This rich vegetable stew with creamy polenta is the perfect winter vegetarian meal. It’s easy, hearty and filling with amazing Italian flavour.
Polenta is ranked pretty high on my list of favourite foods. When winter rolls round I’m all about the comfort food and polenta is pretty much the best comfort food you can imagine.
It’s been a minute since I shared a polenta recipe on the blog. We seem to go through phases of eating it and then briefly forgetting the pure joy that can come from eating a big bowl of creamy polenta with a spoon in front of the TV before rediscovering it when it’s especially cold and miserable outside.
Recently the weather here has taken a significantly miserable turn with a lot of rain and darkness by 3pm so I’m extra eager for something warming and polenta fits the bill perfectly especially when it’s topped with a rich tomato and vegetable stew like this.
This dish kind of reminds me of my chicken burrito bowls with polenta from way back even though this Mediterranean vegetable stew has more of an Italian flavour than Mexican. But still it’s something about that rich tomato based sauce that just works perfectly with cheesy polenta.
Why we love this rich vegetable stew with creamy polenta:
- It’s such a comforting dish thanks to the rich sauce and creamy polenta
- It’s a vegetarian winter dinner with plenty of delicious vegetables
- This dish is quick to make and is on the table in just 30 minutes
Veggie Stew Ingredients:
To make this hearty vegetable stew with polenta all you need is:
- Vegetables: I used onion, carrot, courgette and mushrooms and it made a really hearty stew but you could add in any vegetables you like. Use up leftover courgette in this tomato and halloumi bake and leftover mushrooms in this creamy mushroom pasta
- Herbs: I just added in a couple of sprigs of thyme to this stew and it added so much flavour but rosemary would also be delicious if you prefer
- Red Wine: I like to keep a bottle of cheap-ish red wine on hand ready for any recipes that can benefit from a little booze, use whatever you have open!
- Polenta: I use fine polenta because it cooks super quickly and has a perfectly smooth texture for soft polenta
- Cheese: I like to stir plenty of cheddar through my polenta because, let’s be honest, polenta can be a little bland without a good helping of cheese and then everything gets topped with a sprinkling of parmesan 💛
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Veg Stew Instructions:
To make this comforting vegetable stew with polenta simply:
- Make the stew: Heat the oil and add the onion and carrot followed by the garlic, courgette and mushrooms. Cook for 5-10 minutes until softened then add the tomatoes, red wine and thyme and bring to a simmer.
- Make the polenta: Bring the milk and vegetable stock to a boil in a large saucepan then add the polenta and whisk until fully combined and cook for 10 minutes. Add the butter and grated cheddar and serve topped with the stew.
Equipment you need to make this recipe…
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Vegetarian Stew Variations:
- Use different vegetables: I used onion, carrots, courgette and mushrooms but any vegetables should work well so throw in whatever you’ve got on hand
- Try different herbs: I added a few sprigs of thyme to the stew but it would work with any other options. A sprig or two of rosemary would be lovely or some fresh parsley stirred through just before serving
- Make it vegan: The vegetable stew is vegan so if you want the whole meal to be vegan then simply serve with something else. It would be great with pasta or any grain you like
Is vegetable stew good for you?
This vegetarian stew is pretty healthy, there’s loads of different vegetables in there which are so good for you. If you want to make it lighter then try serving it with something other than the polenta or cut back on the cheese a little.
Can you freeze vegetable stew?
You can definitely freeze this stew, just follow the directions and once it’s cooked leave it to cool and transfer to containers and freeze. When you’re ready to eat defrost thoroughly and reheat over a medium heat or in the microwave.
Want more? Try these other stew recipes!
- Korean Chicken Stew
- One Pot Fish Stew with White Beans
- Lentil and Mushroom Stew
- Pressure Cooker Smoky Lentil Stew
- Instant Pot Lentil and Butternut Squash Stew
- Cheesy Mexican Rice and Vegetable Tortilla Stew
- Harissa Aubergine Stew with Chickpeas
Oh and don’t forget to check out all my other courgette recipes!
Rich Vegetable Stew with Creamy Polenta
- 4 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Onion chopped
- 2 Carrots chopped
- 1 Courgette chopped
- 250 g Mushrooms chopped
- 4 cloves Garlic crushed
- 2 sprigs Thyme
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 400g tin Chopped Tomatoes
- 200 ml Red Wine
- Parmesan to serve
- 150 g Fine Polenta
- 500 ml Milk
- 500 ml Vegetable Stock
- 60 g Butter
- 50 g Cheddar grated
- Heat the oil over a medium high heat. Add the onion and carrot and cook for a couple of minutes then add the garlic, courgette and mushrooms. Cook for another 5-10 minutes until everything is softened then add the chopped tomatoes, red wine and thyme and bring to a simmer. Cook for 15-20 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
- Bring the milk and vegetable stock to a boil and slowly pour in the polenta whisking constantly. Lower the heat and cook for 10 minutes then add the butter and cheddar and stir until melted. Serve the polenta topped with the stew.
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