Basic Polenta


  • 4 cups water (add 1/4 cup if using a coarse polenta grind)
  • 1 ¼ cups yellow or white cornmeal (American or coarse polenta grind)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (add 1 tablespoon if chilling for polenta lasagna)
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • Nutritional Information
    • Nutritional analysis per serving (2 servings)

      515 calories; 18 grams fat; 11 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 4 grams monounsaturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 78 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams dietary fiber; 1 gram sugars; 7 grams protein; 45 milligrams cholesterol; 2353 milligrams sodium

    • Note: Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available data.

4 cups; 10 rectangular slices of polenta, enough to serve 5 as a main course


  1. Combine water, cornmeal and salt in a 2 1/2-quart souffle dish. Cook, uncovered, at 100 percent power in a 650- to 700-watt oven for 12 minutes, stirring once.
  2. Remove from oven. Stir in 3 tablespoons of the butter and the pepper. Serve; if making the polenta lasagna, proceed to step 3.
  3. Use 1 1/2 teaspoons of the butter to grease a 14-by-11-by-2-inch dish or a baking sheet. Pour the polenta mixture into the dish or spread it 1/2 inch thick in an even rectangle on the baking sheet. Smooth the top with a spatula, and spread the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of butter on top. Let stand until cool. Refrigerate overnight or until thoroughly chilled. With a sharp knife, cut the polenta crosswise into 10 equal rectangles. Leave the slices in dish or on the baking sheet until ready to use.
  • Allow time for chilling overnight if the basic polenta is being used for the polenta lasagna.

17 minutes

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