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Creamy Polenta with Balsamic Glaze

This delicious and easy side dish goes incredibly well with braised meat. It makes any meal feel a little more elevated.—Sarah Vasques, Milford, New Hampshire
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. Cook: 2 hours
  • Makes
    4 servings


  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1-1/2 cups half-and-half cream, divided
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  • In medium saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add 1 cup cream, milk and salt. Bring to a low simmer. Gradually whisk in cornmeal. Cook and stir for 3 minutes.
  • Pour polenta into a 3-quart slow cooker coated with cooking spray. Cook, covered, on low for 2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring vinegar and sugar to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, until reduced to 1/3 cup. Just before serving, stir cheese and the remaining cream and butter into polenta. To serve, drizzle with balsamic glaze.

Test Kitchen tips
  • Don't try to speed this recipe along by cooking on high, or the outer edge is likely to get browned.
  • This makes a generous amount of balsamic glaze. A drizzle would also complement pork chops or roasted chicken.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1/2 cup polenta with 1 tablespoon glaze: 415 calories, 25g fat (16g saturated fat), 89mg cholesterol, 494mg sodium, 37g carbohydrate (25g sugars, 1g fiber), 9g protein.

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    • Kimber
      Jan 22, 2021

      This was excellent. I served this as a side dish with a hearty beef stew and it was a hit. We even put some on top of the stew. I will make this again and again. I did not make the balsamic glaze since I have my own.

    • gaylene2
      Oct 18, 2018

      My family loved this alternative to mashed potatoes. We broiled some pork chops and added the delicious balsamic glaze on both meat and polenta and the "ummm's" and the "ooo's" around the table were delightful to hear! We'll be having more of this soon!