Creamy Vegan Polenta Bake

May 12, 2010

This vegan vegetable polenta bake from Tony Chiodo is like healthy lasagna.

Creamy Vegan Polenta Bake

I got a version of this macrobiotic-inspired vegan polenta bake from my friend, Tony Chiodo at a cooking class in Melbourne about 20 years ago. Tony’s recipe are so delightfully simple, and always loaded with nutrients.

I’ve substituted the tofu in the original recipe with raw cashews, and infused the sauce with cooked onions. I’ve also added nutritional yeast and garlic powder to the base for an extra burst of flavor, and added some green veggies.

I’ve used spinach and broccoli, but you could use any vegetables you have on hand. Bok choy and asparagus are delicious, and roasted bell peppers, eggplant, and zucchini are sensational. You could also take this basic principle, and make a creamy roasted bell pepper sauce or a more traditional tomato-based sauce.

Either way, this rich creamy polenta bake is a fabulous alternative to lasagna, and is a satisfying meal served with salad, or a wonderful side dish.

Other Dinner Recipes

Gluten-Free Vegan Lasagna
Raw Vegan Lasagna
Instant Pot Lentil Shepherd’s Pie
Creamy Roasted Garlic Pasta with Broccoli
Mushroom Stroganoff

Let me know what you think of this vegan polenta bake in the comments!

Your feedback is important, and it helps me decide which recipes to post next for you.


Creamy Vegan Polenta Bake

This vegan vegetable polenta bake from Tony Chiodo is like healthy lasagna.

Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 8
Author Tess Masters




  • 7 cups vegetable broth 
  • 2 cups (300g) diced yellow onion
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 teaspoon  Celtic sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 cups cornmeal 
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder, plus more to taste
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 1 bunch flat leaf parsley, finely chopped 
  • 4 cups lightly steamed broccoli florets


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a baking sheet with a nonstick sheet or parchment paper.
  2. To make the sauce, toss the cubed sweet potato with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt in a large bowl. Spread the sweet potato on the sheet, and roast for about 1 hour, until tender. Set aside. 
  3. Continue making the sauce by warming the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the 2 cups of yellow onion and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt for about 5 minutes until soft and translucent. Set aside. 
  4. Transfer the cooked onions to the blender, add the roasted sweet potato, and add the broth, cashews, ginger, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Blast on high for 30 to 60 seconds until smooth and creamy. Tweak salt and ginger to taste. Set sauce aside. 
  5. To make the base, pour the vegetable broth, onions, corn, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to medium. Whisk in the polenta, and cook, stirring every few minutes for about 40 minutes, until cooked through. (You may need to add more broth to prevent the polenta from sticking and burning.) Stir through the nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and the remaining 3/4 teaspoon of the salt. Stir in the spinach until just wilted, and then stir through the parsley until well combined. 

  6. Grease a rectangular baking dish with olive oil, and spoon the polenta mixture into the dish until spread evenly. Press the steamed broccoli florets stem down into the polenta so they're arranged evenly. 
  7. Pour the sauce over the polenta mixture, and bake uncovered for about 20 minutes, until the topping forms a slight crust. 
  8. Cut into large pieces, and serve with a salad or steamed vegetables. 

Recipe Notes

Adapted from a recipe by Tony Chiodo
Photo by Trent Lanz and styling by Alicia Buszczak


Comments 19

  1. Hey Kim
    I am wondering how palatable the avocado would be once it is baked? I would try some raw cashews or macadamias blended into the mix to cream it up. Hope this helps.

    1. Yes. The pre-cooked variety? Please let me know how you go. Just press it down into the dish and prick the vegetables into it, and then top with the sauce etc

  2. What do you think of using almonds, walnuts or sunflower seeds in lieu of tofu or cashews? We have allergies to both soy and cashews.

    1. You could use blanched almonds in place of the soy or cashews in this recipe. Substitutions depend on the recipe. Feel free to use the contact form to ask me about specific recipes.

  3. Very adaptable – I made a smokey polenta and truffle pumpkin cream version. Added sweet smoked paprika, chilli flakes, coriander (instead of parsley) and frozen spinach (instead of baby spinach) to the polenta mash. Used roast pumpkin (instead of sweet potato), white truffle oil and cannelloni beans (instead of tofu) in the topping.

    1. Delicious! Thanks for sharing your blend Hugo. Yes, the flavor varieties are endless with this recipe. I make a different version all the time to keep things interesting. I will try your recipe when I get home.

    1. I would say this serves 8 comfortably as a vegetable side dish. For a full meal with salad, it would, as well. But, you would want to serve something with it.

    1. Yes. I’m sorry for the confusion. I’ve just amended the recipe ingredients to make it clearer. Thanks for the feedback.

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