This Instant Pot Polenta is vegetarian, vegan and healthy. If you haven’t had polenta yet, you’ve got to try this recipe!
Everyone raves about Italian pizza and pasta, but I believe polenta deserves just as much love as these two. This north Italian dish is made with coarse ground cornmeal and is a great option for side dish. It’s mild and easily customizable—you can top it with cottage cheese, sour cream, or grilled veggies.
This Instant Pot Polenta recipe is kind of like porridge. Although it is not traditionally served as an oatmeal porridge for the breakfast, I like to enjoy some warm polenta early in the morning on occasion.
Why This Recipe Works
Polenta is such a plain and simple dish but is surprisingly hard to get right using traditional methods. It requires near constant stirring, much like risotto. You usually need to monitor it and add liquid when needed to achieve the proper consistency.
However, that’s changed due to the Instant Pot. This Instant Pot Polenta recipe makes polenta way easier to make, it’s practically foolproof. If you follow these measurements and timing, that’s all you have to worry about. In the controlled environment of the Instant Pot, it will come out perfect without all the fuss.
Coarse polenta – you definitely want to get a coarse grind rather than finely ground or quick cooking polenta to get the ratio and texture right.
Salt – 2 tablespoons of salt may seem like a lot, but trust me, it’s not too salty. It’s just enough to bring out the flavor of the cornmeal. If you’d like, you can reduce the amount of salt according to your taste and dietary restrictions.
Water – I use water to keep it as neutral and adaptable as possible. But you can also use chicken stock or vegetable stock instead of water.
Olive oil – finishing with a little bit of olive oil makes it taste so creamy and decadent! Use high quality extra virgin olive oil. You could also substitute butter.
How to Make Instant Pot Polenta
Gather your ingredients:
Pour water into the Instant Pot. Stir in the polenta and salt, and lock lid. Cook polenta on High pressure for 8 minutes.
To finish, stir in olive oil or butter. You can even use homemade Ghee. Serve polenta warm.
- To make sure to avoid clumps, when you add the polenta, you have to stir it while you add it. You cannot just pour a mound of polenta into the water or it will clump up.
- I like to add some olive oil or butter to make the polenta richer in taste and smoother in texture, but it’s optional! Or if you like to add more than the recipe calls for, that’s fine too
How to Serve Polenta
If you want to turn the polenta into a complete light meal, just top it with your favorite toppings. Here are some options:
Instant Pot Vegan and Healthy Recipes
If you’re looking for Instant Pot vegan recipes, we’ve got plenty of them! Try these next, all offering tons of great health benefits:
FAQ About Polenta
What are different types of polenta?
Polenta is ground cornmeal, but there are two types of polenta, coarsely and finely ground. If you have a coarsely ground polenta, you can process one in a food processor until you have a finer polenta. You can sift it before use to get a smooth polenta dish.
How can I avoid polenta that is too thick?
Just follow the instructions I gave for this Instant Pot polenta recipe. At the first, the polenta may look runny, but as it cools down, the polenta will thicken, so there is no need for extra cooking.
- 2 cups coarse polenta
- 2 tbsp salt
- 8 cup water
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Add water to the Instant Pot, press "saute" and wait for the water to boil.
- Add polenta flour and salt and stir constantly.
- Close the lid and cook on high pressure for 8 minutes.
- When cooking time ends, wait for a natural pressure release.
- Once done, open the lid and stir in olive oil.
- Serve and enjoy 🙂