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Late Summer Vegetable Bolognese with Creamy Polenta | @hbharvest

Exciting things going on here today, and they all start off with this late summer vegetable Bolognese with creamy polenta.

Yep, three very exiting things to share today.

Exciting thing number one! Today is little (or maybe not so little anymore) Miss Asher’s 9th birthday! For everyone who may be wondering, Asher is not my daughter. Nope, she is just my little sister, who I am whole heartedly obsessed with. To celebrate her big day my mom and I are surprising her with a girl’s shopping trip. Today is a testing day for her, so she only has to go in to school for 30 minutes, once she’s done we’re heading down to Denver. Asher has suspected nothing yet, so I’m excited to see her face. She already had a party when my family was in Cleveland, so I don’t think she’s expecting much today. I love surprising her! Follow along on Instagram stories.

Exciting thing number two! We have a very fun post up on the blog today involving the Half Baked Harvest Cookbook and an all expenses paid trip out to visit my little Barn in Colorado for a HBH retreat weekend this September. If you have yet to see the post, you can find all the info here. And guys, I would be sure to check it out, it’s a pretty big giveaway and will be an incredibly fun weekend trip too! Umm, hello to a dinner cooked by me, cheese board making, and so much more.

Exciting thing number three! Umm, duh, this yummy vegetarian Bolognese served over creamy corn polenta!

Now do you see where I am coming from? So many things to be excited about today!! Loving today already!

Late Summer Vegetable Bolognese with Creamy Polenta | @hbharvest

Late Summer Vegetable Bolognese with Creamy Polenta | @hbharvest

OKAY. Since I can’t ramble on about Asher’s birthday all day (although I probably could…), and the retreat has its very own post (go check it out!), let’s talk about today’s recipe, which is just as exciting to me because I love this healthy Bolognese SO much.

I have been working on this recipe for a while now. At first it started out as a beef Bolognese, but for some reason I was just never overly happy with the recipe. I took a break from it for a week and then picked it back up again last week, but with a new approach. Instead of making a meaty Bolognese sauce, I decided to opt out of the meat all together and just use up all the summer produce in my fridge.

And you know what happened? I ending up loving the recipe.

Late Summer Vegetable Bolognese with Creamy Polenta | @hbharvest

If you read the blog regularly, then you know I love veggies, but you also know my family loves meat. Sometimes it’s hard to find a compromise, but with this recipe, I found the comprise, just make the veggies taste so good that no one misses the meat (okay, okay and disguise them really well in a red sauce).

Oh, and then serve it over a pile of polenta for extra goodness.

This recipe fooled pretty much everyone. I sent all the leftovers over to my parent’s house. I got a text later that night asking what kind of meat I had used in the sauce. My dad was shocked when I told him it was all veggies. He said he would have never guessed because there was so much flavor and texture. Both he, my mom, and my siblings that were home at the time (hey, hey to Brendan and Lyndsie) loved the sauce.

YES! I love when I can trick the family into eating a completely plant-based meal.

Late Summer Vegetable Bolognese with Creamy Polenta | @hbharvest

The sauce is made up of some of my favorite vegetables: carrots, bell peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, and tomatoes. The carrots and peppers add really nice texture, while the mushrooms give the sauce that meaty flavor. The bonus part of this recipe is that you can really used any mix of vegetables that you love or have on hand. Shredded brussels sprout, cauliflower, and broccoli would all be awesome. You could even stir in some spinach or kale.

I also added in some chopped walnuts, which might seem odd, but they bulk up sauce and add a really nice heartiness. For some extra flavor, I added in a splash…or two, of white wine, plus some crushed red pepper for spice.

You can of course serve this up over pasta as well, but I love the polenta, it’s different and totally delicious.

And finally? Finish the dish off with a healthy dusting of really good parmesan cheese.

Late Summer Vegetable Bolognese with Creamy Polenta | @hbharvest

Late Summer Vegetable Bolognese with Creamy Polenta

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories Per Serving: 371 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.


