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Creamy Pumpkin Polenta

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There’s no cream in this Creamy Pumpkin Polenta. Instead, this polenta is made with pumpkin puree, Pecorino Romano, and a pinch of nutmeg – and it’s delightful.

Pumpkin Polenta
Creamy Pumpkin Polenta

I love creamy polenta and had wanted to try a pumpkin version by mixing some puree into it. I was planning on adding cream or cream cheese, but it turned out so creamy without it I left it out. This super simple recipe, made with basic pantry ingredients, is the perfect cozy comfort side dish. Serve it topped with roasted veggies or your favorite sauce, like this Slow Cooker Beef Ragu or Slow Cooker Bolognese. See more pumpkin recipes here!

Pumpkin Polenta topeed with Beef Ragu

What is polenta made from?

Polenta is an Italian dish made from ground yellow cornmeal. It’s similar to grits, but grits are typically made from white corn.

Creamy Polenta Ingredients:

  • Polenta: Cook the cornmeal in salted water.
  • Butter: All you need is two tablespoons of unsalted butter.
  • Pumpkin: Use a half cup of canned or homemade pumpkin puree.
  • Cheese: You can swap Pecorino Romano for parmesan if you prefer.
  • Nutmeg: Just a pinch pulls this whole dish together.

How to Make Creamy Pumpkin Polenta from Scratch

  • Boil salted water in a large pot. Slowly add the polenta to the boiling water, whisking it while you add it to prevent any lumps from forming.
  • Simmer and Stir: Lower the heat and add the butter. Whisk the polenta until it starts to thicken. Cover the pot and cook the polenta for 25 to 30 minutes, occasionally stirring so the polenta doesn’t stick to the bottom.
  • Flavor: Stir in the cheese, pumpkin, and nutmeg. Taste for salt and add more if needed.

What should I serve with pumpkin polenta?

This fall polenta recipe is the perfect side for roasted meats and vegetables. You can also top it with a rich homemade ragu, braised meat, or beef stew.

How To Make Pumpkin PolentaPumpkin Polenta with Ragu

More Pumpkin Recipes You’ll Love:

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Creamy Pumpkin Polenta

5 from 4 votes
There’s no cream in this Creamy Pumpkin Polenta. Instead, this polenta is made with pumpkin puree, Pecorino Romano, and a pinch of nutmeg.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Pumpkin Polenta topeed with Beef Ragu
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 30 mins
Yield: 6 servings
Serving Size: 2 /3 cup


  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup yellow polenta or medium ground cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup canned or homemade pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano
  • pinch of nutmeg


  • Heat salted water to a boil over high heat in a heavy-bottomed 2 or 3 quart pot.
  • Slowly add the polenta into the boiling water, whisking while you add it to prevent any lumps from forming.
  • Lower the heat to a very low simmer and add the butter.
  • Continue to whisk the polenta until it starts to thicken. Then cover the pan and let the polenta cook for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon so the polenta doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot.
  • The polenta should be soft and tender when done. If not, let it cook a few minutes longer.
  • Add the pumpkin, Pecorino cheese and nutmeg, stir it into the polenta.
  • Taste for salt as needed.

Last Step:

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Makes 4 cups


Serving: 2 /3 cup, Calories: 133 kcal, Carbohydrates: 14 g, Protein: 3 g, Fat: 6 g, Saturated Fat: 3 g, Cholesterol: 14 mg, Sodium: 275 mg, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 1 g


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20 comments on “Creamy Pumpkin Polenta”

  1. Loved this, will be a go to polenta recipe. I skipped the cheese to save a few calories and only used one tab of a lower calorie butter, but did use broth to cook the polenta. I did it in the pressure cooker for 9 minutes with manual release then stirred in the pumpkin at that time and butter. Excellent recipe–served with skinny taste Chicken in Shallots and red wine vinegar recipe. Very comforting recipes on a rainy cold day.

  2. Any suggestions to add meatless protein to this (i.e., would a dollop of greek yogurt be gross?) I’d like to make have as a main for myself and side for family meat eaters.

    1. Avatar photo
      Sarah Wettenstein

      I think you could add a fried egg (I haven’t tried this but will tonight!) I’m also adding a mushroom ragu which doesn’t have a ton of protein but I think I might mix in some tofu crumble to boost it up! 

  3. Thinking of doing this for meal prep next week with bolognese I have in the freezer. Will it re-heat well? Thank you!!

  4. Does anyone have any low point proteins to serve this with? It is 6 points for me, so I am thinking chicken breast, but not sure the best combo. I would normally do a meat sauce, but that can be higg in points too.

    1. What about turkey meatloaf? I know ground turkey and ground chicken can have points, but it’s an idea!

  5. Pumpkin polenta is ultimate fall comfort food. The nutmeg adds another layer of unexpected flavor. I loved the twist to a a favorite creamy side dish.

  6. Thank you for the recipe! Going to try it with some gourmet pumpkin, carrot, ginger soup I found! Very excited!   

  7. Ahhh this was fantastic with the slow cooker ragu! Such a great taste and so comforting! Will be on rotation this season!