Hot Polenta Cereal with Sweet Orange Sauce, Apricots & Prunes


This hot polenta cereal takes a bit more work than your typical oats, but it does offer a nice breakfast change. The fresh orange syrup, stewed dried fruit, and crunchy walnuts (if using) are perfect for slow weekend mornings. It’s healthy and so comforting.

Hot Polenta Cereal Recipe with Dried Fruit and Sweet Orange Sauce - Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, and Plant-Based

Hot Polenta Cereal with Sweet Orange Sauce, Apricots & Prunes

What I love about this hot polenta cereal recipe is the powerhouse sauce. It’s made with two healthy bone superfoods: prunes and orange juice. In studies, prunes “have shown an “exceptional” ability to improve bone mineral density.” And orange juice has shown similar results. If you’re looking for more calcium in your diet, you can use calcium-fortified orange juice. It’s typically fortified with calcium citrate, which boasts better absorption than most other types of calcium.

The picture below (from Bob’s Red Mill) shows what the polenta should look like once cooked, but it doesn’t show the delicious sauce that you will top it with!

Hot Polenta Cereal Recipe with Sweet Orange Sauce (dairy-free, gluten-free, optionally vegan)

Special Diet Notes: Hot Polenta Cereal with Dried Fruit

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, optionally nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, optionally vegan, and vegetarian.

Dairy-Free Hot Polenta Cereal with Dried Fruit Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Mix up your morning cereal routine with comforting corn grits! This fruit-filled version is sweet and nutritious.
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4 servings
  • 2½ cups orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced lemon zest (optional)
  • ¼ cup honey (can sub agave nectar for vegan)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 15 pitted prunes
  • 10 dried apricots, halved
  • 4 cups lightly salted water
  • 1 cup polenta
  • ¾ cup coarsely chopped walnuts (optional, omit for nut-free)
  1. Put the orange juice, honey, lemon juice, lemon zest (if using), and cinnamon in a medium sized saucepan and stir to combine. Place the pan over high heat and bring the mixture to a simmer. Add the prunes and apricots. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. While the prunes are simmering bring the lightly salted water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Slowly pour in the polenta while stirring. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes, stirring often. If it gets too thick, add a little hot water as needed.
  3. Remove the fruit to a bowl. Turn the heat for the orange juice sauce up to high, and let cook until the mixture is reduced by half.
  4. Stir the fruit and walnuts into the sauce and serve it over the polenta.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¼ recipe Calories: 558 Fat: 15.2g Saturated fat: .9g Carbohydrates: 101.7g Sugar: 55.7g (17.4g added) Sodium: 81mg Fiber: 7.6g Protein: 11.8g

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About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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