Vegan Dinner Idea Italian Cornmeal Zucchini Polenta

Vegan Italian Cornmeal Zucchini Polenta - 15 minutes - Fat-free

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 232 kcal
Author: Jeanette Whitten

Take water, a bag of cornmeal, a zucchini, oregano, rosemary, salt and pepper and turn it into a filling, lip smacking, yummy, warm, vegan comfort food, that comes together so fast and tastes wonderful.

Whole-grains, gluten-free, plant-based, no-oil.  Tastes a bit like thanksgiving.

Use a food processor to prepare the zucchini, peel it first if serving picky children, throw it in some boiling water with the seasonings, add cornmeal, stir and wait 5 minutes for the cornmeal to cook.  

Very simple.  Very cozy.  Very smooth and full of taste.

Great recipe to try on a night you are running late and looking for a fast, easy, simple, vegan carb/starch side-dish for your supper.



  • 3 cups water
  • 6.5 cups zucchini approximate, shredded in food processor, or grated. One large zucchini.
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 0.5 tsp black pepper or to taste
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast optional, truly, you won't miss it
  • 1 tsp oregano dried, or 1 tbsp fresh
  • 1 tsp rosemary or thyme, dried, or 1 tbsp fresh
  • 2 cups cornmeal cornmeal


  1. Grate or food process zucchini. Peel first if serving to picky children, or picky adults.  Add zucchini and water to a large saucepan, stir to combine and bring to a boil.

  2. Add salt, pepper, oregano, rosemary, and nutritional yeast, if using.

  3. With water / zucchini and spices bubbling, add cornmeal in a thin stream, stirring with a wooden spoon to incorporate.  

    raw cornmeal for vegan polenta
  4. Turn heat to low.  Keep stirring over low heat for at least 5 minutes as the cornmeal cooks and loses it's raw taste. It thickens into polenta very quickly, which is why it is important to have the seasonings in the liquid before the cornmeal. Otherwise it is tricky to stir it all together.

  5. Taste test (blow on it, don't burn your tongue!) and adjust seasonings to your preference.

  6. After the cornmeal has been cooking, it should get thick, turn off heat, let it sit 5 more minutes, then it should be ready to serve.  The longer the polenta sits, the thicker it will get and the herbs will mellow out.  Oregano can be quite strong, I find it tastes better the longer it sits, and is really nice as leftovers.

    Creamy fat-free vegan zucchini cornmeal polenta
  7. Snip green onions or chives overtop when serving, some people like this with freshly squeezed lemon as well, or cranberry sauce.

    vegan no-oil cornmeal polenta with zucchini

Recipe Notes

Stir in black beans before serving if you are looking to add a vegan protein.

Serving ideas, with:

carrots sautéed in water, add spinach and fresh dill when carrots are almost done.

kidney beans or chickpeas and canned mushrooms microwaved in a steamer dish, seasoned with cumin or chili powder and freshly squeezed lemon.  

a nice dark leafy greens salad.

cranberry sauce.

Nutrition Facts
Vegan Italian Cornmeal Zucchini Polenta - 15 minutes - Fat-free
Amount Per Serving (1 / 6th of recipe)
Calories 232 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Sodium 600mg26%
Potassium 546mg16%
Carbohydrates 43g14%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 270IU5%
Vitamin C 24mg29%
Calcium 34mg3%
Iron 2.3mg13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.