Oven Baked Creamy Cheese Polenta

8 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Oven Baked Creamy Cheese Polenta Recipe – how to make polenta with just 4 ingredients in the oven! No more constant stirring of boiling hot, bubbly polenta – just mix the ingredients and bake!

Polenta recipe baked in the oven and ready to serve

4-INgredient Polenta REcipe

Oven Baked Creamy Cheese Polenta with just four ingredients?! Ok, ok, technically seven. But is it really fair to count water, salt, and pepper? I’m standing by my four ingredient claims. Also, if you have ever made a polenta before on the stove top you will totally appreciate that this polenta recipe comes without any third-degree burns on your arms from molten polenta.

why Baked Polenta

When I first started working as a private chef I had a client who absolutely LOVED polenta. The thing about cooking for clients is you have to always have four or five things cooking at once, so it was the bane of my existence to stand at the stove stirring and avoiding injury every week for polenta. It took me almost three months of weekly stirring before I started making this Oven Baked Creamy Cheese Polenta.

popular cheesy polenta is born

I was thrilled to have to make this Oven Baked Creamy Cheese Polenta every week after that since it was as easy as stir in the ingredients and put it in the oven. The hardest part is letting it cool for a second before you start eating or you’ll end up with basically lava in your mouth.

Oven Baked Creamy Cheese Polenta got to be so popular that it became part of one of my signature dinner party meals. I serve it with braised short ribs and crispy roasted vegetables and it is always a hit.

how to make polenta flavorful

Want to add some other flavors to the mix? Below are some ideas for you to adjust this polenta recipe fit your meal:

  • sauté some garlic and add some fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary to the pot.
  • add some lemon zest, sautéed garlic, lemon juice and olive oil instead of butter.
  • switch up the cheeses you’re using for different takes on it:
    • some pepper jack cheese with a few warm spices like cumin, oregano or garlic powder for a Mexican flavored option.
    • Parmesan cheese with some leeks that have been cooked low and slow in butter.

Quick Tip about this polenta recipe

One last thing, you can make this polenta recipe with either polenta or cornmeal. Let me save you $10.00 and tell you I have done both and people overwhelmingly prefer it made with cornmeal. So go to your grocer and buy an inexpensive bag of cornmeal for just a few dollars and you’ll have enough to make this “polenta” recipe 5 or so times.

Baked Polenta made with four ingredient polenta recipe

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Oven Baked Creamy Cheese Polenta

Oven Baked Creamy Cheese Polenta made with just four ingredients and none of the danger associated with boiling, bubbling hot polenta on the stove you have to keep stirring!
Yield 8 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Side
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 6 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups polenta or yellow cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ½ - 3/4 cup heavy cream or whole milk
  • 3/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Add 6 cups water into dutch oven.
  • Stir in polenta, salt, pepper and butter into water.
  • Bake uncovered 40 minutes.
  • Add in the cream/milk, cheese and stir to combine.
  • Bake for an additional ten minutes, stir and serve immediately garnishing with more cheddar cheese if desired.


Calories: 319kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 708mg | Potassium: 79mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 850IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 107mg | Iron: 0.4mg

Cheesy Polenta made from a polenta recipe with just 4 ingredients!

Oven Baked Creamy Cheese Polenta made with just four ingredients and none of the danger associated with boiling, bubbling hot polenta on the stove you have to keep stirring!
Oven Baked Creamy Cheese Polenta made with just four ingredients and none of the danger associated with boiling, bubbling hot polenta on the stove you have to keep stirring!

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. Giiiiiiirl! You have changed my life! I LOVE POLENTA!!! LIKE it’s one of my favorite foods kind of love! And I too am VERY familiar with the whole stirring time waste / molten lava burns on my arms! This is bloody genius! LOVE LOVE LOVE! I will definitely be using this method going forward…I mean really…You know how sometimes people say “yum I am trying this” no I REALLY AM! It’s too good!

  2. I always forget about polenta…. this recipe looks amazing though! I need to make it as side soon… perfect for summer entertaining~

  3. I have never tried polenta before but this seems like he perfect recipe to start from. It looks terrific!

  4. Polenta is one of my guilty pleasures, love when is creamy just like yours. Yummy pictures too!

  5. I know I would much rather put polenta in the oven then to stand next to the stove stirring! Sign me up!

  6. I love oven polenta…it is so easy and you can make it ahead, too. Yours looks scrummy!

  7. Thanks for the great recipe Sabrina! I absolutely LOVE Creamy Polenta & know the dangers of stirring that lava like goodness. Going on my to make soon list!!