This Cheesy Garlic Polenta recipe is an elegant side dish, and a nice alternative to potatoes or rice. It’s creamy, dreamy, and delish!

a hot pot of Cheesy Garlic Polenta

Polenta screams fall comfort food. Not only does it pair perfectly with so many foods, it is simple to make and so versatile—you can grill it, bake it, and use it as a base for almost anything, including soups, or even chili. Or, I have to say this is my favorite Polenta Nectarine Feta Bites appetizer!

Cheesy Garlic Polenta Recipe

It also doesn’t require much. If you don’t have garlic, onion, or cheese, don’t sweat it!

Simply use a generous amount of olive oil or butter, salt, pepper and any dairy you have on hand.

stirring a pot of Cheesy Garlic Polenta

Onions, butter, and cheese are the perfect addition to any polenta recipe. Oh, and garlic!

whisking a pot of Cheesy Garlic Polenta Recipe

Ingredients for cheesy garlic polenta:

  • Olive oil
  • Onion + garlic
  • Chicken or vegetable broth
  • Polenta
  • Butter
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Whole milk
  • Gruyere cheese
  • Kosher salt

side dish: Cheesy Garlic Polenta Recipe

For this recipe, cornmeal is transformed into a creamy side dish. Mm-m-m … so good! And I’ve been a big fan for years. My mom never made this dish growing up, so it became new to me as an adult.

I’m not sure if you knew, but polenta is an amazing Italian recipe of fine, cooked cornmeal in a seasoned broth, finished off with butter and Parmesan cheese. Oh, so cheesy good.

Garlic Polenta Recipe with cheese

What is the difference between polenta and cornmeal?

The difference between cornmeal and polenta? They are almost exactly the same product, except for the consistency of the grain. Polenta is more coarsely ground, which makes a “polenta dish” less mushy, with a little more bite to it than cornmeal.

whisking Cheesy Garlic Polenta Recipe

My tips for making polenta:

Reheating polenta: Add back into a medium-size pot over low heat, and add in a small amount of warm chicken stock, until you get the right consistency you are looking for. Easy!

Make-ahead: Make a few days ahead of time—no problem.

Add other veggies, mushrooms, or even cayenne pepper, for a kick!

Storing polenta: Store it covered in the refrigerator for up to three days.

hot pot of Cheesy Garlic Polenta Recipe

It is ok to substitute unsalted butter for olive oil when cooking the onions.

You can substitute the chicken stock for vegetable stock.

DELISH as leftovers! We love leftovers!

fall tree yellow branches

Being grateful for the day

This time of year moves us into the season of “thanksgiving.”

Here are a few tips I’m embracing every day:

  • Embrace the beauty of the day. What is beautiful about this day, what are you grateful for? Put past regrets behind you!
  • Grace is amazing, indeed. Unmerited, undeserved favor. Give yourself a ton of grace. And be merciful to others!
  • Relationships change in life, and boundaries happen. Accept the changes and love the ones who are gathered around your table this month and holiday season!

ENJOY and Happy November!

More polenta recipes to try:

Baked Turkey Meatballs on polenta

Creamy polenta

Browned Butter Rosemary Scallops with Mascarpone Polenta

a hot pot of Cheesy Garlic Polenta
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Cheesy Garlic Polenta Recipe

Polenta screams fall comfort food. Not only does it pair perfectly with so many foods, it is simple to make and so versatile—you can grill it, bake it, and use it as a base for almost anything, including soups or even chili. It also doesn’t require much. If you don't have garlic, onion, or cheese, don't sweat it! Simply use a generous amount of olive oil or butter, salt, pepper and any dairy you have on hand.

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 quarts 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup polenta
  • 3 Tbsp butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 c Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 c whole milk, warmed
  • 1/2 c Gruyere cheese
  • Kosher salt to taste

Instructions

  • In a 2-3 qt pot or Dutch oven, add olive oil over medium-high heat. When shimmery, add onions, reduce heat to medium, and stir for 5-7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for an additional 5 minutes or so. When the aromatics have softened and the bottom of the pan begins to brown, add the chicken stock and scrape the bottom.
  • Bring the broth to a boil over high heat, then add the polenta, whisking constantly, to avoid clumping, for about 3 minutes, before turning heat to low. Simmer, stirring every 8 minutes or so, until polenta is cooked to your desired texture—we prefer a bit al dente (soft, with a hint of firmness in the center of the grain). The cook time will vary on the grind of your polenta; courser grinds will take longer, up to 45 minutes, while a finer grind may only take 20 minutes or so. Remove from heat, stir in the milk, cheeses, and butter, and taste for salt.
  • Serve warm with meat, chicken, mushrooms, or with browned butter, pepper, tomatoes, and fresh lemon!
Did you make this recipe?Tag @reluctantentertainer on Instagram and hashtag it #reluctantentertainer!

stirring pot of Cheesy Garlic Polenta Recipe

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