This humble and classic Creamy Polenta Recipe makes a great side dish for an Italian feast or a vehicle for my Short Rib Bolognese. It makes for an extremely budget-friendly dish that's packed with flavor.
And while many people may relate polenta to grits, when cooked well, polenta is much smoother than grits. And this recipe is loaded with cheese, which means FLAVOR!
I love this recipe because it has one of my favorite things...a short ingredient list, and mostly pantry staples. I almost always have all of these ingredients on hand. Give or take some asiago, but I always have some parmesan.
This is the asiago that I picked up at Trader Joe's, it was a perfect cheese for this recipe. Smooth and creamy with a little tang, it was great for this Creamy Polenta Recipe.
Use the JUMP TO RECIPE button at the top of the post, or scroll to the bottom of the post to see the full recipe card with ingredient measurements and instructions.
I first crush some garlic, then place it in the pot with the cream and chicken stock as it comes to a boil. It will infuse the cream with some extra flavor.
Then whisk in the seasonings, polenta, and semolina, and cook until soft. Fold the cheese in and lay it out on a platter for serving.
I like to drizzle a little olive oil over it and sprinkle with more parmesan cheese. It is also great with my Short Rib Bolognese served on top of it.
Notes & Tips
Yes, it really takes 20-30 minutes to cook. Turn the heat all the way to low and stir often, it will help to hydrate the polenta and really make it smooth.
If the mixture becomes too thick and the fat begins to separate, add in a couple of splashes of chicken stock until it thins out. You'll know you added enough when it all comes back together into a cohesive mixture.
To reheat any leftover polenta, warm it in a microwave-safe dish, with a splash of water in it. Stir every 45-60 seconds, until smooth and creamy again.
Chicken stock can be swapped for vegetable stock if you would like to keep this vegetarian.
White pepper adds a different kind of spice, but you could use black pepper if needed.
In place of the asiago, you could always use all parmesan.