A popular food in Northern Italy is Polenta, a cornmeal porridge. Before its introduction, Polenta was a common European dish; it was not made from corn. The meal, a gruel that could be created with various grains and legumes, predates the Roman Empire. The name derives from the Latin term for “pearled grain” (like barley).
The first useful thing is that Polenta need not be created with a product with the word “polenta” on the label. While a polenta-specific product is perfectly OK, you can use any medium- or coarse-ground cornmeal.
Coarsely ground cornmeal is all that is required to make Polenta. I prefer to measure the Polenta at just a scant fraction of a cup instead of the traditional 1-part Polenta to 4 parts water ratio. Instead of using water, I frequently use chicken broth. It makes a fantastic basis for any saucy meat or mushroom ragout.
Best Recipes for Polenta
We all enjoy comfort food, and these polenta dishes are great when you want something decadent, filling, and nutritious. This traditional grain has been used in innumerable recipes, from substantial casseroles to baked delights.
Creamy Vegan Polenta with Mushroom and Spinach
This 15-minute, plant-based, creamy vegan Polenta with mushrooms, spinach, and pine nuts is a quick and simple gluten-free lunch and dinner. Additionally, it works well as a side dish and can be served with whatever vegetables you choose. A simple weekday supper that fills me up and tastes well is usually loaded with vegetables and nutritious ingredients. Even while I adore pasta and risotto, I occasionally get the urge to eat something else. Then this quick and simple creamy vegan polenta bowl is perfect! In all honesty, I cook it so frequently because it’s a delicious dinner that takes little time to prepare. I like to use finely ground Polenta, which cooks in about 2 minutes, to make it even easier.
Polenta Plum Upside Down Cake
You wouldn’t believe how simple it is to put up this upside-down cake, a real show-stopper. In the past, I’ve created upside-down cakes that required caramelizing sugar over the stove, which was a little frightening. In this case, I went with the simpler approach. The bottom of the pan should be coated with a little butter and brown sugar to work.
As for the plums, you may cut them in half, remove the stem and pit, and arrange them cut-side-down in the pan, as I did. You can also slice the plums and fan them out. If your plums are too ripe for cutting into thin wedges, this method will work best for you. The sweet-tart plum topping perfectly complements the cake. The aroma of the orange zest and vanilla blend beautifully with the other components, and the texture and flavor of the cornmeal are excellent.
Chicken and Polenta with Broccoli
This simple 15-minute chicken and Polenta with broccoli look very fancy. This bowl of creamy deliciousness, nearly bursting with delicious ingredients, will leave a lasting impression on your visitors. This dish will surely put a smile on your face with its vibrant green broccoli, orange chicken, and creamy yellow Polenta. Although it gives the impression that you spent a lot of time preparing it, this dish is very simple to put together.
Stuffed Chicken and Herb Gravy with Creamy Polenta
This warm dish is one of the most adaptable because it may be baked, grilled, fried, or served creamy after it is prepared. When cornmeal is boiled in water, it becomes Polenta and has a consistency similar to grits. This may be served as a side dish or the main course.
This lunch can be made in under 40 minutes by chopping the herbs while the chicken cooks and getting started on the green beans while the Polenta cooks. You might substitute additional thyme or fresh sage for the tarragon.
Enjoy the savory pleasure of this creamy Polenta as it tickles your tastebuds. Polenta’s sweet, buttery flavor makes it the ideal foundation for various cuisines, from hot sausages to herb-infused roast chicken. You can eat it alone, with vegetables, or with cheese and herbs on top. An Italian classic, this delicious dish will be at the top of your list of gluten-free meals!
Oven Baked Polenta
Need a quick, tasty, and hassle-free supper solution? How about some polenta baked in the oven? It moves so quickly and is sure to make your day! Although Polenta is not often baked, the oven simplifies this dish. Additionally, the final result is creamy without being heavy and soft without mushy. It has a beautiful texture that goes well with any main course, including chicken, pork, fish, and prime rib.
Creamy Polenta with Tofu
Are you looking for some polenta recipes to prepare for the evening meal? This recipe for soft Polenta includes an interesting twist. The silky Polenta is prepared with coconut milk and will go wonderfully with the unique tofu-pepper sautee I like to incorporate into my meals. You will be surprised by how much more flavor your cornmeal mush can have by adding a few basic ingredients. You may either eat your smooth Polenta by itself or serve it as a side dish.
