Creamy, buttery polenta with parmesan cheese is the perfect side dish for braised short ribs, poached eggs and sausage or just about any roasted chicken, beef or pork dish you can dream up!
Creamy, buttery polenta is the perfect side dish to accompany all your favorite cozy cold-weather recipes! From Slow-Cooked Braised Short Rib Ragù to Roasted Sausages with Tomatoes and Garlic, this easy-to-make Northern-Italian classic will hold it’s own next to any main course.
Did you know you can bake with polenta too? Check out one of my favorite desserts: Meyer Lemon Polenta Cake!
Ingredients You’ll Need
All you need to make this recipe is four simple ingredients: Chicken broth or stock (you can also use vegetable stock or water), parmesan cheese, butter, and polenta.
Recipe Step by Step
Step 1. Simmer the Broth
You can use almost any pot or pan to make polenta. A large dutch oven is perfect as is a high-sided sauté pan. To get started, bring the chicken broth to a simmer.
Step 2. Whisk in the Polenta
Next, slowly stream in the polenta while whisking continuously to avoid lumps from forming.
Step 3. Simmer & Season
Turn the heat down to a low simmer. Cook for 30-40 minutes, stirring often. Just before serving, fold in the parmesan cheese and butter then season with salt and black pepper.
FAQs and Expert Tips
Polenta is coarsely ground cornmeal. It can be used to make creamy porridge, crispy polenta fritters and even cakes and desserts. Polenta is a Northern Italian staple. It’s very similar to American grits, the main difference being polenta is made from ground yellow corn and grits are made from white corn.
Like oatmeal, polenta is sold in a few different forms typically; regular “stone-ground” or “quick-cooking.” You can use either just keep in mind, while convenient, quick-cooking polenta lacks some of the intense corn flavor of regular polenta.
Yes, polenta is made from ground corn, which does not contain gluten.
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Creamy Parmesan Polenta
- 4 c chicken stock or water
- 1 c coarse polenta
- 1/2 c grated parmesan cheese
- 4 tbsp butter
- salt and freshly cracked pepper
- Bring the chicken stock and a pinch of salt to a boil in a small pot; pour the polenta slowly into boiling water, whisking continuously until there are no lumps.
- Bring the polenta to a simmer, reduce heat to low, cook for 30-40 minutes, stirring often, until the polenta is thick, creamy and the individual grains are tender.
- Switch to a wooden spoon or spatula, stir in the butter and parmesan cheese as well as a few generous turns of freshly cracked black pepper. Taste and season with more salt if necessary. Divide between bowls and serve immediately!
Storage and Reheating Instructions:
- Polenta will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to four days. It will firm up when cold. Reheat polenta gently on the stove or microwave, adding a bit of water or chicken stock and stirring until it reaches the desired consistency.
- What type of polenta should I buy? Like oatmeal, polenta is sold in a few different forms typically; regular “stone-ground” or “quick-cooking.” You can use either just keep in mind, while convenient, quick-cooking polenta lacks some of the intense corn flavor of regular polenta.
- Is polenta gluten-free? Yes, polenta is made from ground corn, which does not contain gluten.