By Holly Bieler
Updated on 26. Jul. 2020

Polenta is a firm, slightly-sweet porridge that's a staple of Italian cooking. Read on to learn more about how to prepare this versatile grain.

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  • ...is rich in vitamin A.
    A 100 gram serving of polenta contains 120 micrograms of vitamin A, which supports healthy vision, skin and mucous membranes.
  • ...is easily digestible.
    Polenta can be digested easily in the stomach and intestines, which makes it a good option for those with sensitive stomachs.
  • ...is rich in minerals.
    Polenta contains a range of minerals, especially potassium, magnesium and iron.
  • ...keeps skin and hair healthy.
    The relatively high content of silicic acid contained in polenta supports cell growth, and is especially important for smooth skin, shiny hair and strong nails.
  • ...is gluten-free.
    Polenta doesn’t contain gluten, making it a great option for those with celiacs disease or who are on a low-gluten diet.
  • ...is high in carbs.
    If you’re on a low carb diet, stay away from polenta.
  • ...is low in dietary fiber.
    Unlike most other grains, polenta doesn’t contain a lot of dietary fiber.

What You Should Know About Polenta

On the outside, polenta differs from other types of semolina, such as wheat semolina for example wheat semolina, because of its golden yellow colour. Its consistency is also somewhat finer than other types of semolina. However, there are no particularly noticeable differences in taste.


Polenta originates from the north of Italy.


There is no specific season for polenta.


Polenta tastes mild to rather neutral, similar to grits.

Our Favorite Recipes With Polenta

Find all our polenta recipes here.

How Health is Polenta?

While polenta contains a considerable amount of protein, it is relatively low in important nutrients, except for vitamin A. A 100 gram serving contains about 120 micrograms of this essential vitamin, about 12 percent of your daily allowance. Thus it's recommended to pair polenta with a serving of leafy vegetables or a salad, to add some minerals and fiber content to your meal.

One thing polenta has in its favor is that it's gluten-free, so those with celiacs disease or who are on a low-gluten diet can enjoy this rich porridge.

Calories 339
Protein 8.8 g
Fat 1.1 g
Carbohydrates 73.5 g
Fiber 5 g

Shopping and Cooking Tips


Don't worry about purchasing any specific type of polenta-- flavor and consistency generally remains the same for all varieties.


You can keep polenta in its resealable packaging in your pantry for many months without losing quality of flavor.


Polenta is cooked like rice with boiling water, although it will cook much quicker.

What To Make With Polenta

Polenta not only tastes delicious as as simple side, but can be used as the base for an array of unique dishes. Try polenta as a pizza crust for a spin on the traditional dish, deep-fried in wedges for a treat, or as a stuffing into vegetables or dumplings. It also makes a delicious and mild baby food.

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