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Slow Cooker Polenta

November 28, 2014

Polenta, if you’ve never heard of it, is a special type of corn meal that can be cooked into a smooth, creamy mush (for lack of a better word). I’ve had it topped with short ribs at a restaurant, but the first time I ever tasted it was at a friend’s place and people were topping it with sour cream and feta cheese. I thought it was delicious that way, and it’s quick and easy.  This slow cooker method is a really easy hands-off way to cook it (otherwise you will be stuck standing at the stove stirring for a long time) and it turns out just as good.


Make sure to use regular or traditional polenta, not instant polenta or regular course ground cornmeal.

vegetable oil spray

7 1/2 cups water

1 1/2 cups polenta

1 1/2 tsp salt

1-2 cups (2-4 oz) grated Parmesan cheese

2 Tbsp butter

feta cheese and sour cream to serve (optional)

Coat the slow cooker with vegetable oil spray. Mix water, polenta and salt together in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 4 – 6 hours, or until done. Stir in parmesan and butter and season to taste with salt and pepper. (I used the lower amount of pre-grated parmesan since I was topping with feta and sour cream. If you are grating your own cheese, you probably want to use the higher amount.)

If making ahead, you can keep it on the warm setting for 1 – 2 hours and thin with a little hot water if it gets too thick.

This makes a lot of polenta (8-10 servings). I’ve also cut the amount in half and used a smaller slow cooker, and that worked just fine. Or, you can have leftovers and use the polenta in other ways. If you have some left over,  start by spreading any extra polenta in a shallow dish, such as a 9 x 13 pan. Cover and refrigerate until needed. Still have more? Put it in a round 2 cup plastic container and refrigerate. The next day you can cut the leftover polenta in pieces and bake it or fry it and top it with tasty things. I’ll give some ideas in the next two posts…

(Recipe adapted from America’s Test Kitchen’s Slow Cooker Revolution)


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  1. Quesalentas | the Art of Delicious

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