October 27, 2014
Vegetarian Chili with Creamy Polenta

A healthy take on chili and cornbread! Perfectly spiced vegetarian chili over creamy polenta. Vegan & Gluten-free. 

A healthy take on chili and cornbread! Perfectly spiced vegetarian chili over creamy polenta. Vegan & Glutenfree | www.delishknowledge.com A healthy take on chili and cornbread! Perfectly spiced vegetarian chili over creamy polenta. Vegan & Glutenfree | www.delishknowledge.com

If cornbread and chili go together like peanut butter and jelly, then vegetarian chili & creamy polenta go together like, um, chili and cornbread? 

A week or so ago, while waiting not-so-patiently for this vegetarian chili to finish cooking, I started rummaging through our pantry for cornbread ingredients. Ground corn? Check.  Everything else? Nada.

While the beauty of living two blocks from a grocery store is convenient when I need last-minute ingredients, I did not have the energy- nor the patience- that evening. As I tried to convince myself that chili would be just as delicious without a side of freshly baked cornbread, I started dreaming about polenta.

Who needs hunks of cornbread anyway? Creamy polenta is not only the soupy version of cornbread, it’s also a zillion times easier. Whisk ground corn into simmering vegetable broth. Whisk a bit more, and it’s ready. I’m not sure why I haven’t thought of this before, but I can’t get enough of this simple pairing.

It’s the perfect brisk fall evening meal. Of course, I’m not having any brisk fall evenings here in the Sahara California, but I hope you are!  This cozy, comfort bowl just begs to be eaten while curled up on the couch under a blanket.

A healthy take on chili and cornbread! Perfectly spiced vegetarian chili over creamy polenta. Vegan & Glutenfree | www.delishknowledge.com

If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your Instagram photos with #delishknowledge . I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking! 

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A healthy take on chili and cornbread! Perfectly spiced vegetarian chili over creamy polenta. Vegan & Glutenfree from delishknowledge.com

Vegetarian Chili with Creamy Polenta

  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Main, Soup, Stew
  • Cuisine: American

Description

A healthy take on chili and cornbread! Perfectly spiced vegetarian chili over creamy polenta. Vegan & Glutenfree from delishknowledge.com


  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Main, Soup, Stew
  • Cuisine: American
  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Main, Soup, Stew
  • Cuisine: American
Scale

Ingredients

Polenta:

  • 3 cups soymilk
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup corn meal
  • 3 tbsp. dairy-free butter (I like Earth Balance brand)

Chili:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 large can italian chopped tomatoes
  • 1 large can tomato sauce
  • 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Instructions

  1. Make the chili: Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped zucchini, green pepper, garlic cloves, jalapenos, and spices.
  2. Continue to cook on low for 10-15 minutes until vegetables are soft.
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato sauce, and beans.
  4. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. If the chili becomes too thick, you can thin with a bit of vegetable broth.
  5. Make the polenta: Heat broth and milk over medium heat.
  6. When bubble start to surface, gently whisk in cornmeal and stir together.
  7. Reduce heat to low and let cook until thick, stirring often, about 25 minutes.
  8. Stir in butter and pinch salt/pepper.
  9. To serve: scoop polenta into a bowl. Top with chili. Garnish with your favorite toppings!

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A healthy take on chili and cornbread! Perfectly spiced vegetarian chili over creamy polenta. Vegan & Glutenfree from delishknowledge.com

Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, Plant-Based Chef and Yoga Instructor. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.

18 comments
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  1. Sorry for dumb question but I’m assuming the “large” can of tomato sauce is the 15 oz but for the large can of chopped tomatoes … is that 15 or 28 oz? Thanks!

  2. Great minds think alike?! Because I’ve had vegan chili – with zucchini, too – with polenta baked on top for lunch three times this week. I can’t get enough. The baked version was easier to pack and bring to work but your way of serving the polenta in its still soft and creamy state is even better.

    • Yes! That’s why I love soups so much- it’s a great way to pack in a ton of vegetables without feeling like you’re eating a salad for every meal!

  3. Awesome idea! I love cornbread with chili, but agree, sometimes it’s not in the cards to make fresh. I’ll have to try this polenta/chili combo. We’re having plenty of cool fall days… I’ll send some your way in exchange for sunshine!

    • Ha! Please do! Don’t get my wrong I love the sunshine, but I am ready to get my fall clothes out! Boots and sweaters aren’t the same when it’s 90 degrees out 🙂

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