How to Make Cheap and Easy Polenta

May 13, 2011 by    Posted under: Food, Photos, Saving Money

I love polenta. I love it hot, cold, as a side dish, as a main dish, with veggies, with meat. And the great thing about polenta (besides being tasty and nutritious) is that it’s super easy and inexpensive to make!

To make polenta, you only need four ingredients and 20 minutes. This recipe serves 8 and costs about $1.

Corn meal is ground corn and comes in a variety of consistences. I prefer organic coarse ground yellow corn meal and buy it in bulk from my local health food store for $1.29/lb. I find it keeps well in canning jars and I try to always have at least one jar of it on hand incase I need to whip up a meal quickly.


6 cups water

1 3/4 cup polenta (corn meal)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 teaspoons salt

Polenta Recipe

Step 1: Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add 2 teaspoons of salt.

Step 2: Add the corn meal gradually while stirring with a whisk.

Step 3: Reduce heat to low until the corn meal thickens to a thick cake batter consistency and the corn meal is tender (about 15 minutes), stirring often.

Step 4: Turn off the stove and mix in the butter until it is melted.

Step 5: Pour the mixture into a baking pan (I like to use a 9 x 13 1/2) to cool down.

Step 6: Once the polenta has cooled down some and solidified, cut it into squares and serve at any temperature (it may need to be reheated if you want to serve it hot).

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