Instant Pot Polenta


Everyone raves about Italian pizza and pasta, but I believe the polenta deserves as much love as these two. This north Italian dish is made with coarse ground cornmeal and is a great option for side dish. You can top it with cottage cheese, sour cream, or grilled veggies.

The polenta is a kind of porridge. Although it is not traditionally served as an oatmeal porridge for the breakfast, I like sometimes to enjoy some warm polenta early in the morning.

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 to avoid lumps in the polenta?

There is no big secret for a perfect Instant Pot polenta – you just have to stir polenta while you add it. You cannot pour a mound of polenta into the water. I also like to add some olive oil or butter to make the polenta richer in taste and smoother in texture.

Polenta with cheese

How to avoid toot thick polenta?

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.

How to serve polenta?

You can serve polenta as a side dish, with meat cuts, fish, or poultry. A perfectly cooked polenta is an excellent side dish that goes very well with pulled pork, beef steak or chicken breast.

If you want to turn the polenta into a complete light meal, just top it with your favorite toppings. Here are some options:

Cottage cheese
Sour cream
Cheddar cheese
Grilled veggies
Steamed vegetables

How to make polenta

Gather your ingredients:

Pour water into Instant Pot. Stir in polenta and salt, and lock lid. Cook polenta on High pressure for 8 minutes.

Stir in olive oil or butter. You can even use homemade Ghee. Serve polenta warm.

Instant Pot polenta
4.5 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast, Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: coarse polenta, polenta
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
  • 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 🙂
Calories: 124kcal Fat: 14g Saturated Fat: 2g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 10g Sodium: 14048mg Potassium: 3mg Calcium: 66mg Iron: 1mg

Best Instant Pot Polenta


This recipe is part of our 1001 Instant Pot recipes project, a huge collection of free, easy and delicious recipes.

11 thoughts on “Instant Pot Polenta

    1. It’s just course ground grits . Its Italian rather than Southern grits. Shrimp and grits is another variation of polenta . Southern Italians let it set or chill polenta then pour sauce over it for a quick lunch or a great dinner side or main dish. Italian and Cajun or Creole is very much combined here in Southern Louisiana

  1. You can also pour the hot polenta into a greased shallow baking dish. Smooth out the polenta and let it cool. Place in fridge and let it set and firm up. Cut into squares or circles. Place in a hot saute pan or griddle and brown on both sides. Top with sauce as a main dish.

      1. Yes! This is more of the next day version– creamy polenta. This type is better suited for the Instant Pot.

  2. My Italian In-laws did a very traditional Italian serving of polenta. They called it polenta-on-the-board. They had a custom made board (as big as their table) and would spread the polenta out on the board when it was ready. Then it would be topped with homemade pasta sauce and ground up and browned homemade sausage and of course a very good italian cheese. We would all sit around the board and you would stake out your claim (by sectioning off an area), pick up your fork and dig in. It was an amazing tradition that I enjoyed so much and it was always delicious.

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