Creamy Parmesan Polenta

Polenta is a basic staple that is eaten all over the world, probably because it only has two main ingredients: corn meal and a liquid. It is prepared in many countries of eastern Europe, North and South America, Africa, and even the Caribbean Islands. In the southern part of the United States, polenta is similar to grits. However, grits is usually made with coarsely ground alkali-treated corn called hominy. I’ll stick with my simple and creamy Parmesan polenta for now though.

Creamy Parmesan Polenta

Making polenta is quick and easy. It’s packed full of flavor and pairs well with grilled steak. In my opinion, the most important part of making Parmesan polenta is using a really good Parmesan cheese.

I’ll repeat that. A really good Parmesan cheese.

None of the pre-grated stuff out of a can is acceptable. If you skimp on Parmesan, I promise that this polenta won’t be as good as it could be. I try and find a Parmesan with an extra-sharp flavor. Then, I can be confident that the complex flavor will shine through in my dishes.

Creamy Parmesan Polenta

If you’ve seen some of my latest recipes, you’ll know that I’ve developed a bit of an obsession with using almond milk over regular milk. I started drinking it a lot after working out and have made it my mission to use it in my dishes. Usually, I think it works well.

When I tried making a polenta with almond milk, the flavor was definitely sub-par. I stood at my stove trying to mask the almond milk flavor. I added more Parmesan, garlic, herbs, sweat, and tears. Just kidding.

Seriously though, I could never get the polenta to taste as good as its milk counterpart. I promised myself that from now on, I would use good Parmesan cheese and real cow’s milk. It just tastes so good.

If you’ve ever used almond milk in polenta please let me know! I’m open to suggestions.

Layered Ratatouille Casserole with Creamy Parmesan Polenta

I served my polenta with a Layered Ratatouille Casserole and a grilled beef tenderloin steak. So good! You should definitely head over and check out the Ratatouille recipe, it’s one of my favorites!

Creamy Parmesan Polenta
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
  • ¾ cup yellow corn meal
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1¾ cup water
  • ¾ cup Parmesan, freshly grated
  • 2 tbsp butter, unsalted
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • fresh Italian herbs (optional)
  1. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the milk and water to a simmer.
  2. Slowly add the corn meal and whisk to combine. Once all of the corn meal has been incorporated, reduce the heat to low. Add a pinch of salt. Stir vigorously every few minutes.
  3. Cook the polenta until all of the liquid has been absorbed and the corn meal is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Stir in the butter and Parmesan cheese. Add chopped fresh Italian herbs, if desired. Season with additional salt and pepper. Enjoy!