Go Back
+ servings
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Creamy polenta

How to make silky soft Creamy Polenta from scratch. This super simple recipe is made with basic pantry ingredients and is the perfect side dish to roasted meats, vegetables and stews. 
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4 - 6 servings
Calories: 322kcal
Author: Emily Kemp


  • 1 cup polenta or medium yellow cornmeal (175g)
  • 3 cups water (710ml)
  • 2 cups milk (470ml)
  • 2-4 tablespoon butter (30-60g)
  • ½ cups freshly grated parmesan or cheese or choice (80g)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Heat the water and milk in a large saucepan or pot until boiling. Once boiling slowly pour the polenta into the hot liquid whilst whisking to avoid any lumps. Constantly stir the polenta until it starts to thicken then turn the heat down to low.
  • Cook the polenta on a low heat for at least 30 minutes or until it starts to come away from the edge of the pot, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon (different brands and how fine or coarse the polenta is will make a difference in cooking times but generally 30 minutes is enough time for medium ground cornmeal).
  • Add the butter, parmesan (or cheese of choice), salt and pepper to taste and stir until melted and combined.
  • Serve immediately or pour into a baking dish to cool.



  • If you can't find bags of cornmeal labelled polenta then make sure to buy yellow cornmeal medium ground.
  • If you can only find coarse cornmeal and prefer a smooth and creamy polenta then blitz the cornmeal in a food processor before cooking with it. This will give it a finer texture.
  • I like to use a mixture of water and milk for the cooking liquid but you can use all water or even use a little cream for a little extra indulgence.
  • If you prefer a thicker consistency then omit 1 cup of liquid or cook it for longer (around 45 minutes).
  • leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
  • Cut leftovers into slices, drizzle in oil and grill or bake them. Check out our recipe for crispy baked polenta fries for using leftovers!
  • Polenta is perfect served with Peposo - Tuscan Red Wine Beef Stew.


Calories: 322kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 313mg | Potassium: 227mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 558IU | Calcium: 291mg | Iron: 1mg