A white serving bowl filled with Pumpkin Sage Polenta.

Pumpkin Sage Polenta

A hint of pumpkin and the taste of sage brings the glow of autumn to a simple Pumpkin Sage Polenta. It’s the perfect side dish for fall!

A white serving bowl filled with Pumpkin Sage Polenta.
Pumpkin Sage Polenta

A hint of pumpkin and the taste of sage brings the glow of autumn to a simple polenta.

A white serving bowl filled with Pumpkin Sage Polenta.

Note: This post for Pumpkin Sage Polenta first appeared October 27, 2013 in the Simple Sundays series and has been updated with improved kitchen notes, recipe annotation, photographs and video. I truly hope you enjoy this favorite from my kitchen!

The hay crunched beneath our feet as we surveyed the rows of pumpkins, the sun finally making its presence known after the chill of autumn gave way to a few hours of heat. My children exuberantly ran ahead of me, declaring each pumpkin they touched “the one!” I reminded them that I would only put their final final selections in the wagon, as they steered me over to pumpkins half my size.

Bowl filled with ready-to-cook polenta on a wooden counter top.

It didn’t matter. I must have lifted over twenty pumpkins into and out of our wagon, behemoths of gourds, as I began to break a sweat, my hair sticking to my neck and my hands coated in dust. “This is the one mommy, I promise!” was followed by “Ooh, this one is perfect!” Had I anticipated this better, I may have skipped the gym that morning. My quads burned as I hoisted each specimen.

Finally, it was all settled: the largest pumpkin was appointed to Daddy, the second largest was determined perfect for the pattern my daughter pre-selected, and the squat, globe-shaped pumpkin was just what my son had envisioned. As for me, I was too exhausted to pick one out to carve; instead, I was already dreaming up ways to cook with pumpkin.

A white serving bowl filled with Pumpkin Sage Polenta surrounded by fresh sage and pumpkins.

Polenta. Creamy, dreamy polenta. I’ve been absorbed by it lately. When a reader asked if I could share the polenta recipe that nestled my Braised Chipotle Short Ribs, I was more than happy to oblige by whipping up a fresh serving, but this time stirring in a little bit of autumn.

Pumpkin Sage Polenta bubbled and hissed on the stove as my children worked on their final pumpkin carving today. My daughter ran to me and exclaimed, “Ooh, can I taste the mac and cheese?” The buttery polenta had her fooled. But she tried it anyway, and one spoonful apparently was not enough. She snuck in a few more bites then returned to the pumpkins on the table. There was more work to be done.

A white serving bowl on a wooden counter top filled with Pumpkin Sage Polenta.

More recipes inspired by autumn flavors:

Savory Herb Stuffing Bread
Pumpkin Spice Buttermilk Bundt Cake
Stuffed Butternut Squash with Farro, Chickpeas and Kale
Cranberry Sauce Slab Pie
Apple Dumplings

Pumpkin Sage Polenta

A hint of pumpkin and the taste of sage brings the glow of autumn to a simple polenta. If pumpkin isn’t your thing, any autumn squash would work nicely, or if you prefer, leave it out for a more straightforward polenta*.
A white serving bowl filled with Pumpkin Sage Polenta.
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5 from 3 votes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 257kcal


  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup polenta
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt*
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree canned is fine if you do not have freshly roasted pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon sage chopped
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter cubed


  • In a medium saucepan, whisk together the water, polenta and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking periodically. Lower the heat and let the polenta simmer, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Add the pumpkin and sage, and continue stirring for about 15-20 minutes, until the polenta begins to pull away from the sides of the saucepan. Stir in the parmesan cheese and butter. Serve immediately while hot and creamy, or if you prefer, place in a square dish to cool and serve in slices.



* Recipe updated 11.23.14 – salt reduced after reader feedback. I originally used 3 teaspoons of salt in the polenta, however, if you are concerned that it may be too salty, go with 2 teaspoons and adjust as necessary.


Calories: 257kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 1375mg | Potassium: 129mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 5125IU | Vitamin C: 1.3mg | Calcium: 162mg | Iron: 0.9mg
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Recipe Rating

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  1. Amy Iversen

    5 stars
    Hello! I mad this recipe today and it sure it delicious! I would say that for me, next time I will take the salt down just a tiny bit more….maybe 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt. But I’m sitting here eating it with bacon and loving it!

    • Liren Baker

      Hi Carol! I believe you probably meant to share/email this recipe, but it looks like you left a comment instead! Next time, there is an email button under the “Share This” part under the recipe card that should help. Hope you enjoy the recipe!

  2. Kara

    5 stars
    Great recipe. I love that you amended the salt as an option. Cheers and thank you.

  3. Mona

    5 stars
    This recipe is definitely a keeper. I made a lot of modifications, but it came out great! I didn’t have any sage, so substituted a 1/2 teaspoon of Italian seasoning plus a pinch of dried thyme. I made it vegan, by using Earth Balance Olive Oil spread for butter and Goveggie vegan parmesan. I used canned pumpkin, and threw everything except the parmesan into a basic rice cooker, and hit cook. I sprinkled parmesan on top when it was done. Yum!

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