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Savory Soft Polenta - Cheesy, creamy Italian comfort food!

Today’s recipe for Savory Soft Polenta is actually a bit of tease to get you to check out this Scottiglia recipe

Of course, this Savory Soft Polenta is wonderful! Soft, creamy, cheesy polenta is one of my all-time favorite Italian comfort foods, and we made it even better by adding in some savory flavors including diced and sautéed celery and onions, plus garlic, and a collection of herbs and seasonings.

Savory Soft Polenta - Cheesy, creamy Italian comfort food!

I’m more than content eating a bowl full of this simple, comforting dish all by itself!  But – we actually made this Savory Soft Polenta to be served alongside our Scottiglia – an Italian meat stew recipe that you can see right here.

And – do you see that gorgeous Wolf Gourmet Stainless Steel Cookware in the picture above?  It is some of the nicest cookware we’ve had the chance to use, and better yet – we’re giving away one of those pans to a lucky A Family Feast reader!  Don’t miss out on the details in this post – you really do want some of that cookware for your kitchen!

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Savory Soft Polenta - A Family Feast

Savory Soft Polenta

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings


  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 cup celery, finely diced
  • 1 cup onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dry rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon dry oregano
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ½ cup coarse yellow corn meal
  • ½ cup semolina
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup grated Fontina cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped


  1. In a 3 quart saucepan over medium high heat, add ¼ cup of butter and heat to melt. Add celery, onions, garlic, rosemary, oregano, salt and pepper and sauté for five minutes or until tender.
  2. Add stock, raise heat to high and bring to a boil.
  3. Add cream and heat just until it begins to bubble.
  4. Lower heat to medium low and add corn meal and semolina. Cook for about five minutes or until the mixture is thick and creamy and the corn meal has softened.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in the Parmesan, Fontina and parsley.
  6. Serve immediately with the remaining butter.

You may also like:

Scottiglia (Italian Mixed Meat Stew)

Scottiglia - A Family Feast

Grilled Polenta with Bacon Jam

Grilled Polenta with Bacon Jam - A Family Feast

Creamy Polenta with Broccoli Rabe


Savory Soft Polenta - Cheesy, creamy Italian comfort food!

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  • IFortuna wrote:

    What kind of cornmeal are you using that only takes 5 minutes to cook? I have cooked mine for up to 40 minutes! Then I found instant. Thankfully! I hated making this but I love polenta. However, I will stand at my stove for 30 minutes to produce a delicious risotto.
    I hope your recipe does not disappoint me. It looks wonderful ! : )

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi – Great question! We used the Quaker brand corn meal and although it doesn’t state that it is an instant corn meal, it definitely cooks much quicker than other corn meal brands we’ve used. (I’ve seen plenty of polenta recipes that say to cook for 40 minutes…it seems that different brands of corn meal have widely varying cooking times.) You can use an instant corn meal/polenta as well. Hope you love the recipe!

  • Lori wrote:

    This recipe looks really good. I am looking for a good shrimp and grits
    recipe, would this be suitable for the grits part of the recipe? Or if you have any other ideas, it would be greatly appreciated.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Lori – Yes! Polenta is very similar to grits (both made from corn). Our polenta has cheese in it too – but you can leave that out if you’d like to be more like traditional grits. Hope that helps!

  • Medeja wrote:

    I have never tried polenta, but it looks really good!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Medeja!

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