Recipes Side Dishes Basics Polenta with Parmesan

Polenta with Parmesan

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6

An excellent side dish for braised and roasted meats, polenta is also great served with sautéed mushrooms or roasted vegetables for a comforting vegetarian main dish.


  • 8 cups (64 fl. oz./2 l) chicken broth
  • 2 cups (12 1/2 oz./390 g) Italian polenta
  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) (2 oz./60 g) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup (3/4 oz./20 g) grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


In a large saucepan over high heat, bring the broth to a boil. While stirring continuously with a wooden spoon, add the polenta in a thin, steady stream until incorporated, then continue stirring to prevent lumps from forming. Reduce the heat to medium-low so the mixture bubbles occasionally. Cook, stirring and scraping the bottom and sides of the pan frequently, until the polenta is thick and starts to pull away from the sides of the pan and is no longer gritty, about 30 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the butter a few cubes at a time, then stir in the Parmesan. Season the polenta to taste with salt and pepper. Divide the polenta among warmed bowls and serve immediately, garnished with more Parmesan. Serves 4 to 6.

Williams-Sonoma Test Kitchen