Soft Polenta in the Microwave


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A little bit of cheese adds a lot of flavor to this easy dish.

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  • 4 C. water
  • 3/4 C. yellow or white cornmeal
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • Good pinch freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 C. softened gorgonzola cheese or 1/4 C. additional butter

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With the microwave oven, the polenta is stirred only once during the entire cooking time; it is guaranteed lump-less, and it can be made for one or for a crowd. If you can cook this in a serving dish, choose one with a cover; it will prevent the polenta from forming a skin and will, at the same time, keep it hot.

Combine water, cornmeal and salt in a 2-qt. soufflé dish. Cook, uncovered, at 100 percent power for 6 minutes. Stir well, cover loosely with paper toweling and cook for 6 minutes more. If using a small oven, cook uncovered for 9 minutes; cover loosely and cook for 9 minutes more. Remove from oven. Uncover and stir in butter, pepper and cheese (or additional butter). Let stand for 3 minutes. Serve hot.

Yield: 8 servings as side dish

From: Microwave Gourmet by Barbara Kafka

To serve 1 or 2: Quarter all ingredients (use 3 Tbs. cornmeal). Proceed as for Soft Polenta above, cooking in a soup bowl for 1 minute 30 seconds, uncovered, and then for another 1 minute 30 seconds, covered.

To serve 3 or 4: Combine 2 1/2 C. water, 1/2 C. cornmeal and 1 tsp. salt in an 8 C. glass measure. Cook as for Soft Polenta above for 5 minutes. Stir and continue cooking for 5 minutes longer. Finish as for Soft Polenta, stirring in 2 Tbs. butter and a pinch of pepper.

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