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.
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
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.
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