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Creamy Polenta

Creamy Polenta

Creamy Polenta – Fuss-free, smooth, cheesy, and creamy POLENTA made with cornmeal, cheeses, milk, and chicken stock. It makes a luscious bed for sautéed vegetables or braised pork, chicken, lamb, beef, or veal. The ultimate Italian comfort food that spells restaurant-quality. Great for regular nights or special holidays! 
Course Main, Side
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 5 -6 people
Author Imma


  • Medium saucepan 
  • Whisk 


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (divided) 
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic  
  • 1 ½ teaspoons minced thyme 
  • 2 cups chicken stock (substitute with water)
  • 1 bay leaf  
  • 2 cups whole milk  
  • 1 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1 cup coarse cornmeal
  • cup grated Parmesan
  • ¼ cup grated smoked gouda cheese (replace with Parmesan) 
  • Pepper flakes (optional) 


  • Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan, over medium heat, then add garlic and thyme. Stir for about 30 seconds or until fragrant. Do not let it burn. 
  • Pour in stock or water, bay leaf, milk and salt. Bring to a boil. 
  • As soon as it boils, slowly add the polenta in a steady stream, whisking constantly to prevent any lumps.  Reduce the heat to low and cover.  
  • Stir vigorously every 10 minutes or so, be sure to scrape the sides, bottom, and corners of the saucepan as you stir.  
  • Cook polenta thickens and is very tender and creamy, about 25. Cook an extra 5 minutes, for extra creamy.
  • Add cheeses and remaining butter, stir well. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  • Remove from the heat and transfer to serving plates or bowl garnished with grated cheese, butter and/or pepper flakes. Serve hot.


  1. Ran out of chicken stock? Don’t worry, you can swap it with plain water as the liquid for this recipe.
  2. Other than parmesan and gouda cheeses, you can also use sharp white cheddar cheese, ricotta, mozzarella, mascarpone, or goat cheese. 
  3. To make this creamy polenta recipe ahead of time, prepare it as per directions below then let it cool. Cover it and place it in the fridge for up to 2 days.