Make the most delicious, Creamy Polenta in half the time using your Instant pot or Pressure cooker! Vegan-adaptable and totally gluten-free! A cozy, easy side dish that goes with so many things!  See notes for stovetop version!

Instant Pot Polenta! A delicious healthy side dish that is quick and easy to make in your pressure cooker! Vegan adaptable and totally gluten free! | #instantpot #polenta #creamypolenta #pressurecooker #instantpotrecipes #veganinstantpot #polenta #vegan #glutenfree

Hey friends, here’s another very convenient use for that Instant Pot of yours! Instant Pot Polenta. This recipe requires very little hands-on time, can be made vegan, and is perfect for busy weeknight dinners. I think of this as a “building block” dinner recipe, one that has a myriad of uses.

No Instant pot? See the recipe notes for a quick stovetop version. 

What to serve with Creamy Polenta

While the polenta is cooking away in your pressure cooker, you could be roasting salmon, or pan-searing wild mushrooms, or roasting root vegetables, to serve over top. Or make this Sheet Pan Ratatouille to serve alongside.

You could simply top the Creamy Polenta with Sauteed Greens and a little parmesan and call it good. Or add a poached egg. You get the idea. 🙂

The possibilities are endless here – and really your only job here is to comb through your fridge and decide what needs using up. Keep it super simple if you like, or go to town- I know you’ll find this useful!

Instant Pot Polenta with Wild Mushrooms, Garlic and Sage. A simple EASY dinner that can be made in under 30 minutes. Comfort food that is healthy, vegan adaptable and gluten-free! | #instantpot #polenta #creamypolenta #mushrooms #morels #chanterelles #mushroompolenta #polenta #vegan

Here above,  it’s topped with farmers market wild mushrooms, garlic and sage. So simple, so easy!

Instant Pot Polenta with Wild Mushrooms, Garlic and Sage. A simple EASY dinner that can be made in under 30 minutes. Comfort food that is healthy, vegan adaptable and gluten-free! | #instantpot #polenta #creamypolenta #mushrooms #morels #chanterelles #mushroompolenta #polenta #vegan

And here below it’s topped with simple roasted root veggies, then drizzled with Gremolata.

Instant Pot Polenta with Root Vegetables. A simple EASY dinner that can be made in under 30 minutes. Comfort food that is healthy, vegan adaptable and gluten-free! | #instantpot #polenta #creamypolenta

Instant Pot Polenta with Roasted Root Veggies and Gremolata. A simple EASY dinner that can be made in under 30 minutes. Comfort food that is healthy, vegan adaptable and gluten-free! | #instantpot #polenta #creamypolenta #instantpotrecipes #veganinstantpot #polenta #vegan

You could also make this simple Sheet Pan Ratatouille to serve over top.

And if you prefer a more hearty “meaty” meal, scroll down for more ideas from our catering business.

Instant Pot Polenta! A delicious healthy side dish that is quick and easy to make in your pressure cooker! Vegan adaptable and totally gluten free! | #instantpot #polenta #creamypolenta #pressurecooker #instantpotrecipes #veganinstantpot #polenta #vegan #glutenfree

So think of the Instant Pot Polenta as your “base” or foundation, then layer it however you like! Pure and total comfort food!

Sometimes, I’ll blister some cherry tomatoes with a little garlic and olive oil in a skillet and call it good.

Or like I said before, wilt some greens, like kale or spinach, and top the whole thing with a poached egg.

MMMMMMMMM.

Instant Pot Polenta! A delicious healthy side dish that is quick and easy to make in your pressure cooker! Vegan adaptable and totally gluten free! | #instantpot #polenta #creamypolenta #pressurecooker #instantpotrecipes #veganinstantpot #polenta #vegan #glutenfree

Often in our catering business, we would serve this with slow-braised lamb shanks,  osso bucco,  or slow-braised beef short ribs – all good pairings if you’d like something meatier.

I also really like this with simple roasted salmon and veggies.

And this sheet pan chicken and asparagus recipe would go really nicely.

Instant Pot Polenta! A delicious healthy side dish that is quick and easy to make in your pressure cooker! Vegan adaptable and totally gluten free! | #instantpot #polenta #creamypolenta #pressurecooker #instantpotrecipes #veganinstantpot #polenta #vegan #glutenfree

The nice part- many of these options can be made vegan! And I know you will come up with many more ways to use the polenta, once you see how easy it is to make in the Instant Pot.

Happy delicious week!

xoxoxoxo

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Instant Pot Polenta! A delicious healthy side dish that is quick and easy to make in your pressure cooker! Vegan adaptable and totally gluten free! | #instantpot #polenta #creamypolenta #pressurecooker #instantpotrecipes #veganinstantpot #polenta #vegan #glutenfree

Instant Pot Polenta | Pressure Cooker Polenta

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 cups 1x
  • Category: instant pot, side dish, vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free
  • Method: pressure cooker
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Instant Pot Polenta! A delicious healthy side dish that is quick and easy to make in your Instant pot | pressure cooker! Vegan adaptable and totally gluten-free! Use this as a delicious healthy base for your own creations!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 cups water or veggie broth
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt,more to taste
  • fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried herbs ( Rosemary, herbs du Provence, Italian herb blend)  or 1-2 teaspoon fresh herbs
  • 1 cup stone ground polenta (cornmeal)

Add your choice of:

  • 23 tablespoons olive oil or butter
  • Cheese- you could swirl in ¼-½ cup of parmesan, pecorino, cheddar, cashew cheese, vegan cheese, goat cheese, sour cream, thick greek yogurt, smoked mozzarella, or whatever meltable cheese you have on hand. Start conservatively, add more to taste.

