Creamy Polenta

Side DishGluten-FreeVegetarianPolenta

Creamy polenta! This delicious polenta is perfect for serving with ribs, chicken, lamb chops, or veal.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

What is Polenta?

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.

Creamy Polenta: Simply Wonderful

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.

In this recipe the polenta is slowly cooked in water with a little butter, then finished with stirring in some cream cheese and salt. This polenta is easy to make and absolutely delicious.

Creamy Polenta Recipe

Print
  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8

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

Ingredients

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt (or 1 teaspoon if using salted butter)
  • 1 cup medium-grain yellow polenta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese

Method

1 Whisk polenta into boiling salted water: Heat salted water (1 1/2 teaspoons of salt for 1 quart of water) to a boil over high heat in a thick-bottomed 2 or 3 quart pan, about 5 minutes. Quickly whisk in the polenta until fully incorporated.

2 Lower to simmer, add butter, cook: Lower the heat to a very low simmer, add the butter and allow the polenta to cook, stirring occasionally so it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan, for 25 minutes.

3 Finish by stirring in the cream cheese until it has melted into the polenta. Taste and add more salt if necessary. (You can also add more cream cheese if you want it to be even creamier.)

Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to Creamy Polenta on Simply Recipes. Thank you!

Print

If you make this recipe, snap a pic and hashtag it #simplyrecipes — We love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter!

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

23 Comments / Reviews

No ImageCreamy Polenta

Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Debra

    I used 2 cans of chicken broth and then water to equal the 4 C of liquid. It’s really tasty but turned out thicker than I expected. I added more water a few times to thin it out but it’s still super thick. Maybe I cooked it too long… It’s my first time making polenta. I just used regular cornmeal.

  • RNape

    I used all chicken broth for the liquid and subbed goat cheese for the cream cheese. Amazing!

  • Dimas

    Polenta is a very common dish in Brazil, and we love it. A very good variation to serve with black coffe is a thicker one (I think more cooking or less liquid) fried with a film of oil,

    You cut it in 2 inchs long squared about 1/4 inch (litle bit larger than a potato for French fries) and toast it to brown in a pan. Serve hot.

  • CE

    I am so addicted to this dish!!! My husband requests it at least once a week. I serve it with all kinds of Italian food, but our absolute favorite is to top the polenta with braised balsamic chicken. It’s a moment in paradise!! Thank you so much for posting this recipe. Mangia!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Christina Stone

    I just made it with white corn meal and it reminds me of cream of wheat which i loved so much as a kid and coincidentally had been missing of late, except I think I’ll allergic to wheat so had been avoiding it. Now I can have it in polenta form. Thanks. Oh, and kids liked it, always nice surprise at our picky dinner table.

View More
Creamy Polenta in serving bowlCreamy Polenta