You’ll immediately fall in love with this creamy parmesan polenta! This Italian dish is super delicious, creamy, and perfect as a breakfast, side dish, or a quick dinner with toppings of your choice.
Polenta in Italy is served in Italy on a big wooden board and garnished with many different toppings – one of the most common ones is parmesan and herbs. Most commonly in Italy, polenta is served as a side dish alongside meat or fish, as a substitute for potatoes or rice.
But that’s not everything – polenta can also be enjoyed baked. Once cooked, the polenta can be transferred to an oven-safe dish and baked until crispy. Polenta fries can also be made out of this simple porridge.
Ingredients you’ll need to make polenta:
To make this parmesan polenta, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Polenta of course – different polenta types have different cooking time and require different amounts of water. For this recipe, you’ll need instant polenta, which cooks in just around 3-4 minutes;
- vegetable broth – to add additional flavor to the polenta; the broth can be substituted with regular water, but the taste may vary slightly;
- parmesan – it’s best to use freshly grated parmesan, but if you don’t have this on hand, you can also use pre grated parmesan;
- olive oil – the olive oil and can be added with the broth or just before taking the polenta out of the heat; you can substitute the olive oil with regular oil or butter;
- salt and pepper to taste
Best toppings for this parmesan polenta
I love having polenta plain with grated parmesan that’s been melted while cooking the polenta and then garnished with some more parmesan on top. Here are a few of my favorite toppings that I love adding:
- A good old Greek yogurt for breakfast goes perfect with the polenta. The tangy yogurt and creamy polenta just go perfectly well together;
- Grilled mushrooms with spinach – is another one that I love preparing whenever mushrooms and spinach are in season. They go perfectly with the nutty flavor of the parmesan and the creaminess of the polenta;
- Cooked peas, steamed asparagus, broccoli, and fresh herbs on top. You can either add the peas inside the polenta on just sprinkle them on top and finish with some more parmesan;
Storage and reheating:
Polenta is best enjoyed right after it has been cooked. Once the polenta gets cold, it will harden up. Here are a few tips on how to warm up cold polenta and different ways to use leftover polenta.
- You can reheat the polenta by adding it back onto the stove over medium heat. Pour a tablespoon or two of water and a touch of olive oil. Once the polenta starts to warm up and starts sizzling in the pan, lower the heat down. Whisk slowly until the polenta gets warm and creamy. If you feel like it’s not creamy enough, you can add a splash of water a bit more olive oil. One thing to keep in mind when adding more water is that you’ll need to check because the polenta might need more salt.
- If you have leftover polenta, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. I also love making french fries from polenta. You can reheat the polenta with the instructions above and then spread it out in a sheet pan and leave it to cool down covered with plastic foil directly on the polenta. Cut the cold polenta into french fries, toss them into some olive oil and bake for 20-39 minutes on 430F/220C.
You’ll also love to try:
Creamy Parmesan Polenta
- 480 g 2 cups vegetable stock
- 100 g 1/2 cup instant polenta
- 40 g parmesan
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp / 20g butter
- Add a medium pot on the stove and pour vegetable stock. Season the stock with salt and pepper
- Once the stock starts to boil slowly begin adding the polenta while constantly whisking.
- Once you add all the polenta, bring the heat to medium-low. Cover the pot and let the polenta simmer for 30 seconds.
- Add the grated parmesan and continue whisking for 1-2 minutes or until you reach the desired consistency. Add the oil and whisk.
- Take the polenta out of the heat, add the butter and mix until it's fully melted
- Transfer it to bowls and garnish with some more grated parmesan cheese.
- Make sure to mix the polenta constantly with a whisk to prevent lumps from forming;
- If you’d like you can switch the olive oil with butter;
- Polenta is best when served warm, if you’d like to reheat the polenta you can put it back on the stove over medium heat. Add a tablespoon or two water along with some olive oil and whisk to combine. Once the polenta starts to get warm lower the heat down a little bit and continue whisking until you reach the desired consistency;