Polenta Cakes with Chili-Garlic Sauce
Here is a recipe for my all-time favorite homemade Polenta! This recipe demonstrates a tasty way to prepare dried Polenta. You may create a different dish by adding a few more ingredients to the mixture as you stir the cornmeal. Serve with store-bought or homemade chili-garlic sauce. The Lusty Vegan by Ayinde Howell and Zoe Eisenberg’s Polenta Cakes with Chili-Garlic Sauce makes a wonderful starter or snack to enjoy on a date. Ayinde created a quinoa cake like this while designing a restaurant menu. Later, he substituted Polenta since he thought the grain was more substantial in this dish.
Instant Pot Recipe
This recipe for the Instant Pot is ridiculously simple. If you have a pressure cooker, making this cheesy Polenta won’t require you to stand over the burner and stir the mixture frequently like it would if you were using a traditional pot. Please put all of the ingredients into the saucepan, give it a few stirs, and then let it cook on its own while you do something else. You may get a hearty portion of thick Polenta in around 40 minutes without worrying about your arms getting tired.
Easy Fried Polenta Recipe
The variety of Polenta in preparation is one of its most attractive qualities.
This easy recipe for fried polenta produces a wonderful side dish that is versatile enough to complement a wide variety of meat and vegetable-based main courses. It’s my favorite when topped with a tonne of cheese and a spicy tomato sauce, but it’s also wonderful when served with chicken or mushrooms for a meatier and more earthy flavor. Because it has a crisp outside and a delicate, creamy interior, even the most discerning taste buds will surely be satisfied.
How to Thickened up Polenta More Quickly?
While whisking continually, add one cup of coarsely ground Polenta in a slow, steady stream. Cook it while whisking it for about five minutes or until it thickens. You could use a spoon, but whisking the Polenta as it thickens will help break up any clumps that form and make the Polenta creamier all the way through.
In What Ways are Cornmeal and Polenta Dissimilar from One Another?
The grain’s texture distinguishes Polenta and cornmeal from one another, but other than that, these two products are virtually identical. Cornmeal is ground considerably more finely than Polenta, which results in a more mushy end product. Polenta, on the other hand, has a slightly more robust texture than cornmeal does.
What should be Served with Polenta?
Try making some chili with Polenta and vegetables; it’s the ultimate comfort food for the warmer months. The traditional Easy Beef Chili that we offer here begins with a base of soft Polenta that is prepared using a mixture of water and milk. Ladles of chili, together with sautéed vegetables such as cremini mushrooms and chopped fresh spinach, are poured over the Polenta before serving.
What are the Different Methods for Preparing Polenta?
I experimented with a few alternative polenta preparation techniques during my testing, including oven, double-boiler, and microwave.
To make Polenta in the oven, the recipes I saw online recommended mixing the Polenta and water in a baking dish and baking it until it was fully cooked, sometimes with the lid on and sometimes without. I experimented with this while it was still covered, and the outcome was as described above: soupy Polenta with dry skin covering the top.
The Polenta must still be occasionally stirred to avoid lumps, even though covering helps to minimize this considerably. It functions perfectly, but little effort is saved as a result.
Given that the steam heat from below won’t cause the Polenta to burn on the bottom of the pan, I reasoned that using a double boiler may assist lessen the need for stirring. But once more, the Polenta developed a skin on top, and I had to stir it almost as frequently as while it was being cooked over the heat. It also took longer to cook since the heat was less intense. I didn’t think this was worth it at all.
Polenta is a delightful gluten-free addition to any menu and goes well baked, grilled, fried, or served creamily. Cornmeal is boiled in water to create the grits-like consistency of Polenta. Once prepared, Polenta can be baked, grilled, fried, or used as a creamy side dish for any dish.
Our editors adore Polenta with Italian-Style Beef for family dinners, polenta casserole, and nights when they’re in the mood for comfort cuisine. In almost all situations calling for Polenta, grits, frequently ground more coarsely than Polenta and occasionally made with a different species of corn (dent instead of flint), work just as well.