Recipes / Creamy Polenta With Parmesan and Sausage

Creamy Polenta With Parmesan and Sausage

By Mark Bittman

Published January 24, 2024

Polenta is such a natural base for so many savory foods — more flavorful than either pasta or mashed potatoes, but somehow just as forgiving — that it’s hard to pick a favorite topping. Having said that, I know what mine is: sausage. The fatty succulence of a banger combined with the lean graininess of the cornmeal is somehow perfect.

Photo: Evan Sung
Photo: Evan Sung
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Make The Recipe!

Creamy Polenta With Parmesan and Sausage

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Makes 4 servings 1x

Time 1 hour



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 good-quality sweet Italian sausages
  • 1 cup medium-to-coarse cornmeal
  • Salt
  • 1/2 to 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Put oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add sausages and cook, turning occasionally, until well browned on all sides and cooked through, about 20 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, put cornmeal in a medium saucepan along with 1 cup water and whisk well to make a slurry; continue whisking mixture to eliminate any lumps. Put pan over medium-high heat, sprinkle with salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook, whisking frequently and adding water as needed to keep mixture loose and free of lumps, between 3 and 4 more cups. If mixture becomes too thick, simply add a bit more water; consistency should be similar to sour cream’s.
  3. Polenta will be done in 15 to 30 minutes, depending on grind. Add cheese and butter. Taste and add salt, if necessary, and lots of pepper; serve topped with sausages.

— Recipe from The New York Times