Simple Polenta Recipe

If you've been on the lookout for a side so tasty and versatile that it pairs well at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you have found it with this simple polenta one. "Polenta is a classic side dish that goes so well with so many meals, and the addition of cheese and butter makes it extra creamy and flavorful," says chef and recipe developer Catherine Brookes of Blue Sky Eating. Her recipe is rich in flavor because the four core ingredients are butter, Parmesan cheese, salt, and olive oil, and it's hard to beat such a savory combination.

"I like to eat it as a side alongside meat, fish, or roasted veggies," Brookes says, but you'll also love this polenta beside a crisp green salad at lunchtime or an omelet and sausages at breakfast — it really is that good. And it really does require all of 5 minutes of hands-on work, so let's get going on this simple dish!

Gather your ingredients for simple polenta

To prepare this tasty dish, you'll need a cup of ground polenta, 4 ½ cups of water, a tablespoon of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of butter, ½ teaspoon of salt, and ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese. "The Parmesan adds a nice hit of flavor to an otherwise simple side dish," says Brookes.

Begin to simmer the polenta

To start things off, add the water to a large saucepan and bring it to a boil. Once it is bubbling away at a steady simmer (medium heat will do), begin to gradually add the polenta, whisking after each addition, and then continue to whisk until the mixture starts to thicken, which will take about 5 minutes. "Just make sure to stir often as this prevents any lumps or polenta sticking to the pan," Brookes advises.

Simmer then stir in the rest of the ingredients

Once the polenta has started to thicken, reduce the heat to a low simmer, cover the pot, and let it cook for 30 minutes, whisking every 5 minutes or so to keep the polenta cooking evenly. Reduce the heat if it seems to be drying out. When half an hour has passed, remove the pot from the heat and stir in the oil, butter, cheese, and salt. And then serve and enjoy!

Simple Polenta Recipe
5 from 20 ratings
This simple, savory polenta pairs well with breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Prep Time
5
minutes
Cook Time
35
minutes
Servings
4
Servings
polenta in a bowl
Total time: 40 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 cup ground polenta
  • 4 ½ cups water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
Directions
  1. Add the water to a large saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Gradually add the polenta, whisking after each addition, then continue to whisk until the mixture starts to thicken, about 5 minutes.
  3. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 30 minutes, whisking every 5 minutes or so.
  4. Remove the polenta from the heat and stir through the oil, butter, cheese, and salt.
  5. Serve the polenta warm.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 262
Total Fat 12.2 g
Saturated Fat 5.7 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 21.6 mg
Total Carbohydrates 31.5 g
Dietary Fiber 1.5 g
Total Sugars 0.7 g
Sodium 432.8 mg
Protein 6.2 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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