Creamy Sweet Potato Polenta

June 12, 2013

When I went to Chicago in March, I had a amazing polenta experience at Heaven on Seven.  When I saw the organic polenta on the Bob’s Red Mill site, I knew that I needed it so I could recreate this magical food experience.  The restaurant actually posts the recipe, but it was way too indulgent for me to be able to justify making it at home.  So I made some healthy swaps and veganed up the recipe so I could eat a huge pile of it!  Be sure to enter the giveaway that’s been running (I’ve included the Rafflecopter again, just in case :)) to win the polenta I used today, along with hazelnut flour, TVP, and date sugar (recipe coming Friday!).


Normally, I can’t condone carb on carb action – this is one of my exceptions.  Sweet potatoes obviously add sweetness but also added a creaminess and a richness that makes you not even miss heavy cream or butter.  I oven roasted the potatoes in some maple syrup, which really amped up the flavor and tied the two starches together.  I only “mostly mashed” the potatoes, so there would be surprise bites of potato pieces.  I didn’t want photographic proof that I did this, but I grated some cheddar cheese on top when I served it – SO amazing! Nothing like a little sweet and savory for dinner. I wish I had bought some collard greens, because I think some spicy greens would’ve been amazing along side this.


This was my first experience making polenta, and I’m pretty certain only my second time eating it.  Bob’s site has several polenta options, which I’m sure each bring something unique to the table (ha! I’m so punny).  I went with this particular variety simply because it was organic and I had no idea what I was getting in to.  It’s a little on the coarse side, but once cooked through it provided a lovely texture and wasn’t gritty, which is a complaint I often hear about polenta.  It does take a little while to prepare, but it was a seriously amazing ingredient to work with.  I foresee myself quickly using up the rest of the bag and buying many, many more.

Creamy Sweet Potato Polenta

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • ¼ c pure maple syrup
  • 3 c water
  • 1 ¼ c milk of choice (I used unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1 c Bob’s Red Mill polenta (certified GF varieties available)
  • ½ tsp butter extract (optional)
  • salt, pepper, and extra maple to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Spritz a glass baking dish (I used a 9×13”) with nonstick spray.
  2. Peel potatoes and chop into ~ 1 – 2 inch pieces. Toss with maple syrup and bake, covered, for 45 minutes until very soft.
  3. Meanwhile, bring the water and milk to a near-boil. Stir in the polenta and cook until thickened, about 30 minutes.
  4. Roughly mash the potatoes (or puree in a food processor if you don’t want any potato chunks) and stir into the polenta. Add extra syrup, if desired, along with salt and pepper to taste. Once combined, cook a few minutes longer to allow the flavors to combine.
  5. Serve hot.

This polenta is creamy – think like mashed potatoes.
For a sweet and savory combo, grate some cheddar cheese over the top.
Serves 8 as a side dish or about 4 very large portions.

Nutrition Information
Calories: 145 Fat: 1g Carbohydrates: 32g Fiber: 2g Protein: 2g

I received a free package of polenta from Bob’s Red Mill for the purpose of reviewing and an additional for the giveaway.  As always, all opinions are my own.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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    Irina @ wandercrush Jun 20, 2013

    What a lovely idea. I love the natural sweetness of polenta, so the sweet potatoes must bring this out even more. I can imagine falling in love with this for breakfast on chilly mornings… Jun 14, 2013

    We adore polenta. I love your addition of sweet potatoes. It turns the polenta such a beautiful orange color. Sharing this recipe.

    Nicole @ Young, Broke and Hungry Jun 13, 2013

    Sweet potatoes with polenta sounds like a sweet and savory dish that I wouldn’t be able to keep my hands off of!

    Dan from Platter Talk Jun 13, 2013

    Great idea and great post. I’ve only had homemade polenta once and loved it. The sweet potato sounds like a great addition. I haven’t been to Seven on Heaven in years, it’s good to know they’re still putting out good fare!! Thanks for the post!

    Reeni Jun 12, 2013

    What a carbilicous bowl full of deliciousness! You are right on with the polenta and greens! It is an amazing combo!

    Marcie Jun 12, 2013

    I had a sweet potato polenta on a recent trip to Boston and did I love it! I’m going to make this.

    The Domestic Rebel Jun 12, 2013

    Okay, so I’ve never had polenta but it’s one of those foods where I’m like SUUUUPER intrigued by it because it sounds so.. fancy. One of these days, I’ll go to a restaurant and I’ll bet they have it, and I’ll have to order it because obvi, I am fancy, too. This looks awesome!!

      Kelly Jun 12, 2013

      Thanks1 It makes me feel pretty fancy to eat it. Especially because I’m 99% certain I was wearing yoga pants when I made it! The fanciest of pants.

    Reba - Not So Perfect Life Jun 12, 2013

    All of your recipes from this week have been awesome. I love polenta. Literally LOVE it! Never thought of adding in sweet potato.

      Kelly Jun 12, 2013

      Glad I’m having a good blog week! Thanks 🙂

    cleaneatingveggiegirl Jun 12, 2013

    This sounds awesome! I love the creativity going on here! I have been wanting to cook with polenta for awhile now, and am finally going to tonight. I am super excited!

      Kelly Jun 12, 2013

      I love working with an ingredient for the first time, have fun with it!

    Em @ Love A Latte Jun 12, 2013

    I have only tried using polenta in baking once and it was in muffins and worked great. This recipe looks awesome and I really want to try using polenta again! Collard greens along side sounds tasty 🙂

      Kelly Jun 12, 2013

      Polenta in baking? That sounds pretty interesting!

    Natalie Jun 12, 2013

    oh my god this looks amazing, I have only had polenta a few times but I love that you paired it with sweet potatoes!

      Kelly Jun 12, 2013

      It was pretty amazing. This is definitely something I’ll be making again!