Easy Creamy Polenta Recipe Authentic Italian. The possibilities are endless with this comforting, creamy, smooth, and sensational Italian polenta recipe. With only 5 ingredients and 10 minutes you will have the perfect side to any meal.
This is the authentic Italian way we make homemade polenta in Italy. It is simple, rustic, and I know you will love it too! This is the best easy fool-proof polenta recipe that is super comforting and versatile.
More polenta recipes: Polenta and Mushrooms (with sage and butter) and Creamy Polenta with Polpette al Sugo (meatballs in tomato sauce), or try it with our favorite meat sauces: BEST Italian Beef Short Rib Ragu and Classic Italian Ragu Recipe.
Easy Authentic Italian Polenta Recipe
Polenta is a true Italian speciality. It is used almost like rice to soak up any dish with a flavorful sauce, a stew, or enjoyed plain with a favorite soft cheese.
Some compare polenta to a type of cornmeal mush. In my humble opinion, this is not just a porridge of sorts, it is far more than that! This is a traditional polenta recipe that we make often in Italy.
This quick polenta makes a great addition to any main dish. It is a versatile dish that you will enjoy time and time again.
The KEY to this fast and delicious recipe is using a fine cornmeal polenta.
- Easy Authentic Italian Polenta Recipe
- Simple Ingredients
- How to make this easy creamy Italian polenta recipe
- What is Polenta?
- Where to buy polenta?
- Why use fine ground polenta?
- Polenta to water ratio
- Variations to authentic Italian polenta recipe
- Serving Suggestions
- How to serve creamy polenta
- Polenta FAQ's and Storage
- Easy Polenta Recipe
This polenta recipe is made with simple ingredients and comes together in little time.
- Sea salt
- Extra-virgin olive oil or butter
- Parmigiano or parmesan cheese
- Heavy cream
How to make this easy creamy Italian polenta recipe
Making authentic Italian polenta is easier than you think with this easy method. It requires a few steps and provides the best results for creamy polenta!
Step by step instructions and tips
Making this basic polenta recipe is almost as easy as boiling spaghetti! See my guide for How Long to Boil Spaghetti (pasta)- Perfect Every Time. Okay, back to making this easy and creamy polenta.
Boil water with salt in a medium saucepan or large sauce pan if doubling the recipe. Add polenta and stir vigorously.
Stir on medium-high heat for 5 minutes until mixture thickens. Turn to low heat and keep stirring thickened polenta for another minute or two.
Constant stirring is important so the polenta doesn't clump . Stir with our handmade custom wooden spoon. Make sure you use salted water to flavor the polenta. adjust salt if using chicken or veggie stock.
Take off heat and add oil, parmigiano, and heavy cream. Stir until combined and creamy texture.
Tip: Make sure to grate your own cheese. Ready why here: TOP 5 Reasons Why You Should Grate Your Own Cheese. Top the cooke polenta with extra cheese and enjoy plain or as a side dish.
Tip: Polenta can dry out quickly and even become hard. Make sure to serve hot and keep covered. You can always reheat and add a little more liquid to make the soft polenta again.
What is Polenta?
Polenta is a popular Italian dish in the north of Italy made of ground corn. Freshly cooked, polenta is soft and creamy, like a savory porridge, and makes a terrific bed for sauces. The good news is: it is super easy to make!
Polenta a staple in Italian cuisine (almost like mashed potatoes in American cuisine). Every family has a way to make their own.
Polenta is incredibly easy to make and can be made in a variety of ways, from soft creamy polenta like this recipe, or even fried up and served as a cake.
This recipe will give you best polenta every single time and makes a perfect side dish to any main entree. Add this cheesy polenta as an addition to your next favorite meal!
Where to buy polenta?
You can now find polenta at almost any grocery store. If you can't here are some kinds I recommend that you can purchase online:
Why use fine ground polenta?
I like the instant or fine ground polenta or cornmeal variety for the super smooth result it provides. Some recipes say to buy the course ground and use a food processor to make it more fine. I'd rather save my time and there actually isn't much of a price difference.
If you want to make the course ground polenta you can certainly do so and will just adjust the liquid!
