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Parmesan Polenta with Roasted Vegetables

4.72 from 175 community reviews

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A simple, cozy vegetarian dish with creamy, buttery polenta topped with ratatouille-style herb-roasted vegetables and balsamic vinegar.

Parmesan Polenta with Roasted Vegetables

This easy vegetarian dish is basically the most delicious bowl of porridge you can eat for dinner.

Along with a generous amount of colorful balsamic roasted vegetables (that are also sooo good layered into homemade vegetable lasagna), there’s not much better!

If you’ve never made polenta before, you may want to check out this step-by-step post for how to make creamy polenta. A bowl of creamy, warming parmesan polenta is very crave-able whenever that fall feeling hits.

Do you ever notice that your appetite changes right along with the seasons? You know when those last days of summer just seem different, starting with the first step outside in the morning.

Maybe there’s a chill in the air that wasn’t there the day before, or the leaves on familiar trees have an edge of gold or crimson.

Roasted Vegetables with Parmesan Polenta

Whatever triggers that transition — even if it has nothing to do with the weather — when cozy comfort food is called for, you can count on polenta to satisfy.

Ingredients you need for the recipe

  • 2 colorful bell peppers
  • 1 small eggplant
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes,
  • 3 small zucchini
  • ½ red onion
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Garlic cloves
  • Crushed red chili flakes
  • Fresh thyme or rosemary
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Coarse cornmeal (polenta)
  • Fresh Parmesan cheese
  • Butter
Parmesan Polenta with Roasted Vegetables

How to make Parmesan polenta

  • Get coarse cornmeal to make polenta, not the more finely ground corn flour.
  • To make this creamy parmesan polenta without constant stirring, first choose a heavy-duty saucepan or Dutch oven. One that has 3 or 4 quarts capacity is ideal. A sturdy pan will retain heat better, allowing the thickened polenta to cook at a low temperature without sticking or scorching.
  • Bring the water to a boil, then gradually add the cornmeal in a thin stream — you can do this either by pouring it out of a small bowl or measuring cup with a spout or with your hands, letting the grain fall through your fingers. Pour in the polenta with one hand while whisking it into the water with the other (this your chance to practice hand-eye coordination).
  • Once all the cornmeal is in the pan, it will almost immediately start to thicken and boil. This is when you turn the heat down as low as your stove will go. Stir the polenta once or twice, then cover the pan and let it cook mostly undisturbed for 20 – 3o minutes. Check on it and stir the polenta once or twice during that time.

When I make polenta, I like to be generous with the butter and parmesan cheese. It’s a perfect neutral canvas for cheesy, creamy additions.

How to reheat polenta:

Leftover polenta is easily reheated:

  1. In a saucepan, combine 2 – 3 tablespoons liquid for each 1 cup of polenta.
  2. Liquid can be milk, cream, broth water or a mixture.
  3. Stir to break up the clumps, cover the pan and cook over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring once or twice.
  4. Add additional butter, cheese, salt and pepper to taste.

More recipes with roasted vegetables:


Parmesan Polenta with Roasted Vegetables

Parmesan Polenta with Roasted Vegetables

Karen Tedesco
Make this cozy, simply delicious Parmesan polenta topped with colorful roasted ratatouille-style Mediterranean vegetables when you want a one-bowl vegetarian meal or side.
Print Pin
4.72 from 175 community reviews
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Vegetables
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 servings



For the roasted vegetables:

  • 2 bell peppers in assorted colors, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 small eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes (1-1/2 cups)
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 small or 2 medium-sized zucchini, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

For the polenta:

  • 1 cup (160 g) coarse cornmeal
  • 1-2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 tablespoons (60 g) butter


  • Preheat the oven to 425 (220C) degrees.

Roast the vegetables

  • Combine the peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini, onion, olive oil and the salt on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast until beginning to soften and turn brown, 20-25 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and stir in the garlic, chili, thyme and balsamic vinegar. 

Make the polenta

  • Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a heavy-duty sauce pan or small Dutch oven. Stir in 1 teaspoon salt. Gradually sprinkle the polenta into the pan while whisking at the same time. Turn the heat to a very low simmer, cover and continue to cook the polenta for 25-30 minutes, until it's thick, fluffy and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan. Stir occasionally so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. When it's done remove from the heat and stir in the cheese, butter and additional salt to taste, if needed.


  • Spoon the warm polenta into bowls and put some of the roasted vegetables and the pan juice over each serving. Sprinkle with additional cheese, if you like.

