Creamy Parmesan Polenta

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 Creamy Parmesan Polenta is a great side dish for so many meals.  It has all of the flavor you want from the garlic, the parmesan cheese, and the stock base.  However, the flavors are subtle enough to be a great backdrop for any hero flavors you layer on top of it, whether it’s a Creamy Garlic Parmesan Chicken, Flank Steak, a pork stew, or decadent braised short ribs.

I love pasta, but if you are looking for gluten-free sides or just need something other than pasta or potatoes, polenta is a delicious and easy-to-make alternative.

I used a chicken base in this recipe, but you can swap this with a vegetable base to make this a vegetarian dish.

After bringing the water, garlic, and base to a boil, simply whisk in the cornmeal and cook for 10 minutes while stirring.

Once thick and creamy, remove from the heat and stir in the parmesan cheese.  Finish with butter for the ultimate, over-the-top creamy polenta!


Creamy Parmesan Polenta

Creamy Parmesan Polenta is great alternative to pasta that is slightly nutty and salty from the parmesan and flavorful from the garlic and chicken base.  Swap out the chicken base for vegetable base to make this vegetarian.  It is an amazing creamy backdrop to meats, stews, beans, sauces, and other creations that you want to pair it with!  

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Carrie Tyler


  • 2 cups Water
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp Chicken Base or Vegetable Base
  • 3/4 cup Cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • 1 tbls Butter


  1. Combine the water, minced garlic, and chicken (or veggie) base in a medium sized pot.  Bring to a boil.

  2. Reduce heat to a simmer and slowly whisk in the cornmeal.  Cook for 10 minutes on a low simmer while stirring frequently to prevent clumping.

  3. Once the polenta is thick and creamy (no longer runs off spoon), remove from the heat and stir in the parmesan.  Finish with Butter and serve!

Mexican Chicken & Jalapeño Corn Polenta

This dish is tangy, smoky, and slightly spicy Mexican Chicken and Jalapeno Polenta.  It was created one night with whatever I had on hand in the fridge and pantry, but it was so easy and delicious I thought it worthy to share.

The chili and cumin spices, along with the jalapeno are a nod to Mexican cuisine, which I can never get enough of.  And the ingredients can all be swapped for others that you may have on hand in your kitchen.  For example, use scallions or onion instead of chives.  Use cherry tomatoes instead of grape.  I started to use Coconut Oil in my dishes, but you can certainly use Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

TIP: There is no need to pay 4x as much for a box of Polenta when you can get cornmeal to make polenta.  Save some $$!

For other favorite Mexican Recipes, try the Chicken & Chorizo Enchilada Casserole or the Pork Carnitas Tacos!



Mexi-Chicken & Jalapeño Corn Polenta

Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Mexican
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 people
Author Carrie Tyler



  • 2 Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Tsp coconut oil
  • 1 Tbls Chili Powder
  • 1 Tbls Cumin
  • Salt & Ground Pepper


  • 1 Cup Grape tomatoes
  • 1 Tbls chopped Chives
  • 1 Tsp Coconut Oil
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1 Tbls Chili Powder
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Jalapeño Corn Polenta:

  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbls Butter
  • 1 tsp finely chopped jalapeño without the seeds
  • 2 Tbls corn


  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Rub the chicken breasts with coconut oil, then season with Chili Powder, Cumin, Salt & Pepper. Rub seasoning all over to ensure chicken is fully coated. Place on a backing sheet and roast in the oven for 20 minutes.
  3. In a medium pot, add 2 cups water and ½ cup milk plus 1 tsp salt. Bring to a bowl. Turn down heat to low and whisk in the cornmeal slowly whisking constantly so it doesn’t clump. Keep whisking for about 2 minutes until it starts to thicken slightly. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes to ensure no clumping.
  4. Once the polenta is thick and creamy, stir in the butter, jalapeño, and corn.
  5. Slice the grape tomatoes in half lengthwise and add to a pre-heated sauté pan with 1 tsp coconut oil. Add salt & pepper to taste. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then add add ½ cup chicken broth and cook for another 5 minutes. Whisk in ½ cup sour cream and turn off heat.
  6. After 20 minutes in the oven, remove the chicken and let sit for a few minutes.
  7. Plate the polenta, Chicken, then top with the sauce.