That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Easy Easy Parmesan Polenta in a white bowl

Easy Parmesan Polenta

Home ยป 160+ Side Dishes ยป Easy Parmesan Polenta

This Easy Parmesan Polenta is a nice alternative to potatoes or rice as a side dish. My dubious of new foods husband took a taste and was an instant fan. Plus it takes less than a half-hour to prepare!

Easy Easy Parmesan Polenta in a white bowl

Easy Parmesan Polenta

This cheesy Parmesan Polenta recipe from Giada DeLaurentis drew an “Outstanding” rating from the hubby. Hard to believe he thought polenta was a chicken dish, but that was good for a giggle. I’ll leave the cooking terms as the area of my expertise, and he can worry about coronary arteries and such instead.

I first had this glorious polenta at our book club’s summer dinner and it took only about a half-hour from start to finish when I recreated it at home. I whipped it up as Bill lit the charcoal for our grilled pork tenderloins, then placed slices of the pork over the polenta in lieu of mashed potatoes.

 Easy Parmesan Polenta in a white bowl garnished with parsley


Tips for Making This Cheesy Polenta

As a precaution, never knowing if a new dish will be a hit with the picky spouse, I only made a half recipe. This can easily be doubled. I’m sure you’ll be able to make it all disappear.

And as a novice polenta maker, I had a few undercooked specks, so make sure to turn your burner down to low after the cornmeal is added to the water. It really didn’t deter from the overall results; we both loved it! With a nip in the air, we can turn on our ovens and offer warm comfort foods. This Easy Parmesan Polenta definitely qualifies.

Side Dishes You’ll Love:

Easy Parmesan Polenta in a white bowl garnished with parsley

Parmesan Polenta

Easy Parmesan Polenta for a quick delicious side dish!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield 4


  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, plus extra for seasoning
  • 1 1/4 cups yellow cornmeal or polenta
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 3/4 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 5 tablespoons butter, at room temperature, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Bring the water to a boil, then add salt. Gradually whisk in the cornmeal. Reduce the heat to low and cook, whisking often, till the mixture thickens and the cornmeal is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Take pan off the heat and whisk in the cheese, milk, butter, and parsley. Stir until the butter and cheese have melted. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.


Recipe from Giada DeLaurentis

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 423Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 66mgSodium: 1569mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 11g


Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Note: This post may contain affiliate links; view my Disclosure Policy for details. I earn a small percentage from any purchase you make by clicking on these links at no extra cost to you.

58 comments on “Easy Parmesan Polenta”

  1. Such a beautiful plate; the pork pairs so well with the polenta! We are huge fans of polenta in this house; it is such a delicious stick-to-your-ribs kind of side. Smooth, filling, comfort, delicious!

  2. I sure love cornbread and cornmeal, but haven’t tried polenta yet… Yours is very pretty, love the color:@)

  3. Polenta looks to be a wonderful comfort food on a crisp, fall day. Good, too, I imagine after a day of treating patients or taking care of parents =) Your photos and recipe make me want to add yet another recipe to my to-do list!

  4. I made polenta once. It made a ton and was not very good. Now my husband refuses to eat it. I really like it but only end up getting it at restaurants nowadays. Love the cheese addition. Always a good thing.

  5. The polenta looks so creamy and yummy I could dive right in. What a wonderful fall dish.

  6. I have yet to make polenta but I bought some awhile back, now I’m glad I have a yummy recipe to finally give it a shot! Thanks for sharing!

  7. I have yet to make polenta. My hubby is picky, so I haven’t ventured out as far as making this creamy goodness. I love everything about this recipe, and if your hubby loved it then maybe mine will too.

  8. I grew up on polenta with melted cheese and tomato sauce, so easy to put together (for my mom who didn’t cook much) and so amazing. To this day I love it! The pork goes so well with it Liz! (PS: a couple of days ago I dreamt that I asked you if any of your boys was going to med school, and you answered that Bill was really bummed none of them had chosen that path… how weird is that dream??!! I just had to share it with you, lol)

  9. Cheesy polenta is one of our favorite things, Liz, and yours looks wonderful. I love the little flecks of parsley. As for your husband and the chicken, perhaps he was thinking of pullet. This is the problem with Latin-based words. Sometimes we make connections we shouldn’t make. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Mmmm….that looks so creamy and rich. I love it! And I’d love a bowl. For breakfast.

  11. I’m not going to lie, making polenta always sort of scares me. I always fear for some reason I’ll screw it up! But this looks easy AND so good that I m.u.s.t. try!

  12. Oh wow, beautiful pictures and that polenta not only looks amazing but sounds amazing! Great recipe!

  13. I’ve yet to try a polenta, but this looks so I good I might have to try!

  14. Polenta is such a favorite in my family! And adding parmesan to it must make it so creamy delicious Liz! We often add Fontina too. The perfect comfort food for cooler weather!!!! PS: I had a dream about you last night; we were in Iowa City and it had something to do with our sororities. Other than that, like all dreams, I can’t remember much more! Weird, huh?


  15. I love polenta! This looks wonderful – Parmesan is such a great flavor with polenta. I’m OK with a few underdone specks, but then I like lumpy mashed potatoes, too! Good recipe – thanks.

