Cheesy Polenta

Cheesy Polenta

By Mark Hinds | Updated August 16, 2022

This cheesy polenta recipe with asiago and parmesan cheese is a versatile dish that can be served as a quick weeknight dinner, as a side dish, or take center stage as the main course in an Italian feast.

Using asiago and parmesan cheese along with fresh basil highlights the polenta’s Italian flavors and creates a dish that compliments roasted pork, chicken, or anything else from the oven or grill.

We like to use Bob’s Red Mill Grits / Polenta in this recipe for its flavor and texture, which is much better than instant grits or polenta.  We also like how they provide a nice friendly reminder on the outside of the package that grits and polenta are the same thing.

A few main dishes we like to serve with this polenta are Rosemary Grilled Shrimp and Grilled Pork Tenderloin.  If you’re looking for veggie side dishes go with Grilled Asparagus or Roasted Carrots with Rosemary and Fennel.

Cheesy Polenta

Cheesy Polenta

4.8 from 4 votes
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8 servings


  • 2 cups polenta
  • 1/2 cup shallots, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1 large pinch baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup asiago cheese, grated
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup basil, minced
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper


  • Place a large pot on medium high heat. Add the butter and sauté the shallots and garlic for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the stock and water to the pot and bring it to a boil.
  • Once the cooking liquid is boiling add the salt and the baking soda, giving everything a good stir. Pour in the polenta, using a whisk or slotted spoon stir the polenta for a couple of minutes to break up any clumps.
  • Turn the heat to low and cover for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes stir everything again, cover, and let the polenta cook for another 25 minutes.
  • While the polenta is cooking shred the asiago and parmesan cheeses and mince the basil.
  • When the polenta has finished cooking add the cheese, basil, and white pepper; stir until everything is thoroughly combined.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and let the polenta stand covered for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • The polenta will continue to thicken as it rests. The polenta is ready to serve when it has reached your desired thickness.
  • A nice touch when serving the polenta is to spread a little shredded cheese across the top or to have some extra cheese on hand for people to add on their own.


This recipe is designed for coarse ground polenta and not for instant polenta. Also, feel free to substitute black pepper for white pepper, the white blends in better and gives the dish a nicer appearance.
You can substitute vegetable stock for the chicken stock to make the dish vegetarian.
Tried this RecipeRate the recipe (we love lots of stars) & leave your thoughts in the comments.
Calories: 298kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 894mg | Potassium: 192mg | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 405IU | Vitamin C: 0.7mg | Calcium: 306mg | Iron: 0.9mg

The nutrition information shown is an estimate based on available ingredients and preparation.

Mark is an experienced food writer, recipe developer, and photographer who is also Umami’s publisher and CEO. A passionate cook who loves to cook for friends, he can often be found in the kitchen or by the grill testing new recipes.

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  1. Dee

    This recipe is awlays a great hit. Easy to make and delicious!