Creamy Polenta


  • 1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. 
    2. When the oil shimmers, add the onions and carrots and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the zucchini, bell peppers, mushrooms, garlic, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until the veggies are tender. 
    3. Stir in all of the tomatoes, wine, and 1/2 cup water. Stir in the walnuts. Shimmer the sauce for 20 minutes or until it has thickened and the tomatoes have burst. Season with salt and pepper and then stir in the basil. 
    4. Meanwhile, make the polenta. In a medium saucepan bring 2 cups of water and the milk to a boil over medium heat. Slowly whisk in the polenta, stirring, until the polenta is soft and thick, about 5 minutes. Stir in the corn and butter until melted. Season with salt and pepper.
    5. Ladle the bolognese over the polenta. Enjoy!
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Late Summer Vegetable Bolognese with Creamy Polenta | @hbharvest

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  1. 5 stars
    Made this for our MahJong Group and it was a hit! I was a bit skeptical as traditional bolognese is a bit of a signature dish for me. We had two vegetarians on the guest list though so I decided to give this a try. While I won’t say it beat the traditional meat Bolognese (high bar), it was “DaBomb!” The decision to serve it over the creamy polenta vs. a traditional pasta was genius on Tieghan’s part. The texture and flavors all came together fabulously and this is another 5 star rating in my opinion.

    I made a few minor substitutions: 1) Added a 1/2 can of tomato paste; 2) Melted in grated asiago cheese to the polenta; and, 3) I roasted the corn on the BBQ to bring in a bit of smokey flavor to the polenta. More work, you decide if it is worth it. Either way, you will have a hit here with your guests.

    1. Hey Jeff,
      Happy Sunday! I’m so glad to hear that this recipe was a winner, thanks for trying it out! Thanks for sharing what worked well for you! xT

  2. This recipe is amazing!! I made the sauce and added pasta with it. It’s so healthy and refreshing! I love how this turned out! This is one of my top recipes for weekly dinners!

    1. Hey there,
      Awesome!! I love to hear that this recipe was a winner, thanks so much for making it! Have the best weekend:) xxT

    1. Hey there,
      I am thrilled this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a lot for making it! Happy Sunday! xTieghan

  3. Hi! This recipe looks so lovely. I was wondering what kind of San Marzano tomatoes you used? Whole peeled, crushed, etc?

    1. Hey Annaka,
      I like to use crushed tomatoes. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  4. 5 stars
    Unbelievably delish. I used an emersion blender and made a thick and heavy sauce the screamed bolognese. I left some veggie chunks in it and I did add tomato paste as I wanted decadence. I skipped the polenta this time and opted to put it over broccoli rabe for lunch and the next day over pasta. A little parmesan. Mmmmmm! I will definitely make this my go to “meat” sauce.

      1. Hey Cindy,
        Happy Wednesday!! Love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a bunch for making it! xxTieghan

  5. 4 stars
    Good vegetarian bolognese! I didn’t have cherry tomatoes, so I omitted them, or polenta, substituting regular pasta. Very good but I think it would have been even better with a bit of pecorino cheese on top!

  6. 4 stars
    I liked the Bolognese sauce part of this recipe but the polenta is bland and not cooked all the way through, I was stirring and boiling it for 15 minutes before it came close to the right consistency. I suggest cooking the polenta normally then adding in the milk halfway through cooking.

  7. Made this last night and made pasta with pesto broccoli tonight.
    Both were amazing! My goal is to make at least one of your recipes a week ! My family is all for it ?

  8. 5 stars
    Made this last night and it was really good. We held ourselves back from thirds and fourths, knowing that we’d have leftovers for another meal. I cooked the corn kernels briefly in a pan of filtered water, then used the water to mix in to the polenta. My polenta was not instant, so I kept adding hot water and stirring to get it creamy. This recipe is definitely a keeper and one for company. Lot of umami from the mushrooms. The walnuts added a nice texture and heft.

    1. I use a 12 inch skillet. Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Thanks! 🙂