Purchase our 2 in 1 cutting and charcuterie board seen in this photo.
Polenta to water ratio
Super creamy polenta uses a ratio of 4:1 liquid to cornmeal. The more traditional polenta version uses 3:1 liquid to cornmeal. You can also do somewhere in-between. Try this recipe and see which variation you prefer. You really can't go wrong.
Variations to authentic Italian polenta recipe
There are countless ways to enhance the flavor of this dish- think of it as a blank canvas.
- Spicy- add some red pepper flakes to kick it up a notch, or some freshly ground black pepper
- Herbs- sprinkle oregano
- Cheese- add different varieties of cheese that melt well and add flavor
- Onions and Garlic- sauté some onion and garlic in the pan with olive oil before making the polenta
- Chicken stock or chicken broth- for added flavor you can use chicken stock or vegetable
- Whole Milk- use whole milk instead of cream to cut a few calories
Polenta is a great side dish for those that are gluten free since it is made with corn.
Can you make polenta dairy free? Yes! See the instructions in the FAQ section.
Enjoy with recipes: Tuscan style Osso Buco, seared scallops in lemon butter, baked zucchini with bruschetta topping, polpette con sugo, ratatouille, chicken tarragon, or chicken braised in red wine and plums!
Sometimes, I eat a big bowl with plenty pf parmigiano cheese on top and it is so comforting.
How to serve creamy polenta
There are many different ways to enjoy polenta. Here are two great recipes.
Creamy polenta with mushrooms
Savory Mushrooms with Butter Sage Over Creamy Polenta. This meal is under 30 minutes and will have you craving all the herby hearty goodness of mushrooms.
The mushrooms simmer slightly with onions then get a bath of butter and delicious sage leaves to highlight their delicious flavor.
Creamy polenta with authentic Italian meatballs
Nonna's famous traditional Italian meatballs in tomato sauce (polpette al sugo pomodoro) are my nonna's famous recipe. Made with simple ingredients and stewed in a delicious tomato sauce.
Polenta FAQ's and Storage
Store cooked polenta in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. After polenta cools cover with plastic wrap until ready to transfer to storage containers.
To reheat leftover polenta simply add the desired amount of polenta back into a medium-size pot over low heat and add in about a ½ cup of warm chicken or vegetable stock. You may need more chicken stock to turn it back into a creamy and perfect consistency.
Making polenta dairy free is easy. Instead of adding cream at the end use a dairy free milk alternative or coconut cream for a flavor change! For the cheese and butter you can substitute your favorite dairy free or vegan variety. For this recipe you can use butter and olive oil interchangeably.
More Delicious Recipes:
- Authentic Neapolitan Pizza Dough Recipe
- Italian Pasta Carbonara (no cream)
- Simple Italian Apple Cake (one bowl)
- No Knead Italian Focaccia Bread
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- 16 oz. (1 Lb.) quick cooking yellow corn polenta (if you use coarse ground adjust liquid)
- 6 cups boiling water
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or butter
- ½ cup parmigiano cheese
- ½ cup heavy cream
- Boil water with salt in a medium-large pot. Add polenta and stir vigorously. Stir on medium-high heat for 5 minutes until mixture thickens. Turn to low heat and keep stirring for another minute or two.
- Take off heat and add oil, parmigiano, and heavy cream. Stir until combined and creamy texture.
- Sprinkle with extra cheese and enjoy plain or as a side dish
It is important to use FINE yellow cornmeal in this recipe. If you use coarse ground adjust liquid.
Constant stirring is important so the polenta doesn't clump. Stir with our handmade custom wooden spoon. Make sure you use salted water to flavor the polenta. adjust salt if using chicken or veggie stock.
Make sure to grate your own cheese. Ready why here: TOP 5 Reasons Why You Should Grate Your Own Cheese.
Polenta can dry out quickly and even become hard. Make sure to serve hot and keep covered. You can always reheat and add a little more liquid to make the soft polenta again.
- Prep Time: 5
- Cook Time: 5
- Category: Savory
- Method: Italian
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: polenta, side dish, main dish, cornmeal, creamy polenta