Saffron Polenta



Serving size

about 1 cup
60 Minutes

This recipe can be multiplied, and leftover polenta should be reheated gently. Active cooking time is only about 20 minutes, but the saffron must steep for 30 minutes.

Saffron Polenta


2 cup Water
1/4 tsp. Saffron
1/2 cup Yellow cornmeal (polenta)
1 ounce Parmesan cheese (grated)


Place the water in a small sauce pan over high heat.

When the water boils, add the saffron threads and remove from the heat. Let the saffron steep for about 30 minutes.

Return the pan to the burner over high heat.

When the water is almost boiling, slowly whisk in the cornmeal and reduce the heat to medium, whisking almost continuously.

Cook for about 10 minutes until the polenta is thick.

Whisk in the grated parmesan and serve.

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Special Diet Information

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GERD / Acid Reflux

No specific GERD triggers.


This recipe contains cheese and some of those who are lactose intolerant may be able to tolerate it.

Coumadin® (Warfarin)

This recipe is safe for Coumadin (warfarin) users.

Gluten Sensitivity

This recipe is safe for those who are sensitive to gluten.


This is a low sodium recipe.

Recipe Notes

I had a version of this saffron polenta while traveling in England. It is so simple and the saffron brings a subtle but elegant flavor to the dish. It is great served alongside the Mediterranean Shrimp but almost any fish or chicken will work great.

The key to making great polenta is to use good quality coarser ground cornmeal and add it to the slowly boiling water while whisking. This will keep the cornmeal from forming clumps and then cooking it very slowly and whisking almost continuously will cook the cornmeal and create a rich, creamy dish.

"Polenta is to northern Italy what bread is to Tuscany, what pasta is to Emilia-Romagna and what rice is to the Veneto: easy to make, hungry to absorb other flavours, and hugely versatile."

Yotam Ottolenghi