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Creamy Parmesan Polenta with Thyme

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: creamy parmesan polenta, creamy polenta recipe, polenta recipe, polenta with parmesan
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 392kcal
Author: Samantha Ferraro
Cost: $5


  • Olive oil for drizzling
  • 1 small shallot finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme leaves removed + more for garnish
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes optional
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp heavy cream


  • In a small to medium sized pot over medium heat, drizzle with olive oil and add chopped shallot. Saute for 2-3 minutes until color just starts to change, but not too dark.
  • Add the chopped garlic, thyme leaves and red pepper flakes, if using and saute for another minute.
  • Pour in stock and bring to a boil. Once boiling, whisk in cornmeal and reduce heat to low-medium, if needed.
  • Continue whisking for a good 5 minutes until polenta thickens. Then whisk in grated Parmesan, salt and pepper, butter and heavy cream.
  • Continue whisking and turn heat off. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.
  • When serving, garnish with an extra drizzle of olive oil, thyme leaves and a grating of Parmesan cheese.


  • Polenta is a blank canvas so use aromatics to increase it's flavor potential, such as stock, shallots, garlic and fresh herbs.
  • As the polenta cools, it will thicken up. Add a bit more stock or cream and whisk it to thicken.
  • To re-heat creamy polenta, just whisk in more stock or cream over low heat until it loosens and gets creamy.
  • Parmesan is classic in cheesy polenta, but other cheeses such as shredded gouda and Gruyere would be fantastic.
  • If you don't have heavy cream, sour cream or full fat yogurt is a good substitute.


Calories: 392kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 841mg | Potassium: 426mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 635IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 159mg | Iron: 2mg