Pepper Jack Polenta with Anaheim Peppers

Pepper Jack Polenta with Anaheim Peppers

This creamy polenta has a nice bite to it from the Anaheim peppers and pepper jack cheese that goes really well with BBQ and other strong flavored main dishes. We like to make it with Bob’s Red Mill Grits/Polenta.

This polenta recipe uses a small pinch of baking soda that reduces the amount of stirring needed.  It’s one of those little changes to a traditional technique that makes it a lot easier and more enjoyable to make a dish on a regular basis.

A  couple of dishes that go really well with this polenta are our Apple Cider Smoked Pork Shoulder and Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Fresh Herbs.

Pepper Jack Polenta with Anaheim Peppers

Pepper Jack Polenta with Anaheim Peppers

5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 8 servings


  • 2 medium Anaheim peppers, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups polenta
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup pepper jack cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 red onion, diced
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1 large pinch of baking soda


  • Start by seeding and finely dicing two medium sized Anaheim peppers and a quarter of a large red onion.
  • Place the pot you’re going to cook the polenta in on medium high heat. Add a small bit of olive oil to the pot and sauté the peppers and onions for three to four minutes. Once they’ve started to turn translucent remove them and set them aside.
  • Add the stock and water to the pot and bring it to a boil.
  • Once the cooking liquid is boiling add the salt and the baking soda, give it a good stir, and then pour the polenta in. Use a whisk or slotted spoon to stir the polenta for a couple of minutes to break up any clumps. 
  • Turn the heat to low and cover for five minutes. After five minutes stir everything again, cover, and let cook for 25 minutes on low heat.
  • While the polenta is cooking shred the cheddar and pepper jack cheeses.
  • When the polenta has cooked for 25 minutes add the onion and peppers back in, along with the cheese, cumin, peppers and onion, stir until everything is thoroughly mixed.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and let it stand covered for 10 to 15 minutes. The polenta will continue to thicken as you let it stand, so it’s ready to serve when it’s at your desired thickness.


The folks over at Cook’s Illustrated deserve a tip of the hat on the recipe since they were the first people I saw come up with the idea of using baking soda to help create a creamy polenta that you didn’t have to stir all day long.
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