Rule #224: Cheesy Polenta is the ultimate One Stop Shop for a delicious, quick, and easy side dish.
Polenta is one of the easiest, most delicious side dish recipes that you can have. It’s perfect for a busy weeknight dinner when you want to have something easy to serve with a delicious main dish. This recipe needs only 5 ingredients, all of which have a long shelf-life, and comes together in just 5 minutes.
An Easy, Low Calorie, Keto Friendly Side Dish
This polenta recipe makes 4 good sized servings coming in at under 100 calories, 14g net carbs, and under 2g of fat. One of my favorite things about this easy side is that I usually have all 5 ingredients on hand: polenta, shredded cheese, chicken stock, Kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
The heat-and-eat polenta can be found in any grocery store, usually near the pasta section. I’ve never been to the store (even during the pandemic) and not been able to find it. The best part about this polenta is that it lasts for a while in the pantry.
You can even halve the recipe and refrigerate the remaining polenta for another time. It will last in the fridge for about 2 weeks. That’s typically what I do when I make this for Jon Boy and myself. I’ll make it one night, and then a few weeks later, I’ll use up the other half.
How to Cook Cheesy Polenta
All you have to do is crumble the polenta into pea-sized bits with your hand.
It’s okay if there are a few larger pieces. You can just smash those up later with a fork.
Add in some Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Then add in some shredded cheese. Parmesan, Gruyere, and Manchego all work well. You want a hard, dry cheese (not really mozzarella or cheddar). Grated Parmesan lasts for a long time in the fridge which makes it perfect for this kind of recipe.
Then, add in a little chicken stock to thin the polenta a bit.
Stir to combine, mashing larger polenta pieces with a fork.
I like to garnish our Cheesy Polenta with a few chopped chives just for a pop of color.
What to Eat with Cheesy Polenta
1 (18-oz.) package polenta (heat and eat)
1 cup chicken stock
¼ cup shredded cheese (Parmesan, Gruyere, Manchego are all great)
½ tsp. Kosher salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, crumble the polenta with your hands into pea-sized bits. Add in the remaining ingredients, stirring to combine with a fork. Smash up any large pieces of polenta with the back of the fork.
Cook for 5 minutes, until cheese has melted and mixture is warmed through. Garnish with chopped chives, if desired.