A plate of gnocchi with vegetables and basil.

Cheesy Polenta – Alison Mountford

by Chef Alison Mountford, contributing chef

Notes – I love a bowl of creamy Cheesy Polenta on a cold evening. Sometimes I just have a bowl, but if you want to make it a meal, add roasted vegetables or meat.

5 cups water

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 ½ cups yellow corn polenta

3 Tablespoons butter

2-3 cups shredded cheese

¼ cup cream cheese

Bring 5 cups of water and 1 teaspoon kosher salt to a boil in a large pot. Pour 1 ½ cups of polenta slowly into boiling water, whisking constantly, until all polenta is stirred in and there are no lumps.

Reduce heat to low and simmer, whisking often, until polenta starts to thicken, about 5 minutes. Polenta mixture should still be quite loose. Cover and cook for 30-35 minutes, whisking every 5 to 6 minutes. Melt in 3 Tablespoons butter.

Switch to stirring with a wooden spoon if easier to stir. Gradually melt in the shredded cheeses and cream cheese. I like to use an assortment – mozzarella, cheddar, gruyere, havarti, provolone, etc. Anything that melts!

Serve with roasted veggies, fish or meat.


Downloadable/printable recipe:


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Chef Alison Mountford is the founder of Ends+Stems – which is a meal planning membership and recipe website to reduce food waste. “Chef Alison” also hosts a series of online courses for easier weeknight meals and feeding picky eaters with less stress. Alison began in 2005 as a personal chef and caterer in San Francisco but she recently returned home to Rhode Island!

She is passionate about helping families eat well together, with less frustration. Alison is often hired as a speaker to share about household food waste, feeding busy families, and sustainability in the kitchen; she’s appeared many times on The Rhode Show and other podcasts and webinars.

Alison is also the Market Coordinator at Hope & Main – Rhode Island only culinary incubator – where she loves helping new food businesses expand their social media, brand, and increase sales at the farmer’s markets!