Creamy Polenta

If preparing polenta in advance, cool, cover and refrigerate. Reheat on stovetop or in the microwave (about 5 minutes on high), adding more liquid if necessary. Stir vigorously after reheating to fluff.

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


  • 4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (or 1 teaspoon if using salted butter)
  • 1 cup yellow polenta or coarsely ground cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese


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. Slowly add the polenta into the boiling water, whisking while you add it to prevent any lumps from forming.

2 Simmer and cook: Lower the heat to a very low simmer and add the butter. Continue to whisk the polenta until it starts to thicken. Then cover the pan and let the polenta cook for 25 minutes. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon so that the polenta doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. The polenta should be soft and tender when done. If not, let it cook a little longer.

3 Add the cream cheese: Add the cream cheese and stir it 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.)