Delicious Creamy Polenta Recipe

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Move over Southern grits! Your delicious Italian cousin, Polenta, is coming over for dinner in this easy peasy recipe.

Delicious Creamy Polenta Recipe featured image 3

In the Bluegrass state of Kentucky, if you don’t like grits, it’s because you haven’t tasted mine. So I was curious about polenta when I went on a recent trip to Italy. Since both are made from corn, I wondered how the Italian staple of polenta would measure up to the Southern go-to-dish of grits. I’ll be honest (and don’t tell my granny): sometimes, I’d rather have a delicious bowl of polenta. This creamy comfort food has become a family favorite, reminding us of our amazing trip to Italy and providing a fun twist to Southern soul food.

Before we dive in, let me give you a quick primer on the differences between grits and polenta. The two can be interchangeable, but the taste is definitely different. Polenta is normally made from flint corn and ground medium or even coarse. Grits are normally stone-ground dent corn. Grits have Indigenous roots in the Americas, while polenta is a staple of Northern Italy and Italian American cooking. Polenta is a great companion to hearty dishes like Braised Beef Short Ribs or Chimichurri Chicken Thighs.

Why You Will Love This Recipe //

You’ll love how easy this dish is to make—and how easy you can dress it up with a few tweaks here and there. It tastes luxurious but also comforting—a real switch hitter. And it can be the star of the dinner show or a supporting actor.

Ingredients //

  • 4 cups chicken stock or water
  • 1 cup polenta
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup parmesan, finely grated
Delicious Creamy Polenta Recipe ingredients

How to Make // The Steps

Step 1: In a large pot, bring the stock or water to a boil.

Delicious Creamy Polenta Recipe step 1

Step 2: Turn the heat down to low and slowly pour in the polenta, whisking the whole time to make sure there are no lumps. 

Delicious Creamy Polenta Recipe step 2

Step 3: Cook on low, stirring for 15 minutes, then stir in the butter and cheese. Return to the heat and cook for another 10 minutes. Make sure you are stirring the whole time. 

Delicious Creamy Polenta Recipe step 3

Step 4: Taste the polenta. If it needs a little salt, then sprinkle some in and give it a stir. Cover and let it stand for 5 minutes. 

Delicious Creamy Polenta Recipe step 4

Tips & Tricks to Make a Perfect Creamy Polenta

  1. To avoid lumps, pour the polenta slowly into the boiling liquid and whisk continuously.
  2. Allow the polenta to simmer on low flame. This gives it time to absorb the liquid and enhances the creaminess.
  3. If the polenta gets too thick, stir in a bit of hot water or stock.
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FAQs

Can I swap out the chicken stock?

Sure. You can use veggie stock, water, or a mix of water and milk.

Do I have to stir this polenta non-stop while it cooks?

Absolutely. You’ll need to babysit it, since stirring constantly is key to a silky, lump-free polenta.

How can I make this dairy-free?

That’s easy. Just substitute the butter and Parmesan cheese for lactose-free versions.

What fun twists can I make to this recipe?

Polenta is super versatile, so get creative. Try various cheeses, add some herbs and spices, or serve with sautéed mushrooms or roasted veggies on top.

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Serving Suggestions //

This Delicious Creamy Polenta shines best when accompanied by robust Italian dishes like a hearty Bolognese sauce or rich, slow-cooked Osso Buco. You can even class up your breakfast by serving it alongside a perfectly poached egg! And for a vegetarian twist, top it with grilled Mediterranean vegetables or a spicy Ratatouille.

Make Ahead and How to Store //

Whip up some Creamy Polenta ahead of time and store in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. Leftovers will keep for 4-5 days in an airtight container in the fridge. When you’re ready for round two, warm the polenta up on the stove, adding a splash of water or broth and stirring until it’s warm and creamy.

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Delicious Creamy Polenta Recipe

Creamy Polenta Recipe

Baked Bree
Move over grits. Your delicious Italian cousin, Polenta, is coming over for dinner.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

  • 4 cups chicken stock or water
  • 1 cup polenta
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup parmesan finely grated

Instructions
 

  • In a large pot bring the stock or water to a boil.
  • Turn the heat down to low and slowly pour in the polenta, whisking the whole time to make sure there are no lumps. 
  • Cook on low, stirring for 15 minutes, then stir in the butter and cheese. Return to the heat and cook for another 10 minutes. Make sure you are stirring the whole time. 
  • Taste the polenta and if it needs a little salt then sprinkle some in and give it a stir. Cover and let it stand for 5 minutes. 
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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