Parmesan-Ricotta Polenta

Cooked polenta with butter and parmesan cheese in aluminum

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  • Total: 30 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 4 portions (4 servings)

In this polenta recipe, creamy ricotta cheese adds luxurious richness without a lot of fat, while parmesan cheese gives it depth and complexity. The best pan for making polenta is a saucier, which has sloped sides and a rounded base, making it easy for a whisk or spoon to stir thoroughly. Leftovers can be made into pan-fried polenta cakes.

Cooking Equipment Needed:


  • 1 cup water (more as needed)
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup polenta
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup low-fat ricotta cheese (divided)
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons whole basil leaves

Steps to Make It

  1. In a saucier pan or saucepan, combine the water and milk. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. When it simmers, sprinkle the polenta gradually into the pot, stirring briskly with a whisk to prevent lumps from forming. Add a pinch of salt and continue simmering over medium-low heat, stirring frequently with a whisk.

  2. Cook for about 20 minutes, until the polenta does not have a gritty mouthfeel when tasted. Stir in 1/4 cup ricotta cheese and parmesan cheese and stir with a whisk or wooden spoon until the cheese is melted.

  3. While the polenta is cooking, chiffonade the basil leaves: stack the leaves and roll tightly into a cigar shape. Use a knife to cut through the roll crosswise to make thin shreds of basil. Set aside.

  4. To serve, spoon a portion of polenta (about 1/2 cup) onto each plate. Top with a dollop of about 1 tablespoon ricotta cheese and sprinkle with some of the basil chiffonade. Serve immediately.

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