Creamy Polenta

The simplicity of this creamy polenta recipe belies its true wonderfulness. This polenta is so light, so fluffy, so creamy, it could almost be a dessert. Polenta is made from coarsely ground cornmeal and is a staple of Northern Italy. It makes a wonderful serving base for osso bucco, short ribs or oxtail. In this recipe the polenta is slowly cooked in water with a little butter, then finished with stirring in some cream cheese and salt. Easy to make and absolutely delicious.

Creamy Polenta Recipe



  • 4 cups water
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup medium-grain yellow polenta
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup cream cheese


1 Heat water lightly seasoned with salt to a boil over high heat, about 5 minutes. Quickly whisk in the polenta until fully incorporated.

2 Lower the heat to a low simmer, add the butter and allow the polenta to cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.

3 Finish by stirring in the cream cheese and salt to taste.

If preparing in advance, cool, cover and refrigerate. Reheat in the microwave, about 5 minutes on high, just before serving. Stir vigorously after reheating to fluff.

Serves 8.

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Showing 4 of 32 Comments

  • Joni

    I love this recipe! I have made it several times. It is like comfort food for me when I decide to eat carbs.

  • Tea

    This looks so good! I love polenta–ate a lot of it in my gluten-free phase. I will definitely be trying out this version. Thanks.

  • Anonymous

    Tried your recipe tonight….I loved it! It was nice and creamy.

  • Helen

    Hi Elise,

    The polenta looks awesome. What brand of corn-meal did you use?

    Note from Elise: I’m pretty sure we bought organic polenta in bulk at Whole Foods.

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