Creamy Polenta with Butternut Squash and Spinach

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polenta with butternut squash and spinachI can’t think of a better dish for a cold wintery night. Creamy, cheesey, polenta laced with roasted butternut squash and chopped spinach. Guaranteed to warm you up from the inside out. Comfort food in the most delicious way!
Christmas wreath Chicago received it’s first snow yesterday and with temperatures predicted mostly in the teens all week the reality of winter is in full force, so it’s comfort foods that are calling my name.polenta with spinach and butternut squash Hearty enough to eat alone or with a nice green salad or it’s just plain wonderful as a side dish next to baked chicken or roasted pork.polenta with sausage and peppers Have leftovers? No problem, you can easily morph your leftover butternut squash polenta into another meal by topping it with chunks of Italian sausage and roasted peppers, this is crazy good!

butternut squash polenta with sausage and peppersbutternut squash polenta with poached egg But if all you have left is just a teeny bit, no worries, you can mold it into a small ramekin, warm it up, unmold and plop a cooked egg on the top, my favorite!

Creamy Polenta with Butternut Squash and Spinach
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into small dice and pre-roasted
  • 1 cup, instant style polenta
  • ¾ cup chopped fresh spinach
  • ½ cup or so grated parmesan or romano cheese
  • 2 cups chicken broth, homemade or low sodium store bought
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • extra olive oil for drizzling
  1. Roast squash at 400 degrees on a baking sheet drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast around 15 minutes or until slightly golden. Set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan add the broth, water, 1 tablespoon of butter, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper, bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to low and slowly start whisking in the polenta, keep whisking so as not to get lumps, it will bubble and squirt, be careful!
  4. Switch over to a wooden spoon and keep stirring until thickened, remove from heat.
  5. Fold in the grated cheese, the spinach and the butternut squash, drizzling more olive oil all over the top.
  6. Serve immediately.
  7. Leftover polenta can be warmed up the next day by adding more water or broth, or leftovers can be molded into ramekins.
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  1. I’ll take one with the sausage and one with the egg! Man this looks so savory and wonderful. Thanks for these ideas and Merry Christmas to you and your family Marie.

  2. I’ll take one with the sausage and one with the egg! Man this looks so savory and wonderful. Thanks for these ideas and Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  3. Marie…looove me some polenta! What gorgeous pics you have 🙂 I guess you and I are both Chicago Foodie Bloggers 🙂 Nice to know 🙂 Happy holidays to you!

  4. Made this tonight for the first time and it’s absolutely delicious! everyone enjoyed
    it very much! Will be making it again for sure♥

  5. This looks SO tasty. You know, Marie – I look at a lot of sites, and I read an awful lot of books. I don’t think I’ve ever taken a moment to tell you that every time I come to your site, I want the food. Everything you make is unerringly “right.” You’ve got the gift, amica. Thanks for sharing it with all of us.

  6. Doesn’t matter if I’m on vacation in a warm , sunny spot- i want some of Marie’s polenta!

  7. I love most of (all of) your recipes (and your stories), but this one is extra wonderful. So easy to make and delicious. We had a wonderful diner.

  8. This sounds so good. I love all the variations you’ve included. It makes winter seem a little less cold.

  9. This looks delicious, Marie! And I love the ideas for using any leftovers! Have a wonderful holiday season!

  10. Polenta is indeed an ideal food for a cold winter’s evening, Marie. I think I will make this during the week. The temperature is still in the teens here but will be a balmy 50 by the end of the week 🙂

  11. My favorite way is under vinegar chicken, but I love the sausage and pepper dish you made. Well, really I love all of your food. Lovely photo of a peek through the wreath.


  1. […] love visiting other food blog sites. One of my favorites is Proud Italian Cook.  Marie has lots of wonderful recipes. I took some inspiration from her Polenta and Squash dish […]

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