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Creamy Polenta Recipe

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 - 8 servings


  • cups water
  • teaspoons salt
  • 1 pinch baking soda
  • cups cornmeal coarse-ground
  • 2 tablespoons butter unsalted
  • 2 cups Parmesan cheese grated, plus extra for serving
  • freshly ground black pepper


  • In a large heavy-bottomed pan, Madeline used a Le Creuset cast iron pot, heat the water over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Stir in the salt and baking soda.
  • Add the cornmeal to the pot in a steady stream and stir constantly until all the cornmeal is added. Bring the water back to a boil, still stirring constantly for one minute.

Keep the Heat Low

  • Lower the heat to as low as you can go without the flame going out on a gas stove or the lowest possible setting on electric.
    You don’t want the polenta to “bubble or sputter” so if you lowest setting doesn’t do it, use a flame tamer or heat diffuser to lower the heat.
  • Cover the pot and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the cover and remove any lumps with a whisk to remove any that may have formed.
    Be sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the pan.
  • Cover the pot and cook for another 20 to 25 minutes until the polenta is perfectly cooked. It should be tender but not mushy.
  • Add the butter and cheese, stir, add the the black pepper to taste, stir again, cover and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  • Serve with the extra Parmesan cheese.