Basic Polenta Recipe

Basic Polenta Recipe

Polenta recipe is not hard, but the beginners in the kitchen will need some basic explanations. I only realised I had to show this recipe when my Sofia expressed her desire to cook polenta by herself. But I'm sure even the ones more advanced in the kitchen will be able to find out something interesting in the steps below.

So, here is the classic homemade polenta recipe, always perfect, explained in the steps below and accessible to everyone!


Yellow cornmeal
1 cup
ground coarse, medium or fine; use the same cup to measure the cornmeal and the water
3 cups
half of the water can be replaced with milk, for a better taste
1 tsp
30 g
for the vegan version, skip

Step by step


On the cooker:

Pour 3 cups of cold water in a heavy-bottomed pot, preferably.

Notice you must use the same glass or cup for measuring the water and the cornmeal.


Place the pot over heat, add 1 tsp salt and mix until it dissolves completely.


When the water comes to a boil, pour cornmeal slowly into water, stirring constantly with a wire whisk.

It's necessary to use a wire whisk when making polenta, this way it won't have lumps. You can use a wooden spoon as well, but you'll see you'll have to be more careful and it will be harder to get rid of the lumps.


After stirring for a while, reduce heat to low and let simmer.

While boiling, polenta will splash all over the place, so the kitchen will be quite messy.


Let simmer for 10 minutes over low heat, whisking often. At the end, the mixture will become thicker and the grains should be swollen.

Now you can add the butter in, let melt. Stir with the wire whisk one last time and turn off heat.


Serve polenta right away. If it sits in the pot for more than 10 minutes, it will thicken too much and will lose its creamy texture.

Transfer a few tbsp on a plate - that's the easiest way of serving polenta.


Top with any type of white cheese you like and with sour cream and enjoy!

Of course you can add to it cracklings, sausages, pork stew or scrambled eggs, but it's still delicious even without.


In the microwave: 

You need a medium deep microwave bowl - of glass or special plastic. Pour in 3 cups of water and 1 cup of cornmeal.


Stir well with a wire whisk and microwave for 5 minutes.


Remove and stir the mixture again with a wire whisk.

You'll notice it will be harder at the beginning, because the grains will swell and sink to the bottom. Insist and everything will be alright.


This is what it should look like at this point, the mixture is supposed to be smooth and without lumps.

Microwave for another 5 minutes.


Then stir in the salt and butter, mix and serve like any regular polenta.


If you want a perfect round shape, for small or large portions, I suggest this simple method: 

- take a cup,  bowl, deep plate etc. and grease with butter or oil.


- spoon some polenta while it's still hot and not that thick into this cup, bowl or plate;

- press and even out with a spoon. Let stand on the table for 5-10 minutes.


Then flip the bowl over on a plate. Notice it looks neat and nicely served.

Serve while warm with anything you like. 


P.S. By the way, you can slice the cold polenta and fry in a little oil or butter, it's delicious!

Quantity: 4 servings
Prep time: 20 min
Difficulty: easy
Ready in: 5 min
Publish date:

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