Parmesan-Ricotta Polenta

Cooked polenta with butter and parmesan cheese in aluminum

Violeta Pasat / Getty Images

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
105 Calories
5g Fat
8g Carbs
7g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 105
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 7%
Saturated Fat 3g 16%
Cholesterol 18mg 6%
Sodium 281mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 200mg 15%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 150mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

In this polenta recipe, creamy ricotta cheese adds luxurious richness, while Parmesan cheese gives it depth and complexity. The best pan for making this parmesan-ricotta polenta dish is a saucier, while similar to a saucepan, it has sloped sides and a rounded base, making it easy for a whisk or spoon to stir thoroughly. 

Polenta is popular comfort food in Italy and consists of boiled cornmeal. It can be compared to Southern grits. A very versatile dish, polenta is popular for breakfast as a cereal, and also eaten at lunch or dinner.

Enjoy this polenta instead of potatoes or rice with your meal. It's great with steamed veggies or as a side with roasted chicken or steak. 


  • 1 cup water, or more as needed

  • 1 cup low-fat milk

  • 1/2 cup polenta

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • 1/2 cup low-fat ricotta cheese, divided

  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

  • 2 tablespoons basil leaves

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a saucier or saucepan, combine 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.

  3. Cook for about 20 minutes, until 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 cheese is melted.

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

  5. 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.


  • If you have any leftovers, cold polenta is great cut into squares or circles and sauteed in butter to make pan-fried polenta cakes.

How to Store

  • Cooked polenta can be stored in the refrigerator for two to three days in an airtight container. You can reheat polenta in the microwave or on the stove; just gently stir it once in a while until it's warm. If it seems like it's too thick, water or milk can be added to get the consistency you desire.
  • This polenta dish does not freeze well.

Recipe Tags: