Creamy Polenta with White Beans and Roasted Broccoli
Creamy Polenta with White Beans and Roasted Broccoli

White beans and nutritional yeast give this polenta a creamy and cheesy flavor that’s completely dairy-free. Add some roasted broccoli and a drizzle of chili oil and you have an easy, filling meatless dinner!

The cooler months always bring out the comfort food in full force. Pasta and casseroles are usually big hits in my family. But for me, it’s all about the creamy polenta. During the fall and winter, I’ve been known to eat a bowl of nothing but creamy, cheesy polenta.

How to make creamy vegan polenta

Of course, if you want to make creamy polenta and you are vegan, some things have to change. Cheese is out of the question. You could use vegan butter and cheese, but I rarely have these things on hand as I don’t always cook vegan.

So I turn to one of my favorite vegan combinations: beans and nutritional yeast.

What is nutritional yeast?

Nutritional yeast impresses above all with its nutty, cheese-like taste. It is commonly used in vegan cuisine for its flavor profile and nutritional benefits.

Nutritional yeast is yeast that has been deactivated (as opposed to baker’s yeast, which is still active). While it’s not a 1:1 substitute for cheese, the flavor profile is similar enough to pass. Think of it similar to grated parmesan.

Nutritional yeast is great as a topping for popcorn or in vegan cheese-like recipes like macaroni and cheese. You can find it in the health food section or in the storage bins at most gourmet grocery stores, such as: B. Whole Foods, or you can buy it online.

Beans make polenta creamy!

As for the beans, I love the protein boost they add to the polenta base. White beans are great because their texture is mashed into a smooth, creamy texture that blends perfectly with the polenta. All it takes is a solid whiz in a blender with a little olive oil.

And if you’re not vegan, you’re of course welcome to add cheese or butter to your polenta! Here is the recipe for making an easy creamy polenta.

What to serve on polenta

This polenta goes well with most vegetables of the Brassica family. Roast broccoli florets like I did here, or swap in cauliflower or Brussels sprouts. All of these are great additions to the polenta bowl.

I also like to sprinkle a drizzle of chilli oil all over the bowl. It’s easy to put together – it’s a simple infusion of olive oil and chilli flakes over low heat. This chili oil also makes a great topping for cereal bowls, pizza, and morning eggs—anywhere traditional hot sauce, really. However, if you don’t want to go through the hassle of preparing it, just drizzle in the oil and sprinkle over the chilli flakes.

More ways to enjoy polenta!

  • How to make creamy polenta
  • Polenta casserole with fontina and tomato sauce
  • Cheese polenta with grilled sausages and summer vegetables
  • Polenta sausage mozzarella casserole
  • Mushroom sugo with polenta

Creamy polenta with white beans and roasted broccoli

preparation time
15 minutes

cooking time
30 minutes

total time
45 minutes

4 servings


  • For the polenta:
  • 2 cups of water

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup yellow polenta

  • For the roasted broccoli:
  • 4 cups chopped broccoli

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

  • For the white beans:
  • 1 cup white beans, homemade or canned, drained and rinsed

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder

  • pinch of salt

  • For the chilli oil:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons chilli flakes


  1. Prepare polenta:

    In a 2-quart saucepan, bring the water and salt for the polenta to a boil over medium-high heat. Once it boils, add the polenta and beat until the polenta is fully incorporated.

    Reduce the heat (as low as possible) and cook the polenta for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring with a whisk every 5 to 10 minutes to break up any lumps.

  2. Fry the broccoli:

    Preheat your oven to 425 ̊F. Place the chopped broccoli on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with the 2 tablespoons olive oil and salt. Roast until broccoli is tender and beginning to char, about 15 to 20 minutes.

  3. Make the bean puree:

    While the polenta and broccoli are cooking, combine drained beans with olive oil, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt in the bowl of a food processor or high speed blender. Blend until smooth, adding a few tablespoons of water as needed to make it smoother.

    When the polenta is done cooking, stir the bean puree into the polenta.

  4. Make the chili oil:

    Heat the oil in a small pan. Add the chili flakes, remove from heat and let rest until ready to serve. (You can do this in advance!)

  5. Assemble bowls:

    Divide the polenta among four bowls. Garnish with the broccoli and a dash of chili oil.

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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!