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Creamy Pumpkin Polenta

Sometimes I like to hollow out a pumpkin and serve this creamy, hearty polenta inside it. The salted pumpkin seeds add a fun crunch. —Debi George, Mansfield, Texas
  • Total Time
    Prep/Total Time: 25 min.
  • Makes
    6 servings


  • 5-1/3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/3 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, cubed
  • Salted pumpkin seeds or pepitas, optional


  • In a large heavy saucepan, bring water and salt to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to a gentle boil; slowly whisk in cornmeal and nutmeg. Cook and stir with a wooden spoon for 15-20 minutes or until polenta is thickened and pulls away cleanly from the sides of the pan. Stir in pumpkin and cream cheese until smooth. Sprinkle each serving with pumpkin seeds if desired.
Nutrition Facts
3/4 cup: 191 calories, 7g fat (4g saturated fat), 21mg cholesterol, 453mg sodium, 27g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 4g fiber), 5g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 fat.

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Average Rating:
  • Cupcake_k9
    Sep 18, 2019

    I love pumpkin and it is so hard to find recipes that aren't sweet. This was a nice savory side that could easily be made sweet. I love polenta so this was a pleasant change. smooth and creamy.

  • kkimberr
    Nov 27, 2013


  • niteshrd
    Dec 6, 2011

    really great!

  • Jodyand joe
    Feb 12, 2011

    We loved it, makes a great side dish! I really helps with a healthy carb craving! I also made it without the cream cheese to save calories and it was still tasty!

  • jshearer
    Nov 6, 2010

    This has a good, subtle flavor. I used reduced-fat cream cheese. I topped each serving with roasted pumpkin seeds and they added to the flavor. Salted sunflower or other seeds or nuts could be used as a substitute. You could always add cheddar cheese, though that would of course increase the fat and calories. The good thing about this recipe is that you could add pretty much anything to it because it would taste good as a sweet (add cinnamon and dried fruit) or savory (the salted pumpkin seeds or cheddar cheese) side dish.

  • Wayneman
    Oct 27, 2010

    this is easy to make and takes wonderful!

  • keverwann
    Oct 19, 2010

    So bland! What a waste of pumpkin and cream cheese. The nutmeg did nothing to help either. I'm adding egg to the leftovers and using as a top for tamale pie; that's about all it's good for. Martha Stewart has an amazing BAKED (no stirring at the stove) polenta in her "Everyday Food" book that I'm going back to.

  • musicman12
    Oct 3, 2010

    So creamy and delicious, it reminds me of my mother's recipe!

  • baumsfly
    Sep 21, 2010

    I was so excited to try this because I love pumpkin, but I found this to be very bland. If anyone can think of a way to add flavor, I would make it again.