Creamy Amaranth Polenta and Chickpea Marinara

Author - Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Yields: 4 servings


For the chickpea marinara:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small white or yellow onion diced
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt more to taste
  • Dash crushed red pepper
  • 1 28- ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes (or regular diced tomatoes)
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas or 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

For the polenta:

  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups amaranth
  • 2/3 cups almond or soy milk
  • 2 heaping tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Black pepper to taste


  • To make the marinara, heat the olive oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sugar. Saute and brown the onions for 5-7 minutes, or until they're golden. (Add a few tablespoons of water as you go if the onions start to stick to the bottom of the pot.) Add the garlic and saute for two minutes. Stir in the oregano, thyme, salt, red pepper, tomatoes, tomato paste, and chickpeas. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • To prepare the polenta, bring the broth and salt to boil in a medium sized pot. When it boils, whisk in the amaranth and reduce the heat to medium low. Cook, uncovered, stirring frequently for 20-25 minutes, or until the mixture is thick and a bit bubbly. Stir in the plant-based milk, nutritional yeast, garlic, and pepper. Simmer for another 5 minutes, or until the polenta has a thick texture and the amaranth is chewy yet tender, adding an extra splash of milk if it becomes overly thick.
  • Divide the amaranth into four bowls and top each with a cup of chickpea marinara. Serve.


Leftover marinara will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.