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Creamy Polenta + Oven Ratatouille

Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Gluten Free
  • Low Carb/Paleo
  • Vegetarian
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Why we love it:

If you shop at a farmer’s market, look for interesting varieties of tomatoes, eggplant and zucchini. Ratatouille is delicious served as a dip (alone or spooned over whipped cream cheese or ricotta), on a turkey sandwich, over scrambled eggs, or as a sauce over grilled meat or fish. It can be served hot, cold, or at room temperature and it freezes very well too!


  • 1 cup Polenta (aka corn grits)
  • 4 cups Water
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt (divided)
  • 1 Eggplant
  • 12 Yellow Onion
  • 1 Bell Pepper (Orange, Yellow or Red)
  • 12 pound Zucchini
  • 3 Roma Tomatos (early girl or other cooking tomatoes work too)
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 14 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 12 bunch Basil
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • 12 teaspoon Red Wine Vinegar
  • 14 cup Parmesan Cheese

Cooking Instructions

  • 2. POLENTA

    Bring water and 1 teaspoon of salt to a boil in a large pot. Pour polenta slowly into boiling water, while whisking constantly until all polenta is stirred in and there are no lumps.

    Reduce heat to low and simmer, whisking often, until polenta starts to thicken, about 5 minutes. Polenta mixture should still be slightly loose. Cover and cook for 25 minutes, whisking every 5 to 6 minutes. When polenta is too thick to whisk, switch to stirring with a wooden spoon.


    Chop everything. Chop the eggplant a little bit smaller though as it takes longer to cook, aim for ½” square pieces. Chop the onion, pepper, zucchini, tomatoes. Toss all on to a baking sheet. Add the garlic cloves whole, but peeled. Pour olive oil over the pile and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt. Toss it all to coat and spread it out into an even layer.

    Place the pan in the oven and bake for about 15 - 20 minutes, tossing the veggies a couple of times in this window.

  • 4. BASIL

    Chop, slice or tear the basil leaves.

  • 5. FINISH

    After the polenta has cooked for about 25 minutes, stir in the heavy cream. When the ratatouille has cooked, everything will be really soft. You can leave it all the size you cut it originally, or place the veggies back on a cutting board (they’ll be wet, watch the edges for runoff) and run your knife through it all a few times. Cutting it smaller is great if you repurpose this recipe for a dip, sandwich spread, or sauce on top of grilled meat or fish.

    Place the ratatouille vegetables in a large bowl and stir in the vinegar and chopped basil.

  • 6. PLATING

    Place a big scoop of polenta in a wide bowl. Make an indentation in the center with a spoon. Top with ratatouille. Garnish with a generous sprinkle of Parmesan.

    *Leftover polenta will solidify. You can either reheat it in a sauté pan with butter to get a crispy edge, or add a little more water or milk and whisk occasionally to soften it up again.

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    if you can’t find polenta “corn grits” DO NOT try to use cornmeal or cornflour. It’s not the same. White grits are the same and can be used. If you can’t find it, sub it out entirely and serve the ratatouille over mashed potatoes, cooked farro, quinoa, lentils, or rice.
    polenta does take awhile to cook. You could use a pre-cooked version which is usually sold in a tube. That kind should be sliced and seared, kind of like a pancake, until hot and crispy
    use an extra bell pepper or more zucchini. Consider adding mushrooms
    add an extra cup of water to the polenta instead of cream, or add coconut or almond milk
    add 4-6 ounces of sheep’s milk or fresh chevre to the polenta at the end
  • PALEO:
    polenta is not paleo but the ratatouille is great over roasted cauliflower, any type of vegetable noodles, or as a side dish to a grilled or roasted protein
    serve this as a side to a grilled steak, sausage, chicken breast, pork chop, or piece of fish
    I have served creamy, cheesy polenta to many kids and they often love it! Worth a shot! If they dislike it or you’re concerned, try a side of pasta or spaghetti squash. For the veggies, as you’re chopping the ratatouille, separate out a piece of each vegetable and roast those at 425 with salt and olive oil. The ratatouille is “saucy” and often kids like things drier. If you eat meat, consider a piece of grilled chicken or sausage. And if no meat, you could also add a fried egg to the plate. I’d also serve my kids a roll or slice of bread with this meal

Prep Ahead & Use It Up

  1. The cooked ratatouille is delicious the next day or even after a few days. Reheat in a pan to serve
  2. Polenta can be done ahead, but to reheat, add ½ cup milk or water and whisk well and often in a pot until it’s creamy and hot
Rate this recipe:
6 votes, average: 4.83 out of 56 votes, average: 4.83 out of 56 votes, average: 4.83 out of 56 votes, average: 4.83 out of 56 votes, average: 4.83 out of 5 (6 votes, average: 4.83 out of 5)
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