This polenta recipe with roasted beets is easy and savory. It’s perfect for weeknights and cold weather.
There is much debate over how to cook the perfect polenta. Similar to grits, it’s a dish made with cornmeal, and if you do it right, it’s super easy. You’ll want to use plenty of liquid and stir frequently. If you follow these basic instructions, you won’t have to worry about lumps. I usually like using “regular” (steel-ground) cornmeal, which cooks quickly, making it perfect for a weeknight meal. However, if you prefer stone-ground, they work great too, just make sure to check the package and lengthen your cooking time accordingly.
Techniques for delicious Cheesy Polenta Recipe with Roasted Beets
- Use the beet greens if you have them. I include the option for kale or beet tops because sometimes you will get the tops and sometimes not, but the beet greens are delicious (and free) to use if the beets come with them.
- Low sodium stock. The cheese and butter are already salty, so use low sodium stock to make sure your polenta isn’t too salty.
- Be aware of the type of cornmeal you are using. This recipe calls for regular yellow cornmeal. It’s quick to cook and has a long shelf-life. You can also use stoneground cornmeal, but you will need to lengthen the cooking time, so check your package to make you are cooking your cornmeal for the right length of time.
Looking for more beet recipes? Try our Beet Salad with Citrus, Arugula, & Pecans.
- 2 tablespoons Pickled Red Onions
- 1 lb fresh beets, scrubbed or peeled, and cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 cups kale or beet tops, tear greens from stems and discard stems
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 5 cups low sodium vegetable stock
- 6 ounces pecorino romano cheese, grated and divided into 2-ounce and 4-ounce portions
- 2 tablespoons butter, diced
- 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
- 1 handful basil leaves
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
Adjust the racks to the second to the top position and the middle position, then preheat the oven to 450°F.
Roast the beets and kale: On one parchment-lined baking sheet, toss the beets with olive oil, then season to taste with salt and pepper. On a second parchment-lined baking sheet, drizzle the kale with olive oil, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Place the beets on the upper rack and the kale on the lower rack. Roast the kale until it starts to crisp, about 3 to 5 minutes. Roast the beets until tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Make the polenta: While the veggies are roasting, bring 5 cups of vegetable stock to a boil and then slowly add the cornmeal while whisking gently to keep lumps from forming. Reduce the heat to low and cook until thickened, about 15 minutes. Stir frequently to keep lumps from forming.
Season the polenta: When the polenta is done cooking, remove from heat and add 4 ounces of the grated pecorino romano cheese and 2 tablespoons butter to the polenta. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To serve: Spoon the polenta into a bowl and arrange the kale and roasted beets on top. Add the goat cheese, basil, and pickled red onions. Serve with remaining pecorino romano for sprinkling on top.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 451Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 909mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 9gSugar: 13gProtein: 20g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.