at 8:54 PM

      Haha, not creepy. Justified ;)

  20. Reply

    Sofia | From the Land we Live on

    October 22, 2015 at 8:37 PM

    I love this, Sherrie….you’re so creative!
    Yay pumpkin party! Off to check out some of the other recipes. Happy fall!

    • Reply


      October 27, 2015 at 9:09 PM

      Sofia, thank you! Too kind :)

  21. Reply

    Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence

    October 23, 2015 at 3:07 PM

    Pumpkin and polenta are a perfect combination :)

    • Reply


      October 27, 2015 at 9:09 PM

      Totally man, it’s a one-two punch.

  22. Reply


    October 24, 2015 at 2:33 AM

    STUNNING!! (And thanks so much for the shout out!) <3

    • Reply


      October 27, 2015 at 8:54 PM


  23. Reply

    rachel @ atheltic avocado

    October 25, 2015 at 9:23 AM

    this is all of my favorite things combined!!! Pinned for later :)

    • Reply


      October 27, 2015 at 9:10 PM

      Then it’s bound to satisfy, enjoy Rachel :)

  24. Reply


    October 27, 2015 at 7:08 AM

    This recipe is very original but looks delicious ! :)

    • Reply


      October 27, 2015 at 9:10 PM

      Thanks Mary, it definitely is. I hope you like it :)

  25. Reply

    Susannah (Lemon and Coconut)

    October 27, 2015 at 8:06 AM

    So so good, and to see a savoury recipe though I have to admit I’ve never made anything sweet with pumpkin, only soup… so many culinary adventures ahead of me… :)

    • Reply


      October 27, 2015 at 9:11 PM

      Never made anything sweet pumpkin?! Get out!

  26. Reply


    October 27, 2015 at 6:42 PM

    Pumpkin and beets are two are my favorite foods, and together?! YUM!! Im definitely going to have to make this. Perfect for a chilly fall day!

    • Reply


      October 27, 2015 at 9:11 PM

      It totally is. It’s a little bowl of cozy. I hope you like it Erin :)

  27. Reply

    Amanda Paa

    October 28, 2015 at 9:00 AM

    these scenes are the prettiest! savory pumpkin FTW. i love how the stain of the beets just jumps off the yellow polent. and thanks for mentioning my mashed potatoes.

    hope you had fun back home at the wedding. i’m sure you miss it! but the midwest likes having you here. :)

    • Reply


      October 28, 2015 at 12:40 PM

      Haha, I do miss it {always}. But the Midwest ain’t so bad ;)

  28. Reply


    October 28, 2015 at 11:45 AM

    Wow! Yummy looking and can’t wait to try your newest creation. Another masterpiece Sherrie!

  29. Reply


    October 28, 2015 at 5:08 PM

    You’ve incorporated two of my favorite things into one savory meal: pumpkin and beets. Thank you!<3

    • Reply


      October 28, 2015 at 9:14 PM

      Oh you bet, let me know if you make it! :)

  30. Reply

    Diann Garnett

    October 28, 2015 at 6:39 PM

    Made this last night and it was FANTASTIC, & just as delicious (with a little crumbled chèvre on top) for a work lunch today. Thanks for the great new recipe!!

    • Reply


      October 28, 2015 at 9:32 PM

      I bet that goat cheese was the perfect addition! I’m so glad you liked this Diann, thanks for letting me know :)

  31. Reply


    October 29, 2015 at 8:56 AM

    Pumpkin Polenta.. GENIUS!
    I am loving the roasted beets on top. You are so creative Sherrie.
    PS: I am heading to Wegman’s (aka my favorite place on earth) now to get some beets. :P

    • Reply


      October 29, 2015 at 12:37 PM

      Dude! Wegmans is my jam. They originated in Upstate NY {where I’m from} and it’s hard to live out here in the Midwest without one. I am so happy for you though, that you get to enjoy them now. Hugs!!

  32. Reply

    Pure Ella

    October 29, 2015 at 12:13 PM

    This looks and sounds amazing Sherrie!
    So inventive!!! I just love it!

    • Reply


      October 29, 2015 at 12:37 PM

      Love you Ella! xx

  33. Reply


    November 2, 2015 at 4:23 PM

    *gasp!* You listed my gnudi as one of your savory faves?! <3 Thanks for the shout out, Sherrie!

