Tasty, moist and soft with the sweetness of the tomato, a hint of chilli and lots of sharp mature cheddar, our Cheesy Polenta Muffins are a perfect side to soups, stews or as a snack on their own. They are moreish and filling, so perfect to pack in your lunch boxes or picnics!
I haven’t used polenta all that much for a very long while. As a matter of fact, I remember buying my first bag of polenta. I read somewhere that a good way to make your sweet potato fries crispy is to sprinkle them with a bit of polenta. And I specifically remember not being able to find a small bag of it and having to buy 1.5kg of polenta. But that’s how my love for it started, really! I was here with a massive bag of it and had to make something delicious.
No offence to anyone, but I always found cornbread a bit flat, in texture and in taste, to be honest. Unless it is flavoured with all things nice, like our Polenta Muffins. We use a bunch of things to make sure the flavour of these is through the roof: cheddar, sundried tomatoes, chilli and spring onions. All the different flavours complement each other in the most wonderful way.
We make our polenta muffins using either yoghurt, sour cream or creme fraiche. This ensures they stay nice and moist. Nonetheless, they are best served whilst still slightly warm, as they become a bit denser the next day (still amazing with some butter though).
What is Polenta?
A staple food of Italian peasants, polenta is made from yellow maize. It is sometimes known as cornmeal and can be ground fine or coarse. Polenta itself does not contain any cholesterol and is often a healthier substitute for creamy mashed potato or deep-fried potato chips. However, to taste better, polenta is normally flavoured with butter and cheese, which make it a lot less innocent.
Soft polenta is often served as a side dish (it’s like a soft porridge), typically flavoured with butter, herbs and cheese. However, it can also be made thicker, then set firm and cut into chips (our polenta chips recipe, here). Another great use for polenta is to make tart/pizza bases or to make cornbread and cakes. This is a great choice for people who avoid gluten.
What to serve Plenta Muffins with?
- First of all, they are absolutely amizing on their own. The next day, I cut them in half, spread some butter and wrap them in foil for Seb to take to work as a snack.
- Absolutely delicious with soups that aren’t too exciting in flavour. We love them with something simple, like leek and potato soup, carrot or simple pea soup.
- For an ultimate ‘corn feast’, serve our Polenta Muffins with our Vegan Sweetcorn Chowder.
How We Make Our Flavoursome Polenta Muffins?
Preheat the oven to 180°C Fan.
If you’re using a 12-hole muffin tin, grease it very well with butter. I personally prefer to use silicone cupcake moulds, as these muffins can really stick.
Mix polenta, flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Mix in the grated cheddar (reserve a small handful for the top), finely sliced spring onions and chilli.
In a separate large bowl lightly beat the egg. Add melted butter and natural yoghurt and whisk together.
Pour into the dry ingredients and fold them together. Add the sun-dried tomatoes.
Divide between the holes of the muffin tin (I get 8 muffins out of the mixture), then top with the remaining cheddar.
Bake for 20-25 mins. They will not puff up too much but should be crispy on top and moist inside.
Have a look at various other ideas for bread and savoury bakes below:
Cheesy Polenta Muffins with Chilli and Sundried Tomatoes
- 8 x Silicone Cupcake Moulds
- 40 g butter melted, plus extra for greasing
- 60 g polenta
- 50 g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 egg
- 190 ml natural yoghurt
- 70 g mature Cheddar coarsely grated
- 60 g sundried tomatoes chopped
- 1 red chilli finely chopped
- 2 spring onions thinly sliced
- Preheat the oven to 180°C Fan.
- If you're using a 12-hole muffin tin, grease it very well with butter. I personally prefer to use silicone cupcake moulds, as these muffins can really stick.
- Mix polenta, flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Mix in the grated cheddar (reserve a small handful for the top), finely sliced spring onions and chilli.
- In a separate large bowl lightly beat the egg. Add melted butter and natural yoghurt and whisk together.
- Pour into the dry ingredients and fold them together. Add the sun-dried tomatoes.
- Divide between the holes of the muffin tin (I get 8 muffins out of the mixture), then top with the remaining cheddar.
- Bake for 20-25 mins. They will not puff up too much but should be crispy on top and moist inside.