Butternut Squash, Polenta Gratin

I just checked on the internet to see if there is a difference between cornmeal and polenta.

There is.

It is and isn’t a big difference. They are both ground corn.

The difference has to do with the type of corn, the way it’s ground and how it’s made. This article explains it better: polenta.

What I found the most interesting is that the people asking the question were trying to find out if one could substitute cornmeal for polenta – cornmeal being easier to find in the U.S. For me the problem is the reverse….. Polenta is easy to find but I’ve never seen cornmeal here. Polenta subs quite well for my purposes – dusting the pizza pan, sprinkling on muffins for crunch, etc. but I’ve never tried to make cornbread with it.

Nor will I.

We do like polenta, however, even though I can only get the quick-cooking kind. It is so very flexible….

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Butternut Squash, Polenta Gratin

The polenta that I get is quick-cooking (not instant) and cooks in 5 minutes, after starting to boil. You may have to adjust the time of the dish according to the type of polenta you have.

  • Author: Katie
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: Vegetables


  • 10oz (300gr) butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 12 cups (8 – 16oz, 250 – 500ml) chicken stock, enough to cover squash when cooking
  • 1/4 cup (1.5oz, 45gr) polenta, quick-cooking
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup (1.5oz, 45gr) walnut halves, roughly chopped 
  • 1215 sage leaves, crumbled if dry, chopped if fresh
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup (2oz, 60gr) shredded Gruyère cheese
  • 1/4 cup (1oz, 30gr) freshly grated Parmesan cheese 


  • Simmer squash in chicken stock until very tender, 15 – 20 minutes.
  • Drain, reserving stock.
  • Cook polenta in 1 cup of the reserved stock / cooking liquid until done, stirring constantly.
  • Sauté onion in olive oil until just starting to get tender.
  • Add walnuts and sauté together until both start to brown.
  • Add sage and sauté a few minutes longer.
  • Lightly mash the squash, leaving it chunky. 
  • Combine everything but the Parmesan and spoon into a baking dish.
  • Sprinkle Parmesan over the top and bake, 400F (200C) 20 minutes, or until starting to brown.


You can substitute oregano or rosemary for the sage if you prefer.
If you don’t have whole sage leaves, use 1 tbs crumbled.


  • Serving Size: 1/2 recipe
  • Calories: 508
  • Sugar: 6.4 g
  • Sodium: 454.9 mg
  • Fat: 32.3 g
  • Saturated Fat: 10.2 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 38.4 g
  • Fiber: 6.5 g
  • Protein: 22.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 43.5 mg

Keywords: polenta gratin, butternut squash, squash gratin

Butternut Squash, Polenta Gratin

Prefer pumpkin? Or use butternut squash… It’s all about the spices: Pumpkin Gratin / Moroccan Spices.

Today was inauguration day in the U.S.

There is a new president.

It was a big news day.

I sincerely hope it is the last big news day for a long time. And I hope that the news I hear is about vaccines being distributed, people having food on their tables, jobs coming back and businesses opening.

I do have hope for those things now.

Not asking for much, am I?

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