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mascarpone polenta.

So in my never-ending quest to find uses for every last ounce of food in our pantry and fridge, from essentials to extras, last week I experimented with mascarpone cheese.  I had bought it for a tiramisu, then spread it on this pear, bacon and gorgonzola flatbread/pizza to create a sweet and creamy white layer instead of a traditional red pizza sauce.  So I added it to polenta along with some fresh herbs and it made for a smooth and more subtle version of my standard go-to asiago polenta recipe.  I’m inclined to think this polenta would pair well with a very flavorful stew or hearty meat dish, something with a little kick.

From start to finish this recipe took about 10 minutes to make.  It was that simple.  Just a whisk and a pot and you’re in business – minimal cleanup!

And if you’re looking for other uses for mascarpone, may I suggest the following:

  • Spread on toast and top with fruit preserves
  • Mix in a little brown sugar and serve as a dip for berries
  • Toss in a pasta dish for a little creaminess
  • Whip it into squash
  • Spread on a toasted baguette and top with sun dried tomatoes
  • Use it instead of cream cheese in cheesecake
  • Scramble it into eggs

Mascarpone Polenta

(serves 4)

What You’ll Need:

3 cups chicken stock

1 cup cornmeal or polenta

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (I used sage and italian parsley, basil would be great too)

3 tablespoons mascarpone cheese

salt and pepper


In a medium pot, bring the chicken stock to a boil.  Whisk in the cornmeal and stir to thicken, about 2-3 minutes.  Whisk in the butter, herbs and mascarpone into the polenta until it reaches your desired thickness.  If you want the polenta especially thick, you may want to turn on the heat on low and continue whisking an extra minute or two.  Season with salt and pepper.
Serve immediately, as a side dish or with hearty braised meat dishes or stews.
TOTAL:  $2.75 or $.69 per serving.

Wondering how on earth I arrived at these costs?  Take a look at my shopping guide to show see what I pay for items, per serving, etc.


210 calories per serving

9 grams of fat

25 carbs

7 grams protein

2 grams of fiber

Did you give it a try?  Leave me a comment below or over to Facebook and let me know what you think!

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4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jodi Liano has a recipe for a breakfast (or dessert) polenta with mascarpone, using milk, maple syrup and fresh blackberries — so there is a sweet option as well. I love polenta for breakfast, cooked with milk or made into pancakes.

    March 22, 2012
    • Yum! I’ve never had polenta for breakfast but the porridge-y consistency of it seems like it would work well. Thanks for the suggestion!

      March 23, 2012
  2. I’ve never cooked with mascarpone cheese – gasp! I don’t know how I’ve missed out on this – especially since I love using Giada’s cookbooks, and we all know how this is her secret ingredient 🙂

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    March 23, 2012
    • Give it a try and let me know what you think! I think you’ll find it wonderful.

      March 23, 2012

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