Karen’s Notes and Tips

  • If you don’t have a Dutch oven or or enameled cast iron pot, choose your heaviest saucepan and turn the heat to low for best results with minimal stirring.
  • Storing leftovers or to make ahead: You can refrigerate the polenta and vegetables up to a week, and reheat for about 20 minutes at 350 (175C) degrees. Stir in a little more liquid to the polenta if it’s too thick.
  • You might also like How To Make Creamy Parmesan Polenta
Recipe updated August 2018


Calories: 379kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 1125mg | Potassium: 1231mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 3006IU | Vitamin C: 135mg | Calcium: 231mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition facts are calculated by third-party software. If you have specific dietary needs, please refer to your favorite calculator.

Did you make this recipe? Search @Familystylefood or tag #familystylefood on Pinterest

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Recipe developer Karen Tedesco of the popular website Familystyle Food in her kitchen making a kale salad.

Hey, I’m Karen

Creator of Familystyle Food

I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about creating elevated dinners with everyday ingredients. Find simplified recipes made from scratch and enjoy incredibly tasty food! Read more about me here.

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  1. 5 stars
    Made pretty much as listed just with mushrooms instead of eggplant. Everyone loved it. Will definitely be making again!

  2. Ron Fenton says:

    Why doesn’t the polenta recipe have no quantities???

    1. Hello Ron, do you mean quantities as in how many servings? It serves 4 as noted at the top of the recipe. Quantities for the polenta are listed in the ingredient list.

  3. 4 stars
    I’m making this tonight because it looks delicious, but just wanted to point out that the roasted vegetables ingredients section calls for 1.5 tsp of salt, but the directions for the roasted vegetables only says .5 tsp. I ended up adding too much because I was following the ingredients list.

    1. Hi Lexi – Thank you for letting me know about that. I’ve updated the ingredients – it should be just 1/2 teaspoon salt.

  4. 5 stars
    I can only seem to find instant polenta…how will this change the way I make the polenta? Last time I tried to make this the polenta was awful and I didn’t know if you had suggestions…thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Lauren – Great question! If all you can find is instant polenta, I suggest following the package directions for preparing it. Add in the butter, Parmesan cheese and salt until it tastes good to you.

  5. Can’t wait to make this dish! How many servings does this yield for nutritional information. It gives per serving but doesn’t state how many servings in this recipe. Thanks in advance!

  6. Laurie D. says:

    5 stars
    This recipe is so delicious! I’d never made polenta before and it was easy and so very good. The veggies were tasty and went well with the polenta. I served it as a side dish because I didn’t think it would be filling enough on its own, but it really could be served as a main dish. Thank-you so much for posting this recipe! It’s a keeper!

  7. Angela Bowen Warm says:

    Is that the correct measurements? 2-3 tablespoons of liquid per 1 cup of polenta – seems not right.

  8. Stephanie says:

    This was delicious! I was skeptical about the raw garlic at first, but I loved the extra bite that it added.

  9. This was delicious. My husband was totally in love with this. It is time consuming so be prepared.

  10. Kristin Barton Robinson says:

    5 stars
    I made this last night and all I can say is WOW!!!!! Super easy, super delicious and healthy too! I couldn’t find eggplant ( not in season) but I added Romanesco and it was amazing! I doubled that vinaigrette because why not, it was too good not to. This will be a go to for us every week I’m certain.

  11. Isn’t this dish vegetarian and not vegan ?

    1. The recipe is vegetarian. If you’d like to make this vegan, you can omit the Parmesan cheese, and use olive oil instead of butter in the polenta recipe.

  12. THis looks os good! What a perfect fall comfort dish to make for yourself or others!

  13. Thanks for sharing! Does it keep long?

    1. You can refrigerate the polenta and vegetables up to a week, and reheat for about 20 minutes at 350.

    2. This is the 2nd time I’ve made this recipe. I do add shrimp, but even without is amazing! Will make again!!!

  14. This looks so good! What a perfect way to use up the fall garden veggies on a filling vegan dish!

  15. Just tried this recipe tonight. It was wonderful. I did not have eggplant so I substituted with broccoli. My first attempt making polenta as well. So good. Thanks for sharing..

  16. Made this tonight and wow it’s delicious! Love the flavor of the veggies and the cheesy polenta was really good! Only thing I would change is maybe add more cornmeal in the beginning. Took slightly longer to get creamy! Other than that.. We’ll be making again!

  17. This dish was so delicious, the roasted vegetables go so well with the polenta. The balsamic glaze gives a nice acidity that offsets the creamy polenta.

  18. I’ve made this approximately 782,564 times in the last four weeks. This is the PERFECT fall recipe- it’s filling, easy, and delicious. Thanks for the great recipe!