Crispy Polenta Bites + Polenta in the Instant Pot

Crispy Baked Polenta Bites
Polenta takes 5 minutes in the instant pot – five! With no stirring – that’s right no standing over a pot at the stove. This is NOT the way I was raised making polenta. I remember standing at the stove stirring the big pot of polenta with my great-grandmother. With it popping and hot splatters on my skin. This version is quite simple with just a few ingredients but it is full of flavor. I have made it with both broth and water, with seasonings, plain or with cheese added at the end. Polenta is a blank canvas that you can flavor any way your heart desires. You can even saute onions, garlic and peppers before adding the polenta and broth. I know that I make polenta much more often since I first tried making it in the instant pot; hopefully you will give it a try also. It is amazingly creamy without all of the stirring. While I love soft polenta my kids have decided that they do not like it after years of eating it. I know that they will outgrow it, so in the meantime we are enjoying our polenta in bite form. They are crispy on the outside and soft and creamy on the inside – so addictive! I love to pair these with my favorite dip when I lightly season them. If you season them well they are perfect without a dip. They are also fantastic paired with chili in place of cornbread.

Baked Crispy Polenta Bites

Polenta made in the Instantpot

Yield about 4 Cups

4 Cups Broth or Water
1 Cup Coarse Polenta
1/2 – 1 teaspoon salt (start with 1/2 teaspoon if using broth)
¼  Cup fresh Herbs, chopped
1-2 teaspoons of your favorite spices (I have used cajun, Italian, taco, berbere ect)

1.  Add water, polenta and salt to your pressure cooker and 1/2 -1 teaspoons of your seasoning, give it a good whisk. Add lid to the pressure cooker and set your knob to sealing.

2. Select Porridge and use the ‘-‘ button to adjust the time to 5 minutes. Once the polenta has finished cooking, allow it to rest for 10 minutes before opening the pressure cooker. Hit the cancel button.

3. Turn the knob to venting and allow any remaining pressure to release. Remove the lid tilting it away from you.

4. Whisk the polenta and give it a taste. Add any additional salt, seasoning, cheese or chopped herbs.

5. You can serve the polenta soft straight from the instant pot or you can continue on for the baked bites.

Polenta adapted from The New Fast Food

Baked Crispy Polenta Bites

Crispy Baked Polenta Bites
Serves 4 (if you want to share!)

1 Cup dried Polenta, Prepared and slightly cool. (You want it to retain its shape once it is formed)

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a 1 Tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop and form the polenta (or your hands to roll slightly cool polenta into balls) and place on prepared baking sheet.

2. Lightly spray the tops of the polenta bites with olive oil or cooking spray. Bake 15-20 minutes. Remove baking sheet from the oven and flip the polenta bites. Lightly spray the tops of the polenta bites, return to the oven and bake an additional 15 minutes or until golden.

Disclaimer: This post contains amazon affiliate links.

Baked Crispy Polenta Bites

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  1. Lisa says:

    You might proof it again. I was confused in the section about the bites, after cooking the polenta. It says “dried polenta”. Even after the “Prepared and slightly cool.” Explanation I am confused. Why do you use the term “dried”?

    • Lindsay says:

      I use the dried polenta measurement so anyone making polenta the traditional way on a stove top have a reference point to start. Not everyone that would like to make the bites have a pressure cooker to make the polenta. I apologize if it was confusing.

  2. renate hoornstra says:

    Thanks for posting this recipe and also I’m very happy, because you mentioned sauteeing veggies and that would actually be a great way to hide veggies in the polenta my kids love so much. i will sautee the veggies, add the water and pulse it so they won’t ever know 😀

    • Lindsay says:

      Great idea! I use that method with my pasta sauce quite often, if my family can’t see the peppers they think it is the best.

  3. Shellie says:

    I have a bag of organic polenta, but it doesn’t say coarse or fine….just polenta. Think that would work? This sounds great. 🙂

  4. Shellie says:

    The polenta is coarser than the cornmeal, but I think it still might be too fine compared to your pic of the polenta mix in the bowl. I’ll have to pick up some coarse. Looking forward to making these.

  5. Shellie says:

    I’ve been searching for organic coarse polenta in a bunch of stores with no luck… I thought for sure Whole Foods would have it, but no. Can you recommend a brand please?

  6. Shellie says:

    Perfect. Thanks. Organic coarse polenta doesn’t bring up the Arrowhead Mills in my Amazon search for some reason. I just ordered it. I did find an unopened box of Arrowhead Mills organic gluten free yellow corn grits in the back of my fridge. That looks too fine as well. I’m getting closer to finally making this dish. 🙂

    • Lindsay says:

      I think that it makes it slightly creamier using the porridge setting. This recipe still works using the manual setting. It is hard to use different settings!

  7. Kathleen Combs Leverett says:

    Thanks for the tip re using the Porridge setting. I do like my polenta on the creamier side , so this should be perfect

  8. Lars says:

    Hello Lindsay.

    I followed your recipe to the dot and the polenta was cooled and held its shape but when i put it in the ofen each bite just melted and left me with one big tray of polenta. Do you know where I went wrong?

    Thank you

    • Lindsay says:

      Hi, I am not sure what happened Lars. It is odd that it kept the shape before going into the oven and not while baking. I have never had that happen before, I hope that you still enjoyed it in a different shape. You can also place the polenta in a large glass baking dish to completely cool and cut into squares or triangles before baking. I do that depending on what I am serving the polenta with.

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