Simple directions on how to cook plain polenta. There are many options for polenta once it is cooked: you can mix in fresh herbs and cheeses, bake it, or fry it! Experiment and choose your favorite technique!

IDAJ

Recipe Summary

prep:
5 mins
cook:
20 mins
total:
25 mins
Servings:
4
Yield:
4 servings
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Ingredients

4
Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Bring water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Pour in polenta steadily, stirring constantly. Continue to stir until polenta is thickened. It should come away from sides of the pan, and be able to support a spoon. This can take anywhere from 20 to 50 minutes. Pour polenta onto a wooden cutting board, let stand for a few minutes.

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Nutrition Facts

110 calories; protein 2.5g 5% DV; carbohydrates 23.5g 8% DV; fat 1.1g 2% DV; cholesterolmg; sodium 10.7mg. Full Nutrition

Reviews (79)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
06/11/2007
This is the basic way to prepare polenta, which is cooked corn meal, I felt like giving it less stars b/c I was annoyed this recipe doesn't mention that. I pictured people walking through the store searching for polenta to add to the water...anyway, 3 parts water, one part cornmeal, and you have polenta. It take minutes to make before it thickens so don't be surprised based on the instructions. I like to chill mine a few hours then cut and grill it and top it with pasta sauce, grilled veggies and parm. yum! Read More
(914)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
12/13/2007
The instructions are not very clear and may confuse some people..."Polenta" is the finished meal..."Corn Meal" is the ingredient that is needed to make POLENTA. also I use 2 cups of cold water to 1 cup of cornmeal for a thicker polenta. To diminish any concerns of lumps just add some corn meal to cold water stir then add it to the boiling water and stir constantly. Read More
(634)
90 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 54
  • 4 star values: 19
  • 3 star values: 10
  • 2 star values: 3
  • 1 star values: 4
Rating: 5 stars
06/11/2007
This is the basic way to prepare polenta, which is cooked corn meal, I felt like giving it less stars b/c I was annoyed this recipe doesn't mention that. I pictured people walking through the store searching for polenta to add to the water...anyway, 3 parts water, one part cornmeal, and you have polenta. It take minutes to make before it thickens so don't be surprised based on the instructions. I like to chill mine a few hours then cut and grill it and top it with pasta sauce, grilled veggies and parm. yum! Read More
(914)
Rating: 3 stars
12/13/2007
The instructions are not very clear and may confuse some people..."Polenta" is the finished meal..."Corn Meal" is the ingredient that is needed to make POLENTA. also I use 2 cups of cold water to 1 cup of cornmeal for a thicker polenta. To diminish any concerns of lumps just add some corn meal to cold water stir then add it to the boiling water and stir constantly. Read More
(634)
Rating: 5 stars
03/19/2007
I've made polenta all my life and have never had it take that long to cook -- usually only a few minutes before it thickens up. It helps eliminate lumps if you mix your cornmeal to a cup of cold water, then add that to boiling water. Great with pesto, tomato and sausage. Read More
(463)
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Rating: 5 stars
10/23/2006
I love polenta! The only difference is my great aunt uses 2 cups cold water to every 1 cup cornmeal. It makes a very firm polenta. This is the way I prefer it since I grew up with it this way. She only serves it with a red (tomato based) gravy but it is also good as a side dish to pot roast with beef gravy. Read More
(125)
Rating: 5 stars
03/06/2006
Hey! It works! Cool! I added chopped sun-dried tomatoes a little of their oil let it cool on plastic wrap rolled it tossed it in the fridge for a while then sliced it fried it and used it with the morrocan chicken recipe from this site. Next time I'll try parm & basil and put a nice red sauce over it. Thanks so much this has added a nice starch to my side dish recipes and staples. Read More
(84)
Rating: 5 stars
08/23/2010
THE classic Italian comfort food IMHO. And unlike other starches that one can dress up like pasta or rice polenta does NOT suck most of the flavor out of the sauce you add do it. I would even go so far as to say it enhances it. Asf for finding something called 'Polenta' in the store some have said no such thing exists rather it is Corn Meal you seek..Well this is only half true. Italian Delicatessens and probably some upscale markets do sell a product called 'Polenta' which is considerably more coarse than ordinary Corn Meal. Corn grits are closer to Polenta than corn meal is... Read More
(70)
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Rating: 5 stars
03/01/2003
I really enjoyed the home-made polenta I made with this recipe! I cut it into chunks about 2" by 2" and simmered it in homemade marinara for a few minutes and it was terrific. Read More
(55)
Rating: 5 stars
09/09/2007
I agree with italiangirl that this needs less water - you just need to cut the heat when you put in the cornmeal. I took it a step further and put in about an eighth cup chopped up sundried tomato and about 3 TBSP prepared jar pesto. (I got the cheap stuff for 2.00 at Wally World). Some people may need salt but it tasted just fine. Turned it our into an 8x8 pan to cool so it would have some shape. I was trying to come up with a way to make it into a tube (cylinder) similar to what is sold in the store but nothing really fit the bill. Read More
(44)
Rating: 5 stars
03/22/2007
Very easy but I only had to cook it for about 5 minutes until it was THICK. I used Quaker Yellow Cornmeal (Enriched and Degerminated)- I wonder if this is "quick cooking" polenta? Either way it turned out good- I'm excited to fry some tomorrow! Read More
(42)