I love polenta with all my heart and I am equally in love with cacio e pepe. So, who says I can’t make one dish with both of my loves? No one. This vegan cacio e pepe polenta served with spicy tofu and a roasted veggie if you like is one of the best meals ever. Truly. Let’s talk about the facts: this dish is made in 30 minutes. It is hearty and comforting. Proteinaceous. You’re getting all the good food groups. AND it is one of the most delicious things on the planet.
What You Need For This Delicious Vegan Polenta:
- Polenta: This is just a very fine cornmeal.
- Vegan Butter and Vegan Parmesan: To finish off the polenta.
- Fresh Cracked Black Pepper: This is the Pepe in the Cacio e Pepe!
- Extra-Firm Tofu: I highly recommend extra firm tofu to get a nice firm texture once roasted.
- Olive Oil, Cayenne, Mustard, Salt, Cane Sugar, Smoked Paprika, Garlic Powder: To season the spicy tofu.
- Veggies: I like to serve this meal with Brussels sprouts, but any veggies you like will work.
All you need to do for this vegan cacio e pepe polenta with spicy tofu is to toss the tofu in some spices. Put the tofu on a sheet pan with veggies and roast for about 30 minutes. While you roast the tofu and veggies, you make the polenta. You just let polenta simmer in water with salt and lots of pepper. It only needs to simmer for about 15 minutes. Finish it with vegan butter and vegan Parmesan, plus more pepper if you want. Then serve it all in one yummy bowl. I like to drizzle a little spicy agave on top, but that’s optional!
Why Should You Make This Spicy Tofu and Polenta?
- Who doesn’t love a 30 minute meal?
- This cacio e pepe polenta is the greatest polenta of all time.
- The tofu in incredible and goes so well with this polenta.
- Looking for a healthy(ish) meal? This one has all the flavor.
- This is a good recipe for beginners, it requires very little skill.
Vegan Cacio E Pepe Polenta with Spicy Tofu
Cacio E Pepe Polenta
- 4 Cups Water
- 1 Cup Polenta or yellow cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Fresh cracked black pepper, divided
- 3 Tablespoons Vegan butter
- 1/2 Cup Vegan Parmesan, I used Violife
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees(F).
- After you have pressed your tofu, break the block of tofu up into small chunks and put them in a medium sized mixing bowl.
- Drizzle the olive oil over the tofu and then toss to coat.
- In a small bowl combine the garlic powder, cayenne, salt, cane sugar, smoked paprika, mustard and black pepper.
- Sprinkle the spice mixture over the tofu and then toss again to coat in all the spices.
- Put the tofu on one side of a large sheet pan that is lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat, or sprayed with non-stick spray.
- Now, I just use the same mixing bowl you used for the tofu, add the veggies to the bowl, drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with a few pinches of salt and pepper and toss to coat.
- Put the veggies on the other side of the sheet pan.
- Roast the tofu and veggies for 15 minutes, toss and roast for another 15 minutes or until the tofu is firm.
- While the tofu and veggies roast, make the polenta. In a large saucepan, heat the water on medium high.
- Once the water comes to a simmer, very slowly add the polenta to the water, just a little at a time, whisking the entire time to avoid lumps.
- Add the salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and whisk to combine.
- Reduce heat to low and cover the polenta, let simmer, whisking frequently, for about 15 minutes.
- The polenta should be nice and thick and very soft and smooth.
- Add the vegan butter and the vegan Parmesan and whisk to combine, letting the butter melt into the polenta.
- Now, taste and add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of pepper if desired. Cover and turn off the heat, leaving on the stove to keep warm until the tofu is done.
- Once the tofu is done, serve a bowl of the polenta with the tofu and veggies on top. Drizzle with agave and hot sauce if desired.