Creamy Cheddar Polenta

So creamy, so cheesy, so delicious. This recipe, from Mark Bittman by ways of, was easy to make, and so yummy. Polenta could take the wrong turn in a matter of minutes, from using too much salt, or it drying up too quickly. Follow this to the tee, and you would be satisfied.


  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2-3 cups water (don't worry, the instructions will tell you how much to use. I freaked out a little when I first saw it. Is it 2 cups or 3 cups?! I don't want runny polenta!)
  • 1 cup cornmeal, medium grind
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded (I used regular sharp cheddar)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Bring the milk, 2 cups of the water, and a very large pinch of salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to a low simmer and add cornmeal in a slow and steady stream, constantly whisking to prevent lumps.
  2. Polenta should be at a bare simmer, and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the mixture gets too thick, add water, 1/2 cup at a time. (I did this twice, yielding 1 cup of water extra.)
  3. Remove from heat, stir in butter and olive oil, and then stir in cheddar cheese. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately.