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Friday, July 27, 2018

Trader Joe's Creamy Polenta

Usually, when Sonia's home, she insists on doing the cooking. I'll admit, she's a little more skilled in the culinary arts than I am, but she's so adamant about always doing the kitchen stuff, I'm beginning to think she has serious doubts about my competence. I don't blame her.

For one, she always insists on washing the skillet thoroughly between each meal. But I always make the point that the remnants of the last meal simply yield "more flavor" in whatever's being prepared currently. She disagrees. She says that idea is "just a guy thing." From what we've heard from other couples, there's not much disagreement on that point.

Fortunately, for this meal, I was home alone and was left to run amok, unchecked by my better half and her pretentious ideas about culinary propriety. There were remnants of a makeshift stir-fry in the pan. I left it there. I mean, I took out the actual food—at first. But I left the remnants in there without washing anything. It was mostly bits of onion with a few shards of green bean and a thin coating of olive oil.

I'm sure this polenta would have been delightful without the onions, green beans, and olive oil, but I'm pretty sure they didn't hurt either. In fact, I liked them with the polenta so much, that I later mixed in the actual leftover stir-fry. Delish.

But I made sure to try the polenta by itself for the sake of this review. Thanks to reader Carissa E, who left a comment on this English muffin review from 2014 encouraging us to try this polenta. She says she'd give it an 11 out of 10. Sorry, Carissa. The scale only goes to 10. 

"These go to 11," right?

I must admit, it's pretty tasty, though. It's very creamy, as the name would suggest. When frozen, the "cream" comes in the form of large pellets that look like oversized white chocolate kisses. There's lots of spinach and plenty of carrot bits. The texture is indeed creamalicious. It's thicker than a soup, but still much more mushy than solid. The carrots didn't add a whole lot to the taste, but they lend a bit of substance to the otherwise porridge-like consistency.

It's got a savory flavor, with plenty of spinach taste to it. There's a buttery/milky flavor, as well. It's a nice comforting taste, with an almost homemade-quality to it. I agree with Carissa that it's much better than the Polenta Provencale. Sonia wishes there were a little more pepper and garlic seasoning in this dish, but was very happy with it other than that. It doesn't say gluten-free on the bag, but we're wondering why it wouldn't be. Cornmeal shouldn't have gluten, should it?

Four stars a piece here.

Bottom line: 8 out of 10.


  1. We're big fans of this product, after discovering it last summer. Its a great side to have with anything grilled.

  2. Totally going on my list for tomorrow. I rarely go down the frozen aisle which is probably why I have never seen it. Or maybe VT does not have it anyway which it what I usually find. I am gluten free and yes, I will risk it. Doesn't look a threat at all. Already hoping to have it for brunch when I get back. Yum!

  3. Ha! Only took four years after the original suggestion to try it? It is gf, since the product has been around so many years they probably just don’t want to pay to change the labeling since it’s not required by law. Looks fantastic and way too dairy-ful for me.
    I do love the tube of plain polenta-i slice it and just warm through and brown the edges in a (clean!) skillet. Great with syrup for breakfast or marinara and veggies for dinner.

  4. I LOVE this stuff. I usually add a bit of salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and some grated parmesan. Its also great with a poached egg over it.

  5. Love it too! I follow roughly same prep, but bake in a small convection-toaster oven. First, line tray with foil, slick with olive oil. Shake out veg, and arrange polenta pellets over -bake at about 400 for 10 min, then stir a little. Make a hollow for egg (s), and bake for about five minutes til whites are set but yolks still runny. Sprinkle grated parm atop, salt and pepper. There's a nice little crust underneath polenta a yummy, filling breakfast or dinner.

  6. I love this. We had some leftover roasted chicken that we shredded and tossed in, for a sort of chicken-polenta stew. Delicious dinner.

  7. This is SOOOO new favorite item from Trader Joe's

  8. I love this product. Went to Trader Joe's to purchase today to learn you no longer carried it in Dallas. Help!


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