  16. I love polenta! It’s such a simple dish with humble ingredients, but it always impresses a crowd. And it’s a perfect side to a meaty saucy dish.

  17. I also grew up eating lots of Polenta especially with cheese. (it’s wonderful with chucks of Ricotta salata on top:) I haven’t made it in ages though, Liz. Thanks for the reminder. So glad the “hubby” gave it a thumbs up!

    Thank you so much for sharing…

  18. I don’t recall eating polenta. Lovely dinner, Liz. Have a great, productive week ahead.

  19. I love polenta! With parmesan and herbs, this is my idea of comfort food!

  20. Polenta is my absolute go-to these days, that is too delicious ๐Ÿ™‚

    Choc Chip Uru

  21. The perfect polenta dish and one I could eat year round! Sounds like you’ll be having lots more polenta in your house. ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. What a delicious polenta option! So much better than mashed potatoes. ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. I am so hungry right now and this looks delicious!!!

  24. How can you go wrong? It’s perfectly simple!

  25. What a beautiful presentation! Your soup looks warm and hardy, perfect for a chilly Fall evening!

  26. I need to experiment with polenta more Liz. I’m always afraid to use it…I don’t know why. Probably because we didn’t grow up eating it! I always love it when I try it though! Thank you for sharing. What a delicious way to end my weekend and start my week.

  27. Parmesan polenta is one of our favorite sides. Even my 3 year old loves it. But yours looks so creamy! My hubby likes it cooked firm so that we can cut it into slices, so I rarely make nice, creamy, spoonable polenta.

  28. I’ve had ups and downs with polenta. My aunt made it once and I loved it, then my grandmom made it and I didn’t like it at all, then my roommate made it a totally different way and I liked that. This sounds very simple yet very good…of course it would be, who doesn’t love anything with parmesan? Maybe it’s my turn to try making polenta!

  29. I am so impressed…you even make polenta look beautiful! Such a delicious dish for Fall!

  30. I love making polenta as a side dish to many main courses! It goes so well with everything: from grilled chicken to lamb! Great photos, too!

  31. I sure love polenta, with cheese.

  32. I don’t think I’ve ever had polenta before, or anything with cornmeal unless cornbread has it.

    I could probably eat all of that as a main dish though.

  33. Cheese and corn…a great combo! Your polenta looks delish.

  34. I love polenta, and yours looks amazing. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  35. Polenta and cheese sounds like a great combo ! The grilled pork certainly makes your carnivore happy ๐Ÿ˜€

  36. It if tastes only half as good as it looks, it’s a winner!

  37. I’ve never made polenta before, but I’ve tried it at a few restaurants and always loved it. Such a great comforting side dish for this time of year.

  38. I love polenta and try to use it as a substitute for potatoes. But I love potatoes, too. And now I’ve added grits which are almost polenta. I love starch!

  39. Mmmm…I love polenta, but this looks so much creamier and smoother than anything I’ve had in the past. Will have to try this recipe this winter!

  40. I love polenta, but I have never made it myself. I will have to try this recipe, you make it look so delicious! And I love the recipe list as well, thank you for this!

  41. One thing I’ve never made but always wanted to make!
    Great looking Polenta!

  42. This is pure comfort and a delicious one at that, love it!

  43. I’ve only had polenta once and it was premade and kind of yucky. Guess that’s what I get for not taking the time to make my own. This is a great alternative to mashed potatoes.

  44. I have got to make polenta… I think my family with really enjoy it. ๐Ÿ™‚ So glad you hubby liked this one. ๐Ÿ™‚

  45. Lizzy,
    I love polenta. This recipe looks delicious. It’s a filling and hearty dish.

  46. that’s a fabulous soup. i love soup.

  47. I love polenta, Liz I make it a lot thanks for the reminder!

  48. I have never had polenta before, but now I really want to try it. This looks so creamy and comforting.

  49. I haven’t had polenta in ages although I couldn’t tell you why not. I do believe you have just changed what I was going to eat for dinner tonight since I do happen to have cornmeal and Parmesan in the house!

  50. Liz, can you believe I’ve never had polenta before? I love cooking with cornmeal and anything hot ‘n mushy is a-ok in my book so I’m sure I’d gobble this up. Especially if there was your perfectly cooked pork tenderloin on top, yum! After meeting you at IFBC this weekend, I want to move next door to you so that we can hang out all the time and I can eat all your yummy food! That’s not creepy at all, is it?

  51. So I’ve never actually had polenta, buuuut this looks like a combo of things I love so yeah. I think I’d love it. It def. looks delicious!

  52. This looks delicious! I’ve been trying to find an excuse try polenta. Can you believe I’ve never had it before?!

  53. This looks so creamy and delicious!

  54. OMG Liz, I have been looking for a great polenta dish for awhile! I’m going to have to try this now! ๐Ÿ™‚ Have you and your family recovered from the conference?

  55. Ah Liz, this looks like comfort food. Esp love that it’s gluten free. Making it soon ! yumm !

  56. I love polenta and this looks and sounds fabulous! What a wonderful fall dish!

  57. I *love* polenta! My husband never had polenta until I introduced him–and that first time he enjoyed it so much I think he ate the whole bowl! This version looks great–I’ll have to give it a try.

  58. I love love love polenta! So tasty!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.