Creamy Pumpkin Polenta with Butter Sage

There is something about the taste of pumpkin in a warm and creamy polenta that makes this dish perfect for Fall. The warm and cozy feeling of hot butter and sage adds an element of hominess to the polenta, making you want to wear fuzzy socks and enjoy the brisk weather. Unlike most recipes that use milk, I like to add creme fraiche, which gives a rich and tangy flavor while making the polenta even creamier than it already is. 

You would also never believe it, but this creamy pumpkin polenta with butter sage is super easy to make! After 30 minutes, you can get the perfect comforting meal for busy weeknight dinners. 

What is Polenta? 

Polenta is a creamy, mealy pastor dough made from corn. It has a light fragrance and neutral flavor profile making it the perfect vessel for ingredients. It soaks up all the delicious flavors from any broth, butter, cream, or cheese that you add to the dish. If you have ever had grits, polenta is very similar. They are both made from cornmeal. However, polenta is made from yellow corn, while grits are made from white corn. 

Where is Polenta From?

Polenta is an Italian dish that can be served as a thick and soupy porridge or made into a loaf that is baked or fried. This dish originated in Northern Italy and was traditionally served to the lower class since it was made with cheap ingredients. 

What Can I Use Instead of Creme Fraiche? 

I used a crème fraiche instead of milk or cream for a silky finish and creamer taste. But of course, you can use anything you want. You can also use mascarpone cheese or other thick dairy bases. If you want to make this recipe vegan, you can also add olive oil instead of crème fraiche. 

How to Make Butter Sage for your Creamy Polenta?

Butter sage is a flavorful herbed butter that tastes absolutely divine. I didn’t brown it as I didn’t want too strong of a toasted flavor. Instead, I melted the butter, then lowered the heat. Once the temperature was slightly cooled, I added the sage. I cooked for about 5 minutes until the butter absorbed all the flavor. 

Tips for Making The Best Pumpkin Polenta 

My trick for not getting clumpy polenta or having to stir all the time is to add room-temperature water to a pot and then slowly add the polenta. As you are stirring, bring the pot to a boil. And then turn the heat to low and let it simmer. When the water is nearly completely absorbed, add the pumpkin puree. Then add the sage butter, whisk well and let it simmer until the polenta is plump and tender!

How to Serve Creamy Pumpkin Butter Polenta

When serving pumpkin butter polenta, scoop some of it into a bowl and top it with a little extra butter, parsnip chips, or toasted pumpkin seeds. You can even sprinkle a little bit of freshly grated cheese. Just make sure it is a firm and salty cheese like parmesan. The polenta should always be served hot as it tends to clump together when it cools.



Adjust Servings
1 cup polenta
1 cup pumpkin puree
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (cut into pieces for easier melting )
2 teaspoons fresh sage (chopped)
3 tablespoons cream Fraiche
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
4 cups water


Add four cups of water to a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
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Slowly add the polenta as you whisk.
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Bring the pot to a boil, then lower the heat to low and let it simmer. Make sure to stir every 5 minutes. After 15 minutes, add the salt, pepper, and paprika, followed by the pumpkin puree.
Whisk well, add sage butter and whisk again.
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Cover and let it simmer for another 15 minutes until the polenta is plump and tender. Finally, stir in the cream Fraiche, and you are all done!
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Turn off the heat and serve warm with some parsnip chips on top or some toasted pumpkin seeds! Enjoy!
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