Instructions

Add the water (or the broth) and salt, spices & herbs to the instant pot. Whisk in the polenta.

Set instant pot to 9 minutes, on high pressure.

Manually release, covering the steam spout with a kitchen towel.

Give a good whisk. Add the olive oil (or butter) and cheese,  it will thicken a little as it sits.

Taste, adjust salt to taste.

Keep it on the warm function until ready to serve, stirring occasionally.


Notes

Stove Top Version: 

  1. In a medium pot, over high heat, bring water or broth, salt spices and herbs to a simmer on the stovetop.  Lower heat to a gentle simmer. Gradually whisk in the polenta a little at a time to prevent any clumps. Once whisked smooth, cover the pot and lower heat to low– and cook for 15 minutes, or until the grains are tender and it has thickened.
  2. Stir in butter or olive oil and your choice of cheese. Taste and adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Note: adding milk to the water in an Instant Pot may cause the burn error, so I’ve adjusted the recipe and removed this option.

Serve this with:  Wild Mushrooms, Garlic and Sage , Sheet pan ratatouille or  Simple Roasted Vegetables with Gremolata or Spring Veggies 

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 101
  • Sugar: 0.1 g
  • Sodium: 575.4 mg
  • Fat: 8.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 4.5 g
  • Fiber: 0.4 g
  • Protein: 2.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 4.6 mg

Keywords: instant pot polenta recipe, vegan polenta, polenta in the pressure cooker, easy polenta recipe, instant pot polenta, pressure cooker polenta, vegan side dish, gluten free side dish,

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Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

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Comments

  1. I really want to try this recipe (I love polenta but have never cooked it well myself), but I don’t own an Instant Pot/pressure cooker! Any tips on cooking this regularly on the stove?

    1. Hi Danielle- it is super easy to make on the stove and I added some stovetop directions to the post in the recipe notes. 🙂

  2. I made this and got a burn error. So I salvaged it from the instant pot and finished it on the stove. It was delicious! not sure what I did wrong. I used broth and cornmeal from bob’s read meal. maybe because it wasn’t “polenta?”

    1. Oh shoot Emmalie. I’m sorry about that, I wonder why that happened? I’ve used corn meal and it works fine… did you give a good stir first? Really not sure what it could be, sorry, I’m sure it was frustrating!

  3. This was the easiet polenta I’ve ever made. Saw the note about omitting the milk and just used water-it turned out perfect. Added parmesan and butter and topped with wilted greens and an egg. Delish.

    1. Sorry. I am testing the recipe as I type. Did you add milk? Or just water/broth? What kind of polenta did you use? fine grain? course grain? Thanks!

  4. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong but I got the dreaded “burn” alert both times I tried to make this. The recipe as written was also way too salty for my family.

    1. Oh dear.Sorry about that. I updated the recipe to remove the milk option- I believe this is causing the error in the instant pot.

  5. Deelicious polenta!
    I posted about using the vegan smoked gouda (Daiya) for dairy free…it melted beautifully added just enough fat to make it sumptious (I used about 3-4 slices diced). I cut the recipe in half since it was just my husband and I. Topped it with sautéed mushrooms and garlic, perfect, no left overs!

  6. I discovered a bag of cornmeal in the cupboard and thought, Polenta! Great timing…
    Love the convenience of the Instant Pot. A suggestion which I intend to try is to use a vegan cheese of choice. The Daiya Smoked Gouda would be amazing I believe, or Violife’s “Mature Cheddar”.

    1. It keeps, but I often find leftover polenta is hard is to get creamy again. Whisk in a little liquid while warming.

  7. Hi! I’m trying this now…so double checking to do a manual quick release at the end of the 8 minutes? No waiting for any natural release? I see so many grains that need 10 minutes of natural release so wanted to double check.

  8. I made this on the stove and it came out perfectly. The herbs are a nice touch. I jut used herbes de provence. We ate it with oven roasted vegetables and coconut yogurt sauce. Great, easy weeknight meal.

  9. My polenta started to burn, luckily by Insta pot flashed a sign. I think med. would be better. Also If you put the polenta in the water or broth while it’s cold you don’t have to worry about lumps.

    1. That is a good point with the cold water. I’ve never gotten the burn signal, so will have to test this over the weekend. My Instant pot doesn’t have a “med” setting? Hummm… has anyone else had problems with this one?

      1. Yes, my instapot also burned so I had to do it on low. It actually burned twice but I wouldn’t give up and finally got it to work with cold water. I had to let it cook for longer though

  10. Oh my gosh…this was to die for. I only used garlic, no sodium chicken bouillon, tsp provence herbs and when done added 1/4 cup parmesan…I don’t want to share!!!! Used spray margarine for each serving. Will fry mushrooms and sage when I get at grocery store….thanks so much for recipe. As an Italian, my mother would load up on three different cheeses and I can still see her with her hugh cast iron pot stirring and stirring and when it was time to each we would put spagetti sauce over it and that would be our dinner.

  11. Do you think you could double or triple the amount of polenta you make in the instant pot? It sounds like it would be a lovely dinner party dinner because it would be so easy!!!

    1. I haven’t tried to double, but don’t see why not? If you do try it, let me know, and if I get a chance here, I’ll give it a go too, and report back.:)