Butternut Squash and Spinach Polenta Bowl



Four favorites come together in this dish: butternut squash, polenta, spinach and, of course, cheese. I also love eating out of bowls, the really rounded kind that fit in your hands just right. This is great, tasty comfort food.

The hardest part is peeling and chopping that squash. My tip is to nuke it (poke holes in it first, as with baked potatoes) just a few minutes. Go at it with a U-shaped peeler and chop off the ends with a good knife (I like my scary cleaver for this). From there I usually cut it crossways in slices about 3/4-inch wide till I get to the rounded, seeded part. I scoop out and discard the seeds and slice the flesh, then chop it all.

I wanted the leftovers to be easy to reheat, so I added broth to the polenta, which can get quite firm when it cools. And extra cheese. Always. I made other minor adjustments, also incorporated.

I found this recipe, from www.ohmyveggies.com, on Pinterest. The blog offers lots of interesting vegetarian and vegan recipes.


Butternut Squash and Spinach Polenta Bowl


For the squash:

1 medium red or sweet white onion, chopped

4 cups or more cubed (3/4-inch) butternut squash (from a 2-pound butternut squash)

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 large cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved if  large

3 cups roughly chopped fresh baby spinach leaves

For the polenta:

3 cups water

1 14.5-oz. can chicken broth

1 cup milk

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups coarse polenta

1 tbsp. minced fresh rosemary

1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Pumpkin seeds, for garnish (Trader Joe’s pumpkin-spiced are great here)

For the squash:

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
  • Add the red onion and butternut squash to a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with the garlic, salt, pepper and cinnamon. Toss to combine and spread in an even layer. Stir in the tomatoes at the 15- to 20-minute mark. Bake for about 10 more  minutes, until squash is tender and starting to brown.
  • As soon as the squash comes out of the oven, add the spinach to the baking sheet and stir to combine. The heat from the baking sheet and vegetables will wilt the spinach slightly.

For the polenta:

  • Meanwhile, bring the water, broth, milk and salt to a gentle boil in a medium saucepan. Slowly pour in the polenta in an even stream, whisking constantly. Turn the heat to low and partially cover with a lid. Cook for about 15 minutes, whisking often, until the polenta is thick and creamy. (Lower the heat if necessary so it doesn’t bubble up like lava.) Remove from the heat and whisk in the rosemary and Parmesan until combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.
  • Divide the polenta into 4 bowls. Top each with the squash mixture and a sprinkle of the pumpkin seeds. Serve immediately.
  • For leftovers, reheat the two components separately, stirring water, milk or broth into the polenta to loosen it.


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One thought on “Butternut Squash and Spinach Polenta Bowl”

  1. Kim Foster - October 30, 2017 10:38 am

    Sounds good and looks pretty!


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