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Creamy Polenta

Polenta, a northern Italian staple, is a dish made from ground cornmeal that is cooked into a porridge-like consistency.

  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings


  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground mace
  • 1 3/4 cups stone-ground polenta (coarse cornmeal)
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone or cream cheese


  • Combine the milk, chicken stock, butter, salt, white pepper, and mace in a large saucepan, and bring to a boil over high heat. Whisk in the polenta and stir continuously until the mixture begins to thicken. Then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring frequently, for 30 minutes, or until the polenta is creamy and tender.
  • Add the Parmesan and the mascarpone, and stir to blend. Remove from the heat and stir for 3 minutes to cool the polenta.
  • Serve immediately or keep warm until ready to use. (Leftover polenta is easily reheated in a small saucepan with a little water or milk to soften it.)