Creamy polenta with roasted peppers

Creamy is my word of the moment with food, I’m totally obsessed with it (as evenidenced in my recipe for creamy lentil pasta pot and my cashew cream pasta sauce too).

Polenta is an ingredient I’ve been wanting to get my hands on for a while but just didn’t know where to start. Aside from a cake (and chips, as everyone reminded me on Instagram when I asked for suggestions!) this is a lovely hearty bowl to use polenta, lightened with a little cauliflower - an idea from Lisa at Healthy Nibbles and Bits.

Creamy polenta with roasted peppers | The Flourishing Pantry

SERVES: 3-4 dependent on portion sizes
PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOK TIME: 30 minutes


  • 1 head of cauliflower (should give you about about 450g) 
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup (140g) polenta 
  • 4 cups (950ml) stock or boiling water 
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 bell peppers - I used red, orange and green for colour 
  • olive oil to cook with 
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Handful of fresh coriander leaves (optional topping) 



  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Slice up your peppers into long strips about the width of two thumbs - about an inch / 3-4 cms. Place them in a roasting tray and drizzle with oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Place in the oven and roast for 20-30 minutes until soft and just starting to colour on the edges. 
  2. While your peppers roast, cut the cauliflower into florets i.e. small bite-size pieces. Add florets into a food processor and blitz until you get fine cauliflower rice. I did this in my nutribullet in small batches. 
  3. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the crushed garlic and that cook for 30 seconds, then add the cauliflower 'rice' and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Add the polenta and the stock and stir to mix everything together. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let everything simmer for about 20 minutes. If you find that all the liquid evaporates before the polenta looks (or tastes) softened, add a little water and stir through and continue cooking. Your polenta shouldn't be grainy, so keep going until it loses that crunch or grittiness.  
  5. Add the thyme, butter and salt to the polenta and stir until the ingredients have melted. Turn off the heat and cover the pan with a lid for a further 4-5 minutes. The polenta will continue to absorb all the liquids.
  6. Dish up the cauliflower polenta into bowls and top with some of your roasted peppers. top with some torn coriander leaves and a generous grind of salt and pepper. 
Creamy polenta with roasted peppers | The Flourishing Pantry
Polenta with roasted peppers | The Flourishing Pantry

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Polenta with roasted peppers | The Flourishing Pantry