Vegan Polenta with Balsamic Roasted Vegetables & Chickpeas makes the absolute best weeknight dinner recipe! The balsamic marinade gives these veggies a sweet flavor that pairs perfectly with creamy & savory vegan polenta.
It's that time of year when we are all craving cozy comfort food. However, that doesn't mean it can't be healthy AND delicious.
Enter in-the best creamy vegan polenta recipe filled with roasted vegetables, crispy chickpeas, and a balsamic glaze. YUM!
How to make balsamic roasted vegetables
The first step is to roast the veggies & chickpeas in a balsamic marinade.
Since I used pre-cut veggies, we save a ton of time by adding them directly to the tray along with the chickpeas and then coating them with the balsamic marinade. Also, I do like to whisk together the balsamic marinade ingredients in a separate bowl before adding it to the tray so it gets evenly distributed.
Then, mix everything together with your hands (or a spoon) until all the veggies and chickpeas are evenly coated.
Bake the veggies & chickpeas at 375F for 25-30 minutes until crispy and cooked through!
Can I make this vegan polenta with different vegetables?
Of course! Just keep in mind that roasting times vary based on the veggies.
While the Earthbound Farm Organic Vegetable Medley bags I used can all be roasted together if you add additional vegetables you may need to adjust the cooking time for them.
How to cook vegan polenta
While the veggies are roasting, make the polenta.
Tips to cook polenta
When it comes to polenta, there are a few tips & tricks to make this recipe creamy every time!
- First, bring the broth to a boil.
- Then, turn down the heat & gradually stir in ¼ cup polenta, making sure to stir while adding.
- Add in the remaining polenta ¼ cup at a time, continuing to stir the entire time you are adding polenta.
Adding the polenta gradually & continually stirring helps prevent the polenta from clumping up!
Continue cooking the polenta for another 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently, until the polenta starts to thicken. Then, cover and cook another 10 minutes until thick, stirring every few minutes.
Keep in mind, that some polenta brands do take longer to cook (I've seen some up to an hour!), so always follow the recommended cooking time on package instructions. If your polenta thickens too much, just add in a little extra broth or even some plant-based milk.
Once the polenta is cooked, remove the lid and add the vegan butter, nutritional yeast, and spices. Finish by stirring together until nice and creamy and adding the roasted veggies on top.
FAQ & Substitutions:
How do I store leftover polenta?
Leftover polenta and veggies can be stored in a closed container in the fridge for 3-5 days. This dish does not freeze well.
What polenta works best in this recipe?
If you've ever gone shopping for polenta, there are a lot of options out there. The first option is a block of already cooked polenta. Avoid that for this recipe.
The other two choices are consistent grind or stone-grind polenta/cornmeal. If you are newer to cooking polenta, definitely look for a consistent grind as it will cook up more uniform and evenly. Keep in mind, that the cooking time of polenta varies based on what you use, so always try to follow the cooking guidelines on timing!
My polenta got clumpy: This is usually due to not adding the polenta in gradually. Also, you really need to stir the ENTIRE time you are adding polenta into the pot. This is why I like to add the polenta ¼ cup at a time. It prevents me from adding too much at a time and helps me consistently stir.
My polenta is not thickening: This can be due to two things. The first is not adding enough broth/water to the dish as you need enough for all the cornmeal to soak it up and before thick and creamy. The second is from not cooking the polenta long enough. If you are in doubt or your polenta is still gritty, just add in more broth and cook the polenta a little longer!
I hope you love these Vegan Polenta Bowls with Roasted Balsamic Veggies & Chickpeas. Enjoy this vegan comfort food!
More healthy comfort food dinner recipes you will love:
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Vegan Polenta with Balsamic Roasted Vegetables and Chickpeas
Balsamic Roasted Veggies & Chickpeas
- 15 oz canned chickpeas about 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas
- 2 packages Earthbound Farm Organic Vegetable Medley baby carrots, broccoli, cauliflower
- ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoon avocado oil
- 2 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- 3 cups vegetable broth or water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup polenta cornmeal
- ¼ cup vegan butter
- 2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Italian spices can sub with dried parsley or basil
- Salt & pepper to taste if needed
- Balsamic Vinegar optional, to drizzle on top
- Preheat the oven to 375F. Strain, rinse, and dry the chickpeas completely.
- Add the chopped vegetables and chickpeas to a baking pan.
- Then, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, oil, maple syrup, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
- Pour the balsamic marinade on top of the tray of veggies & chickpeas and mix together until evenly coated.
- Then, add the tray to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until the chickpeas and beginning to crisp and the veggies are caramelized. Make sure to remove the tray and stir the veggies & chickpeas at the 15 minute mark so they bake evenly.
- While the veggies & chickpeas are roasting, make the vegan polenta.
- Add 3 cups broth (or water) and ½ tsp salt to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and gradually add in the polenta ¼ cup at a time. For the best results, stream the polenta in gradually and stir continuously while adding it to the pot.
- Cook the polenta uncovered for 1-2 minutes, stirring consistently. Then, cover the saucepan and cook another 5-10 minutes(*or until cooked depending on the package instructions). If the polenta gets too thick before it is done cooking, add in a few Tbsp of veggie broth to help it thin out.
- Remove the cooked polenta from the heat and mix in the vegan butter, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, Italian spices, salt, & pepper.
- Add the cooked polenta to 3-4 bowls. Top with the roasted veggies & chickpeas and serve. If desired, add on an extra drizzle of balsamic vinegar to the finished dish. Enjoy!
- Leftovers can be stored in the fridge in a closed container for 3-5 days. This dish does not freeze well due to the polenta.
- If polenta gets too clumpy, it is likely due to not adding it in gradually while stirring the entire time. Try adding polenta ¼ cup at a time to avoid clumpy polenta.
- If polenta is not getting thick, it likely hasn't been cooked long enough or there is not enough broth to cook the cornmeal.
This dish was amazing, thanks so much Megan. I've never made polenta before so wasn't sure how'd it go but this was a hit. Definitely a new favourite and will be making it again.
So happy you enjoyed it!! Thanks for the review 🙂
This was an amazing recipe. It also seems flexible regarding the vegetables. I had a package of Trader Joe's Holiday Hash (all minced vegetables) that I wanted to use up and they were excellent with the chickpeas. Additionally, I added some roasted potatoes and balsamic glazed carrots to the bowls. So happy to find a vegan recipe for polenta. This is a keeper.
So happy you were able to make it work with the veggies you have on hand- and love the addition of potatoes too- YUM! Thanks for sharing 🙂
This was absolutely delicious and perfect for a cold fall evening. So quick and so good!!
Thank you so much for sharing, glad you enjoyed it 🙂
OMG this sounds so delish, I will 100% be making this for dinner this week! Can't wait to see what you come up with next.
~ XOXO, Amanda
Megan Horowitch says
Thank you, hope you love it!