Here's everything you need to know about polenta...
Is Polenta Vegan?
ANSWER: Yes! Polenta is typically just cornmeal and water making it 100% vegan. There are a few things to be aware of though. Often times polenta is cooked with butter (not vegan) and some recipes even call for cheese. However, this won't be an issue with most polenta products you buy as even the seasoned loaves don't have any animal products. Keep in mind, some spice blends added to polenta may contain parmesan cheese, but this was very rare from our research.
Need help making your vegan grocery list? Check out our guide on vegan shopping here.
Vegan Polenta Brands
We've compiled a bunch of great vegan polenta options available online. Despite what you might think, most pre-formed polentas don't actually need to be refrigerated and have quite a long shelf life. That being said, ordering polenta online is a good option if your grocery store doesn't carry it.
Polenta Brands Available Online
Buying the corn grits to prepare the polenta yourself is going to be the most cost effective option in most cases. This is because the product is made without the extra processing step and without the additional water which adds cost to the transportation from the additional weight. We recommend comparing a few different prices and sizes and getting the best cost per pound deal:
- Bob’s Red Mill Corn Grits
- Dixie Lily Corn Grits
- De La Estanicia Organic Polenta
- DeLallo Instant Polenta
If you want to get the pre-formed polenta logs which are by far the easiest to prepare. Simply slice the log and put in the oven or in a pan. There are plenty of options available online. We've listed some of the top-selling polenta products below:
- Traditional Italian Polenta by Ancient Harvest
How to Find Polenta in Stores
If you want to pick up polenta on your next trip to the grocery store, it is most likely going to be a small section in the pasta aisle and the international aisle in some cases. You can also check the baking aisle to pick up the plain corn grits (around the cereals and oatmeal sections) to make your own polenta patties in the comfort of your home.
What is Polenta Exactly?
Polenta can be purchased in primarily two different forms: as a flour or in a preformed log. Both are just corn grits with added spices and added water in the case of the log. The plain variety is the going to be the most popular as that is the traditional style that polenta is used in Italy. From our experience, the best way to serve polenta is to use the plain variety and use it to compliment the other ingredients such as fava beans.
What Kind of Polenta Might Not Be Vegan?
We've seen in some rare instances polentas that had spice blends that included parmesan cheese. We haven't seen this in the store, but rather in some off brands we found online. Most of the big brands in your supermarket are 100% vegan, but just be sure to keep an eye out for added cheese or bacon.