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!
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.
- 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.