    By the way, a creamy base like polenta topped with something roasted and delicious is kind of one of my favorite dishes ever. I make variations of this type of dish all the time but I never thought of adding pumpkin into my polenta. The bright purple-red of the beets is gorgeous on top of that pumpkin polenta, too!

  34. Reply

    Phoebe @ Feed Me Phoebe

    November 6, 2015 at 11:59 AM

    I’m making this tonight!! going to top with some beet greens and maybe some sausage because I’m CRAZY like that. xoxoxo

    • Reply


      November 9, 2015 at 1:50 PM

      How was ittttt? xx!!

  35. Reply


    November 13, 2015 at 9:23 AM

    This looks devine! Perfect for this rainy east coast weather I have right now. I have a question, is there a difference between polenta and cornmeal? The 1 cup polenta in the recipe… is that just dry cornmeal? I thought polenta was the result of cooking cornmeal, but I just want to clarify. Thanks!

    • Reply


      November 16, 2015 at 5:09 PM

      Hi Jen – you are right. Technically polenta is a dish, not a grain. But, cornmeal is often packaged and sold as polenta, meaning that the grind of corn is appropriate to make the polenta dish. Feel free to substitute medium or coarsely-ground cornmeal instead. I hope this helps! Thanks for reading :)

  36. Reply

    Sara @ Cake Over Steak

    November 17, 2015 at 3:26 PM

    So pretty! I love the photo with the window handle poking in all blurry-like. Thanks for being a part of this!! xoxo

    • Reply


      November 18, 2015 at 12:06 PM

      Thanks Sara, and thanks for hosting such a fun pumpkin party! xx

  37. Reply


    November 25, 2015 at 8:48 AM

    Beautiful photos and styling! I wanted to reach in and have a bite! I’ve never thought of
    adding pumpkin to polenta, but now I must!!! Thanks for sharing:)

  38. Reply


    December 8, 2015 at 6:15 AM

    This was OK. I was really excited about the flavor combo but it wasn’t very flavorful (sad face!)
    In defense of the recipe, I didn’t use veggie broth which would have punched up the flavor quite a bit. I also used canned pumpkin, which I don’t like but forget that every time I use it – I bet fresh would be killer in this recipe. I also wish I had snuck some garlic in with the shallots! It was our first time using beets and we will be roasting them ourselves again, yum!
    Overall, beautiful dish but I don’t think we’ll make it again. Thank you for the fun recipe and the chance to try something new!

    • Reply


      January 7, 2016 at 5:09 PM

      Hi Kate. I’m glad you enjoyed the beets, and good for you for going outside of your comfort zone! I must say, using vegetable broth and fresh pumpkin would have made a big difference in depth of flavor. Thanks for your feedback and for stopping by :)

  39. Reply


    December 15, 2015 at 11:48 PM

    I love this! I’ve eliminated junk food sweets lately from my diet and this is always what I’m craving but in a healthy way-rich starch and sweet. I used homemade veggi broth and roasted kabocha squash puree. I also cook my polenta by adding a few tablespoons of boiling water to it when it starts getting thick and it comes out super creamy. My beets totally caramelized too, yum! Thank you Sherrie.

  40. Reply


    December 29, 2015 at 7:50 PM

    Sounds delish, but I’m concerned you say to roast the beets on parchment paper with the oven at 450… All parchment I’ve ever used has a top heat range of 420, considering that paper catches on fire at 451… I’ll stay on the safer side and do longer cooking at a lower heat, but looking forward to trying the recipe!

    • Reply


      January 7, 2016 at 5:06 PM

      Hi Britt. I roast veggie on parchment at 450 degrees nearly everyday and never think twice about it, but this is a concern for you by all means you can lower the temp for sure!

  41. Reply


    February 1, 2016 at 11:15 AM

    I’m going to a potluck and the theme is “it sounds weird, but its sooooooo good”. I was searching Pinterest for ideas, I knew I wanted something with beets. I stumbled upon this and I’m super jazzed to give it a try. My potluck friends are all foodies so this is right up their alley.

  42. Reply

    Carrie O.

    September 20, 2016 at 9:57 PM

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. I made this tonight (found you through Pinterest). My family LOVED it. This is such a lovely, lovely dish. My 6 year old said it is now his best favorite meal.

    • Reply


      September 25, 2016 at 12:00 PM

      Oh my – I LOVE that. And, so glad you found me, xx.

  43. Reply


    September 24, 2016 at 7:15 PM

    Can you double this recipe?

    • Reply


      September 25, 2016 at 11:58 AM

      You sure can!

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