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Polenta on a plate.

Creamy Polenta Recipe

This Creamy Polenta is the Italian version of grits. Simmered until thick, then finished off with butter and Parmesan cheese, this is pure comfort food and a wonderful base for many dinners!

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Keyword polenta
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 252 kcal
Author Anna


  • 5 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Pour water into a 3 to 5 qt pot and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  2. Once it boils, add salt and stir.
  3. Slowly add cornmeal, stirring well until the mixture thickens, with a whisk or wooden spoon.
  4. Lower the heat and simmer polenta for about 30 minutes, stirring often so it won't burn on the bottom of the pot. Add more water if needed.
  5. Once cooked, add butter and cheese. Stir in to melt.
  6. Serve.

Recipe Notes

For the best texture, prepare polenta and serve right away. Once it cools and sits, it will set almost solid. You can then slice it and fry it in a pan.
To make it vegan, use olive oil in place of butter and add nutritional yeast for that cheesy flavor.
Please note, that the nutrition value can vary depending on what product you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use calorie counter you are familiar with.

Nutrition Facts
Creamy Polenta Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 252 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Trans Fat 1g
Cholesterol 24mg8%
Sodium 799mg35%
Potassium 141mg4%
Carbohydrates 29g10%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 273IU5%
Calcium 161mg16%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.