Guys, you need this Cheesy Keto Polenta in your life! It’s got all of the flavors and textures of a true soft polenta, but without the carbs! ??
Polenta is typically made with cornmeal, and has long been a staple of both Italian and Mexican cooking. Hearty and inexpensive, polenta can be served soft, porridge style with a sauce over it (see my recently posted Keto Short Rib Ragu, which I served over this cheesy Keto polenta,) or formed into a log and then sliced to be grilled or fried.
This cheesy Keto polenta is best served porridge style, as it doesn’t contain enough natural starch to stay solid – I’ll work on a version for that down the road though, because fried polenta is ???
Obviously, a Keto polenta wouldn’t be made from cornmeal, so if you guessed cauliflower…ding ding ding, you are correct! But since a mildly gritty texture is characteristic of a true polenta, I added some almond flour to the puree. This technique thickens my cheesy Keto polenta, and gives it that authentic polenta mouthfeel.
Finally, because corn, and thus polenta, has a slight natural sweetness to it, I also added some erythritol to this Keto polenta to achieve that “corny” flavor.
Now let’s talk about the cheese, because you can’t put “cheesy” in the title and then skimp on the cheese amirite? I used a good quality Parmesan cheese in this cheesy keto polenta recipe, making it a comforting meal on it’s own, or as a neutral base for almost any pot roast, meat sauce, my turkey saltimbocca meatballs, etc.
That being said, this cheesy keto polenta recipe can be customized in flavor by switching up your cheeses – for example, if you’re going for a southern style “grits”, then you can use a smoked cheddar – turning this into a fabulous keto side dish for any kind of BBQ’d meats, or a base for Shrimp and Grits – similar to the recipe in my best-selling book Keto for Life.
If you want to go Mexican or Central American style, you can add any queso blanco, or queso fresco, maybe stir in a little chopped cilantro, and then use this as a base for my Cuban Pot Roast, or alongside my Mexican Chori-Pollo.
One final note about this cheesy keto polenta recipe… Since we also “eat with our eyes,” adding a few drops of yellow food coloring makes this keto polenta appear more authentic. If you hate the idea of artificially dying your food, you can get similar results with a small amount of turmeric or annatto as a natural alternative.
Of course, this is completely optional and won’t affect the results flavor wise at all – so you can absolutely skip this step if a golden-colored polenta is not important to you. I promise it will taste delicious either way!
- 4 heaping cups raw cauliflower florets
- 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon granulated erythritol sweetener
- 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup superfine blanched almond flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 3 – 5 drops yellow food coloring (optional)
- Combine the cauliflower, heavy whipping cream, butter, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and erythritol in a microwave safe bowl.
- Microwave on high, uncovered, for 8 – 10 minutes, or until fork tender.
- Transfer the cauliflower and liquids to a blender or food processor, and blend until mostly smooth.
- Return to the bowl and stir in almond flour, parmesan cheese, almond milk, and food coloring if using.
- Heat in the microwave for an additional 2 minutes.
- Stir and serve hot, garnished with more grated cheese if desired.