Breakfast Polenta

Breakfast Polenta

Hello friends, and welcome to my life, which has become dominated by a raging polenta obsession.

Polenta in the morning, polenta in the evening, polenta at suppertime!

I made polenta once last year with fresh corn, but never (before this weekend) had I ever made it with cornmeal. I was inspired to do so by Andrea and Sarah, who have both posted polenta dishes in the past month. And now that I got around to trying it myself, I have no idea what I was waiting for. So easy it was life-changing! And so nice I made it twice.

This was kind of the weekend for repeat meals… beet pesto, polenta, wine, repeat.

On Saturday it was dinner, but on Sunday it was breakfast.

Breakfast Polenta

You may know this already (and if so, you’re more cultured than me), but polenta = grits. Totally interchangeable. And no, I had never made grits like this before, because I’m from New England, OK? But I hope for your sake that you’re like ten steps ahead of me in the polenta/grits department. If you’re not, make sure you get there ASAP.

This polenta is a great change-up from morning oatmeal. However, because I do love oatmeal so much, I used very similar toppings here. At first I was skeptical that cinnamon, raisins and pecans would taste good in a corn dish, but one bite proved me wrong. And then a second. And then a third. I mean, I was wrong, but this breakfast was so right.

I think it’s safe to say that polenta is my new go-to weekend brunch. It takes about 40 minutes to cook, but it is pretty hands-off and totally worth the wait. The toppings require no prep… so maybe you can wash all your dishes while you wait? Do your taxes? Clean your bathroom? I really know how to live it up, guys.

Breakfast Polenta

5.0 from 2 reviews
Breakfast Polenta
Cook time
Total time
Yields: 4 cups (about 4 servings)
For the polenta:
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup polenta meal (a.k.a. corn grits)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
To top:
  • coconut milk (I used light)
  • maple syrup
  • cinnamon
  • raisins
  • chopped pecans
  1. Bring water to a boil in a 2 to 3-quart pot. Add salt. Whisk in polenta and continue whisking until it thickens a bit - polenta should no longer sink to the bottom when you stop whisking.
  2. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes. Every 10 minutes, stir vigorously, scraping the bottom and sides of pot.
  3. Stir in butter. The polenta will start to thicken as it cools, so serve ASAP. Scoop into bowls and top with coconut milk, maple syrup, a sprinkle of cinnamon, raisins, and pecans.


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    • Erica says

      You will have to let me know how it compares, as I haven’t tried a more hands-on method. I am curious!

  1. Marcia says

    Polenta = grits = LOVE! My Momma was from the South (hear the drawl?) so I was fortunate to grow up enjoying every bite! She never made them with fruit or any form of sugar, always savory. I love having them for breakfast (lunch/dinner) but don’t use any milk or anything else, just the pure thing. YUM! A friend used to make polenta for me and bring me two dinner plates full at a time! I was so excited, I’d eat it cold (it was solid so it sliced easily – Thanks Claire!)

    Erica, thank you for making my heart sing and my mouth water! You must excuse me as I’m heading for the pantry !!

    • Erica says

      I will totally admit to eating slices of cold polenta this weekend, as well. Such a handy snack when you’re rooting around in the fridge looking for something to nibble on :) Glad to have someone as excited about grits/polenta as I am!

  2. says

    Well, I’m from the deep south – Australia! Polenta is certainly a novel idea for breakfast; novel and delicious! Especially with pecans and raisins. Perfect for the coming winter :)

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