No more standing over a stove stirring, this Instant Pot Polenta is so quick and easy! Full of flavor from the fresh herbs, this makes a great base or stews or beans, or serve it on it's own as a side dish! Leave it soft, rich and creamy or chill it to make polenta cakes. Whole grain and naturally gluten free polenta is a healthy choice!
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Polenta - Naturally Gluten Free!
Who else loves polenta? I do! The only thing that makes me sad about polenta is that I spent so much of my life not even knowing it existed. I envy all you people who grew up eating polenta.
If you've never had polenta, it's basically ground corn, usually yellow. You can find it in varying degrees of coarseness: Instant Polenta is ground very finely and cooks quickly, Coarsely Ground Polenta cooks more slowly and has more texture, and you can even buy it already cooked and in a tube.
Even though I have no problem with gluten, I like to vary my grains, so it is nice to know that polenta is naturally gluten free. Like most gluten free grains, there might be issues of cross contamination because of the processing plants, so if you are very sensitive, you probably want to find one that is specifically labeled gluten free.
Polenta vs Grits
Living in the south, I thought I should address the issue of polenta vs grits. They are both made from corn. Grits are made from hominy and are ground much finer. Without getting too technical on you, hominy is corn that has been treated in an alkali solution. Polenta is made from yellow corn and is ground more coarse.
I typically use polenta either as a side dish or as a base like you would use pasta or rice. I like grits for breakfast, though shrimp and grits is amazing.
Making Instant Pot Herbed Polenta is so easy!
It is so easy to make polenta in the Instant Pot!
- Sauté your fresh herbs and shallots in butter on the sauté setting.
- Add the broth and when it comes to a simmer whisk in the polenta.
- Lock on the lid, adjust the pressure to low and set the time for 8 minutes.
- When time is up, let pressure release naturally for 15 minutes.
- Stir in cheese, milk, parsley and nutmeg.
If making cakes:
- Lightly grease a quarter sheet pan with butter or olive oil.
- Spoon polenta into sheet pan and spread evenly.
- Lay wax paper or parchment paper over the top.
- Let chill for 4 hours or overnight.
- Cut into serving pieces and either sauté in a frying pan or roast in an oven.
Instant Pot Herbed Polenta
This polenta was so good! You can make it without the herbs, but once I learned that it had parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme in it, I knew I had to include them all. Go ahead, you can start singing the song now! And, if you don't know what I'm talking about, boy I feel old, and go look up Simon & Garfunkle.
This polenta was rich and creamy, with a nice texture from the coarse polenta. The finer your ground of polenta the creamier it will be. I decided to serve mine as polenta cakes because I was going to be serving it two nights in a row. I served it the first night with cannellini beans and then the second night with a simple and quick tomato sauce.
I found this recipe in Instant Pot Italian, you can check out me review here: The Best Instant Pot Cookbooks.
Looking for more ways to serve polenta:
I served this Instant Pot Red Wine Beef Stew over polenta!
This Braised Chicken with Olives, Capers and Prunes would be lovely served with polenta!
I served this Slow Cooker Chicken and Stout Stew over polenta.
Instant Pot Herbed Polenta
- 2 tablespoons butter unsalted
- 1 shallot finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons sage fresh, chopped
- 2 teaspoons rosemary fresh, chopped
- 2 teaspoons thyme fresh, chopped
- 4 cups broth chicken or vegetable
- 1 cup polenta not quick cooking
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese grated
- ¼ cup milk
- 3 tablespoons parsley fresh, chopped
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- Set the pressure cooker to sauté and add the butter. When the butter has melted add the shallot, sage, rosemary and thyme. Cooking stirring for about 4 minutes until the shallots have softened. Add the broth and ¼ teaspoon of salt. When the broth comes to a simmer, slowly whisk in the polenta.
- Lock on the lid and set the pressure cooker to low for 8 minutes. Make sure the steam valve is set to sealing and that the keep warm feature is turned off (if you can do that, otherwise turn it off after the timer goes off.)
- When the time is up, turn off the keep warm feature and let the pressure drop naturally for 15 minutes. Then release the pressure. Stir in the cheese, milk, parsley and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper.
- Serve immediately for soft polenta. For cakes, grease a ¼ sheet pan with butter and pour the polenta in it and lay a piece of wax paper or parchment paper over the top. Refrigerate for 4 hours or until solid. Cut into slices and roast in a 500 oven for 20 minutes or sauté in a nonstick pan over medium high heat with a little olive oil for about 3 minutes per side.