15-Minute Dinner: Creamy Polenta Bowl (Dairy + Gluten-Free)

mbg Contributor By Leah Vanderveldt
mbg Contributor
Leah Vanderveldt is an author living in Brooklyn, New York. She received her bachelor’s in communications and media from Fordham University, and is certified in culinary nutrition from the Natural Gourmet Institute. She is the author of two cookbooks: The New Nourishing and The New Porridge.

I love food — eating it, cooking it, and writing about it are kind of my jam. But by the time I get home from work in the evening, the last thing I want to do is spend an hour in the kitchen.

My perfect weeknight meal is packed with vegetables and whole foods, fills me up, and tastes delicious. And ideally, it doesn't cut into my precious couch/bad-TV/sweatpants time.

15-Minute Dinners are all about feeding yourself well with minimal effort.

This easy creamy polenta bowl is made even simpler by using finely ground polenta — the kind I buy takes one minute to cook.

I boil water in my super-speedy electric kettle, pour it over the polenta, and let it sit while I prepare the rest of the meal. It makes a creamy, filling, and warming polenta with barely any effort.

Tip: Make sure you season the polenta well! Like any grain, it's kind of meh without salt but has a great flavor when you include it (a little drizzle of olive oil or butter works wonders too).

Creamy Polenta Bowl

15-Minute Dinner: Creamy Polenta Bowl (Dairy + Gluten-Free)

Serves 2


  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • ⅓ cup finely ground polenta
  • 2 cups water
  • 3-4 cups baby spinach
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • chili flakes (optional)


1. Heat oven to 450°F. Toss cherry tomatoes in olive oil with a pinch of salt on a baking sheet. Place in the oven and cook 12-15 minutes until softened and browned in spots.

2. Meanwhile, boil water in a kettle. Place polenta, 2 cups boiled water, and a big pinch of salt in a saucepan and simmer for one minute. Stir, cover, and set aside.

3. In a pan over medium heat, sauté spinach with a little drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of salt, and garlic until wilted (about 1-2 minutes). Remove spinach from the pan and set aside.

4. In the same pan, heat a little more olive oil and fry eggs sunny-side up.

5. To serve, stir polenta and season with cracked black pepper, more salt (as needed), and a little drizzle of olive oil (or butter). Place polenta in bowls and top with roasted tomatoes, sauteed spinach, and an egg. Sprinkle with chili flakes.

Photo courtesy of the author

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