Polenta with Tomatoes and Basil

When I was a kid I loved making risotto for my family. I still love risotto, but polenta is my favorite alternative, and the bright flavors in this version makes it a perfect warm weather dish.

As an extra perk, leftovers pack up beautifully for lunch the next day. Tyler and I even took some leftover polenta on our bike ride last weekend. (Is that weird?) We sat at a little table in the sun after our ride and shared some polenta, sourdough bread and hummus. It was glorious!

Polenta with Tomatoes and Basil

Servings: 3 main course or 5 side dish servings


  • 3 cups almond milk
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup corn meal
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 TBL olive oil
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • More olive oil, salt and pepper for cooking the tomatoes and onion
  • 1/2 cup basil, roughly chopped or torn


  1. Combine the almond milk and vegetable broth in a large saucepan or stockpot, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat
  2. In the meantime, saute the sweet onion in a skillet over medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil and a healthy pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender and caramelized on the outside (about 5 minutes)
  3. Once the milk and broth mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and slowly whisk in the cornmeal, salt and pepper
  4. Cook over medium-low heat (or whatever heat keeps the polenta gently boiling), stirring constantly, for about 5-6 minutes or until thickened. (It should reach a porridge-like consistency)
  5. Remove from the heat and stir in the garlic powder, onion powder, nutritional yeast and olive oil
  6. In the same skillet you used for the onion, add your halved cherry tomatoes, a drizzle of olive oil and pinch of salt and pepper, and saute for 3-4 minutes or until tender
  7. Add the onion, tomatoes and basil to the polenta and stir. Feel free to add more seasoning to taste before serving

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