Servings: 8      Makes:  4 cups       Cook Time:  10 minutes

POLENTA , a yellow cornmeal made CHEF ALTON BROWN’S WAY is unusual and foolproof to get it soft and creamy the way I like it! I had never seen it done his way! It guarantees me a perfectly soft texture without any clumps!  Cornmeal tends to clump more than cream of wheat. His method is based on science like a lot of his great cooking tricks! 

Here it is: You use BOTH HANDS  to slowly pour the cold water and cornmeal into the boiling water at the same time!

Polenta has made a comeback in recent years and I ‘ve seen it on the menu in several restaurants. There are so many ways to make and serve polenta! It can be served hot or cold!  It can be baked hard, baked semi-soft, boiled, served as a cereal, sweetened, or topped with just butter, salt and pepper.  Some people add cheese.  Some like it thick and hard enough to slice it.  Some people serve it with tomato sauce, and often top it with mushrooms. 

I grew up loving Polenta. My Mom made it two ways. She either baked it semi-hard and put tomato sauce on top, sometimes with sausage, or boiled it and served it soft and creamy. 

My preference is the soft and creamy way. Depending on my mood, I eat it as a cereal, sweetened, or as a creamy side dish topped with tomato sauce and mushrooms or crumbled sausage like in a picture here.

It is a great low-calorie food, since one serving is only 76 calories or 1 Weight Watcher Point. 

See some of the steps to make it in the slideshow below.   


Polenta ~ Boiled Soft
Polenta, yellow cornmeal, can be made so many ways! This is boiled soft and creamy with a guaranteed technique by Chef Alton Brown to come out perfectly every time!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time2 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Course: Breakfast, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 8
Calories: 76


  • 3 cups water for boiling
  • teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup cornmeal stone ground yellow
  • 1 cup cold water


  • In a medium saucepan, over high heat, bring the 3 cups of water and salt to a boil.
  • With the cornmeal in one hand, and the cold water in the other hand, SLOWLY pour them into the boiling water AT THE SAME TIME, then quickly stir it with a whisk.
  • Continue to stir and cook until the polenta starts to boil.
  • Then REDUCE THE HEAT TO LOW, cover, and let it simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cornmeal is soft.
  • Pour the polenta into a 1½ quart dish.
  • Serve hot as a cereal or side dish. Or serve hot topped with tomato sauce, or mushrooms, or sausage or anything you wish.


LEFTOVERS?  Just reheat it in the microwave for a few minutes.
Calories: 76kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 441mg | Potassium: 64mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg


  1. Anonymous September 10, 2014 at 8:54 am

    I tried this recipe two days ago and had it with sauce and Italian sausage. This is how I remember my mom serving it. What I liked about your recipe Angie was that it didn’t come out hard and gritty. It was soft with no “lumps”. The next day I heated up the left over in the micro, without the sauce, added a pat of butter and served it for breakfast. Delicious! My husband, who is not a big fan of polenta loved it this way. The one thing I will change the next time is the salt amount, but hey everyone has their own preference on salt. Angie, thanks for this recipe. It is a keeper for me! We loved it!

    1. ang1m September 14, 2014 at 10:09 pm

      Awesome! Not everyone has a taste for polenta but I also am a fan of it like you are, but minus those lumps, which is not easy to accomplish! Glad the trick worked for you also! Loved your comment, thanks so much for writing!


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